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PhD Studentship: Novel Manufacturing Methods for X-ray Imaging Scintillator Materials

University of Oxford

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Oxford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Stipend of at least £20,237 per annum (pro-rata for the final six months) Please refer to advert text for more details.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th June 2024
Closes: 26th June 2024

Dr Enzo Liotti, Prof Andrew Watt & Dr Sion Richards (STFC)

A fully-funded DPhil Studentship is available for this exciting project on novel manufacturing methods for X-ray imaging scintillator materials. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) of the UKRI Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Scintillators are a class of luminescent materials used to detect and measure ionising radiation such as X-rays. Traditional scintillators for X-ray detection and imaging are single crystals grown from a melt. Recent advancements in sintering technology have allowed for new ceramic scintillators to be developed. However, they often suffer from poorer performance when compared to their single crystal counterparts. The exact origin of the poorer performance is still a matter of debate. Crystal defects are known to be a key factor in the performance of all scintillators. Additionally, porosity and non-isotropic optical properties are thought to be detrimental to the performance of these materials.

The programme will begin with developing a sintering method for a new generation of aluminium garnet-based scintillators and comparing them with commercially off the shelf counterparts. Working with partners at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire the X-ray imaging properties will be tested and processing methods will be studied and linked to performance. The work will use a suite of advance electron microscopy techniques, including scanning and transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction to study the effect of crystallography and porosity on the scintillator performance.

This DPhil project has earmarked funding in the form of a 3.5-year studentship funded by the RAL and the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford. The studentship will provide course fees at the ‘Home Student’ rate and a stipend of at least £20,237 per annum (pro-rata for the final six months).

Applicants with Home or Overseas fee status are eligible to apply, but a successful candidate with Overseas fees status would have to fund the difference between annual course fees at the Home and Overseas rates from alternative funds they had sourced (for the academic year 2024/25 this difference is £21,980 and normally increases annually). Information on course fees and fee status can be found at http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/fees-and-other-charges .

All candidates from whom we receive a complete application by Wednesday 26th June 2024 will be considered for this project and associated studentship. If a suitable candidate is not found by the above date then subsequent applications will be considered individually when received.

The starting date is 7th October 2024.

Oxford’s research students also become members of an Oxford college; the successful applicant will be offered a place by Linacre College.

For informal discussions about the project please contact Dr Liotti by email to enzo.liotti@materials.ox.ac.uk .

General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e‑mail to graduate.admissions@materials.ox.ac.uk

You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies.

Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/applying-to-oxford 

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