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Programmable Lab-on-chip Devices in Magnetic MEMS for Medical Diagnostics and Biotechnology

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, March 25, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Informal enquiries: Dr Ali Mohammadi ()

Miniaturisation of sensors and actuators in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) has greatly benefitted many modern technologies including smart phones, medical devices and implants, high precision sensors etc. Magnetic microtransducers offer additional desirable features including operation in conducting media, which add significant functionality compared with other transduction mechanisms. Example applications include high throughput microfluidic chips, which drastically speed up single-cell array analysis for cancer diagnostic assays and biotechnology.

We have recently demonstrated proof-of-concept for a novel integrated and localised magnetic annealing process that offers a low-cost programming technique for MEMS transducers. This innovative work exploits the temperature dependence of magnetic domains to program the magnetic microtransducers the same way digital data is stored on magnetic media such as computer hard disks. The proposed project will build on this advance to deliver magnetically programmable microfluidic prototypes such as micropumps and microvalves for lab-on-chip applications.

The PhD student will join the team of academics, postdoctoral researchers technicians and industry advisors with access to cutting edge laboratory equipment, microfabrication technologies and CAD tools available in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering and the David Bullett Nanofabrication Facility ( as well as external microfabrication foundries. The prospective student will travel to national and international conferences to communicate the research results within the Engineering and Physics communities and to the end-users in Medical Science and Biotechnology.

This project is highly recommended for students with Physics or Engineering background. The project will be supervised by Dr Ali Mohammadi in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, and Professor Simon Bending in the Department of Physics.

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent) in Physics or Engineering. English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

This project is eligible for inclusion in three funding rounds, subject to funding availability. Application deadlines: Wednesday 27 November 2019, Wednesday 29 January 2020 & Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020

Funding Notes

UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.


A. Mohammadi, et al. “A post-fabrication selective magnetic annealing technique in standard MEMS processes” Appl. Phys. Lett. 109, 221906 (2016); doi: 10.1063/1.4971262

How good is research at University of Bath in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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