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Artificial Synapses with Dual Opto-Electronic control for Ultra-Fast Neuromorphic Computer Vision (3.5 year funded PhD studentship)

   School of Physics and Astronomy

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Artificial Synapses with Dual Opto-Electronic control for Ultra-Fast Neuromorphic Computer Vision (3.5-year funded PhD studentship)

Closing Date: 31st June 2022

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3.5 years funded (tax-free stipend based on the UKRI rate (currently £15,609) + tuition fees ) within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham.

Project title: Artificial Synapses with Dual Opto-Electronic control for Ultra-Fast Neuromorphic Computer Vision

Supervisory Team: Dr Neil Kemp (School of Physics and Astronomy), Professor Andrei Khlobystov (School of Chemistry), Dr Jesum Alves Fernandes (School of Chemistry)

Memristors (or resistive memory) are a new generation of electronic devices that directly emulate the chemical and electrical switching of biological synapses, i.e., the key learning and memory components of the human brain. Memristors also have the advantage of ultra-fast switching, low-power consumption (non-volatile operation), and nanoscale size (to give high density integration), and therefore have the potential to usher in a whole new era of artificial intelligence, devices, and applications. The aim of this project is to develop new state-of-the-art memristor devices that can switch optically as well as electronically, thereby enabling these “optically switching synapses” to be used as “in-memory” computing elements in neuromorphic circuits for computer vision applications. The work of the PhD will be to develop the basic switching circuit elements based on new optically active materials consisting of semiconducting nanowires/nanotubes coupled with metal nanoclusters and/or photoactive molecules, with enhanced light sensing capabilities that are suitable for integrating within memristor materials and devices. You will learn materials synthesis and deposition techniques, nanoscale device fabrication in a cleanroom environment as well as advanced electrical and optical characterization methods.

Working across the School of Physics and Astronomy (nottingham.ac.uk/physics/) and the School of Chemistry (nottingham.ac.uk/chemistry/) you will have access to a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities for the preparation and characterisation of novel materials and novel nanoscale devices. In addition, you will have access to the world-class suite of facilities of the Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre (nottingham.ac.uk/nmrc/facilities/facilities.aspx).

We invite applications from candidates with knowledge and / or interest in nanoscale science, materials science, artificial intelligence and the optoelectronic properties of novel nanoscale materials and thin films. (see kempnanogroup.com for more information on our work)


  • Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for home/UK candidates
  • Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or first class degree in a Physical Sciences or Engineering related discipline.

How to apply: Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to .

Enquiries can also be directed to 

Closing date: The first closing date is the 31st June. After that, applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

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