Thermal effects in nano-structured magnetic structures. Engineering, PhD, (funded) Ref: 2706

About the award

Primary supervisor Professor Gino Hrkac

Second supervisor Professor Rob Hicken

Location:  Streatham Campus, Exeter, Devon.

Project description

In two-phase permanent magnets (Balamurugan et al. 2012) the presence of a soft magnetic phase improves the thermal stability of the remanent magnetization and increases the energy product (Bance, et al. APL 2014, Hrkac, et al. Scripta 2014). Nano-structuring provides a strong enough exchange coupling between the different phases so that coercive field is sufficiently high, in order to achieve energy products of 400 kJ/m3 at 450 K. A major problem is to find suitable structural stable binary or ternary systems to achieve this goal.
A high magnetization at elevated temperature may be achieved in magnets based on (Nd, Sm)Fe12Nx. A key issue of the 1:12 phase is its structural stability.

We will use ab initio and molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the phase stability of RE(Fe,X)12, whereby RE stands for rare earth elements and  X for  Ti, V, and Cr.
The results will be supported by our industrial partner Toyota and the Frauenhofer Institute in Darmstadt and will include on-site visits in Germany and Japan.

The aim is to show that the ternary elements stabilize the structure by reducing the cohesive energy and therefore can provide a real contender for thermally stable high performance magnets for automotive and energy harnessing applications.

The project is part of the EPSRC project EP/P02047X/1.

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor, Prof Gino Hrkac

Academic Entry Requirements

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Natural Sciences or other numerate discipline.

Experience in programming (MatLab, Python, C, C++) as well as with Lammps, GULP, VASP or QuantumEspresso is desirable.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.


Application deadline:28th August 2017
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,553 for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: CEMPS Postgraduate

How to apply

To apply, complete the online form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and details of two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

Interviews will be held at Streatham Campus week commencing 4 September 2017.

Please quote reference 2706 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.