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Postgraduate Research Opportunity: Solid State Growth of Piezoelectric Single Crystals

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Funding covers the cost of tuition fees as well as maintenance grant (£17,777 in Session 2019/20 increasing to £18,476 in the 4th year).
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th March 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019

Funded PhD project: Due to funding availability, the studentship is open to UK candidates only
Value: This is a 4-year studentship funded by EPSRC iCASE with additional support from industrial collaborator Thales UK Ltd. Funding covers the cost of tuition fees as well as maintenance grant (£17,777 in Session 2019/20 increasing to £18,476 in the 4th year).
Number of awards: 1
Deadline: 30/04/2019
Supervisors: Contact Professor Andrew Bell to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

Piezoelectric materials are at the heart of a £20bn p.a. industry in sensors and actuators, providing the functional heart of devices such as ultrasound medical imaging transducers, naval sonar and automotive fuel injection systems. This 4 year PhD project, funded by EPSRC with additional support from industrial collaborator Thales UK Ltd, is aimed at defining new methods for growing the highest performance piezoelectric materials in the form of large single crystals.

Conventional crystal growth techniques rely on solidification from the melt or from liquid fluxes, however these methods have both technical shortcomings and are high cost. Hence this project is aimed at growing crystals from polycrystalline precursors, using seed crystals to determine the direction of the growth. It is primarily an experimental project, based around materials processing, employing optical and electron microscopy to determine material microstructures and electrical measurements to define the piezoelectric characteristics.

The successful candidate will enjoy the advantages of working in a large collaborative group with an international reputation for research on piezoelectric materials. As an iCASE student you will spend approximately 3 months working with the partners, Thales Ltd, to help transfer the findings of your project into an industrial context.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with at least a 2.1 honours degree or Master’s degree in a relevant engineering or science degree such as (but not limited to) Material Science/ Engineering, Physics and Chemistry.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the 'Solid State Growth of Piezoelectric Single Crystals' as well as Professor Andrew Bell as your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office, e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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