A fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship in condensed matter physics is available with a start date of October 2016. This is jointly-funded project involving Durham University and the STFC ISIS Facility to work on a combination of electronic structure calculations and large facility experiments in an effort to solve the so-called muon site problem.
Muons are subatomic particles that act as microscopic probes of solids. Muon spectroscopy involves stopping muons in materials where their spins precess until they decay. It is a mainstream experimental technique in condensed matter physics and has provided key insights into magnetism, superconductivity, semiconductor physics and charge transport. However, questions are still raised by our lack of knowledge of the site of the stopped muon and the influence that the muon-probe has on its local environment. It has recently become possible to accurately calculate these properties using density functional theory, a powerful computational technique widely used in condensed matter physics. Although initial results have been very promising, the methods remain in their infancy. After the pioneering first use of these techniques in this context, we now seek a PhD student to develop them to the point of deployment to ISIS facility users. We will also apply the methods to a range of problems of high current interest, based on successful, ongoing experimental projects at ISIS.
The studentship will be based in Durham but involve one year of research work on-site at ISIS, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK. The project is supervised by Dr Tom Lancaster at Durham and Dr Francis Pratt at ISIS. Please contact Tom Lancaster (tom.lancast[email protected]
) directly for more information.