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Surfaces, Microstructure and Fracture Group

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: . 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 ( in the first instance. Applications should be made through the University of Cambridge online application system (described at and should be received as soon as possible.