Applications are invited for a four year ICASE PhD studentship working under Dr Andrew Yacoot at the National Physical Laboratory, the UK’s national metrology laboratory in Teddington and Professor Bill O’Neill at The University of Cambridge.
An x-ray interferometer can be regarded as a ruler or translation stage for nanometrology. The ruler graduations or steps of the stage are based on the lattice parameter of silicon which has been traceably measured to 1 few parts in 108. These interferometers have an important role to play in realising length measurements at the nanometre and sub nanometre scale. These interferometers have an important role to play in realising length measurements at the nanometre and sub nanometre scale for characterising the next generation of displacement measuring transducers.
The aim of the project is to design and produce x-ray interferometers suitable for a range of dimensional nanometrology applications. Aspects of the research include production of thin silicon lamellae, design of high precision silicon flexure stages, machining and etching of silicon using chemical and plasma methods and sub nanometre actuation.
The practical aspect of the project will focus initially machining requirement of silicon for production of silicon lamellae and the theoretical will concentrate on design of translation stages for the x-ray interferometer, leading to eventual production of the interferometers.
The project will provide the opportunity to learn about state of the art dimensional nanometrology, ultra-precision machining of silicon machining, plasma etching techniques and mechanical design of precision flexure systems thereby providing a sound basis for a career in nanoscience precision engineering and metrology.
Start date: October 2018
Applicants should have a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as mechanical engineering or physics. An appreciation of precision engineering would be an advantage.