This project aims to understand how the thermal transport properties of 2D materials can be engineered through controlled modification of scattering and energy dispersion of acoustic phonons. The main objective is to study the thermal conductivity of the few-layer 2D crystals such as graphene, hBN, and TMDs modified with various organic and inorganic molecules on the scale of an isolated flake or a bulk laminate. Our preliminary studies showed that the intercalation with organic molecules opens the possibility for phonon engineering in graphene and hBN. The molecules trapped between the basal planes will alter the phonon scattering mechanisms defining the lattice thermal conductivity and helping us to identify the fundamental factors limiting the thermal transport in such systems. Another project’s objective is to study the effect of possible intercalation-induced or twist-induced superlattice on the energy spectrum of the acoustic phonons and the size of the mini-Brillouin zones.
During this project, you will master a range of electrical, thermal and optical methods required to study heat transport in 2D and 3D crystals, including those performed at extreme magnetic fields and cryogenic temperatures. You will also learn the material production procedures and micromachining required to prepare the experimental samples. Apart from the essential practical skills, you will gain a deeper knowledge of solid-state physics and familiarise yourself with the theoretical concepts used to describe thermal transport in nanoscale systems.
The scientific activities will be carried out in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the National Graphene Institute, The University of Manchester, in close collaboration with prominent experts in the area of 2D materials. Our research group has several dedicated instruments to study the thermal and electrical properties of the free-standing laminates and microscale devices complemented with a dedicated chemical laboratory for fabrication and post-production treatment of the experimental samples. The project will also benefit from the extended range of fabrication and characterisation facilities available at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, such as advanced SEM and TEM tools, XRD, XPS, Raman and IR spectroscopy, AFM and STM set-ups and many more.
Academic background of candidates
Applicants are expected to hold, or be about to obtain an Upper second degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Material Science, Electrical Engineering or Chemistry.
At the University of Manchester, we pride ourselves on our commitment to fairness, inclusion and respect in everything we do. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds and identities and encourage you to bring your whole self to work and study. We will ensure that your application is given full consideration without regard to your race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age, marital or pregnancy status, or socioeconomic background. All PhD places will be awarded based on merit.
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