About the Project
In this project you will analyse 2D heterostructures made either from dissimilar atomically thin layers (artificial 2D crystals) or put together to create specially designed nanochannels (dubbed ‘2D nothing’). These artificial crystals are fabricated by assembly of monolayers extracted from layered crystals (for example, graphene, insulating hexagonal boron nitride, semiconducting transition-metal chalcogenides, ferromagnetic CrI3 or superconducting NbSe2). The University of Manchester’s National Graphene Institute contains all the state-of-the art microfabrication facilities that will be needed for this project, including recently commissioned glove-box exfoliation and transfer systems. The Department of Materials has a suite of cutting edge transmission electron microscopy (TEM) facilities that you will use to study their atomic structure and combine this with the results of other measurements (electronic or mass transport) to reveal and understand the underlying phenomena. The new knowledge will then be applied to optimise the structure and properties of new nanodevices.
Among the many challenging problems that this approach can be expected to solve, the initial focus will be on:
(i) Understanding the atomic structure of buried interfaces in artificial crystals with twisted component layers. This can be expected to help solve the rich and unusual physics found in such systems.
(ii) Revealing the structure of liquids confined in atomically thin 2D channels. This has generate huge excitement but the precise structure of such systems is still far from clear and of huge importance to microfluidic, biology, environmental separations.
In this project you will acquire a broad range of microfabrication and characterisation experimental skills. The specific challenges can be adapted depending on the interests of the student. There will be opportunities to undertake experiments at national and international facilities, and to present your work at world leading international conferences.
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