We are always willing to consider suitably qualified people as candidates for PhDs in the diamond group. If you have a first-class or upper-second-class degree in the areas of Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Physics, Materials, or even some branches of Engineering, and are interested in working in this field, please contact us. Funding could be available from grant awarding bodies, such as the EPSRC, and Departmental bursaries may also be available. There are also occasional vacancies for postdoctoral researchers, but these will be advertised below when they are available.
Suitably qualified overseas students wishing to study for a PhD here with their own source of funding (such as a government scholarship, Commonwealth scholarship, or personal funds) are particularly welcome. We have taken students from China, India, Brazil, Taiwan and elsewhere in the world under thse arrangements. If you have suitable funding for up to 3 years, please contact me to enquire about possible PhD projects. Please note, that we cannot host 'summer internships' for overseas PhD students unless these are fully funded by an overseas body.
Similarly, we are happy to host overseas postdocs and lecturers for periods of 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, provided they have their own source of funding, which would need to include their travel and UK living expenses, plus a small contribution (£3k p.a.) towards bench fees and access charges.
PhD Studentship on Isotopic, Doped Diamond Materials as a Plasma-facing Material for Fusion Power
Diamond is an attractive material for use as a shielding material in fusion reactors due to its exceptional radiation harness, thermal conductivity and low sputtering yield. However, its main disadvantage is the high level of tritium retention which subsequently leads to its degradation and graphitisation and a consequential loss in shielding performance and stability. Also, retention could lead to much higher tritium inventory in fusion power stations which is undesirable for safety and other reasons.
Funded jointly by the EPSRC and the UKAEA-CCFE, this research project seeks to evaluate the performance of diamond materials synthesised from Carbon 13/Carbon 12 composites with varying levels of dopant impurities, to be used as a wall material in tokamak fusion reactors.
Experimental work will be carried out both at the Bristol as a member of the Diamond Group in the School of Chemistry, and on the MAST Upgrade tokamak at UKAEA Culham, as a member of the Experiments Department. It is expected that the student will spend at least 50% of their time conducting experimental work based at Culham.
Experimental activities will explore the effect of surface composition and topology on erosion resistance under hydrogenic ion exposure, and the level of gas retention in highly oriented, microcrystalline semiconducting diamond composites. A secondary aim of the project will be to develop smart wall materials that incorporate self-powered diamond sensors to monitor the operation and health of the plasma facing wall material. The material will be examined after exposure to deuterium plasmas in the MAST Upgrade tokamak at Culham.
The PhD project will involve training in the use of Chemical Vapour Deposition equipment for diamond growth of semiconducting composite materials and their characterisation using state of the art equipment, such as the Bristol NanoESCA. Characterisation equipment in the Materials Research Facility at Culham will also be available to examine the material pre- and post-exposure. The student will also be expected to conduct some computational work to support the experimental activities at Culham.
The successful candidate should be a hold a first-class or 2.1 MSci degree preferably in either Chemical Physics, Chemistry, Physics or related science discipline. Previous experience of diamond synthesis, material characterisation, and computational modelling would be an advantage.
Contact for further details.
Dr Neil Fox (email: Neil.email@example.com), Reader in Materials for Energy, School of Chemistry, Cantocks Close, Bristol, BS8 1TS
- The diamond group is part of the new Centre for Doctoral Training in Diamond Science and Technology, based at Warwick University. Some diamond-themed projects leading to a PhD and based in Bristol for 3 out of the 4 years are advertised on their website, so if you check out those you may find a project you like.
- The university also hosts a Doctoral Training Centre in Functional Nanomaterials, which is very relevant to CVD diamond technology. Some diamond-themed projects leading to a PhD are advertised on their website, so if you check out those you may find a project you like. These will be based partly in the diamond group here and partly in Physics.