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Unravelling structure-property relationships in quantum and functional materials

School of Chemistry

Applications accepted all year round Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
St Andrews United Kingdom Chemical Physics Experimental Physics Inorganic Chemistry Physical Chemistry Solid State Physics Structural Chemistry

About the Project

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD candidate to join our interdisciplinary group which works at the chemistry-physics boundary to unravel structure-property relationships in advanced functional and quantum materials (including e.g. ferroelectrics, multiferroics, quantum magnets and materials with strong spin-orbit coupling leading to exotic electronic and magnetic states).

The PhD project forms part of a 5 year EPSRC-funded programme and will involve the synthesis and detailed chemical and physical characterisation of new materials along with the use of advanced data analysis techniques and bespoke in-situ neutron diffraction instrumentation developed within the group. This approach facilitates the linking of structural characteristics and features directly with observable properties, allowing the underlying mechanisms and driving interactions to be pinpointed. Parts of the work will take place at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Source (e.g. high-resolution neutron diffraction and complementary techniques), and there will be opportunities for collaborative work across disciplines on other highly specialised measurement techniques and with theorists.

The successful candidate will be further embedded in an interdisciplinary environment through being based in the School of Chemistry and being trained as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Quantum Materials cohort, joint with the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Centre for Designer Quantum Materials. This will enable development as an interdisciplinary scientist with a thorough grounding in experimental techniques, complemented by understanding of a wide range of current topics in materials research and the ability to work seamlessly across the chemistry-physics boundary.

The position is particularly appropriate to candidates with interests ranging from condensed matter physics to solid state chemistry and applicants from either background (or with joint degrees) are encouraged to apply.

Informal enquiries are strongly encouraged, please contact Dr Alexandra Gibbs: .

Please see: for the application procedure or e-mail  for more information regarding PhD opportunities at St Andrews. We encourage applications for the EaSiCAT Centre for Doctoral training ( and from Chinese nationals through the St Andrews CSC Scheme (

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