We conducts extensive research into the design, growth and fabrication of semiconductor and optical devices on the nanometer scale using techniques ranging from MOCVD growth to ion beam processing. Such devices by virtue of their scale, exploit quantum effects to enhance their performance. A large part of this research program focuses on quantum well lasers and detectors of importance to the telecommunications industry.
We also research the nanoscale modification of bulk materials such as nanocrystals within semiconductors induced by ion irradiation. materials modified in this way can have unusual and technologically useful properties such as light emission at wavelengths incompatible with the bulk material band structure.
Nanotubes as their name suggests are microscopically small pipes of material such as carbon - like an elongated form of a "buckie ball". These have exciting properties such as unimaginably high tensile strengths and the School has an active research program on the efficient production of nanotubes by mechano chemistry.
Selected research highlights
Potential student research projects
You could be doing your own research into fusion and plasma confinement. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in RSPE.
Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a project that interests you.
This project will combine experimental work, computer simulation and modelling to investigate the physical processes underpinning resistive switching in transition metal oxides (e.g. Ta2O5, HfO2, Nb2O5 and NbO2) and to explore its application in future non-volatile memory (i.e. ReRAM) devices.
Using bottom-up approaches to grow semiconductor nanowires for future optoelectronic and biophotonic devices
Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nano-structured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional photonic metamaterials with unusual properties. Of particular interest are the development of ultra-thin metasurfaces with high sensitivity to light intensity.
The equilibrium shape of voids or crystals is largely influenced by the total surface energies encompassing these 3D objects. This aim of this project is to extract the surface energies of different planes from transmission electron microscopy images of faceted voids and nanowires.