Nanoscience and nanotechnology

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.

Potential student research projects

You could be doing your own research into nanoscience and nanotechnology. Below are some examples of student physics research projects available in our school.

Developing wearable sensors for personalized health care technologies and solutions

This is a multidisciplinary project supported by the ANU Grand Challenge project ‘Our Health in Our Hands’ (OHIOH), aimed at developing wearable sensors for detecting target biomarkers to identify certain health conditions.

Dr Buddini Karawdeniya, Prof Dragomir Neshev, Prof Patrick Kluth, Professor Lan Fu

Nanowire infrared avalanche photodetectors towards single photon detection

This project aims to demonstrate semiconductor nanowire based infrared avalanche photodetectors (APDs) with ultra-high sensitivity towards single photon detection. By employing the advantages of their unique one-dimensional nanoscale geometry, the nanowire APDs can be engineered to different device architectures to achieve performance superior to their conventional counterparts. This will contribute to the development of next generation infrared photodetector technology enabling numerous emerging fields in modern transportation, communication, quantum computation and information processing.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Zhe (Rex) Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish

Surface forces and the behaviour of colloidal systems

We measure the basic forces that operate between molecules that are manifest at interfaces. These forces control the stability of colloidal systems from blood to toothpaste. We use very sensitive techniques that are able to measure tiny forces with sub nanometer distance resolution. Understanding these forces enables us to predict how a huge variety of colloidal systems will behave.

Professor Vincent Craig

Positron interactions with structured surfaces

We are investigating novel effects and applications using positrons and structured surfaces.

Dr Joshua Machacek, Dr Sergey Kruk

Please browse our full list of available physics research projects to find a student research project that interests you.