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PhD Studentship: From Maximal to Minimal Dissipation. A New Paradigm in Superconductivity

University of Bristol

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: 3.5 years at the UKRI rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 30th November 2021
Closes: 31st January 2022

The project:

A new class of superconducting materials has emerged that host a metallic (resistive) state that fails to conform to the standard models of metallic behaviour, displaying strong signatures of incoherent transport. The fact that the electronic states in these systems are so unconventional has led to suggestions that the superconducting condensate may emerge from the incoherent, rather than the coherent part of the electron self-energy. We call this alternative paradigm 'un-particle superconductivity' and marks the transition from maximal to minimal dissipation.  

The goal of this studentship is to probe the normal and superconducting properties of selected candidate superconductors and to search for evidence of whether superconductivity in these systems can emerge out of the ‘incoherent’ sector, in marked contrast to expectations from conventional (BCS) theory. If successful, this project has the potential to transform the field of unconventional superconductivity.

This PhD studentship will be focused on measuring the transport and thermodynamic properties of candidate materials, including the cuprate high-temperature superconductors, the iron chalcogenides and one-dimensional purple bronze. During your PhD, you will implement a number of experimental probes for measuring the superfluid density of single crystals of these unconventional superconductors, as well as exploit existing probes to perform complementary measurements of their magnetotransport, thermal transport and specific heat. The project itself is a joint experimental/theoretical collaboration with colleagues from Queens University in Belfast. You will be involved in the experimental arm of the project alongside a postdoctoral research associate hired by Professor Nigel Hussey and Professor Antony Carrington from the Quantum Matter group at Bristol who study unconventional superconductivity using a variety of thermodynamic and electrical transport techniques. Some experiments will also be performed at international facilities such as the European Magnetic Field Laboratory, the Diamond Light Source and/or the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland.

Please contact Nigel Hussey N.E.Hussey@bristol.ac.uk or visit http://www.bristol.ac.uk/physics/research/qsm/postgrad/ for more details.

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project at http://www.bris.ac.uk/pg-howtoapply. Please select ‘Physics (PhD)’ on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. Please make sure you include the title of studentship and the contact supervisor in your Personal Statement.

Candidate requirements: 

Candidates should have completed an undergraduate degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) in Physics. Experience in measuring the transport and/or thermodynamic properties of solid state materials would be an advantage, but is not essential.

Funding:

This studentship is fully funded under the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership. Funding will cover tuition fees at the UK student level and an annual stipend for up to three and half years at the standard UKRI stipend rate (currently £15,609 per annum for 2021/22).

We also welcome applications from outstanding international students.  We are able to offer a very small number of fully-funded places to such students but also accept students who can provide full or partial funding from other sources.  If you need an offer letter to apply for a competitive scholarship, please get in contact with us well before any deadlines.

This position is open for PhD scholarships for Chinese students under the CSC scheme.

Contacts:

Prof. Nigel Hussey N.E.Hussey@bristol.ac.uk

Subject Areas: Map your PhD to a maximum of 10 subject areas:

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Solid state Physics
  • Quantum Physics
  • Low-temperature Physics
  • Materials Science
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