The vibrational excitation of molecules by electrons in diffuse plasma, such as those found in cometary coma or used in industrial etching, is a key but poorly understood process. Excited vibrational states can either emit photons giving rise to tell-tale observable signature emissions or be a stepping-stone to further processes such as dissociation via further electron impacts. The project will develop a new formalism for calculating electron impact vibrational excitation cross sections within the framework of the UK Molecular R-matrix codes. This is an EPSRC CASE studentship and the project will be performed in collaboration with the studentship sponsors: Quantemol Ltd. Quantemol are a UCL spin out company who sell scientific software and perform consultancy projects, see www.quantemol.com.
The student should be interested in computational work; some programming background is helpful but not essential. Besides the standard PhD experience, the student will also work close with a small company so gaining business experience.