The Chilton Group

Magnetism, Spectroscopy, Theory


Two Ph.D. studentships in the Chilton Group, September 2023 start

Electronic spin dynamics in solution - Apply Online

Project Description
We have developed methods and tools to understand the spin dynamics of molecules that are now mature enough to use in the design of new materials. We are now applying these tools in different areas. In this project we will study the electronic spin dynamics of molecules in solution. This is a crucial part of phase contrast in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and yet is poorly understood at the atomic level. It is the spin-phonon coupling, as induced by molecular rotations and collisions in fluid solution, that defines the electronic spin lifetime of MRI contrast agents, and it is the electronic spin lifetime which gives rise to the contrast effect in the industry-standard gadolinium contrast agents. Understanding how molecular structure and magnetic anisotropy affect the spin lifetime in solution phase from first principles will allow tailoring of molecular architectures to improve the efficiency of contrast agents, thus lowering dosage requirements.

Funding and Availability
This position is funded by The Department of Chemistry for 3.5 years from September 2023, covering tuition and stipend for UK students; however, exceptional international candidates might be eligible for a fee waiver.

Applications
Candidates should have, or be expect to obtain, a first class or upper-second class Masters-equivalent degree, specialising in Chemistry. Experience of computational chemistry would be advantageous, although training will be provided. You should be capable of working under your own initiative and working within a research team, so excellent communication and organisational skills are also required. Please submit a cover letter and CV with your application. The cover letter should describe your research interests and motivation for the proposed project in a short paragraph.

Equality and Diversity
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.

Spin-phonon relaxation and dephasing in impurity qubits - Apply Online

Project Description
We have developed methods and tools to understand the spin dynamics of molecules that are now mature enough to use in the design of new materials. We would now like to extend use of these tools to study the spin dynamics in solid state materials. That is, we aim to determine the strength and implications of spin-phonon coupling in the most promising solid-state impurity qubit candidates including nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in diamond, silicon-carbon divacancy centres in silicon carbide, and cerium impurities in yttrium aluminium garnet, for example.

Obtaining atomic-scale information on these systems will enable reduction of deleterious extrinsic factors that are currently limiting the applicability of such materials. For instance, the nature of the surface chemistry of diamond in proximity to NV centres is known to limit phase coherence times, so understanding how different surface treatments affect coherence is vital for increasing the sensitivity of NV-based quantum sensors.

Funding and Availability
This position is funded by The Leverhulme Trust for 3.5 years from September 2023, covering tuition and stipend for UK students; however, exceptional international candidates might be eligible for a fee waiver.

Applications
Candidates should have, or be expect to obtain, a first class or upper-second class Masters-equivalent degree, specialising in Chemistry or Physics. Experience of computational chemistry would be advantageous, although training will be provided. You should be capable of working under your own initiative and working within a research team, so excellent communication and organisational skills are also required. Please submit a cover letter and CV with your application. The cover letter should describe your research interests and motivation for the proposed project in a short paragraph.

Equality and Diversity
Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact. We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status.