Angstrom-scale pores and capillaries have been studied intensively because of their importance in many natural phenomena and use in numerous applications. Significant progress has been achieved in fabricating artificial capillaries with nanometer dimensions, which led to the emergence of new research areas including nanofluidics. However, it remains extremely challenging to control capillary sizes at angstrom-level spatial scale, especially because of surface roughness. We have developed a novel architecture of capillaries with tunable atomic-scale dimensions and atomically smooth walls. These are ultimately narrow and smooth capillaries that can be viewed as if individual atomic planes were removed from a bulk crystal, leaving behind flat voids of a chosen height. The capillaries are fabricated by van der Waals assembly of atomically flat materials using two-dimensional crystals as spacers in between. The PhD project involves evolving novel and unconventional methods for making precise angstrom capillaries using 2D materials, and exploring molecular separation through them.
Training and research environment
The student will be trained on capillary device fabrication technology for making variety of 2D-atomic crystals and 2D-capillaries. Through this project, the experimental skill set related to clean room fabrication involving but not limited to e-beam and photolithography, electron microscopy, reaction ion and chemical etching along with electrical measurements will be provided to the student. Some aspect of the work might also involve biomolecule sequencing using electrical measurements.
Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive
The successful candidate will have or expect to obtain a first or upper second class degree or equivalent (e.g. MPhys, MSci, MChem, MEng) in science, engineering (Physical sciences, Materials, Natural sciences). Those with experimental skills and enthusiasm for research and innovation are encouraged to apply.