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PhD Studentship: The Link in Quantum Mechanics between Breakdown and Permittivity (CDT in Metamaterials, PhD in Physics/Engineering)

University of Exeter - Metamaterials

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Exeter
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £17,668 for 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 18th November 2022
Closes: 20th January 2023
Reference: 4487

About the award 

Statement of Research: 

This exciting project is to study quantum mechanics in nanoscale systems. In particular, this project will focus on how charge polarisation and breakdown manifests in the quantum realm. Breakdown is the process by which lightning happens in the atmosphere and describes the maximum electric field any material can sustain before being torn apart. In this non-equilibrium process, the role of By studying two-dimensional materials we intend to explore how one can control and define the permittivity and breakdown of a material.  [1-3]. By custom designing the structure of this material, it is possible to create nanoscale metamaterials with dramatically changing properties. 

This will be an experimental PhD developing state of the art new systems for exploration of quantum mechanics with the opportunity of expanding into theoretical areas. The project will be supervised by Prof. Russo, Dr. N. Taylor and Dr. Hepplestone. 

[1] Peimyoo N, Barnes MD, Mehew JD, De Sanctis A, Amit I, Escolar Ulibarri J, Anastasiou K, Rooney AP, Haigh SJ, Russo S. (2019) Laser writable high-K dielectric for van der Waals nanoelectronics, Science Advances, volume 5, article no. eaau0906, DOI:10.1126/sciadv.aau0906.

[2] De Sanctis A, Amit I, Hepplestone S, Craciun M, Russo S. (2018) Strain-engineered inverse charge-funnelling in layered semiconductors, Nature Communications, volume 9, article no. 1652, DOI:10.1038/s41467-018-04099-7.

[3] Taylor NT, Davies FH, Davies SG, Price CJ, Hepplestone SP. (2019) The Fundamental Mechanism Behind Colossal Permittivity in Oxides, Advanced Materials, volume 31, no. 51, pages 1904746-1904746, DOI:10.1002/adma.201904746. 

About the studentship: 

The 3 year studentship is funded by the Leverhulme Trust. It is of total value around £82,000, which includes £23,000 towards the research project (travel, consumables, equipment etc.), tuition fees, and an annual, tax-free stipend starting at £17,668 per year for UK students. 

About the CDT in Metamaterials (XM2) 

XM2 is the doctoral training programme of our Centre for Metamaterial Research and Innovation at the University of Exeter. We provide scientific knowledge as well as transferable and technical skills training to all our students to prepare them for careers within and outside of academia. 

In 2014, we started off as a £12 million Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Metamaterials, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC/EP/L015331/1), the University of Exeter and industry. 

The PhD students learn together in targeted courses, self-driven activity groups, and exposure to industry to gain scientific background knowledge beyond their areas of expertise, and to equip themselves with transferable professional skills such as creative thinking, project management, and leadership. 

XM2 now consists of more than 60 active PhD students (Postgraduate Researchers, PGRs) from the UK, the EU and beyond, who are training in a stimulating, challenging yet supportive cohort-based environment. Since 2018, over 30 graduates went into employment in industry and as postdocs in Higher Education Institutions in and outside of the UK. 

For further info please go to https://www.exeter.ac.uk/study/funding/award/?id=4487 

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