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Postgraduate Opportunities

PhD projects currently available in the School of Physics are listed below. If one of these projects interests you, please get in touch with the project leader, providing the necessary information needed for an initial contact. In particular indicate your degree, your final or expected mark, your previous research experience if any, why you are interested in the projects, and why you believe you are a suitable candidate.

Some projects are associated with grants, perhaps from SFI or the EU, which pay a student's fees and a stipend. Others do not and rely on the student applying for funding. These applicants can apply for funding from the following sources: Irish Research Council(deadline 28 January), TCD PG Scholarship and School of Physics Studentship schemes.

PhD position in ab initio spin transport and atomistic simulations for spintronic applications

One fully-funded four-year PhD position is available from April 2020 in the School of Physics and the CRANN Institute at Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), with flexibility to defer start to September’s registration, if required. Sponsored by the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI), this is part of a Starting Investigator Research Grant awarded to Dr. Maria Stamenova for the ATMOST project commencing in April. The PhD training will benefit from close collaboration with the Computational Spintronics Group, headed by Prof. Stefano Sanvito, and the project is also strongly connected with the experimental activity at CRANN and the AMBER research center. Strong collaborations with the NPL, the University of York and the QUB, including training visits for the PhD student, are explicitly included in the research plan.

The ATMOST project: Atomistic theory and simulations for THz spintronic devices

The THz range of the electromagnetic spectrum (high-frequency microwaves) is the domain of important chemical and biological processes. Importantly, the THz range is expected to host the short-range, high-bandwidth telecommunications of the future. With ATMOST we seek to develop a multi-scale theory for modelling and optimising THz spintronic oscillators based on magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) built with novel antiferromagnetic (AFM) or low-moment ferrimagnetic (FiM) materials. We will combine ab initio electronic structure theory (at the level of the density functional theory) for evaluating atomically-resolved material parameters and for modelling the spin transport in the MTJs (calculating from first principles current-induced spin-transfer/orbit torques (STTs), via the non-equilibrium Green’s function method), and time-domain spin dynamics simulations at the level of the classical atomistic spin dynamics (ASD) scheme (akin to the micro-magnetic simulations but with atomistic discretisation).

Typically exploited for manipulating magnetic order, the STTs can also excite and sustain magnetisation precession accompanied by electromagnetic radiation, which for AFM/FiM oscillators is in the THz range. Our aim is to realise a broader-scoped multi-scale simulation technique for current-induced spin-dynamics in MTJs. In this effort we envisage collaborations with leading groups at the multiple levels of theory involved, as well as close collaboration with the experimental groups of Prof. Coey and Prof. Stamenov in Trinity which are currently actively researching novel THz spintronic oscillators.

Essential/Desirable Criteria

Strong overall motivation, a keen interest in condensed matter theory and computation and a BSc (or equivalent) degree in Physics. Ability to work independently and also function as an active and efficient team player. Good writing and communication skills. Previous experience in UNIX/Linux environment, programming skills in Fortran/C/C++ and basic knowledge of density functional theory and/or electronic structure methods will be considered as an advantage.

General rules for PhD students in the School of Physics, TCD

The School of Physics runs graduate programmes for PhD and MSc degrees by research only, with two admission periods, October to September and April to March. More details and all the relevant deadlines can be found on the Trinity College Dublin Graduate Studies web page for prospective students.

The minimum entry to the School of Physics (TCD) postgraduate program is a 2.1 honours degree from an Irish university or equivalent. The student should be fluent in the English language (certificate required for international students). All students are assigned to a single principal investigator, who has the role of academic guide and mentor supervisor (in this case, Dr. Maria Stamenova, with Prof. Sanvito as a mentor and co-supervisor).

For more information visit: https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/study/prospective/postgraduate/how-to-apply/

Financial aspects

The minimum entry to the School of Physics (TCD) postgraduate program is a 2.1 honours degree from an Irish university or equivalent. Moreover the student should be fluent in the English language (certificate required for international students). All students are assigned to a single principal investigator, who has the role of academic guide and mentor supervisor (in this case, Dr. Maria Stamenova, with Prof. Sanvito as a mentor and co-supervisor). The College Graduate Studies Office provides more details on general admission to Trinity College Dublin.

Financial aspects

Tuition fees for the 4-year PhD programme will be completely covered for an EU citizen. Free medical care is accessible at the Trinity College Health Centre for all postgraduate students.

How to apply?

Applications must include a cover letter with your motivation to pursue such described PhD degree in Trinity College Dublin and a statement on your eligibility to the admission criteria described above, together with a CV, recent academic transcript (if not yet graduated) and the name & contact details of at least two referees (e-mail addresses). For informal enquiries and to apply email:

Dr. M. Stamenova (Trinity College Dublin): stamenom@tcd.ie

Information about the research project can be found at: 
https://www.tcd.ie/Physics/people/maria.stamenova/atmost/.

The position will be open until filled. Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the employment policies, procedures and practices which do not discriminate on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or membership of the travelling community.

Full Position Advert More Information on ATMOST

Postgraduate Opportunities 2019

Students that are eligible to apply for international PhD scholarships should contact a prospective School of Physics academic supervisor and the School’s Global Officer, Dr Niamh McGoldrick (nmcgoldr@tcd.ie).

For Chinese students who are interested in applying to the Chinese Scholarship Council for funding, please contact Dr Niamh McGoldrick on nmcgoldr@tcd.ie. Further information on the joint TCD-CSC scholarship is available here.