Polarised neutron spectroscopy for energy applications


   Department of Physics

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Neutron spectroscopy can provide deep insight into the physics underpinning technologies necessary for the transition to net-zero. The spin, energies and wavelengths of thermal neutrons make them ideal for the study of heat carrying quasiparticles, diffusing ions and spin waves. However, in an experiment on “real” materials, these signals can overlap, making it difficult to interpret the results. By exploiting spin-polarised neutron beams these different components can be separated and by combining with state-of-the-art molecular dynamics simulations a deep understanding of the underlying transport mechanisms can be obtained.

The successful candidate will perform experiments using the new x-ray diffraction suite at Royal Holloway as well as on beamlines at the ISIS neutron source and at the European neutron source, the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. Analysis of these experiments will require molecular dynamics simulations to be performed, using interatomic potentials developed both classically and using machine learning. These experiments and their subsequent analysis will determine the structure and dynamics of materials with practical relevance, as batteries, fuel cells and thermoelectrics.

Practical information

The PhD project will be based at Royal Holloway, University of London with travel to international and national facilities. Applicants should have a degree in a Physical Science.


Computer Science (8) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded by Royal Holloway and the ISIS Facility. This covers the standard tax-free UKRI rate stipend (currently £19,668 for the 2022/23 academic year) and Home fees for 3.5 years. There is a Royal Holloway Fee Reduction Scholarship for eligible EU student, see here: View Website. Successful candidates from the EU will be required to evidence that they can cover the difference between the Home and EU tuition fees.

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