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Molecular physics research is directed towards the study of the reactions of charge particles with neutral molecules at low energies. As well as the fundamental aspects of the research, the results have important applications to the physics and chemistry of naturally occurring plasmas, industrial plasmas (such as surface etchant plasmas), chemical lasers, pollutant monitoring, and trace gas detection.
Our research programme provides reaction rate coefficients, and identifies the product ions of ion-molecule and electron-molecule processes. We use the following equipment built at the University: a variable temperature selected ion flow tube instrument to study bimolecular ion-molecule reactions in 0.5 Torr helium under thermal conditions, and an electron swarm instrument, which provides unique data on electron-molecule collisions as a function of mean electron energy in ~1 bar buffer gas.
Type of Course: Doctoral research
Duration: PhD: 3.5 years full-time; MPhil: 1 year full-time
Our research programmes are greatly expanding the database on the fundamental processes occurring in technologically important plasmas, so that more accurate models of plasmas can be constructed. Simulations resulting from these models will enable opportunities for new developments in plasma processing to be identified.
In addition, we are establishing a multidisciplinary research facility for sensitive and selective trace gas analysis using a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTRMS). The research programme comprises core activities based in molecular physics, together with a number of collaborative research projects in the areas of detection, atmospheric, medical, and materials science research. As new applications emerge, these will synergistically feed into the core programme of research to develop the PTR-MS and to explore gas-phase ion-molecule chemistry.
Ensure your qualifications meet our entry requirements for research degrees
To gain admission to a research degree programme (with the exception of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine (MD)) an applicant must comply with the following entry requirements:
* Attainment of an Honours degree (normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent) in a relevant subject awarded by an approved university, or
* Attainment of an alternative qualification or qualifications and/or evidence of experience judged by the University as indicative of an applicants potential for research and as satisfactory for the purpose of entry to a research degree programme.
* Admission and registration for a research degree programme may be conditional on satisfactory completion of preliminary study, which may include assessment.
* In some cases you will also need to have completed a Masters degree or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject.
* Entry onto many programmes is highly competitive, therefore we consider the skills, attributes, motivation and potential for success of an individual when deciding whether to make an offer.
* Specific entry requirements are given for each programme. Any academic and professional qualifications or industrial experience you may have are normally taken into account, and in some cases form an integral part of the entrance requirements. If your qualifications are non-standard or different from the entry requirements stated in the online prospectus, please contact the relevant school or department to discuss whether your application would be considered.
* After we have received your application you may, if you live in the UK, be invited for an interview or to visit us to discuss your application.
English Language RequirementsIELTS band: 5.5 TOEFL iBT® test: 80
IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa.
The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.
Scholarships and studentships We have a number of studentships supported by the UK research councils EPSRC and STFC available each year, including some CASE awards. These studentships cover the costs of tuition fees and provide a subsistence allowance for 3.5 years. They are available to UK nationals with at least an upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent. Preference is usually given to those holding four-year MPhys or MSci degrees.
We offer about half a dozen postgraduate teaching assistantships each year as top-ups to EPSRC and STFC studentships. There are also substantial opportunities for postgraduate demonstrators. EU nationals may be eligible for fees-only awards, which are occasionally supplemented by the School.
International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
See the University of Birmingham Website for more details on fees and funding.