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Big-data for nano-electronics: high-throughput spectroscopy and imaging for functional nanotechnology development in the presence of disorder


Department of Physics and Astronomy

About the Project

Functional nanotechnology derives performance advantages from both the geometry and quality of a material. Key examples of this technology include nanomaterials for sensing (where high surface-area to volume ratio is essential), light detection (where strong light-matter interaction can provide structural colour), or nano-lasing (where low optical mode volume can produce threshold-free lasers). When coupled with bottom-up fabrication, billions of single element devices can be produced in a single growth run.
Bottom-up production relies on thermodynamically driven growth processes, which can be vulnerable to inhomogeneity in materials due to small changes in local growth conditions. At present, characterising the impact of this growth disorder on the functional performance of nano-devices is slow and time consuming, particularly in the early-stage of device development when working devices may be in the minority.
An EPSRC-funded PhD opportunity is available as part of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship “Big-Data for Nano-Electronics” to develop a framework for high-throughput functional characterisation of single-element nanotechnology. The aim of this project is to make use of high-throughput imaging and spectroscopy tools to measure geometrical and material properties of large ensembles (~106) of single devices which make use of a newly-installed cutting-edge laser system. Statistical approaches including Bayesian optimization and machine-learning will be used to identify routes to control and harness disorder, to produce a framework for analysis of large correlated datasets.
The project has experimental and computational aspects, and will be undertaken in the purpose-built Photon Science Institute at the University of Manchester. It involves working with local and international project partners in academia and industry to source materials and target the most exciting applications. The successful candidate will join the Photon Physics group within the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

If you wish to discuss the project informally, please contact Dr Patrick Parkinson ().

Entry Requirements:
A very good first degree (MPhys 1st or high 2:1) or a relevant MSc, in a related area (Physics, Materials, Electronic Engineering, Photonics, Nanotechnology)
Experimental skills in optical alignment and spectroscopy
An understanding of semiconductor physics, optical processes in semiconductors and nanomaterials

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 year EPSRC funded studentship covering fees and stipend (£15,285 in 2020-21).

Closing date: While there is no formal deadline for submitting an application, we encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

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