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Characterization of Vacancy-Related Point Defects in Nuclear Materials

School of Science and Engineering

About the Project

The importance of both Fusion and Fission Nuclear Energy Technologies is growing. The materials used must be resilient to high levels of typically neutron and gamma-ray radiation. The initial radiation damage event is typically the creation of a missing atom, vacancy, point defect. Conventional materials characterization methods are incapable of directly detecting and identifying point defects. Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy (PAS) methods have unique sensitivity to vacancy-related defects and can provide information on the local environment of the center. This project will use PAS methods to identify vacancy-related point defects in a range of nuclear materials including high-temperature superconductors, SiC, and tungsten. This work will be performed in collaboration with several UK research groups.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Professor David J. Keeble ()
For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Professor David Keeble () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Professor Keeble, formal applications can be made via UCAS Postgraduate. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Physics: Select the start date and study mode (full-time/part-time) agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the ‘provider questions’ section of the application form:
- Write the project title and ‘’ in the ‘if your application is in response to an advertisement’ box;
- Write the lead supervisor’s name and give brief details of your previous contact with them in the ‘previous contact with the University of Dundee’ box.

In the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, outline your suitability for the project selected.

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees and living expenses, via external sponsorship or self-funding.


D. J. Keeble, U. Brossmann, W. Puff, R. Wurschum, in Characterization of Materials, ed. E. N. Kaufmann (John Wiley & Sons, 2012), Vol. 3, p. 1899

D. J. Keeble, in Near-Surface Depth Profiling of Solids by Mono-Energetic Positrons, ed. B. N. Ganguly, G. Brauer (Trans Tech Publ. Ltd, 2012), Vol. 331, p. 201.

J. Cizek, et al., Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 450, 325 (2000); M. Jardin, et al., Nucl. Instrum. Meth. A 568, 716 (2006).

J. M. Hyde, C. A. English, in Irradiation Embrittlement of Reactor Pressure Vessels, ed. N. Soneda (2015) 211.

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