Development of multicaloric technologies for low carbon efficient cooling and heating systems
PhDs and postgraduate research
Self-funded PhD students only
School of Mathematics and Physics
October and February
Applications accepted all year round
The work on this project will involve:
- Plasma sputtering of thin film multiferroic composites
- Materials characterization (magnetic, polar / dielectric, thermal properties)
- Instrument development
One of the global scientific and technological challenges of today is the development of more efficient heating and cooling methods for domestic and industrial applications.
The successful candidate will aim to develop novel materials suitable for solid-state cooling and heating, offering an elegant and energy efficient technology that utilizes the entropy changes associated with an order parameter in solids (electric, magnetic or elastic) to produce a temperature change of the solid element.
This is based on the Giant multicaloric effect in multiferroic materials, which is a major breakthrough in solid-state caloric technologies, because it offers a unique approach by combining the principles of electrocaloric, magnetocaloric and elastocaloric effects into a unified process with enhanced caloric properties.
This project will focus on the design, synthesis and experimental evaluation of composite multiferroic thin films suitable for multicaloric effects. A key aspect of this research programme is the exploration of how this type of technology can be applied to domestic heating and cooling to provide efficient, low cost, low carbon cooling and /or heating, as part of a collaborative project with UCL.
Fees and funding
Funding availability: Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK and EU students only).
2021/2022 fees (applicable for October 2021 and February 2022 start)
PhD and MPhil
Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,500 p/a**
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,250 p/a**
International full-time students: £17,600 p/a*
International part-time students: £8,800 p/a*
PhD by Publication
External candidates: £4,407*
Members of staff: £1,720
All fees are subject to annual increase. If you are an EU student starting a programme in 2021/22 please visit this page.
*This is the 2020/21 UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) maximum studentship fee; this fee will increase to the 2021/22 UKRI maximum studentship fee when UKRI announces this rate in Spring 2021.
Some PhD projects may include additional fees – known as bench fees – for equipment and other consumables, and these will be added to your standard tuition fee. Speak to the supervisory team during your interview about any additional fees you may have to pay. Please note, bench fees are not eligible for discounts and are non-refundable.
You'll need an upper second class honours degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject (Physics, Applied Physics, Engineering). In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
We’re looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated candidate with a suitable honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Materials Science or a related Engineering subject. You should have a rigorous approach to research together with disciplined work habits. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. Training on specialised equipment and instruments will be provided within the project.
How to apply
When you're ready to apply, you can use our online application form. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. An extended statement as to how you might address the proposal would be welcomed.
Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process.
Please note, to be considered for this self-funded PhD opportunity you must quote project code SMAP4580220 when applying.