London-Singapore : Nanotechnology strategies for the assembly of 2D nanohybrid materials into static and stimuli-responsive devices

   School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

   Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This is a 3.5-year programme with years 1 and 4 at QMUL and years 2 and 3 in Singapore at the A*STAR research institute. Only applicants eligible for home fees or applicants who hold indefinite leave to remain will be considered for this project.

2D materials and their heterostructures [e.g. graphene-BN-graphene] have a range of physicochemical properties that make them excellent candidates for scalable technologies in the fields of optoelectronics, (bio)sensing, and energy. 2D stacks are different from traditional 3D semiconductor heterostructures: each layer acts as both the bulk and the interface, reducing charge displacement but with large charge transfer and electric fields, offering possibilities in band-structure engineering. In this context, nanofabrication techniques and self-assembly strategies can allow us to control the organization, on surfaces, of nanostructures of interest for optoelectronic applications, and advanced 2D materials are emerging as strong candidates as truly nanoscale electrodes.

This collaborative project between the groups of Prof. Matteo Palma and Prof. Jan Mol at Queen Mary University of London, and Dr Aaron Lau, Dr Johnson Goh at A*STAR IMRE in Singapore, will explore the employment of molecular linkers as template and functional moieties to develop a strategy for the assembly of 2D materials into static and dynamic homo-/hetero-laminar devices. Novel device functionality will be achieved by interfacing complex molecules and nanostructures to the 2D nanoelectrodes, where these junction moieties will be acting as functional building blocks in our nanoelectronic devices.

Groups: This will project will be co-supervised at Queen Mary by Prof Matteo Palma ( and Prof. Jan Mol ) at the School for Physical and Chemical Sciences. At A*STAR (IMRE, in Singapore the project will be co-supervised by Dr Aaron Lau (, Dr Johnson Goh ( )

This project is part of the A*STAR Research Attachment Programme, through which students spend the middle 2 years conducting research at one of the A*STAR Research Institutes in Singapore, under the supervision of an A*STAR supervisor (see above). Year 1 and the final 6 months will be spent at Queen Mary University of London. 

Our research groups prioritize a healthy research culture, and collaboration. We will provide a personalised mentorship, including working towards different career choices following the PhD. We are also happy to discuss potential applications informally (contact Prof Palma : ).

Deadline: Applications to this project will be considered on a first come first served basis, early applications are therefore encouraged.

Please follow the link below to apply:

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Prof Matteo Palma


Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

• The studentship arrangement will cover home tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three and a half years (Currently set for 2023/24 as £20,622).
• The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) and/or MSc/MRes in a relevant
discipline (Chemistry, Physics, Engineering ).
• Please note that this studentship is only available to Home applicants.
• Applications to this project will be considered on a first come first served basis, early applications are therefore encouraged.

Register your interest for this project