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PhD Studentship: Hydride High-Temperature Superconductors

University of Bristol

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Tax-free stipend for 3.5 years at the EPSRC rate (currently £15,285 per annum for 2020/21)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 10th June 2021
Closes: 31st July 2021


University of Bristol and Diamond Light Source


In this project, you will synthesise and study hydride superconductors at high pressures (P) at beamline I15 at Diamond Light Source and at the University of Bristol. Record superconductivity with transition temperatures to above zero Celsius have been discovered in hydride compounds at high pressures in the last 5 years including in LaH10, YH9, SH3, and carbonaceous sulphur hydride. This project will address outstanding questions on the mechanism of superconductivity in known hydride superconductors and strive to find materials with higher transition temperatures. 

You will work on the synthesis of hydride superconductors inside a diamond anvil cell with laser heating at high pressures. The project includes developments for accurate temperature measurement and control at the beamline I15 and at the University of Bristol. You will study the superconducting properties with electronic measurements. 

The work will be carried in equal parts at the University of Bristol and the Diamond Light Source. You will learn use of high-pressure and laser heating in the laboratories in Bristol in the first months and spend more time at Diamond Light Source during the second and third year. In both places, you will be part of very active groups with many related projects funded by UK and EU research councils and many friendly and motivated PhDs, postdocs, and research staff. 

PhD work:

The successful candidate will work with three supervisors: Dr Sven Friedemann (Physics) and Dr Oliver Lord (Earth Sciences) at the University of Bristol. Supervision at the Diamond Light Source will be provided by Dr Simone Anzellini. 

How to apply:

If you are interested to apply for the position, please get in touch with one of the supervisors. A formal application needs to be submitted through the University of Bristol online application form To be considered, please submit your application before 31/07/2021. The position remains open until a suitable candidate has been recruited. 

Please choose “Physics PhD” as course and mention “Hydride superconductivity” as corresponding studentship advert and “Sven Friedemann” as contact person. Applications should include a Curriculum Vitae, contact information for two potential referees and a short letter outlining the applicant’s scientific interests and motivation to work on high-pressure superconductors. 

Candidate requirements: 

Candidates should hold a first degree in Physics, Earth Sciences, or a related subject, normally at a level equivalent to at least UK honours 2:1 level, or a relevant postgraduate Master's qualification. Please see our prospectus for full details about international equivalents. A good background in solid state physics including superconductivity is desirable. Good oral and written skills in English language and strong motivation, the ability to work independently and in a team are required. Experience in experimental physics or Earth Sciences and manipulation of small samples is beneficial. 

Funding: The PhD position is supported with a tax-free stipend for 3.5 years at the EPSRC rate (currently £15,285 per annum). University fees are covered at the rate for UK residents. A fee waiver for non-UK residents may be available. 


Informal enquiries:

Dr Sven Friedemann (

Dr Oliver Lord (

Dr Simone Anzellini (

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