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The Study of Hybrid Plasmas for the Deposition of Superconducting Thin Films


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Supervisor: Prof. James Bradley (Liverpool University), Dr. Reza Valizadeh (ASTeC Daresbury)

Project Description:


A studentship is available from Oct 2019 on the study the basic processes in a unique hybrid physical-chemical vapour deposition (HPCVD) system developed in the ASTeC group at Darebury. The HPCVD system will provide a new way to deposit high-quality superconducting thin films for the next generation of copper-based RF accelerating cavities.

The project will concentrate on using a suite of plasma diagnostic tools to advance the understanding of the physical and chemical processes occurring in the deposition source. The diagnostics will include Langmuir probes, energy-resolved mass spectrometry and optical emission spectroscopy, allowing us to directly relate the properties of the thin films to the plasma parameters (electron densities and temperatures, ion fluxes, ionization factions and plasma potential) and the nature of the chemical species (concentrations and bombarding energies).

The PhD has three strongly interlinked elements. It involves 1) the study of the physics and chemistry of the new hybrid plasma source through advanced optical and electrical measurements, 2) the use of the source to produce high-quality superconducting thin films and 3) the surface analysis of the thin film properties and testing of their superconducting performance.

The applicant will be expected to have a first or upper second class degree in physics or other appropriate qualification. Plasma deposition experience is desirable but not essential. A full graduate programme of training and development is provided by the Cockcroft Institute. The student will be based primarily at the Institute at Daresbury, with some work done in the Plasma Laboratory at the University of Liverpool.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Prof. James Bradley () for more information. This position will remain open until filled.

Funding and eligibility:


Upon acceptance of a student, this project will be funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council for 3.5 years; UK and other EU citizens are eligible to apply. A full package of training and support will be provided by the Cockcroft Institute, and the student will take part in a vibrant accelerator research and education community of over 150 people. An IELTS score of at least 6.5 is required.

Contact for further information: or

How to apply: http://www.cockcroft.ac.uk/join-us

Anticipated Start Date: October 2019 for 3.5 Years

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