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  Point Defect Characterization in Energy Materials

   School of Science and Engineering

   Sunday, June 30, 2024  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Vacancy related point defects are of fundamental importance for a diverse range of energy materials, from fuel cell materials to fusion reactor wall materials. Conventional materials characterization methods are normally not capable of detecting and identifying point defects. Positron Annihilation Spectroscopy methods, when combined with density functional theory calculations has the capability of detecting and identifying the local structure of vacancy-related point defects. This project can involve both computational calculations of positron annihilation parameters using two component density functional theory, for example using Abinit and MIKA-Doppler, as well as experimental PAS studies. Initial studies will focus on suitable model fuel-cell oxide materials, for example LiMPO4 (M = Fe, Ni, Mn, etc). This project will involve collaboration with several groups in Europe.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact Professor David J. Keeble ()

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact


Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a first or 2.1 UK honours degree, or equivalent for degrees obtained outside the UK in a relevant discipline.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s English language requirements are available online:


Step 1: Email Professor David Keeble () to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Professor Keeble, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Physics: Physics research degrees | University of Dundee.

Select the start date and study mode (full-time/part-time) agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the ‘provider questions’ section of the application form:

- Write the project title and ‘’ in the ‘if your application is in response to an advertisement’ box;

- Write the lead supervisor’s name and give brief details of your previous contact with them in the ‘previous contact with the University of Dundee’ box.

In the ‘personal statement’ section of the application form, outline your suitability for the project selected.

Physics (29)

Funding Notes

There is no funding attached to this project. The successful applicant will be expected to provide the funding for tuition fees, project specific bench fees and living expenses via external sponsorship or self-funding.


J. Wiktor, G. Jomard, and M. Torrent, Phys. Rev. B 92 (12) (2015).

D. J. Keeble, S. Wicklein, L. Jin, C. L. Jia, W. Egger, and R. Dittmann, Phys. Rev. B 87 (19) (2013).

D. J. Keeble, S. Wicklein, R. Dittmann, L. Ravelli, R. A. Mackie, and W. Egger, Physical Review Letters 105 (22), 226102 (2010).

J. Y. Li, W. L. Yao, S. Martin, and D. Vaknin, Solid State Ionics 179 (35-36), 2016 (2008).

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