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Fully Funded PhD in 3D Artificial Spin-ice

Cardiff University: School of Physics and Astronomy
United Kingdom
Closing date
15 Aug 2021
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Job Details

About the project

Frustration is defined as the inability for all pairwise interactions to be simultaneously satisfied and is a phenomenon that impacts a wide range of scientific areas.

For example, frustration is important in the production of solar flares, in the folding of biological molecules and in the bonding of water ice. Realising model systems for studying frustration will help to elucidate a range of complex phenomena in science.

The group of Dr Sam Ladak [1], School of Physics and Astronomy, Cardiff University has recently shown that 3D printing upon the nanoscale, when combined with deposition can be used to realise tuneable frustrated magnetic systems [2]. Through direct magnetic imaging our group has shown the creation and propagation of magnetic monopole defects upon the lattice surface [3].

The student upon this project will further exploit 3D nanostructuring of magnetic materials in order to fabricate tuneable frustrated systems and study ground state ordering. These systems will be characterised using a wide-range of techniques including scanning probe microscopy, optical magnetometry and synchrotron imaging. Experimental work will be complemented by detailed micro-magnetic modelling which will be performed in Cardiff and Monte Carlo simulations which will be performed by collaborators.

This project can be applied for via the following link: IPP login screen (

Funding notes

This project is funded by The Leverhulme Trust and includes full tuition fees and a stipend of £15,285 per annum for 3.5 years.

Due to the funding attached to this project we are only able to consider applicants who are UK tuition fee payers.

Please email Dr Sam Ladak if you have any questions about the project or if you have any questions about the application process.



[2] A. May, M. Hunt, A. Van Den Berg, A. Hejazi and S. Ladak, Communications Physics 2, 13 (2019)

[3] A. May, M. Saccone, A. Van Den Berg, J. Askey, M. Hunt and S. Ladak, Nature Communications 12, 3217 (2021)


Cardiff profile imageWelcome to Cardiff University’s School of Physics and Astronomy, one of the most highly regarded departments in the UK for undergraduate and postgraduate studies. World-leading research lies at the very heart of what we do. Involved in pioneering scientific discoveries, our research ranks 6th for quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 99% rated as “internationally excellent”.

Why study with us
We pride ourselves on nurturing a friendly and supportive environment, with our students rating their satisfaction at 96% in the latest National Student Survey (2021). Studying with us not only offers you the opportunity to gain a fundamental understanding of the universe, but also gives you the practical skills and ability to solve real-world problems. With state-of-the-art facilities, we attract multi-million-pound research funding from significant bodies such as government and international space agencies. Our pioneering research compliments the teaching on our degree courses, as students are taught by academic staff at the forefront of their scientific fields with a track record of teaching excellence, helping you to achieve your full potential.

Career prospects
Our exciting range of degree courses provide you with advanced and specialist skills to enhance your career prospects, and we provide extensive support to guide you on your chosen career path. Our courses are accredited by the Institute of Physics, allowing you to gain professional awards such as Chartered Physicist (CPhys) later in your career. We also offer the opportunity for a professional placement, a year in industry, or even a summer research placement based in the UK or abroad.

Postgraduate opportunities
We offer supervision and/or research projects in a range of areas including gravitational waves, astronomy, quantum devices and brain imaging. We have a range of PhD studentships and are the lead university for the Centre for Doctoral Training in Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing, offering fully funded studentships for selected students. Postgraduate students also have the chance to lead practical demonstrations for undergraduate students, as well marking their work, which can support your career prospects. Our Master’s Excellence Scholarship Scheme sees us investing up to £500,000 to support UK students who are planning to start an eligible Master’s programme in September 2022. Scholarships are worth a minimum of £3000, awarded in the form of tuition-fee discount. Further details can be found on our website.

Thinking of applying?
We welcome students with a range of qualifications and achievements. Simply head to our website for the exciting courses we offer.

Cardiff, UK

Number of researchers
52 research staff

Desired degree disciplines/class
For undergraduate, generally AAA–ABB. For postgraduates, generally 2.1 minimum in a physical science/mathematics degree

Eligible to study in the UK

How to apply
Postgraduates apply online at; Undergraduates apply through UCAS

Closing date
All year round

Tel +44 (0)29 208 76457

Find Us
+44 (0)29 208 76457
Queen's Building
The Parade
CF24 3AA
United Kingdom
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