Sarah Hyde spent her summer holiday working with Dr Lisa Gillie in the Department of Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Huddersfield. Sarah worked on a study of the interaction of multiferroic materials with microwave radiation.
“I have found it an invaluable chance for me to experience scientific research and further extend my analytical and communication skills…It will certainly facilitate me in making informed decisions as to my impending academic and career plans.”
Sarah's project investigated the use of microwave thermal analysis (MWTA) as a viable technique for studying the electrical properties of ceramic materials. Microwave radiation has both a magnetic and an electrical component. Using microwaves to heat materials by the interaction of the electric field of the microwave radiation with the electric field of the sample, Sarah and Dr Gillie demonstrated that electrical ordering transitions can be observed in ceramics. The long term aim of this project is to develop a comprehensive analysis tool for studying both electrical and magnetic properties in multiferroic materials, which are of interest for their applications in the data storage industry and as sensors.
Talking of her bursary experience, Sarah said "I would undoubtedly recommend applying for and taking part in research such as this, to any undergraduate who is thinking about possibly progressing onto a PhD. It does provide quite an insight into what postgraduate research may entail."