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Research Associate - Simulating Radiation Damage in Materials

Salary:   £28,331 to £32,817
Closing Date:   Tuesday 08 December 2020
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  A3074-R

We are looking for an ambitious atomistic simulator to undertake a Leverhulme funded research project entitled “The role of electrons on the evolution of radiation damage in matter” in the Engineering Department at Lancaster University. The project will involve extensive collaboration with Dr. Jean-Paul Crocombette from the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique et aux energies alternatives (CEA) Saclay, France.

Irradiation by high energy projectiles can dramatically alter the properties of materials. Experimental observation of the damage process is difficult due to the short time and length scales over which it occurs. Therefore, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations have been widely employed to study the atomic displacement cascades that ultimately result in the defects that change a material’s macroscopic properties. To date the projectile energies studied have been limited by MDs inherent inability to represent the electronic stopping that dominates at higher energies and limitations in computational resources. This project will address both of these issues. 

To enable study of electronic stopping, a traditional MD supercell can be coupled to an electronic subsystem to create a two-temperature molecular dynamics (2T-MD) model that allows energy to move between the electrons and ions. While the 2T-MD model has been widely utilised for the study of ultrafast laser and swift heavy ion irradiation, its application for studying high energy cascades has been limited due to issues with its treatment of the high energy ions. Therefore, this project will look to re-examine the fundamental assumptions underlying the model to improve the description of these high energy ions. The updated model will then be incorporated into the recently developed Cell Molecular Dynamics for Cascade (CMDC) model to enable the study of very high energy cascades.

You will have, or expect to obtain soon, a PhD in Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or a closely related area. Experience of molecular dynamics (preferably for studying radiation damage) and strong coding skills are essential, as is experience of high-performance computing. You will be expected implement the new 2T-MD model into codes including DL_POLY and/or lammps and prepare results for publication in academic journals and presentation at international conferences.

You will join us on an indefinite contract,however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time is due to come to an end on 31 August 2023.

The Engineering Department is committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address equality issues in higher education and research, and we warmly welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

Informal enquiries to Dr. Samuel Murphy, email:

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups

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