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3 Year PhD Studentship in Enabling Next Generation Additive Manufacturing

The University of Nottingham, UK has an opening PhD position in polymers. The deadline for applying is January 31, 2019.

In collaboration with Warwick and Birmingham Universities, as well as with the School of Pharmacy and Physics at the University of Nottingham, the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CfAM) http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/research/groups/cfam are exploring the new area of multi-material, multifunctional Additive Manufacturing through the recently awarded EPSRC Programme Grant: "Enabling Next Generation Additive Manufacturing". The project's partners include internationally recognised industrial partners in the pharmaceutical and electronics fields (including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Texas Instruments) alongside external research partners including Lawrence Livermore National Labs (US) and the UK's National Physical Laboratories.

Whilst Additive Manufacturing (AM), also referred to as 3D Printing, is now employed in a wide range of industries to produce novel, highly complex geometries, this is currently exclusively undertaken using single material-systems (polymer or metal). However, in order to fully exploit the design flexibility of AM so that industry can gain full advantage of its potential, a step change to multi-material, multifunctional AM is required

Within this multi institutional and multi industry project we seek to augment AM's potential through the co-deposition of both functional and structural materials contemporaneously. These functions can be, for example, electronic, biological and pharmaceutical/healthcare and can be incorporated through a variety of novel processes such as piezo 3D ink-jetting and UV-sintering of metal nanoparticles, novel drop-on-demand jetting of high-temperature metals and multi-photon nanolithography.

A primary concern with regards to enabling this next generation of AM systems is the difficulty of inter and intra layer coalescence/bonding of functional-structural or functional-functional materials due to differences in physical state, chemistry and temperature at deposition or conversion. To overcome these problems one of the requirements is the development of a suite of ex-situ interface analysis techniques capable of delivering a complete 3D characterisation of samples at the micro/nano scale with high spatial resolution. These are not limited by, but rely strongly on, techniques such as focused ion beam (FIB), (cryo) scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). The aim of this project is to advance the fundamental understanding of interface phenomena in multi-material additive manufacturing and this will be achieved mainly by the development of tailored methodologies related to all strands of electron microscopy. Work will mostly be carried out in the Centre for Additive Manufacturing – CfAM as well as in the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre – nmRC (https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/nmrc).


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