The discovery of two-dimensional materials (2DMs) –one atom thick van der Waals bound nearly-perfect layers such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides, opened unique possibilities for the exploration of physical phenomena on the nanoscale. To date, a significant research effort in 2DM’s was focused on the area of electronic transport and optoelectronics, while other, equally exceptional properties such as thermal transport, thermoelectricity, nanomechanical properties and superconductivity remained comparatively unexplored. In particular, highest known in nature thermal conductivity of graphene opens possibilities for precise channelling of heat on nanoscale, with electronic structure of other 2DM’s potentially leading to advanced thermoelectric materials. For quantum nanoelectromechanical systems (QEMS), exceptional mechanical stiffness and low density of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, coupled with low losses, would allow to design sensors with ultimate sensitivity limited only by the quantum mechanics laws.
This project explores interaction of physical phenomena of different origin, namely, of electrical, thermal and mechanical nature as well as effects of the nanoscale geometry of 2DM nanostructures to reveal the fundamental physics involved, and to provide pathways for innovative technological solutions. These will include recently discovered phenomena of viscous flow of heat and electrons, geometrically defined thermoelectricity https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b03406
, and electromechanical phenomena in suspended 2D materials nanostructures https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/nl500922h?mobileUi=0
The successful applicant will work at Lancaster University Physics Department within one of the world leading groups in the nanoscale measurements of 2DM’s via scanning probe microscopy (SPM) including thermal transport, nanomechanical and electromechanical phenomena. The project will target manufacture of 2DM nanostructures including nanoconstrictions, heterostructures, suspended membranes and superconductor – 2DM devices using the state-of-the-art e-beam lithography equipped Lancaster Quantum Technology Centre https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/quantum-technology/
. The developed nanostructures will be studied using advanced SPMs combined with ultra-high frequency ultrasonic excitation, GHz range Laser Doppler vibrometry, super-sensitive optical interferometry, and microwave superconductor transport techniques, utilising world leading European Microkelvin Platform (EMP) and ultra-low-nose IsoLab facilities https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/physics/isolab/
housed at Lancaster Physics. The project will involve close collaboration with the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, the place of discovery of graphene https://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/about/ngi/
, and the European Graphene Flagship http://graphene-flagship.eu/m
, the major EU collaboration in the 2DM area.
The Physics Department is holder of Athena SWAN Silver award and JUNO Championship status and is strongly committed to fostering diversity within its community as a source of excellence, cultural enrichment, and social strength. We welcome those who would contribute to the further diversification of our department.
Please contact Prof Oleg Kolosov ([email protected]
) for any additional enquiries. You can also apply directly at https://www.lancaster.ac.uk/physics/study/phd/
stating the title of the project and the name of the supervisor.
Applications will be accepted until the post is filled