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Centre for Materials Physics

Available PhD Projects

International Self-funded Students

We are accepting applications from international self-funded students in all areas of research in CMP. Please contact your preferred supervisor or the Head of Section. An application form is available online.

Diamond Ph. D. Studentship

A fully funded 3.5 year Ph. D. studentship available with flexible start date (start dates between NOW and October 2017 are possible). A Durham-Diamond jointly-funded studentship is available to work on structural and electronic studies of multiferroics. Supervised by Prof. Peter D. Hatton and Dr. Paul Steadman you will use the latest equipment and techniques at Diamond to improve our understand of these materials.

Multiferroics are a fascinating class of strongly correlated electron systems that display unusual coupling between ferroelectric and antiferromagnetic order parameters. The aim of the project is to enhance our understanding of both bulk single-crystal and thin film materials to aid the development of next-generation devices.

Contact Professor Peter Hatton for more information.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces

Fully funded four-year PhD studentships are available for graduates in physics, chemistry, food science, engineering, (applied) mathematics and related subjects to join the SOFI CDT. Please see the SOFI CDT webpages for more details (applications open for 2017 cohort).

Ph.D. Studentship: High field Superconductors for Fusion Energy

A fully funded 3.5 or 4 year Ph.D. studentship is available with flexible start dates. For details see:

Ph.D. Studentship: Solving the Muon Site Problem

A fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship is available with a start date of October 2017. This is jointly-funded project involving Durham 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. The project is supervised by Dr Tom Lancaster at Durham and Dr Francis Pratt at ISIS. Please contact Tom Lancaster ( directly for more information.