PhD Studentship in Surface Science and Engineering for Particle Accelerator Applications Metal photocathodes for electron guns

Applications are invited for a three-year full time PhD studentship to work in surface science and engineering for particle accelerator applications at the Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) (( while registered as a postgraduate research student at Loughborough University ( This opportunity would suit high quality graduates with a good BSc/MSc in physics, chemistry or related science and engineering subject. The successful candidate will spend most of his/her time in the STFC Daresbury Laboratory near Warrington in Cheshire, working within ASTeC groups; however, some time will also be spent at the University. Training on accelerator science and technology is provided as a course of lectures and tutorials at Daresbury. The candidate will be largely responsible for the day-to-day running of their project, supported by ASTeC/University supervisors. 

The studentship provides a stipend of £14,300 per annum for the duration of the award plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to Tier 4 visa restrictions on industry placements, this is only available to UK/EU applicants. Applicants should be highly motivated and have a 1st honours degree or at least a good 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent in an appropriate undergraduate discipline) and/or Master’s level training. Informal enquires should be directed to Dr. Reza Valizadeh (+44 1925 603447,

The preferred starting date is 1st October 2013

Closing Date for Applications: 25th August 2013

PhD project description: Ultimate performance of the modern accelerators are essentially defined by the primary particle source. Electrons are usually generated using an intense laser source which illuminated a photocathode which might be either metal or semiconductor based. The development of metal photocathodes that provide the best response time and hence the shortest pulses is one of ASTeC’s key goals.

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A joint PhD studentship from STFC and Loughborough University.

University supervisor: Dr. Michael Cropper, Loughborough University, Physics Department

ASTeC supervisors:  Dr. R. Valizadeh / Dr. B.L. Militsyn

Aim: to investigate different metallic photocathodes and to study the dependence of both quantum efficiency and energy spread of emitted electrons on surface preparation and contamination during photocathode operational life time. New methods will be devised for surface preparation to reduce/eliminate the influence of surface contamination.        

Objectives: The systematic study of a range of photocathode materials and preparation procedures using advanced analytical techniques to characterise the samples and correlate photocathode performance with properties like work function, surface roughness, composition.The project aims to include:

Familiarisation with a wide range of analytical techniques for characterising surfaces (XPS, AFM, SEM, etc.)

Familiarisation with photocathode characterisation technique – measurement of quantum efficiency, energy spread of the emitted electrons at low and high energies

A study of surface preparation techniques for a range of bulk metal samples (Cu, Mg, Pb, Y and Au)

Evaluation of the photocathodes with single and poly crystalline structures

Development of thin film composite photocathodes

Studies of impact of degradation on photocathode performance

Correlation of photocathode performance in a real accelerator environment with physical properties such as work function, surface roughness and composition. 

Apply online by clicking the Apply link below quoting reference Metal-Photocathodes-Cropp

2 thoughts on “PhD Studentship in Surface Science and Engineering for Particle Accelerator Applications Metal photocathodes for electron guns”

  1. i am Muluye Melak from Ethiopia. i attended my MSc degree in Organic chemistry and now i am working as a lecture at university of Gondar. i am very much eager to join my PhD programm in your esteemed institution inthe year of 2013-2014. i am wait your posetive response
    with many thanks
    Muluye Melak Zenebe
    P.O.BOX 196
    Universty of Gondar
    Faculity of Natural and Computational science
    Department of Chemistry

    1. i am very much eager specially to continue my PhD study in the title of
      Surface Science and Engineering for Particle Accelerator Applications Metal photocathodes for electron guns which is available in your institution

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