PhD studentship: Imaging multifunctional Nanomaterials in three-dimensions with coherent X-rays

Website DiamondLightSou Diamond Light Source

Supervisors: Professor Steve Collins and Dr Daniel Porter from Diamond Light Source Ltd, Dr Marcus Newton from University of Southampton

Project Description:

Multifunctional materials that simultaneously exhibit more than one ferroic property including ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity, ferroelasticity or ferrotoroidicity are of great interest because the different properties may work together in different ways and lead to exciting new potential applications, if we could understand this better. For example, the coupling between magnetic and ferroelectric ordering can be utilised to develop low power magnetoelectronic devices (such as non-volatile magnetic computer memory) where the spin polarised transport of electrons can be used to flip magnetic memory bits. As a result there is a vibrant effort to understand the underlying mechanisms at work in bulk and thin film materials. Often the role of crystal defects and other topological structures remains unclear as (to date) no reliable means exists to image in three-dimensions and observe such effects in realtime.

Common Li-ion battery cathode materials such as Li_xCoO_2 (LCO) allow high capacities and reliable cyclability, but suffer from structural degradation over repeated charging cycles.

To better understand these materials I will use a technique called Bragg coherent X-ray diffractive imaging (BCXDI) without lenses. This is a form of x-ray microscopy that can permit sub-angstrom resolution imaging in three-dimensions where the use of conventional optics is not feasible. BCXDI can reveal how novel phases emerge and influence the material properties. The application of BCXDI to the study of multifunctional materials will enable a wide range of next generation technologies that otherwise are inaccessible due to an incomplete understanding of their properties.

In this project we will focus primarily on imaging hexagonal multiferroic manganites (RMnO3), where R ∈ {Y, Dy, Er} and Li-ion battery cathode materials such as Li_xCoO_2 (LCO) and Li_xNi_0.33Co_0.33Mn_0.33O_2 (NCM).

APPLICATIONS FOR THIS STUDENTSHIP ARE NOW OPEN WITH A DEADLINE OF 31 AUGUST 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TO APPLY PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Diamond Light Source Ltd holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award, demonstrating their commitment to provide equal opportunities and to advance the representation of women in STEM/M subjects: science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

To apply for this job please visit www.diamond.ac.uk.