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Graduate Admissions


Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship supervised by Professor AL Greer, within the Microstructural Kinetics Group in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy. The project focuses on the development and characterization of metallic glasses based on precious metals, particularly gold. Precious metals, in their usual polycrystalline form, have desirable properties for application in jewellery and electronics, but they are soft and lack scratch resistance. Metallic glasses have exceptionally high hardness and scratch resistance [1], and furthermore are susceptible to thermoplastic forming, rather like polymers [2,3]. It is now well established that precious metals can be the basis for glass-forming compositions [4], and that bulk glass formation (minimum dimension mm to cm) is possible. However, much remains to be done to explore the properties and potential applications of precious-metal glasses.

This project will be primarily experimental, but can involve atomistic modelling. It will focus on: the search for better glass-forming alloys; characterization of the structure and stability of the glasses, including the possibilities to obtain crystallized products that have good mechanical properties, and possibly decorative patterns; optimization of the mechanical properties; studies of chemical stability including tarnish-resistance.

[1] AL Greer, Metallic glasses on the threshold, Materials Today 12 (2009) 14. [2] J Schroers et al. Thermoplastic blow molding of metals, Materials Today 14 (2011) 14¿19. [3] G Kumar et al. Nanomoulding with amorphous metals, Nature 457, (2009) 868¿872. [4] J Schroers et al. Gold based bulk metallic glass, Applied Physics Letters 87 (2005) 061912.

Applicants should have (or expect to be awarded) an upper second or first-class UK honours degree at the level of MSci, MEng (or overseas equivalents) in a relevant subject (Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry) and should be liable for 'home rate' fees to be eligible for a studentship. The studentship is fully funded, covering fees and a tax-free stipend.

Applications can be made on-line via Applications for admission in October 2018 must be made by 31 May 2018.

Further information on the application process is available from Dr Rosie Ward by email Informal enquiries may be made to Professor AL Greer by e-mail to

Please quote reference LJ15302 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy

Reference: LJ15302

Dates and deadlines:

Monday, 16 April, 2018
Closing Date
Thursday, 31 May, 2018