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Nanotechnology: Fully Funded EPSRC PhD Scholarship: Single synapse measurements in neuromorphic percolating nanoparticle networks

   School of Aerospace, Civil, Electrical, General And Mechanical Engineering

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  Dr R Cobley  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Funding providers: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Subject areas: Engineering, Physics, Materials, Nanotechnology

Project start date: 

  • 1 October 2022 (Enrolment open from mid-September)

Project supervisors: 

  • Dr Richard Cobley (Engineering)
  • Dr Edwin Beggs (Mathematics)
  • Dr Thierry Maffeis (Engineering)
  • Professor Vincent Teng (Engineering)
  • Professor Richard Palmer (Engineering)

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Nanotechnology

Mode of study: Full-time

Project description: 

Brain-inspired neuromorphic computing could overcome the inherent limitations of conventional silicon technology, offering a new generation of faster low-power computing, direct hardware image recognition, and high sensitivity sensors. Typical approaches to physical neuromorphic devices focus on highly-organized architectures of artificial neurons, which fail to replicate the requisite complex synaptic interconnectivity. Nanostructured networks of metal nanoparticles instead offer comparatively inexpensive self-organising networks that inherently display brain-like dynamics in both the neurons and the synapses that link them together.

This project will use a multi tip scanning probe microscope to directly manipulate and measure these networks [10.1021/nl503743t10.1016/j.carbon.2018.11.076] over the length scale of single artificial neurons. Under applied bias, dynamic electrical pathways continually form and break, displaying emergent collective neuromorphic behaviour. The lab is based in the new £30M Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials; a partnership between academia and the semiconductor industry, including IQE, SPTS and Nexperia.

We seek a PhD student to join this exciting project, as part of wider funded activity in this area. It crosses electronics, materials, surface science, computation, mathematics and device physics, and we welcome enquiries from all interested candidates.


Candidates must normally hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) in Engineering or similar relevant science discipline.

English Language requirements: If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with at least 5.5 in each individual component) or Swansea recognised equivalent.

This scholarship is open to candidates of any nationality.

Funding Notes

This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees and an annual stipend of £16,062.
Additional research expenses will also be available.
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