University of Cambridge

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Post-doctorial position in computer simulations of ferroelastic pattern formation - Research Associate (Fixed Term)

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in the University of Cambridge funded by a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. The project involves working with Prof. Ekhard Salje to determine the role of elastic strain and microstructure dynamics in controlling the structural evolution, magnetic, dielectric, electrical and electronic properties of ferroic and multiferroic materials. Previous work was undertaken using several simulation methods, in this project we will first focus on Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations, probably using the LAMMMPS code. It is expected that applicants will have previous experience with MD simulations and some knowledge of Monte Carlo approaches. If the candidate has done mainly DFT work, additional connections with MD will be required during the course of the project.

The successful candidate will be based in the Dept. of Earth Sciences and will work in a group of 3 newly appointed PDRAs in Cambridge. The project involves collaboration with other groups in the UK (Profs. Jim Scott in St. Andrews, Marty Gregg in Belfast and Alexei Marin in Warwick) and overseas (Profs. M. Stengel in Barcelona and E. Artacho in San Sebastián, Spain).

The role will involve developing computer simulations of large complex systems to support experimental work. The specific sub-projects may include:

1: investigate the role of domain walls to reduce thermal conductivity;

2: explain emanating polarity in tweed patterns and complex ferroelastic systems;

3: calibrate how electric fields can change ferroelastic patterns via the flexoelectric effect;

4: simulate RUS, RPS and AE signals during structural phase transitions.

The person appointed will have a research background in solid state physics with an interest in phase transitions and microstructures. Familiarity with computational methods for the analysis of microstructures and/or aspects of structural phase transitions is required and some prior knowledge of phase transitions and/or of magnetic/ferroelastic/multiferroic materials would be an advantage. The successful candidate must have PhD in a relevant field (e.g. solid state science, mineral physics, materials physics, mineralogy), a track record of publication in peer-reviewed international journals would be preferred and will have good communication skills in order to present results at international meetings.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries can be made to Ekhard Salje (

Please quote reference LB12728 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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