14/01/2021

Fully Funded PhD in Condensed Matter Physics at University of Kent for UK, EU and International Students

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  • ORGANISATION NAME
    University of Kent
  • ORGANISATION COUNTRY
    United Kingdom
  • FUNDING TYPE
    Funding
  • DEADLINE DATE
    22/01/2021
  • RESEARCH FIELD
    Natural sciences
  • CAREER STAGE
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

Description

PhD Studentship:

We have available a three year EPSRC funded PhD studentship in experimental condensed matter physics in the Physics of Quantum Materials group at the University of Kent supervised by Dr. Emma Pugh. The position is open to Home and Overseas (including EU) students.

Deadline: 22 January 2021, 12 noon GMT

Start date: September, 2021.

Funding Available:

The studentship covers full tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £15,285 for 2020/21 (2021/22 rate to be announced) for three years. The University of Kent will waive the tuition fee difference between UK (home) and Overseas (including EU) students hence this is a fully funded studentship for UK, EU and international students.

Duration:

3 years

Project Summary:

The study of the border of magnetism is of great interest due to the possibility of unconventional superconductivity, non-Fermi liquid behaviour and other exotic phenomena near quantum critical points. The effects are both theoretically significant and of practical importance. A number of materials will be studied using a variety of techniques such as resistivity, ac-susceptibility and X-ray synchrotron and neutron radiation methods at high pressures, low temperatures and high magnetic fields in order to understand these ordered systems and to discover new states not seen before. In addition the project will take advantage of the developments enabled from the recent funding of an EPSRC New Horizons grant which will create a new type of experimental probe for magnetism in quantum matter.

See below for further details about the project.

Eligibility:

  • Applicants should have or expect to gain a good Honours degree (First or 2i), preferably a MPhys, MSci or a Master’s degree at Merit or Distinction or equivalent in a relevant subject.
  • Open to Home and Overseas (including EU) students.

Application Procedure:

Applications must be submitted online via the University of Kent postgraduate applications portal:

The course page and link to apply for a Physics PhD is:

https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/212/physics

On the application form under Research Proposal state: “PhD in Physics. Experimental Condensed Matter Physics – Magnetism, Superconductivity and Novel Quantum Phenomena, Supervisor: Dr. Emma Pugh”.

Please note that you will be expected to provide personal details, education and employment history and supporting documentation (Curriculum Vitae, transcript of results, two academic references). Interviews will be held for shortlisted applicants.

Additional Information:

If you would like any further information or have any queries about this position please contact:

Dr. Emma Pugh (E.Pugh@kent.ac.uk)

Further Project Details:

One of the biggest challenges in the study of condensed matter is to describe systems in which the electrons interact strongly. In some materials in which the electrons have strong interactions new quantum ordered states can be produced which cannot be explained by the traditional low temperature theories of matter. The study of the border of magnetism is of great interest due to the possibility of unconventional superconductivity, non-Fermi liquid behaviour and other exotic phenomena near quantum critical points (QCP). The effects are both theoretically significant and of practical importance e.g. the strongly enhanced magnetoresistive and magneto-caloric effects which can be observed are relevant to magnetic recording and magnetic refrigeration respectively. Spin-triplet superconductivity is a rare phenomenon but is important to the topological quantum computer programme. The nature of these states is intrinsically linked to the nature of the electronic and magnetic structure, however, the inter-relationship is not yet fully understood. Hence we need detailed information of the evolution of the magnetism in such materials. We propose a series of experiments in which the magnetisation is supressed with hydrostatic pressure to a QCP in order to understand these ordered systems and to discover new states not seen before

Material properties are strongly modified by high pressure. Pressure pushes the atoms closer together and in so doing can alter not only the crystal structure, but also change electronic and magnetic properties as pressure alters the electron density and orbital overlap. We can employ pressure “quantum tuning” in which the pressure applied to samples can be used to cleanly and precisely “push” materials into new states of matter which cannot be readily observed at ambient conditions, or can subtly change properties.

We will use a number of techniques during the project. These could include resistivity, ac-susceptibility and X-ray and neutron facilities. Importantly the project will take advantage of the developments enabled from the award of an EPSRC New Horizons grant to Dr. Pugh at the University of Kent which will create a new type of experimental probe for magnetism in quantum matter which will enable us to simultaneously create and measure new quantum states. This work will be undertaken in collaboration with the University of Cambridge.

The Physics of Quantum Materials Group:

https://research.kent.ac.uk/pqm/

The student will be a member of the Physics of Quantum Materials group. This group consists of 7 academics and senior research fellows and a large number of graduate and undergraduate research students. The group applies experimental, theoretical, and computational expertise to discover and understand novel properties of quantum materials that enable future quantum technologies. Areas of interest include unconventional superconductors, topological insulators, mesoscopic devices, low-dimensional systems, frustrated magnets, quantum Hall systems and optical lattices. The main in-house experimental facility is a unique double-stage adiabatic demagnetisation refrigerator (dADR) which enables low noise resistivity and magnetic susceptibility measurements in conditions of high pressure, low-temperature and high magnetic fields. This is complemented with access to shared in-house facilities such as diffractometers and a SQUID reaching magnetic fields of 7T, as well as free access to a local computer cluster. Members of the group have also gained considerable competitive access to central X-ray and neutron facilities (e.g. ISIS, Diamond, ESRF) for their research. Our group provides a supportive environment for all its members, from under-graduate researchers all the way to faculty. We provide an environment where education, training and career development opportunities abound and help is always at hand.

SEPnet (South East Physics Network):

https://www.sepnet.ac.uk/study/

The University of Kent is a member of SEPnet which is a group of nine universities in the South East. It brings together the research strengths of the nine universities that make up the SEPnet to create the largest physics post-graduate research training programme in England, with opportunities for research, professional development and industry placements for their postgraduate research (PhD) students.

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.