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Development of preparation and commissioning techniques for high brightness photoelectron sources used in accelerator applications

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Knowledge of photoelectron source emission properties is essential to the accelerator community to drive forward the increases in electron beam brightness necessary to maximise performance of current and planned High Energy Physics, FEL and industrial accelerator facilities. This research project will focus on the fabrication and testing of metal and semiconductor photocathode sources, with the intention of identifying the optimum materials and preparation techniques to achieve high brightness and hence the performance of any accelerator facility driven by the electron source. The research is relevant both for the current CLARA FEL facility and more specifically for the future UK XFEL project, which is a high priority area for ASTeC. The research is also important for development of a Future Circular Collider (FCC), one option for which is an electron-hadron machine featuring an Energy Recovery Linac.

The work will be conducted in 2 parts:
• Offline studies using Laboratory based instrumentation to prepare, fabricate and characterise photocathode materials, including the commissioning of a new deposition system to growth thin alkali antimonide/telluride layers.
• Online studies using our existing metal photocathode preparation facility and the new growth system to produce cathodes for testing in the VELA electron injector, using the extensive suite of machine diagnostics to measure transverse and longitudinal beam properties.
In the first year of the project the student will familiarise themselves with the existing surface analysis equipment and contribute to the commissioning of the new alkali antimonide/telluride growth facility. Complementary data will also be collected using the TESS instrument. In the latter part of the project photocathodes will be produced for testing in the VELA accelerator with pre- and post-testing characterisation. In-accelerator testing will be carried out using the existing suite of diagnostics, including the spectrometer line for measuring energy and energy spread, quad scans for emittance measurements and the transverse deflecting cavity for bunch length (and hence response time) characterisation.

Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive: The successful candidate will have or expect to obtain a first or upper second-class degree or equivalent (e.g. MPhys, MSci) in physics or chemistry. Experience of solid state physics, thin film growth, vacuum systems, low-powered lasers, basic programming and accelerator physics is desirable but not essential.

Funding and eligibility: The project is fully funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council for 4 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 visit Room 319, Oliver Lodge Building on the University of Liverpool main campus.

How to apply:

This position will remain open until filled.

Anticipated Start Date: September 2018 for 4 Years

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