Over the past few decades, size of transistors has been tremendously reduced from a few centimetres to a few tens of nanometres. This trend in down scaling the device size has almost reached its ultimate physical limitation, challenging Moore’s Law which has been valid for almost half a century. This is because as transistors made from silicon become smaller and smaller, their switching performance becomes less and less reliable, which rings a bell for the scientific society to pursue other alternative options to continue the miraculous trend of improving electronic devices. One of the most promising alternatives is to introduce electrons’ spin into a new transistor configuration, in which the transport of the electron spin is confined in a high mobility 2D electron gas (2DEG) channel and can be manipulated by the application of a gate voltage. If the idea of spin field-effect transistor (SFET) realized, it will provide many benefits as being smaller, quicker, using lower power, and generating lower heat than the present charge based transistors. However, in order to reach the point in which spin field-effect transistor is fully operational, there are some challenges which need to be overcome. Since the discovery of various two dimensional (2D) materials, due to the unusual physical characteristics, they have provided a new platform to probe the spin interaction with other degrees of freedom for electrons, as well as to be used for novel spintronics applications. 2D materials are generally categorized as 2D allotropes of various elements or compounds, in which the electron transport is confined to a plane. Intrigued from the discovery of graphene, isolating single atomic layers of van der Waals materials has been one of the most emerging research fields. Others like the surface states of Topological Insulators(TIs) and 2D transition metal dichalcogenides(TMDCs) also have shown to exhibit many fascinating physical properties. This research project will design, fabricate, and characterise nanoscale spintronic devices, mainly spin field effect transistors (SpinFET) with 2D materials for the future applications in microelectronics. The 2D materials will include graphene and the newly developed TMDCs. The aim is to develop spin and 2D material based devices with high sensitivity and stability, but less energy consumption for their applications. The project will involve the device modelling, fabrication and characterisation using the state-of-the-art facilities including high quality epitaxy growth, advanced e-beam and focused ion beam lithography, and various structural and properties analysis in the York Laboratory of Spintronics and Nanodevices, the University NanoCenter, and the York-Nanjing Joint Center.
Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science, Mathematics, Music Technology or a closely related subject.
How to apply:
Applicants should apply via the University’s online application system at https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/apply/
. Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.