University of Huddersfield Logo

International Institute for Accelerator Applications

Fields of Research

  • Simulation and studies of high power proton targets by the Targetry group
  • FFAGs  - we led the CONFORM project which produced EMMA, the worl'ds first nonscaling FFAG
  • Accelerator driven subcritical reactors (ADSRs) and Thorium power
  • Simulation of collimators at the LHC
  • Fertile to Fissile conversion of Thorium using spallation neutrons
  • Fast proton deflection for beam modulation
  • The Medium Energy Ion Scattering Facility, studying the composition and arrangement of atoms at surfaces
  • A STFC/Siemens funded project examining  novel compact accelerator technologies for security applications.
  • Joint research with the USA MURI on "Transformative Electromagnetic Media", focused on developing high-powered metamaterials.
  • Research into RF sources for the European Spallation Source

Possible PhD projects

These are examples of possible PhD projects.


Rob Edgecock: Production mechanism and yields of radioisotopes

Currently all radioisotopes used for cancer therapy in the UK are produced using nuclear reactors outside of the UK, some not even in Europe. This has resulted in difficulties in supply and this therapy not being full exploited. This project will study possible new accelerator technologies for isotope production, including an FFAG being designed by the IIAA, a novel linear accelerator technique being studied at CERN and laser plasma production being investigated at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). It will study how the isotopes currently used could be produced using these, look at the production of interesting isotopes which are in short supply and at novel production methods for new isotopes. It will estimate production yields using simulation and, for the most interesting, it is planned to verify these yields using a laser plasma technique at RAL.


An H2020 proposal is in preparation which follows on from two FP7 projects that Huddersfield has been involved in. The proposed start date is at the start of 2017. This work would form an integral part of that project, if successful, and funding from the EU would cover the living costs of the student.

Professor Rob Edgecock: the RF distribution system of the ESS

The European Spallation Source is currently under construction at Lund in Sweden. It is one of the largest particle accelerator projects in the world and, by the end of the decade, will be the most powerful neutron source. The University is provisionally approved to provide the power distribution system for the super-conducting RF accelerating cavities. This consists of 146 waveguide runs, each about 30m long and consisting of a number of different RF components. This project will have two important roles in the installation and commissioning of this system. It will study the so-called arc detectors, which are used to prevent damaging breakdown in the waveguides, determining what type is optimal for the application, testing them and making sure they are working when installed. Particular attention is required on the arc detectors in the accelerator tunnel due to potential damage by radiation. It will also investigate possible techniques for tuning the waveguides to the right operating frequency, testing that it works and undertaking the tuning of the installed systems. In addition, if time allows, the student could also play a role in the commissioning of the whole ESS RF system.

Prof Rebecca Seviour: High Temperature Superconducting RF cavity for Accelerator

The next generation of particle accelerators are to use Superconducting Niobium RF cavities, as the key technology at the heart of every accelerator. However this technology suffers from major costs associated with the cryogenic system needed to maintain 2K. We therefore propose to develop a proof of principle High Temperature Superconducting (HTS) RF cavity. If a HTS based RF cavity can be realised then then the Helium cryogenic system could be removed, and replaced by a significantly cheaper Liquid Nitrogen system. This would have a major international engineering impact effecting the development of all future accelerators. Previous research on HTS RF cavities focused either bulk or thin films HTS acting as the RF surface. We propose to use a hybrid mesoscopic system, of a thin film of normal conductor (i.e.Cu) in contact with a bulk HTS to form the RF cavity. The principle of operation is to make use of the proximity effect where the HTS induces a SC like state in the normal layer. Using a simple rectangular resonator we predict the Q of the cavity should improve by 50% with the introduction of the Hybrid HTS sections on the two broad walls. 

VC/external Fee-Waiver is available to suitably qualified applicants. For further information please contact Prof Rebecca Seviour (

Dr Andrew Rossall: Analyzing Pulsed Laser Deposition of Thin Films Using MEIS

The IIAA at the University of Huddersfield houses the UK Medium Energy Ion Scattering (MEIS) facility, one of only a few such facilities in the world.  Using an ion beam probe MEIS enables the investigation of the surface structure and properties of crystalline materials as well as the high resolution depth profiling of non-crystalline nanometer thin layers.  

Pulsed laser deposition (PLD) utilizes a high-power pulsed laser focused onto a target made from the material to be deposited producing a plasma plume of the vaporized material which is then deposited onto a substrate.  This is a versatile technique used in the semiconductor industry to create thin (nanometer thickness) homogenous layers.  

A new type of laser operating in the extreme-ultraviolet will generate a plasma plume with very different characteristics and has the potential to reduce substrate damage and increase the efficiency of the process.  The aim of this project will be to investigate the use of new capillary discharge laser technology, operating at 46.9nm, for pulsed laser deposition of thin films.  This investigation will use the MEIS facility at Huddersfield to analyze these novel PLD films in term of their composition, uniformity and interface abruptness, etc. by comparing the spectra with simulations.

Prof Rebecca Sevour: Artifical materials for Cherenkov THz EM radiaation

The aim of this studentship is the development of Effective Electromagnetic Media (EEMs) for active RF components, focused towards high-power (>100W) RF sources and amplifiers covering the range from 30 GHz to 1 THz.  Current approaches based on Solid State devices to realise RF sources and amplifiers at these frequencies have yet to overcome two basic issues: limited low power output and high-cost, especially when we consider the progress promised over the last ten years. Vacuum Electronic Devices (VED) are currently one of the most promising routes being pursued to create high-power low-cost RF sources in the 30 GHz to 1 THz regime. VEDs create and amplify electromagnetic waves by converting the kinetic energy of a charged particle beam into electromagnetic energy, and have been used to produce coherent electromagnetic radiation from MHz to GHz, achieving MW power levels. VEDs are an enabling technology that have had a profound, sustained, scientific, economic and societal impact over the entire 20th century. Used in applications from communications to imaging, heating to industrial processing, and medicine to scientific research.

The PhD project will specifically focus on Near-Zero Materials (NZM), materials whose constitutive relations, permittivity and permeability are very close to zero. These materials are a sub-species of EEMs where the project will focus on engineering a dispersion relation designed specifically to mediate a Cherenkov interaction in the presence of a charged particle beam.  We will explore the creation of new types of effective media, how they interact with EM waves and the novel particle-wave interactions they can mediate. Where the overall goal is to develop a new range of VED THz technologies.

For further information please contact Prof Rebecca Seviour (

Prof Rebecca Seviour: Realisation of a Near Zero Metamaterial for Antennas

Increasing demand for faster data transfer is a challenging issue for antenna implementation, any technology that offers a substantial increase would have a sustained, major, technological and economic impact. Utilising a combined beam-forming/MIMO approach we propose to use an Artificial EM Material (AEM), with ε(permittivity)-Near- Zero (ENZ) to realise a novel compact, Ultra Wide Band, antenna. 

AEMs are periodic manmade subwavelength (<<λ) composite structures, whose properties are determined from their the geometrical structure rather than their composition, that produces an EM response not found in nature. ENZs have many phenomena that make them a relevant for this project; An arbitrary engineered dispersion relation with extreme low loss, super-coupling, transparency, supporting long wavelengths in the AEM, allowing static-like propagation and confinement leading to a near infinity phase velocity. The critical angle for total internal reflection is zero, meaning a wave can only transmit through an ENZ surface normally, making ENZ ideal for beam forming. Conventional MIMO systems require multiple isolated antennas. Standard TL based systems are fundamentally monoband, although correct design ARMs exhibit multiple degrees of freedom enabling multi-band operation, and could enable a reduction in the required antenna dimensions to a subwavelength size. 

VC/external Fee-Waiver is available to suitably qualified applicants. For further information please contact Prof Rebecca Seviour (

Last updated Tuesday 9 February 2016
Thank you for your feedback.

Your feedback has been sent to the University Web/Digital Marketing Team.

The awards winner 2012, 13, 14, 15
University of the year 2013
QS 4 Star Logo
Athena Swan Bronze Award

VAT registration number 516 3101 90

All rights reserved ©