PhD in Materials Discovery

(Fixed Term)

Reference: KA01331

Closing date: 01 August 2013

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3.5 years.

Applications are invited for PhD studentships in the group of Dr Andrew Morris ( in the Physics Department, University of Cambridge, UK. The starting date is from 1 October 2013 or 1 April 2014

In this project we will use cutting-edge computational structure prediction techniques to investigate the feasibility of high-capacity replacements of graphite anodes in lithium ion batteries (LIB).

It is very difficult to “see” the structure of materials over the length scales that they work and very expensive to create prototype materials to test. The ab initio random structure searching method (AIRSS) uses a stochastic approach to suggest different structural configurations of atoms within a material. By searching over a range of stoichiometries it is possible to model how a battery is charged as we can predict the structural changes of the electrodes as a charging potential is applied. Using this knowledge it is possible to perform further theoretical analysis such as NMR and EELS (electron energy loss) spectroscopies and to predict charge and discharge voltages.

The Candidate:

We are looking for highly motivated candidates interested in structure prediction who holds a masters-level degree in physics, chemistry, materials science or related disciplines. An ability to collaborate with theorists and experimentalists from different disciplines is essential. A strong background in theoretical condensed matter physics, a familiarity with UNIX and computational physics are all desirable.

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Funding has been obtained for 3.5 years through the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability. The studentship will cover the cost of tuition fees for UK/EU residents plus a stipend at the EPSRC rate of £13,726 per annum, overseas applicants are eligible to apply, but due to funding restrictions would be required to self-fund the cost difference between tuition fees for Overseas students compared with UK/EU students.

To apply:

To express interest please apply to Dr Andrew Morris, including a covering letter with details of how you meet the selection criteria, along with a curriculum vitae, a summary of accomplishments and the name and contact details of three referees.

Applicants are required to also submit a standard application to the university (GRADSAF) – see the Apply link below. Details regarding the application procedure can be found on the Dept. of Physics website:

For informal inquiries please contact Dr Andrew Morris,

Please quote reference KA01331 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

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