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Development of multicaloric technologies for low carbon efficient cooling and heating systems


Project Description

Applications are invited for a three year PhD to commence in October 2020.

The PhD will be based in the Faculty of Technology, and will be supervised by Dr Melvin M. Vopson and Prof. Mark Gaterell.

The work on this project will involve:
● Plasma sputtering of thin film multiferroic composites
● Materials characterization (magnetic, polar / dielectric, thermal properties)
● Instrument development

One of the global scientific and technological challenges of today is the development of more efficient heating and cooling methods for domestic and industrial applications.

The successful candidate will aim to develop novel materials suitable for solid-state cooling and heating, offering an elegant and energy efficient technology that utilizes the entropy changes associated with an order parameter in solids (electric, magnetic or elastic) to produce a temperature change of the solid element.

This is based on the Giant multicaloric effect in multiferroic materials, which is a major breakthrough in solid-state caloric technologies, because it offers a unique approach by combining the principles of electrocaloric, magnetocaloric and elastocaloric effects into a unified process with enhanced caloric properties.

This project will focus on the design, synthesis and experimental evaluation of composite multiferroic thin films suitable for multicaloric effects. A key aspect of this research programme is the exploration of how this type of technology can be applied to domestic heating and cooling to provide efficient, low cost, low carbon cooling and /or heating, as part of a collaborative project with UCL.

General admissions criteria
You’ll need an upper second class honours degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject (Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering). In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements
We’re looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated candidate with a suitable honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Materials Science or a related Engineering subject. You should have a rigorous approach to research together with disciplined work habits. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. Training on specialised equipment and instruments will be provided within the project.

How to Apply
We’d encourage you to contact Dr Melvin M. Vopson () to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. An extended statement as to how you might address the proposal would be welcomed.

Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.

If you want to be considered for this funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SMAP4580220 when applying.

Funding Notes

Candidates applying for this project may be eligible to compete for one of a small number of bursaries available; these cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for three years and a stipend in line with the UKRI rate (£15,009 for 2019/2020). Bursary recipients may be eligible for £1,500 for project costs/consumables.

How good is research at University of Portsmouth in Physics?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 16.30

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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