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PhD studentship in “Angle resolved photoelectron spectroscopy (ARPES) studies on novel, functional oxides”

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Perry
    Dr M Hoesch
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Reference: 1464273

Stipend: £16,686 per annum plus fees for 3.5 years

Accountable to: Dr Robin Perry

Eligibility: This position is only open to UK or EU citizens with an undergraduate degree in Physics or a related discipline at a level of 2.1 or above (or the international equivalent).

Brief project description
Understanding novel electronic materials represents one of the main intellectual challenges in contemporary physics, and is also essential for establishing new technologies. Many novel electronic and magnetic states have recently been discovered in metal-oxide materials that challenge our understanding of conventional metallic behaviour. In particular, systems with large spin-orbit coupling add an extra layer of complexity to the inherent electronic correlations and give rise to usual states like topological insulators and spin-orbit assisted metal-insulator transitions. Understanding the electronic structure is crucial to our understanding of these phenomena and ARPES has emerged as an essential tool to probing the band structure. However, ARPES requires pristine, macroscopic single crystal samples to be viable and these samples are in short supply. Hence the work will involve elements of material synthesis to produce the relevant materials.

The research project is an opportunity for a highly motivated graduate to work in the fields of measurement science and materials synthesis. The position will be based fulltime at Harwell science and innovation campus in south Oxfordshire and the candidate will be jointly supervised by Dr Robin Perry (LCN, UCL) and Dr Moritz Hoesch (Diamond). The project will involve working with Dr Perry to synthesise scientificallyrelevant single-crystalline samples in the UCL crystal growth laboratory on the Harwell campus followed by ARPES studies supervised by Dr Hoesch at beamline I05.

Professional duties and responsibilities
 Performing ARPES measurements at synchrotrons and lab based sources.
 Preparing single crystal samples using facilities at Harwell and LCN, including measuring bulk physical properties.
 Performing data analysis (using MatLab or Python).
 Developing analysis software where appropriate.
 Developing an interest in the research area including reading relevant scientific literature.
 Preparing proposals for new experiments.
 Maintaining accurate records in a lab book.
 Preparing manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
 Participating in local seminars as well as national and international conferences.
 Contributing to the overall activities of the research team and the department.
 Maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health and Safety Regulations at UCL and other facilities to be visited. Actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies.

Personal qualifications and skills
 This position is only open to UK or EU citizens with an undergraduate degree in Physics or a related discipline at a level of 2.1 or above (or the international equivalent).
 Good understanding of condensed matter physics and a demonstrated interest in quantum mechanics. Chemistry knowledge and experience would be useful but not mandatory.
 Strong analytical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
 Fluency and clarity in spoken English as well as good written English.
 Good team-working skills.
 Ability to work independently and responsibly, including meeting deadlines.

London Centre for Nanotechnology
The London Centre for Nanotechnology ( is a multi-disciplinary joint enterprise between University College London and Imperial College London. Its purpose is to solve global problems in information processing, healthcare, energy and environment through the application of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The LCN occupies a purpose-built eight storey facility in Gordon Street, Bloomsbury (opened in 2006) as well as extensive facilities within different departments at South Kensington. LCN researchers have access to state-of-the-art clean-room, characterisation, fabrication, manipulation and design laboratories. This experimental research is complemented by leading edge modelling, visualisation and theory. The LCN also has strong relationships with the broader nanotechnology and commercial communities, and is involved in much major collaboration. As the world's only such facility located in the heart of a metropolis, the Centre has superb access to corporate, investment and industrial partners. It is at the forefront of nanotechnology training and enjoys a strong media presence around educating the public and bringing transparency to this far-reaching and emerging science.

About UCL
UCL is one of the UK's premier universities and is ranked in the world's top 10. It is a world-class research and teaching institution based in London whose staff and former students have included 20 Nobel Prize winners. Founded in 1826, it was the only university in England at that time which admitted students regardless of race or religion. UCL was also the first to admit women on equal terms with men. Today, UCL is an inspiring university in which to work and study and it continues to thrive on the diversity and creativity of its community.

UCL is in practice a university in its own right, although constitutionally a college within the federal University of London. With an annual turnover exceeding £ 700 million, it is financially and managerially independent of the University of London.

The UCL community -

UCL currently employs approximately 8,000 staff and includes academic units as diverse as the Slade School of Fine Art, the Mullard Space Science Laboratory and the Institute of Child Health, which is associated with Great Ormond Street Hospital. In total, there are 54 Academic Departments and Institutes whose activities span the following: arts and humanities, social and historical sciences, law, architecture and the built environment, engineering sciences, mathematical and physical sciences, life and clinical sciences, and medicine. UCL's academic and research staff are a truly international community with more than a quarter coming from 84 countries outside the UK.

The UCL student community comprises 12,600 undergraduates and 8,500 graduate students, of whom over 30% come from 130 countries outside the UK. UCL currently offers 270 undergraduate programmes and more than 210 taught postgraduate programmes as well as the opportunity to carry out postgraduate research in all of its subjects. Approximately 40% of the student community is engaged in graduate studies, with about 37% of these graduate students pursuing research degrees.

Quality of UCL's teaching and research -

Two measures of the current quality of UCL's teaching and research are the results of the external teaching quality assessment reviews and the periodic Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

The results of the UK's latest research assessment exercise (RAE 2008) confirm the international excellence of UCL's research. The numbers of our researchers shown in RAE 2008 to be carrying out world-leading research place UCL among the top three universities in the UK. Of the 1800 researchers submitted by UCL for RAE 2008, 95% were deemed to have an international level of esteem. The range of UCL's research excellence was demonstrated by outstanding results in RAE 2008 in academic disciplines as diverse as biomedical sciences, architecture and the built environment, economics, law, philosophy and history

Another measure of UCL's research excellence has been its success in bidding for external competitive funds from the Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF) and the Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF). With the addition of required matching funds, JIF and SRIF are allowing UCL to invest more than £ 350 million into state-of-the-art infrastructure for cutting-edge research and teaching programmes.

Equality -

UCL is proud of its longstanding commitment to equality and to providing a learning, working and social environment in which the rights and dignity of its diverse members are respected. The Equalities website has everything you need to know about Equalities at UCL and some initiatives are highlighted below:

 Sabbatical Leave following maternity - UCL provides one term of sabbatical leave without teaching commitments for research-active academics returning from maternity, adoption or long-term carer's leave. This support for returners enables staff to more quickly re-establish their research activity.
 Achievement of five Athena SWAN awards - for good employment practice for women working in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research.
 Tackling underrepresentation - UCL has two workforce equality targets. These targets are to increase the employment of black and minority ethnic (BME) support staff in grades 1-8 to 31% in line with the economically active BME population of Greater London; and to incrementally equalise the representation of men and women in senior grades (9 and 10) with the ultimate aim of a 50:50 split of women and men at this level.
 Encouraging flexibility - 82% of respondents to the 2009 UCL staff survey felt that their working time could be flexible. UCL's Work Life Balance policy gives employees the right to request a flexible working pattern.

Location and working environment -

Based in Bloomsbury, UCL is a welcoming, inclusive university situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

UCL's central campus is within easy reach of Euston, Kings Cross and Marylebone mainline stations, the new Eurostar terminal at St.Pancras and the following Underground stations - Euston Square, Warren Street, Goodge Street and Russell Square. Road connections to the M1 and M40 motorways give easy access to the north and west road networks. There are also good public transport links to Heathrow airport.

Application procedure
If you’re interested in this PhD project, please contact Dr Robin Perry ([email protected], ) or Dr Moritz Hoesch ([email protected]).

For assistance with application details, please contact Ms Denise Ottley ([email protected]). PhD application forms can be downloaded or completed online at under “How to Apply"

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