Research Associate in Nuclear Materials Chemistry

United Kingdom
Sep 22, 2016
Oct 24, 2016
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The NucleUS Immobilisation Science Laboratory (ISL), part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the largest academic R&D group in the UK focused on radioactive waste management and disposal. The ISL supports nine academic staff, 16 research associates and 45 PhD students. With a grant portfolio of > £15M, the ISL collaborates strongly with research end-users in industry and implementation authorities in the UK, EU and USA. A recent investment of >£2M from the University of Sheffield, and UK Government departments (DECC & BEIS) has supported the development of a state-of-the-art experimental facility for radioactive materials research - all laboratories are designed as supervised areas to support work with radioactive materials. Additionally, a controlled area laboratory for research involving high radioactive inventories is available. This role is part of an EPSRC Early Career Research Fellowship awarded to Dr. Claire Corkhill, to investigate the microstructure of spent fuel materials.

The post-holder will lead the investigation of the structure, from atomic- to micro-scale, of fluorite analogues for spent fuel (CeO2, ThO2 and UO2) using a range of microscopy, spectroscopy and diffraction techniques (e.g. HR-TEM, SEM/EBSD, XPS, XAS, TOF-SIMS, Raman, XRD). Specific focus will be on grain boundaries and lattice structure. This work will be performed at the world-leading Sorby Centre for Microscopy and Surface Analysis at the University of Sheffield, at x-ray synchrotron facilities (e.g. Diamond Light Source, NSLS-II) and with collaborators in the UK and EU (Germany, Sweden).

Applicants should hold, or be close to completion of, a PhD (or have equivalent experience) in chemistry, physics, materials science or other relevant discipline. The post holder will have skills and experience related to: preparation of samples for TEM (e.g. FIB); use of aberration-corrected TEM and associated techniques (EELS, EDX); XRD; and some experience of spectroscopy techniques (e.g. XPS, XAS, TOF-SIMS) and associated data analysis. Knowledge and experience of ceramic synthesis methods is desirable. It is planned that interviews and other selection action will be held in October 2016 in Sheffield (remote interviewing may be possible in exceptional circumstance). Full details will be provided to invited candidates.