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Electric Field-Induced Distortions in Framework Materials: Time-Resolved Full Structure Determination at MHz Frequencies

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  • Full or part time
    Dr H Yeung
    Dr Mark Warren
    Dr David Allan
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

We seek to recruit a highly motivated and talented PhD student for a joint project between the School of Chemistry at the University of Birmingham within the research group of Dr Hamish H-M Yeung, and Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility. The successful candidate will be part of a multidisciplinary effort aimed at revealing new understanding across the formation, organisation and response of matter. The response of matter to dynamic electric fields is of fundamental importance in a wide range of scientific disciplines, from piezo- and ferro-electricity in data storage, through superionic conductivity in batteries and fuel cells, to membrane proteins in cell biology. Within the last decade, advances in synchrotron technology have enabled materials’ structures to be determined by X-ray crystallography under static fields; however, time-resolved full structure determination under dynamic fields still remains out of reach. The proposed PhD project will involve the development of the current instrumentation integrated into Diamond Beamline I19-2 to perform simultaneous AC dielectric spectroscopy in the kHz-MHz frequency regime and time-resolved X-ray crystallography. In doing so, it aims to reveal the structural origins of dynamic electric field-induced distortions in technologically-important materials, such as metal–organic frameworks for gas separations and all-organic perovskites for ferroelectric memory storage. The student will spend a total of two years at the University of Birmingham, School of Chemistry, developing cutting-edge skills in materials synthesis, single crystal X-ray diffraction and physical property measurement under the supervision of Dr Hamish Yeung. They will spend two years at Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron, receiving training from Dr Mark Warren, Dr Lucy Saunders and Dr Dave Allan at Beamline I19 in equipment design and state-of-the-art time-resolved in-situ X-ray diffraction. We are keen to achieve a gender and diversity balance across both institutions and therefore welcome applicants from all backgrounds. Diamond Light Source Ltd and the University of Birmingham School of chemistry hold Athena SWAN Bronze Awards, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

Funding Notes

Candidates should have or be about to complete a Masters degree in Chemistry, Physics or similar subject. They are expected to demonstrate interests in one or more areas out of framework materials, structure-property relationships, experimental investigation of dynamical phenomena, and crystallography. For more details please contact the supervisors, Dr Hamish Yeung, University of Birmingham or Dr Mark Warren, Dr Lucy Saunders and Dave Allan, Diamond Light Source Ltd.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.00

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

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