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Taught Programme


During your course, you will undertake training in Diamond Science and Technology (DST). This taught programme has been purpose-designed to provide you with an inter-disciplinary skill set, allowing you to deal with any high performance, advanced material, in many different application areas. Although the course will primarily focus on DST, it will enable you to develop a broader understanding of competitor materials and technologies. The training is designed to produce highly skilled, cross-disciplinary, fast-thinking, innovative and creative graduates.

Teaching and assessment styles will vary from module to module to best deliver and examine the training content. Lectures, seminars and workshops will be reinforced with a significant practical component. This will make use of the substantial instrumentation and computational resources at Warwick. The practical aspects of the modules will enable you to gain essential hands-on experience, of a wide variety of techniques/instrumentation.

A mixture of oral and written examinations and assessments will be employed to ensure the students gain experience of team work, research paper and proposal writing, science communication and web page development.

Further information on the modules can be found below. The term 1 2022-23 Timetable is available here. Labs will be arranged individually.

Module 1: Novel and Efficient Methods of Material Synthesis (Term 2, 2022-23)

Module Teachers: Prof Mark Newton, Dr Claire Hurley

Although diamond is the focus, this module will include details about the properties, deposition, fabrication and applications of a range of advanced modern materials, such as CNTs, cBN, GaN, ZnO, etc. The module has been broken down into small lecture/workshop components so that the students will gain a working knowledge of many of the advanced modern materials in use by UK science & technology industries, as well as their synthesis/fabrication, properties, and applications. As well as lectures, there will be some interactive practicals and workshops based on the course material.

Module 2: Defects and Dopants (Term 1, 2022-23)

Module Teacher: Prof Mark Newton

This course bridges the gap between undergraduate courses on materials and research-level reviews. It is designed for workers new to the field of defects and dopants in semiconductors and insulators. In undergraduate texts we are introduced to the concept of a perfect crystalline solid with every atom in its proper place in an infinite crystal. This is a convenient first step in developing the concept of electronic band structure and from it deducing the general electronic and optical properties of crystalline solids. However, such an idealization can be grossly misleading. A perfect crystal does not exist. There are always defects; crystals are like people it is the defects that make them interesting! Defects often have a profound effect on the real physical properties of a solid, and a major part of scientific research on materials has been devoted to the study of defects. We now know that most of the interesting and important properties of solids – electrical, optical and mechanical – are determined not so much by the properties of the perfect crystal as by its imperfections. There is no better example of the vital role played by defects than those found in semiconductors, where the ability to control the electrical conductivity by the addition of trace impurities to otherwise highly perfect crystals enabled a technological revolution.

The course covers the identification of intrinsic, defects, dopants and impurities in semiconductors and insulators with a specific focus on diamond. Once the different types of defects have been introduced it follows an approach whereby different characterisation techniques are introduced and the information which they reveal about the properties of defects/impurities are explained by reference to the measurements made on them.

Module 3: Devices and Fabrication (Available in 2023-24)

Module Teachers: Dr Ben Green, Dr Claire Hurley

This module aims to cover the basics of clean room technologies and device fabrication. The specifics of diamond processing will be addressed in context with silicon technologies. The operation of basic semiconductor devices will be explained.

Module 4a: Diamond Photonics and Quantum Devices (Option A) (Available in 2023-24)

Module Teacher: Dr Gavin Morley

Students will achieve a basic grounding in the physics and application of quantum devices based on nitrogen vacancy centres (NVC) in diamond in the context of condensed matter physics. They will learn about the principles of operation and device designs for using NVC in quantum computing and magnetometry. The advantages and challenges of diamond will be covered. Students will gain practical experience in optics and spintronics experiments including quantum control of a single spin.

Module 4b: Electrochemistry and Sensors (Option B) (Available in 2023-24)

Module Teachers: Prof Julie Macpherson, Prof Pat Unwin