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Atomic force microscopy for next generation metrology of surfaces.

   Department of Physics and Astronomy

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  Prof J K Hobbs, Prof N Clarke  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a critical analytical technology for nanoscience and high-resolution

surface metrology, with applications from semiconductor chip development, through materials

science, to biology and medicine. A sharp tip, typically a cone of silicon, is used to “feel” the sample

surface, the location of the tip being sensed by monitoring the response of a flexible cantilever

attached to it. The aim of this project, a CASE studentship with UK high technology company

Infinitesima Ltd, is to develop new approaches for next generation AFM. In particular, we are

interested in utilising recent breakthroughs in our lab for better understanding the extremely sharp

and high aspect ratio tips that have recently become available, and which are vital for quality control

of the next generation of computer chips. Methods for measuring currently inaccessible features in

structured surfaces will be developed, as well as an improved understanding of the mechanics and

response of materials at the nanoscale. This fully funded PhD studentship provides an opportunity to

be involved in developing the next generation of tools for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

The project will be primarily experimental with some supporting theoretical and simulation work. A

2i or better first degree in physics, engineering, materials science or a related discipline is required.

This is a four-year studentship, and the expectation is that the student will spend at least 3 months

working with Infinitesima Ltd at their head office in Abingdon (Oxfordshire, UK), as well as having

regular meetings with the company throughout the project. The studentship attracts an enhanced

stipend of £17,609 including an extra £2,000 on top of the standard EPSRC stipend, and is open to

UK and overseas students. The deadline for applications is 21 st February 2022 and should be made

through the University’s application system For

further information please contact me at [Email Address Removed], and see my group webpage If you have applied, please let me know by e-mail as there

can be a short delay in applications reaching me through the online system.

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