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Postgraduate Scholarship in Synthesis and characterisation of layered functional materials

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  • Full or part time
    Dr E McCabe
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

A funded PhD position is available in the field of synthesis and characterisation of layered functional materials.

Technology is developing at such a rate that the drive for new functional materials, to enable emerging technologies with properties hardly imaginable even a decade ago, has never been more exciting. Layered materials often have enhanced properties and we can achieve this by tuning composition (e.g. through choice of cations, and in mixed anion materials such as and oxide-fluorides). We’re investigating how to exploit structure – composition – property relationships to access new and optimized functional materials.

The aims of this project are to design, synthesise and characterise new polar materials. Such materials have diverse applications including in photovoltaics.1-2 The perovskite-related brownmillerite materials (general formula A2B2O5, Figure 1) are fairly flexible in terms of A and B cations, allowing properties such as electronic band gap and magnetism to be tuned. They can adopt polar crystal structures3 and this has caught the attention of theorists working on ferroelectrics,4 but has yet to be investigated experimentally. With their potential for polar structures and tuneable band gaps, it’s exciting to explore their potential for ferroelectric photovoltaic applications.

This project combines experiment (solid state synthesis, structural characterisation and property measurements) and theory (DFT calculations in collaboration with Dr N. Bristowe) to design and fully understand these systems. (The balance between experiment and theory can be tuned to reflect the candidate’s interests and expertise).

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Kent’s main campus in Canterbury as part of the “Materials for energy and electronics” Group in the School of Physical Sciences, and work under the supervision of Dr Emma E. McCabe (Kent), with co-supervision by Dr Nick C. Bristowe.


Entry requirements and Funding: Applicants should have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or physics (or a related subject).

How to Apply: To apply please go to [] / [].
You will need to apply through the online application form on the main University website. Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references).

Funding Notes

This project will either be funded as an EPSRC PhD scholarship or a Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship. In either case funding will be offered at the standard UK Research Councils' rate (currently £15,009; to cover living costs) and will additionally cover tuition fees at the Home/EU rate (currently £4,327 per annum). The Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarship is available to both UK and EU nationals and will involve undertaking teaching/demonstrating duties during the period of study.

How good is research at University of Kent in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 17.00

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

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