Scientific aims Understanding diffusion is of crucial importance for the operation of fuel cells and battery materials. Quasi-elastic neutron scattering (QENS) is the only experimental technique that gives both temporal and microscopic spatial information so that it is possible to “see” experimentally the hopping of diffusing ions. When combined with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, this gives the deepest possible understanding of diffusion mechanisms. In order to separate the QENS from other contributions to the scattering, such as from magnetism and the scattering from dynamic disorder, polarisation analysis is required.
Project description Experiments will be performed using the LET spectrometer at ISIS, where the recently installed polarised neutron capability will be employed to study diffusion mechanisms in fuel cell and battery materials using QENS. Complementary polarised neutron measurements will be performed at the ILL in Grenoble. The student will also develop code to relate first-principles MD simulations to experiment.
Practical information The PhD project will be located at the ISIS Facility in Oxfordshire, and at Royal Holloway, University of London. Applicants should have a degree in a Physical Science. Academic knowledge of condensed matter physics will be an advantage. The studentship is fully funded by Royal Holloway and the ISIS Facility. This covers the standard tax-free UKRI stipend and Home/EU fees for three years.