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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Astrophysics

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

Modeling the SABRE Dark Matter Detector

This project will develop key aspects of the SABRE dark matter detector model, and investigate the detector's sensitivity to dark matter and backgrounds.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Underground Background Measurements for SABRE; Australia's First Dark Matter Detector

This experiment will measure key backgrounds at the SABRE site and investigate implications for the dark matter search.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Anton Wallner

SABRE: Experimental Dark Matter Physics

This project will perform key experimental measurements for the SABRE dark matter particle detector and analyse the results.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Atomic and Molecular Physics

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.
 

A/Prof 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.

A/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. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

Positrons and Dust Grains

Positron emitters are embedded in clouds of dust grains produced by supernova. This project will explore the transport of positrons in dust grains using Monte-Carlo techniques to improve our understanding of positron transport in an astrophysically relevant setting.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Daniel Murtagh

Biophysics

Using 3D microscopy to understand drought tolerance in plants

Plants have an amazing ability to control water transport through their stems and leaves, with some species able to keep functioning in very hostile conditions. This project will use 3D X-ray microscopy to explore the physical changes in plant cells as a result of water stress.

A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring, A/Prof Jodie Bradby

Clean Energy

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 Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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

Engineering in Physics

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

Developing a digital data acquisition system for SABRE; Australia's First Dark Matter Detector

This experiment will bring online key experimental hardware for the SABRE dark matter experiment.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

Turbulence and Particle transport in linear and toroidal magnetic geometries

Turbulence is known to affect the plasma in toroidal magnetic confinement devices for fusion, and linear magnetic devices. This project involves the use of langmuir probes on both the H-1 and MAGPIE devices for evaluating the total and fluctuation-induced particle flux and address fundamental physics of turbulence in these devices.

Dr Clive Michael, Dr Boyd Blackwell

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Mr Matt Thompson

Materials Science and Engineering

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 AC, Professor Hoe Tan

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. 

A/Prof Maarten Vos

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

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 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

Nano-bubble formation in fusion relevant materials

Fusion energy promises millions of years of clean energy, but puts extreme stress on materials. This research will resolve scientific issues surrounding plasma-material interactions to guide and facilitate development of future advanced materials for fusion reactors.

Dr Cormac Corr, A/Prof Patrick Kluth, Mr Matt Thompson

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

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 AC, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, 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.
 

A/Prof 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 AC, 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 Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

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

Nanowire DFB lasers

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

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

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 AC, Dr Sudha Mokkapati, Professor Hoe Tan

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, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Nanowire DFB lasers

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

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Physics of Fluids

Using 3D microscopy to understand drought tolerance in plants

Plants have an amazing ability to control water transport through their stems and leaves, with some species able to keep functioning in very hostile conditions. This project will use 3D X-ray microscopy to explore the physical changes in plant cells as a result of water stress.

A/Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring, A/Prof Jodie Bradby

Physics of the Nucleus

Modeling the SABRE Dark Matter Detector

This project will develop key aspects of the SABRE dark matter detector model, and investigate the detector's sensitivity to dark matter and backgrounds.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Underground Background Measurements for SABRE; Australia's First Dark Matter Detector

This experiment will measure key backgrounds at the SABRE site and investigate implications for the dark matter search.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Anton Wallner

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cédric Simenel

Spectroscopy of radioactive fission fragments

Investigate the properties of radioactive nuclei using spectroscopic techniques. 

Dr AJ Mitchell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Developing a digital data acquisition system for SABRE; Australia's First Dark Matter Detector

This experiment will bring online key experimental hardware for the SABRE dark matter experiment.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

SABRE: Experimental Dark Matter Physics

This project will perform key experimental measurements for the SABRE dark matter particle detector and analyse the results.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Dr Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Cédric Simenel

Plasma Applications and Technology

Turbulence and Particle transport in linear and toroidal magnetic geometries

Turbulence is known to affect the plasma in toroidal magnetic confinement devices for fusion, and linear magnetic devices. This project involves the use of langmuir probes on both the H-1 and MAGPIE devices for evaluating the total and fluctuation-induced particle flux and address fundamental physics of turbulence in these devices.

Dr Clive Michael, Dr Boyd Blackwell

Quantum Devices and Technology

Beam matching using machine learning

This project aims to use a machine learning algorithm to perform beam alignment in an optics experiment. It would involve mode-matching two optical beams using motorised mirror mounts. Additional degrees of freedom like lens positions and beam polarisation can be added later.

Dr Syed Assad, Mr Aaron Tranter, Mr Harry Slatyer

Quantum Science and Applications

Generation of random numbers from vacuum fluctuations

Aim to generate random numbers by performing a homodyne measurement of the quantum vacuum state.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Jing-Yan Haw

Computing nuclei: numerical solution of the Schrödinger equation

Analytic solutions of real-world quantum mechanics problems are rare, and in practise we must use numerical methods to obtain solutions. This project will give you practical experience in solving the static and time-dependent Schrödinger equations using a computer.

Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Cédric Simenel

Topological and Structural Science

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

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

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster