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Fully-funded PhD position in Ultramicroscopy

The School of Physics at the University of Dublin offering one fully-funded PhD position (4 years) for September 2022 start in the area of high resolution imaging of perovskites.

The overarching goal of the research is to advance the fundamental understanding of antiferroelectricity in PbZrO3 thin films and nanostructures, through multipronged theoretical and experimental studies of nanoscale polarisation. Specifically, we will address the nanoscale organisation of dielectric dipoles in oxides that can lead to macroscopic presence or absence of switchable polarisation. Together with collaborators, this work will correlate microscopic structural changes with macroscopic properties in this archetypal antiferroelectric, exploring the stability of classical antiferroelectric (AFE), ferrielectric (FiE), and ferroelectric (FE) behaviour in PbZrO3 thin films and nanostructures.

The PhD student will be responsible for the high-resolution imaging of the materials at the atomic scale. They will be trained to perform aberration corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy of the specimens using the Nion UltraSTEM200 based at the Advanced Microscopy Laboratory in Trinity College Dublin. These results will then feed into the wider collaborative partnership.

The ideal applicant will have a 1st Class or 2:1 Master’s or Honours Bachelor’s degree in Physics, Materials Science, or related disciplines. Previous experience with electron microscopy or perovskites/oxides would be a bonus but not essential. The researcher will work independently, but also closely with other members of a multidisciplinary project team. Excellent written and oral communication skills are essential.

More information about the PhD positin: https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/research/groups/ultramicroscopy/positions/