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Radiation and Corrosion effects in high entropy alloy thin films with nano-twinned structure

   School of Engineering

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  Dr M Patel, Prof Fan-Yi Ouyang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This project is part of a 4 year Dual PhD degree programme between the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan and the University of Liverpool in England. As Part of the NTHU-UoL Dual PhD Award students are in the unique position of being able to gain 2 PhD awards at the end of their degree from two internationally recognised world leading Universities. As well as benefiting from a rich cultural experience, Students can draw on large scale national facilities of both countries and create a worldwide network of contacts across 2 continents.

Nanotwinned structures have been reported to possess high mechanical strength, good electrical conductivity while maintaining high thermal stability, much better than traditional nanocrystalline structure that undergo large grain growth at high temperatures. High entropy alloys (HEA) are a new class of alloys that show superior mechanical strength at high temperature, slower diffusion rates, and good thermal stability. Radiation and heat also cause microstructure evolution and defects, which may cause some reliability issues during application. On an atomic level, the failure may be caused by radiation enhanced precipitation and nucleation of dislocations and voids, and the latter would lead to void swelling. Autoclave test of some alloys show a periodic growth of oxide however, enhanced corrosion is observed with increased burnup. Radiation in the reactor is thought to play a role in these in-reactor corrosion processes, however it is not clear how radiation could change the oxidation rates. Thus, it is important to study and understand the effect of radiation damage on corrosion in these HEA’s with nanotwins.

The project will focus on designing HEA thin films with controlled and well characterized nanotwin-like structure to investigate their thermal stability, oxidation resistance, and irradiation performance. Specific work will involve (1) developing HEAs with high density of nanotwins, (2) characterisation of their structure and microstructure using advanced scattering and electron microscopy techniques, (3) studying their thermal stability and oxidation behaviour in air to study oxide growth kinetics using real-time dynamic imaging and atomic-scale chemical analysis and (4) performing radiation effects studies using carefully selected accelerated ions to experimentally simulate damage by recoils from energetic neutrons (100keV) and that by high energy fission fragments (70-120 MeV). The student will be spending the two years each at NTHU and UoL.

For academic enquires please contact Maulik Patel [Email Address Removed] & Fan-Yi Ouyang [Email Address Removed]

For enquires on the application process or to find out more about the Dual programme please contact [Email Address Removed]

To apply for this opportunity, please visit: When applying please ensure you Quote the supervisor & project title you wish to apply for and note ‘NTHU-UoL Dual Scholarship’ when asked for details of how plan to finance your studies.

Funding Notes

It is planned that students will spend 2 years at NTHU, followed by 2 years at the University of Liverpool.
Both the University of Liverpool and NTHU have agreed to waive the tuition fees for the duration of the project and stipend of TWD 11,000/month will be provided as a contribution to living costs (the equivalent of £280 per month when in Liverpool).
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