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  Artificial Synapses with Dual Opto-Electronic control for Ultra-Fast Neuromorphic Computer Vision (4 year funded PhD studentship)

   School of Physics and Astronomy

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  Dr Neil Kemp  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 (4-year funded PhD studentship)

Closing date: applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (4 years funded (tax-free stipend based on the UKRI rate (currently £15,609) + tuition fees for UK home student) within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Nottingham.

Project title: Optical Memristors for Ultra-Fast Neuromorphic Computer Vision

Applications are invited for a 4-Year fully funded PhD studentship to contribute to an exciting new project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. The aim of the project is to develop new high-speed neuromorphic systems for computer vision applications based on optical memristor devices. Memristor (or resistive memory) is a form of non-volatile memory that is seen as a potential candidate for the replacement of Flash and SDRAM memory. However, it is their ability to emulate the memory and learning properties of biological synapses and their potential to produce a new generation of ultra-high performance artificial intelligent devices that has ignited researchers’ interest in these remarkable devices. The aim of this position is to explore new types of optically switching memristors and determine the best strategies for integrating these into neuromorphic architectures for use in high-speed computer vision applications.

The position will be based in the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Nottingham which has a thriving research culture of both, experimental and theoretical groups across a broad spectrum of physics topics, including condensed matter physics and nanoscience. The school is highly regarded for its excellence in research and teaching and has a history of securing funding from research council sources and working with industry on a wide range of national and international projects. (

The researcher will join the Kemp Nano Electronics group which is focussed on investigating new phenomena in nanophysics and electronics for real-word device applications ( Our areas of interest include optically tuneable memristors for photonic computing and new artificial intelligence technologies, molecular spintronics and nanoscale engineering of novel device structures for plasmonics and biosensor applications. This group is part of the Experimental Condensed Matter and Nanoscience research grouping with 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 (

 The project is funded by a 5 Year Leverhulme Trust Research project and is in collaboration with Prof. Ronald Tetzlaff’s modelling and circuit theory group at the Technische Universität Dresden. 

We invite applications from candidates with knowledge and / or interest in nanoscale science, materials science, electrical engineering, artificial intelligence and the optoelectronic properties of novel nanoscale materials and thin films.


1. Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for home/UK candidates

2. 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 [Email Address Removed].

Enquiries can also be directed to [Email Address Removed]

Closing date: applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed.

see also on details of our research

Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)


1. Chua, L. O. “Memristor - The Missing Circuit Element”, IEEE Trans. Circuit Theory, CT-18, 507–519 (1971); []
2. Strukov D.B. ; Snider G.S. ; Stewart D.R ; Stanley Williams R., The missing memristor found, Nature 453 pp. 80-83 (2008); []
3. Jaafar AH, Gray RJ, Verrelli E, O’Neill M, Kelly SM and Kemp NT, “Reversible optical switching memristors with tunable STDP synaptic plasticity: a route to hierarchical control in artificial intelligent systems” Nanoscale, 9, 17091 (2017); []
4. Jaafar AH, O’Neill M, Kelly SM, Verrelli E and Kemp NT “Percolation Threshold Enables Optical Resistive‐Memory Switching and Light‐Tuneable Synaptic Learning in Segregated Nanocomposites”, Adv. Elect. Mats. 5(7), 1900197 (2019); []
5.Jaafar AH, Kemp NT, “Wavelength dependent light tunable resistive switching graphene oxide nonvolatile memory devices”, Carbon 153, 81-88 (2019); []

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 About the Project