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Discovery of new transparent conducting materials


Project Description

This opportunity will remain open until filled.

An opportunity for a 3.5 year PhD position supported by NSG Group towards the discovery of new transparent conducting materials.
This project aims to develop new transparent conducting materials for optoelectronic applications on glass. New materials are required to maintain the pace of efficiency and performance improvements in thin film PV devices, energy saving glazing and electronic displays and lighting. A current project sponsored by NSG Group is using computational methods to predict the composition and structure of new transparent conducting materials and this PhD studentship will be complementary to this existing project.

Using the outputs of the computational prediction study mentioned above the student will attempt the bulk synthesis, structural characterisation and property measurements of the materials. Bulk synthesis of the material will be followed by pulsed laser deposition (PLD) to prepare high quality films on single crystal and glass substrates for characterisation and property measurements in collaboration with another NSG Group sponsored PhD student. Further development will employ other thin film deposition methods suitable for large-scale production on glass substrates e.g. chemical vapour deposition, magnetron sputtering, spray pyrolysis etc. in collaboration with NSG Group and will require use of the laboratories at the NSG Group Technical Centre at Lathom, Lancashire. There are extensive opportunities to use synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering facilities.

As well as obtaining knowledge and experience in materials synthesis and crystallographic techniques or computational chemistry methods, the student will develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as computational and experimental researchers within the team work closely together.

Applications are welcomed from candidates with a strong undergraduate interest and/or background in solid state chemistry, condensed matter physics, materials science or related fields.

The inorganic materials chemistry group, led by Prof Rosseinsky at the University of Liverpool
(https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/chemistry/research/rosseinsky-group/about/), focusses its research on the discovery of new solid inorganic compounds. Recently, the use of computational materials chemistry has accelerated this materials discovery process, leading to the synthesis of a range of novel metal oxides with a variety of functional properties1–8. These successes have shown that the process of computer aided materials discovery relies on a close working relationship between computational and experimental researchers within the group, which is recognized in the EPSRC Programme Grant in Integration of Computation and Experiment for Accelerated Materials Discovery, and the decision to bring together theoretical and experimental researchers within the Materials Innovation Factory and the Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design at the University of Liverpool. The successful candidate will participate in this relationship, using their experimental skills in close collaboration with the computational excellence present within the research group, to accelerate the discovery of new materials. The research will be performed in the newly opened Materials Innovation Factory with 2750 m2 of top-quality research space on the top floor of the building.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Troy Manning ().

Please apply by completing the online postgraduate research application form: https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/how-to-apply/

You will be encouraged to undertake some teaching duties for the department for which you will receive training and payment. You will have the option to work towards and apply for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (via the Foundations in Learning & Teaching in Higher Education (FLTHE) programme https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/eddev/supporting-teaching/flthe/ or the University of Liverpool Teaching Recognition and Accreditation (ULTRA) Framework https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/eddev/ultra-cpd/).

Funding Notes

The award is 50% funded by NSG Group and 50% funded by the University of Liverpool and will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £15,009 pa for 2019-20, with the possibility of an increase for 2020/21.

References

1. C Collins, M S Dyer, M J Pitcher, G F S Whitehead, M Zanella, P Mandal, J B Claridge, G R Darling, & M J Rosseinsky, Accelerated discovery of two crystal structure types in a complex inorganic phase field, Nature 546 (2017) 280-284
2. J L Stoner, P A E Murgatroyd, M O'Sullivan, M S Dyer, T D Manning, J B Claridge, M J Rosseinsky and J Alaria, Chemical Control of Correlated Metals as Transparent Conductors Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 1808609
3. Q D Gibson, M S Dyer, G F S Whitehead, J Alaria, M J Pitcher, H J Edwards, J B Claridge, M Zanella, K Dawson, T D Manning, et al. Bi4O4Cu1.7Se2.7Cl0.3: Intergrowth of BiOCuSe and Bi2O2Se Stabilized by the Addition of a Third Anion, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139 (2017) 15568-15571
4. H C Sansom, G F S Whitehead, M S Dyer, M Zanella, T D Manning, M J Pitcher, T J Whittles, V R Dhanak, J Alaria, J B Claridge, et al., AgBiI4 as a Lead-Free Solar Absorber with Potential Application in Photovoltaics, Chem. Mater. 29 (2017) 1538-1549
5. P Mandal, M J Pitcher, J Alaria, H Niu, P Borisov, P Stamenov, J. B. Claridge, & M J Rosseinsky, Designing switchable polarization and magnetization at room temperature in an oxide, Nature 525 (2015) 363-366
6. M J Pitcher, P Mandal, M S Dyer, J Alaria, P Borisov, H Niu, J B Claridge, & M J Rosseinsky, Tilt engineering of spontaneous polarization and magnetization above 300 K in a bulk layered perovskite, Science 347 (2015) 420–424
7. J Alaria, P Borisov, M S Dyer, T D Manning, S Lepadatu, M G Cain, E D Mishina, N E Sherstyuk, N A Ilyin, J Hadermann, D Lederman, J B Claridge, & M J Rosseinsky, Engineered spatial inversion symmetry breaking in an oxide heterostructure built from isosymmetric room-temperature magnetically ordered components, Chem. Sci. 5 (2014) 1599–1610
8. M S Dyer, C Collins, D Hodgeman, P A Chater, A Demont, S Romani, R Sayers, M F Thomas, J B Claridge, G R Darling, & M J Rosseinsky, Computationally Assisted Identification of Functional Inorganic Materials, Science 340 (2013) 847–852.

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