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Making monoatomic layers by physical methods

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Following the discovery of graphene, many self-standing, stable, single atomic layers such as boron nitride (BN), molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), tungsten disulphide (WS2) etc., have been isolated. With the growing library of 2D materials, it is now more or less established firmly that exfoliating one to few atom thick stable materials is possible with many materials. In order to harness the full potential of 2D materials, it is indeed necessary to be able to make them over large areas, which is being addressed mostly using chemical methods such as chemical vapour deposition (CVD) for growing one atom thick single crystals. However the quality of the 2D materials is compromised with CVD growth in many applications due to the emergence of defects, grain boundaries etc. Mechanical exfoliation gives the highest quality and pristine 2D materials, as evidenced by their electronic properties, for instance, graphene exfoliated physically shows highest electron mobility of the order of 10000 cm2/V.s. In this project, we aim to develop a mechanical exfoliation method by controlled application of pressure and temperature over large areas. Using sequential imprinting, the exfoliation will be done in a structured and patterned fashion which will lead to layers of 2D-materials placed on a substrate in a site-specific manner.

Housed within the world-leading condensed matter physics group and National Graphene Institute, our group focuses on 2D materials and angstrom scale capillaries. Further details about the research in our group: https://radhaboya.weebly.com

Training and research environment:


Research will be experimental and based in Department of Physics & Astronomy, Schuster Building. The student will be exposed to device fabrication technology for making variety of 2D-atomic crystals and nanoimprinting. Some aspect of the work might also involve electrical measurements and membrane preparation.

Qualifications applicants should have/expect to receive:


A minimum of a 2i class UK Masters honours degree or international equivalent is required or a first degree with an additional Master’s degree or international equivalent. Atleast one English language test is a must. IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no less than 5.5 in each sub-test TOEFL iBT overall score of 90 with no less than 22 in each sub-test (further details here: https://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/programmes/list/05490/phd-condensed-matter-physics/#course-profile)

Amount of funding available and eligibility:


Self-funded project

Contact for further information:




Main Supervisors: Dr Radha Boya

How to apply:


Informal enquiry should be directed to Dr Radha Boya with CV. Please specify why you would like to particularly apply for this position, and how you would be suitable. Please send only one PDF file which has the all the relevant information, and keep the file size small to avoid bouncing from the server.

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