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Development of a nanostructured heating element to explore high temperature materials physics

This research project is in competition for funding with one or more projects available across the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). Usually the projects which receive the best applicants will be awarded the funding. Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.

This studentship seeks to develop a novel 3D nanostructured heating element using a combination of two-photon lithography and processing methodologies.

At Cardiff University, we have experience in fabricating a variety of 3D nanostructured magnetic and optical materials and are currently leading a project to significantly improve the resolution that can be obtained.


Three-dimensional lithography upon the 100nm-scale is now having a pronounced impact across a range of scientific disciplines. It has enabled the realisation of 3D photonic crystals with stop bands in the visible, magnetic micro-robots capable of carrying out targeted drug delivery, advanced cell scaffolds for cell differentiation and magnetic nanostructures for advanced 3D data storage architectures

Project aims and methods

Through careful choice of materials, the heating element is expected to give access to temperatures of order 1000 degrees Celsius, allowing the probe of high temperature physics in a range of nanoscale material systems.

The student will investigate how the design of nanostructured heating elements impacts their thermal properties. Once optimum heating elements have been realised we will use these to study phase transitions within nanostructured magnetic materials, giving an insight into the physics of spin ordering at high temperature.

This project can be successfully completed in 3.5 years as detailed by the following plan:

Month 0 – 6

Literature review and training upon two-photon lithography (TPL).

Month 7 – 12

Initial designs of micro-heaters and first fabrication of samples.

Month 13 - 24

Further fabrication with pyrolysis to release glassy carbon micro-heaters. Electrical and thermal characterization.

Month 25 – 30

Fabrication of nanostructured magnetic materials upon heating elements. Investigation of magnetic properties as a function of temperature (magnetometry).

Month 31 – 36

Further characterization of magnetic properties, this time with emphasis upon magnetic imaging.



Sam Ladak

Dr Sam Ladak

Senior Lecturer
Condensed Matter and Photonics Group

+44 (0)29 2087 0157
Oliver Williams

Yr Athro Oliver A Williams

Director of Research
Condensed Matter and Photonics Group

+44 (0)29 2087 4978

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