Potential PhB research projects

The Research School of Physics & Engineering performs research at the cutting edge of a wide range of disciplines.

By undertaking your own research project at RSPE you could open up an exciting career in science.

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Suitability: All - 3rdYear - 1st year PhB - later PhB - Honours - PhD/Masters - Summer Scholars
Department: All - AM - AMPL - EME - LPC - NLPC - NP - PRL - QS - TP
For more info on studying Physics at RSPE visit the Physics Education Centre
Research projects of interest may also be found in the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Analysis of velocity-map imaged photoelectron distributions

Our world-leading photoelectron imaging spectrometer has measured a great number of atomic and molecular species. The electron velocity-mapped images await computational analysis to extract the photoelectron spectra and photoelectron angular distributions. The analysis forms the basis for publication of the measurements.

Dr Stephen Gibson

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.
 

Dr Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Electron scattering in a magnetic field

A novel approach to low energy electron experiments has been developed, using strong magnetic fields to confine the electron beam. This project will further develop a new apparatus towards making important measurements of scattering cross sections.

Assoc. Prof. James Sullivan, Dr Joshua Machacek

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

Dr Maarten Vos

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay

The emission rate of Auger electrons and X-rays from radiosotopes are extremely important for basic science and applications, especially for medical isotopes. The project is aming to develop a new computation model.

Mr Boon Quan Lee, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Biophysics

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.  

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

Clean Energy

Hydrogen generation by solar water splitting using nitride-based compound semiconductors

This project aims to develop GaN-based semiconductor photoelectrodes for highly efficient solar to hydrogen generation by band bending and surface engineering at the semiconductor-electrolyte interface.

Professor Hoe Tan, Dr Siva Karuturi

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Sudha Mokkapati

Engineering in Physics

Designing the perfect drum stick

The aim of this project is to measure and numerically model the dynamics of a drumstick as it falls and rebounds from a drum head and to record and analyse the frequency of the spectrum of the sound produced for different stick designs. Our aim is to develop "the perfect drumstick."

Professor John Close, Dr John Debs, Dr Nicholas Robins, Mr Gordon McDonald

Mems gyroscopes, laser ring gyros and atom interferometers: A comparison

In this project, we will experimentally compare three different technologies for measuring rotation and other accelerations.

Professor John Close, Dr Nicholas Robins, Mr Shayne Bennetts, Dr John Debs

High-mobility, high-stability, energy-saving and low cost zinc oxynitride thin-film transistors

This project will develop zinc oxynitride (ZnON) thin-film transistors with improved performance such as, high mobility, high stability, low power consumption and low cost, to be used for next-generation displays.

Dr Jiandong Ye

A fully autonomous quadcopter

This aim of this team project is to design and build a fully atonomous quadcopter  and to assess its performance in achieving a series of  goals. As the project progresses, the goals we set for the quadcopter will become more challenging.

Professor John Close, Dr Nicholas Robins

InP-based nanophotonics bonded on Si

One of the actual trends in the world of integrated optics is the heterogeneous integration of compound semiconductors on Si to overcome the shortcoming of Si being indirect bandgap and offering the possibility of adding efficient light emitting devices and detectors to the well-established Si platform. 

Dr Fouad Karouta, Dr Shagufta Naureen

Towards GaN-based green lasers

GaN has already found its way in manyapplications like LEDs, solid state lighting and blue lasers for media and data storage (blu ray).  Recent reports demonstrated green laser emission with this material system. Combining GaN with external high reflectance mirrors has the potential to produce green lasers of the type called vertical cavity surface emitting lasers.

Dr Fouad Karouta

Materials Science and Engineering

Hydrogen generation by solar water splitting using nitride-based compound semiconductors

This project aims to develop GaN-based semiconductor photoelectrodes for highly efficient solar to hydrogen generation by band bending and surface engineering at the semiconductor-electrolyte interface.

Professor Hoe Tan, Dr Siva Karuturi

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

UV nano-LEDs

Development of nanowire LEDs for small, robust and highly portable UV sources.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish, Professor Hoe Tan

High-mobility, high-stability, energy-saving and low cost zinc oxynitride thin-film transistors

This project will develop zinc oxynitride (ZnON) thin-film transistors with improved performance such as, high mobility, high stability, low power consumption and low cost, to be used for next-generation displays.

Dr Jiandong Ye

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Electron scattering from surfaces at high energies

The project aims at establishing the possibilities of high-energy electron scattering in the analysis of thin layers. 

Dr Maarten Vos

Zn-based II-V nanocrystals: a new class of semiconductor materials

Understanding of the growth or optical/electronic properties of a new class of II-V semiconductor nanomaterials with promises in energy and optoelectronic applications

Dr Philippe Caroff, Professor Hoe Tan, A/Prof Lan Fu

Semiconductor nanoscale crystals with advanced and novel geometries

Synthesize advanced semiconductor nanostructures with tunable geometries (e.g. nanotrees, nanoplatelets) and investigate their electronic and optical properties

Dr Philippe Caroff, Professor Hoe Tan

Electronic band structure of semiconductor nanowires

This project involves theoretical modelling to calculate band structures of semiconductor nanowires to understand their fundamental physics, and more complex nanowire radial heterostructures for photovoltaic or thermoelectric device applications. Subsequently, the band structure will be experimentally measured using synchrotron-based Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES).

Dr Scott Medling, Professor Mark Ridgway, Professor Chennupati Jagadish

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Nanowire photodetectors – Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Professor Hoe Tan

Experimental determination of the Auger yield per nuclear decay

Auger electrons are emitted after nuclear decay and are used for medical purposes. The number of Auger electrons generated per nuclear decay is not known accurately, a fact that  hinders medical applications.  This project aims to obtain a experimental estimate of the number of Auger electrons emitted per nuclear decay.
 

Dr Maarten Vos, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

UV nano-LEDs

Development of nanowire LEDs for small, robust and highly portable UV sources.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish, Professor Hoe Tan

Visible wavelength nanowire lasers

Utilising nanowire geometry to create visible wavelength nanoscale lasers with reduced footprint, higher efficiency and lower operating powers.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire arrays for next generation high performance photovoltaics

This is an all-encompassing program to integrate highly sophisticated theoretical modelling, material growth and nanofabrication capabilities to develop high performance semiconductor nanowire array solar cells. It will lead to understanding of the underlying photovoltaic mechanisms in nanowires and design of novel solar cell architectures.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Dr Sudha Mokkapati

Nanowire DFB lasers

Developing nanoscale lasers with controlled direction of light emission for use in high density information processing.

Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish

Resolving doping concentration distribution and non-radiative lifetime in semiconductor nanowires using photoluminescence mapping

Through a simple and non-destructive optical technique, the doping concentration, internal quantum efficiency and non-radiative lifetime distribution along single nanowires will be investigated. The doping data will allow a quick feedback for optimising the doping parameters and the insight of dopant incorporation during NW sysnthesis.

Dr Fan Wang, A/Prof Lan Fu

Fundamental investigation of fission tracks for geo- and thermochronology

Study the formation and stability of high energy ion tracks in minerals under controlled environments with importance for geological dating techniques

A/Prof Patrick Kluth

Zn-based II-V nanocrystals: a new class of semiconductor materials

Understanding of the growth or optical/electronic properties of a new class of II-V semiconductor nanomaterials with promises in energy and optoelectronic applications

Dr Philippe Caroff, Professor Hoe Tan, A/Prof Lan Fu

Semiconductor nanoscale crystals with advanced and novel geometries

Synthesize advanced semiconductor nanostructures with tunable geometries (e.g. nanotrees, nanoplatelets) and investigate their electronic and optical properties

Dr Philippe Caroff, Professor Hoe Tan

Electronic band structure of semiconductor nanowires

This project involves theoretical modelling to calculate band structures of semiconductor nanowires to understand their fundamental physics, and more complex nanowire radial heterostructures for photovoltaic or thermoelectric device applications. Subsequently, the band structure will be experimentally measured using synchrotron-based Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES).

Dr Scott Medling, Professor Mark Ridgway, Professor Chennupati Jagadish

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Nanowire photodetectors – Small devices for the big world

Semiconductor nanowires are emerging nano-materials with substantial opportunities for novel photonic and electronic device applications. This project aims at developing a new generation of high performance NW based photodetectors for a wide range of applications.

A/Prof Lan Fu, Professor Hoe Tan

Visible wavelength nanowire lasers

Utilising nanowire geometry to create visible wavelength nanoscale lasers with reduced footprint, higher efficiency and lower operating powers.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire DFB lasers

Developing nanoscale lasers with controlled direction of light emission for use in high density information processing.

Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish

Resolving doping concentration distribution and non-radiative lifetime in semiconductor nanowires using photoluminescence mapping

Through a simple and non-destructive optical technique, the doping concentration, internal quantum efficiency and non-radiative lifetime distribution along single nanowires will be investigated. The doping data will allow a quick feedback for optimising the doping parameters and the insight of dopant incorporation during NW sysnthesis.

Dr Fan Wang, A/Prof Lan Fu

InP-based nanophotonics bonded on Si

One of the actual trends in the world of integrated optics is the heterogeneous integration of compound semiconductors on Si to overcome the shortcoming of Si being indirect bandgap and offering the possibility of adding efficient light emitting devices and detectors to the well-established Si platform. 

Dr Fouad Karouta, Dr Shagufta Naureen

Towards GaN-based green lasers

GaN has already found its way in manyapplications like LEDs, solid state lighting and blue lasers for media and data storage (blu ray).  Recent reports demonstrated green laser emission with this material system. Combining GaN with external high reflectance mirrors has the potential to produce green lasers of the type called vertical cavity surface emitting lasers.

Dr Fouad Karouta

Physics Education

Physics education

Investigate how people learn physics. Projects in physics education suit people with an interest in teaching, statistical analysis, or psychology.

Professor Craig Savage

Physics of the Nucleus

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

Quantum vibrations in atomic nuclei

Atomic nuclei exhibit collective vibrations with various shapes which obey quantum mechanics. The study of these vibrations is fundamental to understand quantum many-body dynamics. 
 

Dr Cédric Simenel

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay

The emission rate of Auger electrons and X-rays from radiosotopes are extremely important for basic science and applications, especially for medical isotopes. The project is aming to develop a new computation model.

Mr Boon Quan Lee, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Quantum Science and Applications

Theory of nuclear fission

Heavy atomic nuclei may fission in lighter fragments, releasing a large amount of energy which is used in reactors. Advanced models of many-body quantum dynamics are developed and used to describe this process.

Dr Cédric Simenel

Quantum vibrations in atomic nuclei

Atomic nuclei exhibit collective vibrations with various shapes which obey quantum mechanics. The study of these vibrations is fundamental to understand quantum many-body dynamics. 
 

Dr Cédric Simenel

Topological and Structural Science

3D print pedagogical models of periodic minimal surfaces

Explore the geometry and symmetries of some periodic minimal surfaces and learn about their relevance in chemical and biological self assembly.  

Dr Vanessa Robins

3D phantoms for X-ray micro-tomography

"Phantoms" are objects used for performance testing and/or calibration of 3D X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This project involves designing, 3D printing, and subsequently imaging phantoms at the micro-CT facility of the Applied Maths department.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers, A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Prof Timothy Senden

Three-dimensional crystalline structures from two-dimensional hyperbolic tilings

A variety of projects are available that will contribute to the enumeration and characterisation of 3-periodic network structures via the tiling of periodic minimal surfaces and thereby enhance our understanding of self-assembled structures in nature.  

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde

Motions of periodic frameworks

We will use linear algebra methods to characterise the allowed movements of periodic framework structures. 

Dr Vanessa Robins

Updated:  12 November 2013/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster