Job offer in england Postdoctoral Researcher – “Super Hard Biocompatible Coatings of Beta Ti3Au” at Northumbria University

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in the area of “Super Hard Biocompatible Coatings of Beta Ti3Au”. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on this truly multidisciplinary project and conduct research in the areas of thin film material science and bioengineering.

International interest in hard, biocompatible materials for use in medical implants is growing at an exponential rate. Joint replacements are now implanted in over one million patients a year worldwide and this number is predicted to increase fivefold by 2030. Scientists and engineers are now working hard to develop the next generation of biocompatible wear resistant materials.  

As well as having high hardness, these materials must also possess high toughness and scratch resistance, compatibility with the substrate material and chemical stability and biocompatibility. These coatings are usually made by applying materials such titanium onto the substrate using methods such as physical vapour deposition (PVD) and chemical vapour deposition (CVD), and both the material chemistry and structure as well as the processing conditions can have a huge effect on the resulting properties of the coatings.

This current project will focus on the growth and characterisation of hard biocompatible coatings of Ti and Au, doped with Cu and Ag, prepared by the magnetron sputtering method, which is a form of PVD. Coatings will be grown with various chemical compositions and thicknesses under varying process parameters such as chamber pressure, cathode power, deposition time and substrate bias and temperature. Once the coatings have been deposited their mechanical and structural properties and biocompatibility will systematically characterised using techniques such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), nanoindentation, atomic force microscope (AFM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), profilmeter, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), and in vitro cytotoxicity.

This position is funded by a Leverhulme Trust grant and you will work with Dr Martin Birkett (Principal Investigator) and Prof. Mihalis Panagiotidis (Co Investigator).

The ideal candidate will have expertise in deposition of thin film materials, preferably using the magnetron sputtering technique, as well as experience of materials characterization using SEM-EDX, XRD, AFM and nanoindenter.  Experience of biocompatibility testing using in vitro cytotoxicity is also desirable but not essential, as full training will be provided in this area.  

Applicants must hold a PhD in Material Science or a relevant discipline by the start of the project.

For an informal discussion about the post, please contact Dr Martin Birkett at

To apply for this vacancy please click on the following link:

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.


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