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Research Associate in Atomic Resolution Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy and Atom Manipulation
Oxford Road, Manchester

Job reference: SAE-017987

Location: Oxford Road, Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 05/01/2022

Salary: £33,309 - £40,927 per annum depending on experience

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Science and Engineering

Division: Department of Materials

Hours per week: Full time

Contract Duration: Until 31 March 2024

School / Directorate: School of Natural Sciences

You will be working on an innovative project which is an essential part of a 5 year £7.8M  EPSRC research grant which is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, Imperial College London and the University of Leeds. This programme grant aims to revolutionise the design and delivery of functionality on demand at the nanoscale within advanced materials. Providing new world-leading Nanoscale Advanced Materials Engineering (NAME) capabilities, we aim to transform the ability to exploit spin and photonics; address and harness thermal interactions; realise designer materials for quantum technologies; and in so doing, shape the UK and international advanced functional materials landscape. Your role will be to develop the necessary methods to perform atomic resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscopy imaging and characterization of the engineered nanomaterials produced, as well as to develop protocols to further manipulate the materials in situ, for example through atomic scale dopant manipulation. The project is available for 24 months initially with the possibility for extension of up to 4 years depending on performance and the development of project goals. ​​​​​​​

Project is based in one of the largest and best equipped electron microscopy centres in the UK counting 26 electron microscopes, including the new tri-beam focussed ion beam microscope and five transmission electron microscopes (TEMs). Of these the Titan ChemiSTEM will be most important for this project and equipped with a top of the range Quantum electron energy loss (EEL) GIF spectrometer and a Super-X energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDXS) detector capable of fast, high efficiency, simultaneous EEL and EDX spectroscopic imaging. Manchester also benefits from close collaboration with Protochips Ltd who provided full range of in situ holder capabilities for this project. These commercial systems allow in-situ electron imaging in gases and liquids, using electrochemical cycling, electrical biasing and variable temperatures up to 1000°C. The project has been awarded 30 days access to the UK’s SuperSTEM facility at Daresbury so you would be expected to be fully involved in these experiments, including the design of optimal experimental systems to get the most out of this facility.

The NAME project involves the development of a wide range of nanoscale engineered semiconducting and optical materials for particular application. Systems of interest include single atom dopants and vacancy centres in Si, diamond, SiC and 2D materials. A key topic of investigation will be atomic manipulation of such defects, for example to enable generation of precisely controlled dopant arrays. This could be achieved using electron beam manipulation (similar to BM. Hudak, et al, ACS Nano 2018, 12, 6, 5873-5879) or via application of in-situ heating, biasing etc. Phonon mapping around such defects and for phonon engineered materials systems (e.g. BiSe nanodots in hBN) will also be explored using access to SuperSTEM.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of age, sex, gender (or gender identity), ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status.  All appointments are made on merit.

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Blended working arrangements may be considered      

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Prof Sarah Haigh


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.


The closing date for this job has now passed.