skip to primary navigationskip to content
 

News

Site News

PhD Project Available through CDT in Diamond Science and Technology

last modified Jun 11, 2018 01:37 PM
A fully funded PhD project to study the properties of Polycrystalline Diamond has recently become available through the CDT for Diamond Science and Technology. For more information contact Andrew Jardine <apj24>.

Matthew Bergin wins poster prize "Imaging surfaces with helium atoms"

last modified Jan 24, 2017 02:56 PM
Congratulations to Matt Bergin on winning the ISSC-20 (Birmingham) best student poster prize!

Matthew presented an excellent poster at the Interdisciplinary Conference on Surface Science in Birmingham University, and beating off stiff competition has been awarded the best student poster prize by the Thin Films and Surfaces group of the IoP for his work on "Imaging surfaces with helium atoms". For more information on Matthews work see this page.

New Graduate Projects for 2017 Entry

last modified Jan 24, 2017 02:58 PM
New SMF group projects for PhD and MPhil research are now online.

This year's SMF group projects for PhD and MPhil research entry in 2017 are now online.  See the graduate opportunities page for more information.

Funded MPhil Project Available on the Dynamic Properties of Nano-Modified Diamond

last modified Jun 05, 2014 04:43 PM
New MPhil (by research) opportunity for October 2014 entry, to study the dynamic response of nano-modified industrial diamond

 

Applications are sought for a fully-funded 1 year MPhil (by research) studentship focussing on the dynamic response of nano-modified industrial diamond. The position will be held in the SMF Fracture and Shock Physics group at the Cavendish Laboratory (Dept. of Physics), University of Cambridge, to start in October 2014.

Diamond is an immensely important material, both from fundamental and applied perspectives. It has exceptional mechanical characteristics as well as remarkable thermal and electrical properties, and is widely used in a variety of industries. Mechanically, diamond is exceptionally hard, but other characteristics, such as toughness, are less outstanding. Techniques are available to modify diamond on the atomic scale, and the overall aim of this project is to develop and apply techniques to study the effect of such nanoscale modification on dynamics and failure. We envisage applying a variety of experimental techniques, covering stimulus at a range of strain rates, before focussing on a smaller number of more specific experiments to understand the underlying physics in detail.

As part of the project, the candidate will learn a range of experimental characterisation and analysis techniques. The project will form a collaboration with a major industrial partner, and the candidate will benefit from the opportunity to work directly with them for a period of time. There is also scope to collaborate with numerical modelling groups and if successful, to extend the project to longer term PhD research in this area.

More generally, the SMF Fracture & Shock Physics Group forms a close community with a long heritage of performing world class experiments in the area of materials physics, as described in more detail on our website: www.smf.phy.cam.ac.uk . The successful student will hold a degree in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering or a related subject. Specialist prior knowledge is welcome but not necessary and we anticipate applicants being graduates who are new to the area.

For enquiries and more information, please contact Dr. Andrew Jardine (apj24@cam.ac.uk) in the first instance. Applications should be made through the University of Cambridge online application system (described at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/index.shtml) and should be received as soon as possible.

Eliza MacIntosh PhD

last modified Nov 13, 2013 05:19 PM

Congratulations to Eliza who has passed her PhD. She will be undertaking a brief role in the department as part of the Rutherford Project before joining the Perse School as a physics teacher.

Chemical Science accepts paper on Ionic Liquids

last modified Nov 19, 2013 10:31 AM
Congratulations to Eliza MacIntosh on the acceptance of her paper “Probing liquid behaviour by helium atom scattering: surface structure and phase transitions of an ionic liquid on Au(111)” as an Edge article in Chemical Science.
Chemical Science accepts paper on Ionic Liquids

Helium Atom Scattering from an Ionic Liquid

Congratulations to Eliza MacIntosh on the acceptance of her paper “Probing liquid behaviour by helium atom scattering: surface structure and phase transitions of an ionic liquid on Au(111)” as an Edge article in Chemical Science.

Funded PhD Projects for October 2015 Entry

last modified Mar 05, 2015 02:57 PM
Applications are sought for several fully-funded PhD studentships, to start in October 2015.

 

Applications are sought for several fully-funded PhD studentships.  The positions will be held in the SMF Fracture group at the Cavendish Laboratory (Dept. of Physics), University of Cambridge, to start in October 2015.

 

1. Effects of Nanostructure on Dynamic Fracture Mechanisms

Dynamic fracture is an important physical process that underpins the use of materials in many real-world applications (i.e. crack propagation and failure, before information is communicated through the complete system).  However, the effect of material nanostructure (both lattice and grain structure) on such events is not well understood; for example how inter-grain boundary strength and lattice anisotropy influence crack propagation and growth under tension.

The aim of this project is to identify and study correlations between material microstructure and dynamic fracture response at high strain rates.  In particular, it will likely include comparing polycrystalline metals with amorphous glasses. The project will involve careful experiments using a recently developed high-rate loading technique, supported by a range of diagnostic instrumentation (although we expect to develop a range of similar, complimentary tests at lower rates).

The project is part of a longstanding industrial collaboration, and will be performed in close co‑operation with related numerical modelling efforts (for example, in association with the Laboratory for Scientific Computing in the Cavendish).

 

2. Nanomechanics of Polycrystalline Diamond

Diamond is an immensely important material, both from fundamental and applied perspectives. It has exceptional mechanical characteristics as well as remarkable thermal and electrical properties, and is widely used in a variety of industries, from cutting to electronics.

The aim of this project is to gain fundamental understanding into the material degradation mechanisms that affect polycrystalline diamond (PCD), and particularly those that relate to complex industrial cutting environments.  It will involve developing laboratory scale physical models for processes such as impact, wear and thermal fatigue, then relating these to the underlying microstructure of the material, and the governing physical processes.  A wide variety of supporting diagnostics will be involved, likely including electron and atomic force microscopy, micro-tomography and various forms of spectroscopy.

The project will form part of an ongoing collaboration with a major industrial partner, and the candidate will benefit from the opportunity to work directly with them for a period of time.  Similarly, there will be scope to collaborate with numerical modelling groups.  This project will suit someone with a strong practical interest in materials physics, and its application to real-world problems.

 

3. Reaction Pathways in Energetic Materials

Understanding the response of energetic materials (e.g. explosives and propellants) to stimuli of various forms is both fundamental, and crucial to their use.  Despite having been used for decades, existing approaches to such ‘sensitivity characterisation’ (i.e. response to impact, friction or electrostatic discharge) are designed to give a rather crude ranking of sensitivity, compared to other ‘standard’ energetic materials.  However, we have recently established that certain new materials do not easily conform to such simple rankings, posing an important challenge for the field.

The aim of this project is to gain greater fundamental understanding of energetic initiation, and methods required to describe the process rigorously.  The approach will be to apply modern diagnostic techniques to follow reaction in much greater detail, in response to precise stimuli.  It is likely to include analysis of physical propagation using high speed photography, microscopy and micro-tomography, and assessing changes in chemical reaction using (for example) spectroscopy and radiography. 

The project is part of a longstanding industrial collaboration, and will primarily involve careful experiments and analysis, so will suit applicants with a strong experimental background.   It could also involve a range of supporting simulations (e.g. molecular dynamics or continuum modelling), depending on particular interests.

 

General Background

The SMF Fracture Group forms a close community with a long heritage of performing world class experiments in the area of materials physics, as described in more detail on our website: www.smf.phy.cam.ac.uk . The successful student will hold a degree in Physics, Materials Science, Engineering or a related subject. Specialist prior knowledge is welcome but not necessary and we anticipate applicants being graduates who are new to the area.

For enquiries and more information, please contact Dr Andrew Jardine (apj24@cam.ac.uk) in the first instance. Applications should be made through the University of Cambridge online application system (described at http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/index.shtml).  There is no formal deadline, but applications should be received as soon as possible.

Applied Physics Letters publishes research on sand release-properties

last modified Nov 24, 2013 08:53 PM
Recent work from the SMF Fracture group on the shock and release of sand has been published in Applied Physics Letters
Applied Physics Letters publishes research on sand release-properties

HetV trace during shock loading

The paper describes research into the shock response of sand during loading at very high rates, and provides the first data describing the release of the material from the shocked state.  The work originated in programme supported by QinetiQ, studying the fundamental properties of sand in order to model protective structures for defence applications. The work was initiated by Dr. Chris Braithwaite and Dr. Nick Taylor and is being continued by James Perry in his PhD programme. The full text of the paper can be found here.

SCCM-AIRAPT Conference

last modified Nov 13, 2013 05:23 PM

A contingent from the group flew out to Seattle to attend the APS Shock Compression of Condensed Matter conference. This is a bi-annual event which the group has supported over a number of years. The research presented at the conference was of a very high standard and provided food for thought and a number of potential collaborative projects.

New Website

last modified Nov 24, 2013 08:55 PM
We are giving our web presence an major overhaul...

We are currently in the process of overhauling our web prescence, so please bear with us if there are a few interruptions, or if everything doesn't quite work properly yet.  We are using the exciting new University of Cambridge 'Falcon' web management system.

RSS Feed Latest news

Undergraduate Summer 2020 Research Projects

May 11, 2020

The Cavendish Surface Physics Group and Atom Scattering Facility invite undergraduate applications to a programme of collaborative summer research projects, which will be conducted remotely, given current and likely restrictions on travel.

PhD Project Available through CDT in Diamond Science and Technology

May 01, 2018

A fully funded PhD project to study the properties of Polycrystalline Diamond has recently become available through the CDT for Diamond Science and Technology. For more information contact Andrew Jardine <apj24>.

View all news