Potential student research projects

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

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

Filter projects

Some other physics related research projects may be found at the ANU College of Engineering & Computer Science, the Mathematical Sciences Institute and the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics

Astrophysics

Determining the orbital characteristics of a constellation of nano-sats orbiting the Moon

There is no lunar GPS so how will satellite orbits be determined for safety and efficiency in designing missions.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Reducing Entropy in Lunar Supply Chains

It costs a lot to get material to the Moon. Can available materials on the Moon's surface be used? 

Professor Roderick Boswell

What killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago?

The Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) mass extinction about 66 million yearsa go is believed to be caused by a massive impact, most likely an asteroid or a comet. Within this project we will analyse a sample from this time to search for supernova-signatures.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Froehlich

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Froehlich , Mr Dominik Koll

Searching for the decay of the X17 neutral boson with a magnetic pair spectrometer

The project aiming to repeat the observation of the hypotetical X17 particle in the nuclear physics laboratory

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Radioimpurities in particle detectors for dark matter studies

This experiment will characterise dark matter detector material. Lowest levels of natural radioactivity in high purity samples will be analysed via ultra-senstive single atom counting using acclerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Michaela Froehlich , Dr Anton Wallner, Professor Keith Fifield, Professor Gregory Lane

Design a rail gun to operate in vacuum producing a force of 1mN

Can electrical launch systems replace chemical systems in launching nano-satellites from the Moon?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Active orbital control systems for nano-sats orbiting the Moon.

Active plasma thrusters are needs for in orbit manouvers and for arranging constellations of satellites. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Paving the way to study the chronology of the Early Solar System

Radionuclides can serve as tracers and chronometers for environmental processes. The time scale for these clocks is set by the half-life of the respective radioisotope. Using accelerator mass spectrometry and decay counting this project aims investigate the chronology of the Early Solar System.

Dr Stefan Pavetich, Dr Michaela Froehlich , Dr Stephen Tims, Mr Dominik Koll

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

In space, no-one can hear you scream. Is this true?

Thrusters for propulsion generally require nozzles but is this necessary in the vaccum of space?

Professor Roderick Boswell

The SABRE Dark Matter Experiment

Multiple projects are available to support the SABRE dark matter particle experiment. These include local experiments at ANU, computer simulations to predict backgrounds and the overall experimental sensitivity, data acquisition system development and analysis of the SABRE measurement data.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Ms Yiyi Zhong

Launching nano-satellites from the Earth’s Moon.

Generally chemical propulsion is used to launch satellites from the moon. Is it possible to use available resources instead?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Stefan Pavetich

The pair conversion decay of the Hoyle state

The triple–alpha reaction leading to the formation of stable carbon in the Universe is one of the most important nuclear astrophysical processes.  This project is aiming to improve our knowledge of the triple-alpha reaction rate from the direct observation of the electron-positron pair decays of the Hoyle state in 12C.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Atomic and Molecular Physics

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Optical quantum memory

An optical quantum memory will capture a pulse of light, store it and then controllably release it. This has to be done without ever knowing what you have stored, because a measurement will collapse the quantum state. We are exploring a "photon echo" process to achieve this goal.

Professor Ben Buchler

Benchmark positron scattering experiments

Using the atomic and molecular physics positron beam at the ANU, the student will undertake measurements of positron scattering from simple targets, providing high accuracy data to test recent theoretical calculations.

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Interactions between Antimatter and Ultracold Atoms

Antiparticles and antimatter have progressed from theory and science fiction to become an important and exciting area of pure and applied science. This fundamental atomic physics project will investigate how antimatter and matter interact by experimentally studying the interaction of positrons (the electron anti-particle) with trapped ultracold rubidium atoms.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Atomic ionization in super-strong laser fields

Using methods of quantum many-body theory to describe elementary processes in atoms and molecules interacting with strong electromagnetic fields.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Attosecond time-resolved atomic reactions

We apply the most advanced quantum-mechanical modeling to resolve electron motion in atoms and molecules on the atto-second (one quintillionth of a second) time scale.  Our theoretical modeling, based on a rigorous, quantitative description of correlated electron dynamics, provides insight into new physics taking place on the atomic time scale.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Professor Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

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

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Fragmentation of molecules by positronium

Positronium is a bound state between an electron and a positron. It is hydrogen-like with a binding energy half that of hydrogen. Positronium has been found to scatter like an electron for the same velocity. Electrons can fragment molecules by temporary attaching leading to fragmentation. This project will explore the fragmentation of molecules in positronium scattering with molecules.

Dr Joshua Machacek, A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman

Measuring and modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this experimental and computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Brendan McCormick

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

This theoretical physics project aims to optimise the performance of atom interferometry in a space-based environment. Space-based operation requires novel beamsplitting and atomic source production techniques, which will be developed in this project.

Dr Stuart Szigeti, Professor John Close

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

This theoretical physics project aims to develop novel schemes for generating long-lived, thermally-robust entanglement between individual pairs of cold atoms. Theoretical models developed in this project will inform optical tweezer experiments in the lab of Mikkel Andersen at the University of Otago.

Dr Stuart Szigeti

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

Biophysics

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Prof Jong Chow

Low-temperature plasma nitrogen fixation for enhancing plant growth

Plasma agriculture is an innovative field that applies plasma to agriculture processes such as farming, food production, food processing, and food preservation.  In agriculture, plasmas may be used to eradicate all microorganisms; bacterial, fungal and viral particles in fruit and vegetables.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Radiobiology at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility

This project aims to develop biophysics and radiobiological applications of beams from the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility with a view to advancing the medical applications of nuclear technology.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Positron applications in medical physics

This is a multi-faceted project which can be adapted to students at the honours level and above. A number of possibilities exist to perform experiments directed towards improving the use of positrons in medice, mostly focussed on Positron Emission Tomography (PET).

A/Prof. James Sullivan, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Bacteria turbulence: diffusion and self-organizaiton

Dense bacterial flows have been shown to exhibit properitse of self-organizaiton. This project is aimed at determining the underlying mechanism of the bacterial self-organizaiton by study the bacteria dispersion using PIV and PTV techniques. 

Dr Hua Xia, Dr Nicolas Francois, Professor Michael Shats, Dr Horst Punzmann

Specific ion effects

We are seeking students to perform fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems.

Professor Vincent Craig

3D imaging of organic and inorganic materials

This project develops optical instruments for 3D imaging of biological and inorganic materials, using a multi-modal approach involving a combination of optical techniques.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Roland Fleddermann, Mr Keshu Huang

Clean Energy

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Efficient one-step plasma synthesis of high surface area nanostructures

This project aims to develop new plasma processing techniques which can be used to generate complex nanostructured surface morphologies on a range of mateirals. These materials have potential applications in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, high energy-density batteries, and anti-reflection coatings.

Dr Matt Thompson, A/Prof Cormac Corr

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.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

Engineering in Physics

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Determining the orbital characteristics of a constellation of nano-sats orbiting the Moon

There is no lunar GPS so how will satellite orbits be determined for safety and efficiency in designing missions.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Development of an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, Prof Jong Chow

Design a rail gun to operate in vacuum producing a force of 1mN

Can electrical launch systems replace chemical systems in launching nano-satellites from the Moon?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Active orbital control systems for nano-sats orbiting the Moon.

Active plasma thrusters are needs for in orbit manouvers and for arranging constellations of satellites. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

4D structural characterization of carbon-sequestering cements

This project will use high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography to characterise the evolving structure of reactive magnesium cement materials over days- to months-long time frames, in order to learn how to optimise cement composition and initial structure to enhance CO2 uptake and cement strength.

Dr Anna Herring, Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Magnetic nozzles and plasma generated by a remote source.

When plasmas are decoupled from their source of power, much can be learned about non-local effects of energy transport.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Radiobiology at the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility

This project aims to develop biophysics and radiobiological applications of beams from the Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility with a view to advancing the medical applications of nuclear technology.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Edward Simpson, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Remote Acoustic Sensing with Triangulation

This project has a strong industry focus and investigates using an array of interferometers for acoustic sensing.  It relies on the ultra-sensitivity of these devices and the array's ability to triangulate the source of an acoustic signal to target a range of applications.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

In space, no-one can hear you scream. Is this true?

Thrusters for propulsion generally require nozzles but is this necessary in the vaccum of space?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Optical Sensors for Inertial Navigation

This project develops fibre optic instruments based on optical interferometry and digital signal processing for the purpose of inertial navigation.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga , Dr Roland Fleddermann

Directional Dark Matter Measurements with CYGNUS

This project will develop an R&D prototype particle detector as part of the CYGNUS dark matter collaboration

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear lifetimes - developing new apparatus and methods

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project covers three measurement methods that together span the nuclear lifetime range from about 100 femtoseconds to many nanoseconds. The project can include equipment development, measurement, and the development of analysis methodology (programming and computation). 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Ben Coombes

Plasma surface interactions under extreme conditions

High power ion beams can be used to replace lasers as sources for evaporated coating material. Work with industry to discover the physics.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay for medical isotopes

Following nuclear decay involving electron capture and/or internal conversion the  daughter atom will be ionised, resulting the emission of a cascade of X-rays and Auger electros. The project is aiming to develop a new model required for basic science and applications, including cancer treatment.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Bryan Tee Pi-Ern

Field Deployable Laser Stabilisation using Digitally Enhanced Fibre Interferometers

Using an atomic clock and an optical frequency comb as diagnostics, this project investigates laser stabilisation using an optical fibre interferometer for field deployable applications such as in space-based instruments.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

Experimental work on expanding plasmas is greatly aided by computer simulation using plasma fluid codes. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Launching nano-satellites from the Earth’s Moon.

Generally chemical propulsion is used to launch satellites from the moon. Is it possible to use available resources instead?

Professor Roderick Boswell

Particle simulation of dual frequency processing plasmas

We employ Particle in Cell simulations that are inexpensive true computer experiments to complement the use of costly industrial microchip plasma systems.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Distinguished Profes David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

Plasma Thrusters for Spacecraft

Low Earth Orbit satellites such as CubeSats can have their lifetime boosted by using our unique plasma thrusters to insert them into higher orbits. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

System calculations for hunter killer satellites

Space junk is a major problem for space travel. We use an energetic particle beam to manoeuvre a satellite close to junk then blast it with the particle beam to deorbit the junk

Professor Roderick Boswell

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Environmental Physics

Reducing Entropy in Lunar Supply Chains

It costs a lot to get material to the Moon. Can available materials on the Moon's surface be used? 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are in some cases stable for days.

Professor Vincent Craig

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Prof Jong Chow

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

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

Fusion and Plasma Confinement

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.

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

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

A/Prof Cormac Corr, Dr Matt Thompson

Studies on the effect of He irradiation on the microstructure and mechanical properties of W/ W alloys

Nuclear fusion is a promising technology for solving the world’s energy crisis while drastically reducing pollution and avoiding the creation of nuclear waste, a major issue for nuclear fission. However, there are many scientific and technical challenges to be overcome before this technology can be used for large-scale energy generation. One of the problems that need to be solved is the tolerance of the diverter walls to the high temperatures and He implantation – conditions that are prevalent inside the fusion reactors.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Materials Science and Engineering

Higher-order spatial mode optical cavity analysis for thermal noise measurements

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project investigates the performance of higher order spatial laser modes in optical cavities for measuring coating thermal noise directly.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Exploring the nature of deep levels in high performance ZnO Schottky diodes

This projects combines ion implantation and deep level transient spectroscopy to study electrically active deep level defects in wide bandgap semiconductors.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

UV nano-LEDs

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

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Resistive switching in transition-metal oxides and its use in nonvolatile memory devices

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.

Professor Robert Elliman, Dr Sanjoy Nandi

Organic-inorganic perovskite materials for high performance photovoltaics

In this project, we will characterise actual device solar cell structures with electron microscopy techniques and seek to understand the microscopic effects behind the device performance and reliability

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

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.

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

Measurement of optical and mechanical losses of mirror coatings

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project is to construct an experiment that measures oscillation amplitude decays of mechanical systems for measuring key properties of optical coatings.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Quantum emitters in 2D materials

This project focuses on the integration of quantum emitters in 2D materials with photonic and optoelectronic platforms, enabling new applications in quantum communications and quantum information processing.

Dr Giovanni Guccione, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Creating new materials using pressure and diamond anvil cells

New forms of materials can be made using extreme pressures via diamond anvil cells.

Prof Jodie Bradby

Shape engineering of semiconductor nanostructures for novel device applications

This project aims to investigate the growth of III-V semiconductors on pre-patterned nanotemplates. By using different shapes and geometries, it is envisaged that these nanostructures will provide novel architectures for advanced, next generation optoelectronic devices.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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.

Prof Patrick Kluth

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

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.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Diagnosing plasma-surface interactions under fusion-relevant conditions

This project involves studying the complex plasma-surface interaction region of a fusion-relevant plasma environment through laser-based and spectroscopic techniques.

A/Prof Cormac Corr, Dr Matt Thompson

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

4D structural characterization of carbon-sequestering cements

This project will use high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography to characterise the evolving structure of reactive magnesium cement materials over days- to months-long time frames, in order to learn how to optimise cement composition and initial structure to enhance CO2 uptake and cement strength.

Dr Anna Herring, Dr Mohammad Saadatfar, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Controlling the properties of 2D materials by defect engineering

This project investigates the structure and density of defects created in 2D materials by energetic ion irradiation, and studies how such defects affect the physical properties of this important class of materials.

Professor Robert Elliman

Colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions

We are studying colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions. Here a number of surprising and unexplained things happen that are associated with surprisingly long-ranged electrostatic forces

Professor Vincent Craig

X-ray scatter in 3D microscopes

X-ray scatter is most significant when imaging very dense/large samples: e.g. metal parts, large 3D printed components, or samples imaged on the CTLab's new "whole core" scanner. The student will develop methods to correct for its effects, both in-hardware (i.e. at the microscope) and in-software (i.e. image analysis).

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers

Solid state synapses and neurons - memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

Interest in biomimetic computing has led to interest in an excting new range of of solid-state neurons and synapses based on non-volatile resistive-switching and volatile threshold-switching in metal-oxide thin films.  This project will explore the operation and functionality of these new devices.

Professor Robert Elliman, Dr Sanjoy Nandi

Studies on the effect of He irradiation on the microstructure and mechanical properties of W/ W alloys

Nuclear fusion is a promising technology for solving the world’s energy crisis while drastically reducing pollution and avoiding the creation of nuclear waste, a major issue for nuclear fission. However, there are many scientific and technical challenges to be overcome before this technology can be used for large-scale energy generation. One of the problems that need to be solved is the tolerance of the diverter walls to the high temperatures and He implantation – conditions that are prevalent inside the fusion reactors.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

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

Exciton polaritons in 2D atomically thin materials

This experimental project will focus on nvestigation of strong light-matter coupling and exciton polaritons in novel atomically thin materials.

Prof Elena Ostrovskaya, Professor Andrew Truscott

Nuclear moments and intense hyperfine fields in ferromagnetic media

This project evaluates data at the interface of nuclear, atomic and solid-state physics with a view to discovering new physics and providing reliable data on the magnetic moments of short-lived nuclear quantum states. It assists the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide reliable nuclear data for research and applications.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Timothy Gray, Mr Ben Coombes, Mr Brendan McCormick

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

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

Prof Patrick Kluth

Exploring novel X-ray scanning trajectories

The first 3D X-ray microscopes used viewing angles evenly spaced in a full 360 degrees around the sample. Recent innovations have freed us from this constraint: the microscopes at the ANU CTLab can utilise ever stranger and more innovative scanning patterns. However, this new freedom is not well explored.

Dr Andrew Kingston, Dr Glenn Myers

Semiconductor nano-foams for sensor and energy applications

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated antimony based semiconductors and utlise them to built proptotype sensing devices or thermolectric generators.

Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

Using a unique Raman/nanoindentation tool to understand materials under pressure

This new system was built at ANU as part of an ARC Linkage project with a US nanoindentation company.

Prof Jodie Bradby, Emeritus Professor Jim Williams

Electromagnetic metamaterials

Metamaterials are complex structures whose electromagnetic parameters can be engineered. We have several theoretical and experimental projects aiming to design artificial materials that exhibit properties not found in nature.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr David Powell, Dr Mingkai Liu

Metamaterials for Terahertz wave manipulation

Terahertz frequency range is the least explored part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and we work towards using it in a range of breakthrough imaghing, security and communication applications. We offer a range of Honours, Masters and PhD projects, which include theoretical, numerical and experimental work with terahertz metamaterials.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr Mingkai Liu, Dr David Powell

Solar cells without p-n junctions

Simplify nanowire solar cell fabrication by eliminating the need for p-n junctions to increase the ultimate device efficiency.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Dr Kaushal Vora

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

Can we make a harder-than-diamond diamond?

The hexagonal form of sp3 bonded carbon is predicted to be harder than 'normal' cubic diamond. We can make tiny amounts of this new form of diamond and want to know if it really is harder than diamond.

Prof Jodie Bradby

Achieving ultra-low contact resistance for next generation semiconductor devices

Contact resistance is becoming a major limitation to device performance and new strategies are required to meet the needs of next-generation devices.  Existing contacts typically exploit the thermal and chemical stability of silicide/Si interfaces and take the form of a metal/silicide/Si heterostructure (e.g. W/TiN/TiSi2/Si), with the contact resistance dominated by the silicide/Si interface. The contact resistance of this interface is limited by the doping concentration in the Si substrate and the Schottky barrier height (SBH) of the heterojunction.  However, doping concentrations already exceed equilibrium solid solubility limits and further increases achieve only minor improvements.  Instead, any further reduction in contact resistivity relies on reducing the SBH.  This project will explore methods for controlling the SBH and develop device structures for measuring ultra-low contact resistivities.

Professor Robert Elliman, Mr Tom Ratcliff

Nanofluidic diodes: from biosensors to water treatment

Controlling the flow of ions and molecules through nano-sized pores is fundamental in many biological processes and the basis for applications such as DNA detection, water desalination and drug delivery. The project aims to develop solid-state nanofluidic diodes and exploit their properties for applications in bio-sensors and ion-selective channels.

Prof Patrick Kluth

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

Deblur by defocus in a 3D X-ray microscope.

This project will involve building a unified model of several theoretically-complex X-ray behaviours within the microscopes at the ANU CTLab, drawing from statistical and wave optics: spatial partial-coherence, refraction, and spectral interactions. The student will then apply this model to improve imaging capabilities at the ANU CTLab.

Dr Glenn Myers, Dr Andrew Kingston

High-bandwidth stabilisation of a 2µm-band laser

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project is to design a high-bandwidth feedback control system to stabilise the intensity and frequency of a 2µm-band laser for investigations of coating thermal noise.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Finding order in disorder with glassy carbon

We have shown that this fascinating material has different properties depending on the thermal pathways. The effect on how this influences the new phased formed under pressure has not been investigated.

Prof Jodie Bradby

Nanoscience and Nanotechnology

Quantum microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson, Dr Liam McGuinness

UV nano-LEDs

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

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Resistive switching in transition-metal oxides and its use in nonvolatile memory devices

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.

Professor Robert Elliman, Dr Sanjoy Nandi

Nonreciprocal nanophotonics: disruptive nanotechnology to control light

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on novel approaches to control propagation of light in nonreciprocal ways, similar to ways we control directions of electric currents with semiconductor diodes and transistors. We aim to achieve a radical miniaturisation of nonreciprocal photonics to the nanoscale.

Dr Sergey Kruk

Nanobubbles

Nanobubbles are simply nanosized bubbles. What makes them interesting? Theory tells us they should dissolve in less than a second but they are in some cases stable for days.

Professor Vincent Craig

Electromagnetic Bound States in the Continuum

By borrowing a concept of Bound States in the Continuum from quantum mechanics we can create extremely high quality optical resonators that are highly sought after in many applications.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Professor Yuri Kivshar

Shape engineering of semiconductor nanostructures for novel device applications

This project aims to investigate the growth of III-V semiconductors on pre-patterned nanotemplates. By using different shapes and geometries, it is envisaged that these nanostructures will provide novel architectures for advanced, next generation optoelectronic devices.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Ultra-compact nanowire lasers for application in nanophotonics

This project aims to investigate the concepts and strategies required to produce electrically injected semiconductor nanowire lasers by understanding light interaction in nanowires, designing appropriate structures to inject current, engineer the optical profile and developing nano-fabrication technologies. Electrically operated nanowire lasers would enable practical applications in nanophotonics.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Micro-ring lasers for integrated silicon photonics

The project aims to investigate compound semiconductor micro-ring lasers on silicon substrates using selective area growth to engineer the shape of the lasing cavity at the nano/micro-scale. This project will open up new doors to the industry since an integrated laser which is reliable, efficient and easily manufacturable is still elusive in Si photonics.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

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.

Prof Patrick Kluth

What determines the equilibrium shapes within a crystalline nanoworld?

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.

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung

Controlling the properties of 2D materials by defect engineering

This project investigates the structure and density of defects created in 2D materials by energetic ion irradiation, and studies how such defects affect the physical properties of this important class of materials.

Professor Robert Elliman

Colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions

We are studying colloidal systems in highly concentrated salt solutions. Here a number of surprising and unexplained things happen that are associated with surprisingly long-ranged electrostatic forces

Professor Vincent Craig

Solid state synapses and neurons - memristive devices for neuromorphic computing

Interest in biomimetic computing has led to interest in an excting new range of of solid-state neurons and synapses based on non-volatile resistive-switching and volatile threshold-switching in metal-oxide thin films.  This project will explore the operation and functionality of these new devices.

Professor Robert Elliman, Dr Sanjoy Nandi

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

Functional Nanopore Membranes

Development of novel composite nanopore membranes.

Prof Patrick Kluth

Semiconductor nano-foams for sensor and energy applications

Investigate the fascinating porous structures of ion irradiated antimony based semiconductors and utlise them to built proptotype sensing devices or thermolectric generators.

Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

Electromagnetic metamaterials

Metamaterials are complex structures whose electromagnetic parameters can be engineered. We have several theoretical and experimental projects aiming to design artificial materials that exhibit properties not found in nature.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr David Powell, Dr Mingkai Liu

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.

Professor 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.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

Achieving ultra-low contact resistance for next generation semiconductor devices

Contact resistance is becoming a major limitation to device performance and new strategies are required to meet the needs of next-generation devices.  Existing contacts typically exploit the thermal and chemical stability of silicide/Si interfaces and take the form of a metal/silicide/Si heterostructure (e.g. W/TiN/TiSi2/Si), with the contact resistance dominated by the silicide/Si interface. The contact resistance of this interface is limited by the doping concentration in the Si substrate and the Schottky barrier height (SBH) of the heterojunction.  However, doping concentrations already exceed equilibrium solid solubility limits and further increases achieve only minor improvements.  Instead, any further reduction in contact resistivity relies on reducing the SBH.  This project will explore methods for controlling the SBH and develop device structures for measuring ultra-low contact resistivities.

Professor Robert Elliman, Mr Tom Ratcliff

Nanofluidic diodes: from biosensors to water treatment

Controlling the flow of ions and molecules through nano-sized pores is fundamental in many biological processes and the basis for applications such as DNA detection, water desalination and drug delivery. The project aims to develop solid-state nanofluidic diodes and exploit their properties for applications in bio-sensors and ion-selective channels.

Prof Patrick Kluth

Specific ion effects

We are seeking students to perform fundamental research into how different ions exert influence in a myriad of systems.

Professor Vincent Craig

Metaphotonics and metasurfaces with Mie-resonant nanoparticles

This project will address the recently emerged new platform for nanophotonics based on high-index dielectric nanoparticles that opened a whole new realm of all-dielectric resonant nanophotonics and meta-optics. High-permittivity nanoparticles exhibit strong interaction with light due to the excitation of electric and magnetic Mie-type resonances.

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Quantum-well nanowire light emitting devices

In this project we aim to design and demonstrate  III-V compound semiconductor based quantum well nanowire light emitting devices with wavelength ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 μm for optical communication applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Singling out the depletion region in semiconductor devices by scanning electron microscopy

Scanning electron microscopy is a powerful tool for materials and this method is believed to correctly identify depletion regions in semiconductor devices. This project links the electron microscopy contrast  to the depletion regions measured by capacitance-voltage measurements in some devices with an aim to understanding the source of contrast. 

A/Prof Jennifer Wong-Leung, Dr Mark Lockrey

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

Optical metamaterials: from science fiction to transformative optical technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nanostructured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional nanostructured metamaterials that interact strongly with light. Such materials underpin novel optical technologies ranging from wearable sensors to night-vision devices.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrei Komar, Dr Mohsen Rahmani

Photonics, Lasers and Nonlinear Optics

Higher-order spatial mode optical cavity analysis for thermal noise measurements

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project investigates the performance of higher order spatial laser modes in optical cavities for measuring coating thermal noise directly.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Nonreciprocal nanophotonics: disruptive nanotechnology to control light

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on novel approaches to control propagation of light in nonreciprocal ways, similar to ways we control directions of electric currents with semiconductor diodes and transistors. We aim to achieve a radical miniaturisation of nonreciprocal photonics to the nanoscale.

Dr Sergey Kruk

Development of an advanced 3D volumetric imaging system

This project develops a 3D volumetric imaging system to generate three dimensional images of translucent materials. The project’s goal is to extend and augment the capabilities of existing optical projection tomography systems to address a wider spectrum of imaging needs.

Dr Roland Fleddermann, Prof Jong Chow

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Duk-Yong Choi

Gas sensing of carbon dioxide

This project has a strong industrial link, and investigates using resonator optics to enhance the measurement sensitivity of the molecular absorption of light.

Prof Jong Chow

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use radiation pressure force of laser beams to levitate a macroscopic mirror. The coherence of this resonantly amplified scheme creates a unique opto-mechanical environment for precision quantum metrology and tests of new physics theories.

Dr Giovanni Guccione, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Measurement of optical and mechanical losses of mirror coatings

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project is to construct an experiment that measures oscillation amplitude decays of mechanical systems for measuring key properties of optical coatings.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Coherently combined laser systems for space technologies

Recent advances in laser technology now enable the combination of multiple high-quality lasers into a single high-power beam. The aim of this project is to investigate such `coherently-combined' laser systems within the context of Earth-to-Space laser transmission. Applications of this technology include satellite laser ranging, clock transfer and free-space optical communications, and space debris tracking and remote manouevring.

Dr Robert Ward, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Electromagnetic Bound States in the Continuum

By borrowing a concept of Bound States in the Continuum from quantum mechanics we can create extremely high quality optical resonators that are highly sought after in many applications.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Professor Yuri Kivshar

Machine learning for optics and controls

Optical cavities are widely used in physics and precision measurement.  This project will explore the use of modern machine learning methods for the control of optical cavities.  

Dr Bram Slagmolen

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Mr Jinyong Ma, Dr Jihua Zhang, Prof Dragomir Neshev

Ultra-compact nanowire lasers for application in nanophotonics

This project aims to investigate the concepts and strategies required to produce electrically injected semiconductor nanowire lasers by understanding light interaction in nanowires, designing appropriate structures to inject current, engineer the optical profile and developing nano-fabrication technologies. Electrically operated nanowire lasers would enable practical applications in nanophotonics.

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

Micro-ring lasers for integrated silicon photonics

The project aims to investigate compound semiconductor micro-ring lasers on silicon substrates using selective area growth to engineer the shape of the lasing cavity at the nano/micro-scale. This project will open up new doors to the industry since an integrated laser which is reliable, efficient and easily manufacturable is still elusive in Si photonics.

Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

Quantum squeezed states for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors

Using non-classical light states on laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, to further enhance the best length measurement devices in the world.

Distinguished Profes David McClelland, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Bram Slagmolen

Metasurface polarization optics and quantum photonics

This project aims for developing polarization optical devices based on all-dielectric metasurfaces. As no bulky optical elements and moving parts are required, these devices are compact, stable, and can operate in a single-shot mode with high time resolution. Potential applications include sensitive biological imaging and quantum state manipulation and tomography. 

Dr Jihua Zhang, Prof Andrey Sukhorukov

Extreme events in nature and in a laboratory

The concept of rogue waves was born in nautical mythology, entered the science of ocean waves and gradually moved into other fields: optics, matter waves, superfluidity. This project will allow students to enter the front edge of modern science.

Professor Nail Akhmediev, Dr Adrian Ankiewicz, Dr. Wonkeun Chang, Dr Natasha Devine

Topological photonics

This project will address significant problems of feasibility and tunability of novel photonic metadevices aiming to open novel possibilities for a control of light flows topologically protected against scattering losses, energy leaking, or imperfections. 

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Satellite based geodesy

Precise Earth gratitational field measurements with laser-ranging interferometry.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

Mid-Infrared astro-photonic components for stellar nulling interferometry & planet hunting

Planetary formation process remain a unresolved issue in our understanding of the universe. Direct observation  is needed and can only be accomplished in the MIR with cancelation of glare from the host star. The quest for earth like planets faces the same challenge. MIR integrated devices can accomplish this and ANU leads the world in this field.

Associate Professor Stephen Madden

Exciton polaritons in 2D atomically thin materials

This experimental project will focus on nvestigation of strong light-matter coupling and exciton polaritons in novel atomically thin materials.

Prof Elena Ostrovskaya, Professor Andrew Truscott

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Kate Ferguson

Remote Acoustic Sensing with Triangulation

This project has a strong industry focus and investigates using an array of interferometers for acoustic sensing.  It relies on the ultra-sensitivity of these devices and the array's ability to triangulate the source of an acoustic signal to target a range of applications.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

Optical Sensors for Inertial Navigation

This project develops fibre optic instruments based on optical interferometry and digital signal processing for the purpose of inertial navigation.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga , Dr Roland Fleddermann

Metamaterials for Terahertz wave manipulation

Terahertz frequency range is the least explored part of the electromagnetic spectrum, and we work towards using it in a range of breakthrough imaghing, security and communication applications. We offer a range of Honours, Masters and PhD projects, which include theoretical, numerical and experimental work with terahertz metamaterials.

Professor Ilya Shadrivov, Dr Mingkai Liu, Dr David Powell

Field Deployable Laser Stabilisation using Digitally Enhanced Fibre Interferometers

Using an atomic clock and an optical frequency comb as diagnostics, this project investigates laser stabilisation using an optical fibre interferometer for field deployable applications such as in space-based instruments.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Chathura Bandutunga

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.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Second Harmonic Generation for Quantum Optics Applications

Student will develop a source of laser light at 775nm that will be utilised for pumping of squeezing cavities  

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Professor Ben Buchler

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Synthetic multi-dimensional photonics

This project goal is to investigate, theoretically and experimentally, photonic systems with synthetic dimensionality exceeding the three spatial dimensions, and reveal new opportunities for applications in optical signal switching and sensing in classical and quantum photonics.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Dr Jihua Zhang

Low-noise offset-phase locking and heterodyne interferometry with 2µm-band lasers

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project is to implement a phase tracking system for the optical beat between two 2µm-band lasers for coating thermal noise measurements.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

Metaphotonics and metasurfaces with Mie-resonant nanoparticles

This project will address the recently emerged new platform for nanophotonics based on high-index dielectric nanoparticles that opened a whole new realm of all-dielectric resonant nanophotonics and meta-optics. High-permittivity nanoparticles exhibit strong interaction with light due to the excitation of electric and magnetic Mie-type resonances.

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Quantum-well nanowire light emitting devices

In this project we aim to design and demonstrate  III-V compound semiconductor based quantum well nanowire light emitting devices with wavelength ranging from 1.3 to 1.6 μm for optical communication applications.

Professor Lan Fu, Dr Ziyuan Li, Professor Hoe Tan, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC

Localised formations in open systems

Dissipative solitons are generated due to the balance between gain and loss of energy as well as to the balance between input and output of matter. Their existence requires continuous supply of energy and matter that is available in open systems. The model explains variety of phanomena in biology and physics.

Professor Nail Akhmediev, Dr Adrian Ankiewicz, Dr Natasha Devine, Dr. Wonkeun Chang

Development of Squeezed Laser Sources for Quantum Communication

Student will build and characterise a new source of quantum squeezed light genearted from an optical parametric oscillator

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Professor Ben Buchler

3D imaging of organic and inorganic materials

This project develops optical instruments for 3D imaging of biological and inorganic materials, using a multi-modal approach involving a combination of optical techniques.

Prof Jong Chow, Dr Roland Fleddermann, Mr Keshu Huang

High-bandwidth stabilisation of a 2µm-band laser

Gravitational wave detectors have reached the thermodynamic limit of optical coating performance and require novel coating materials and noise mitigation techniques for further sensitivity improvements. This project is to design a high-bandwidth feedback control system to stabilise the intensity and frequency of a 2µm-band laser for investigations of coating thermal noise.

Dr Johannes Eichholz

Non-equilibrium quantum condensation of microcavity exciton polaritons

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on exciton polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. We investigate emergent quantum phenomena far from equilibrium and their applications for next-generation optoelectronics devices.

Prof Elena Ostrovskaya, Professor Andrew Truscott

Optical metamaterials: from science fiction to transformative optical technologies

Experimental and theoretical work on the development of novel nanostructured materials with unusual optical properties. Special attention to our research is the development of tunable and functional nanostructured metamaterials that interact strongly with light. Such materials underpin novel optical technologies ranging from wearable sensors to night-vision devices.

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrei Komar, Dr Mohsen Rahmani

Physics of Fluids

Bacteria turbulence: diffusion and self-organizaiton

Dense bacterial flows have been shown to exhibit properitse of self-organizaiton. This project is aimed at determining the underlying mechanism of the bacterial self-organizaiton by study the bacteria dispersion using PIV and PTV techniques. 

Dr Hua Xia, Dr Nicolas Francois, Professor Michael Shats, Dr Horst Punzmann

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Impact of surface roughness on fluid equilibribrium

Fluid flow in porous media combines the impacts of many complex phenomena: fluid properties, solid structure, and the infacial interactions between fluids and solid phases. This project aims to uncover the reasons behind some fundamental differences between experiments conducted in glass bead packs and those conducted in geologic systems (rocks).

Dr Anna Herring, Prof Adrian Sheppard

Physics of the Nucleus

How to create new super-heavy elements

Superheavy elements can only be created in the laboratory by the fusion of two massive nuclei. Our measurements give the clearest information on the characteristics and timescales of quasifission, the major competitor to fusion in these reactions.

Professor David Hinde, Dr Kaushik Banerjee, Dr Cedric Simenel

High precision electron-gamma angular correlation measurements

Electric monopole (E0) transitions between nuclear states with same parity and spin are very sensitive tools to examine structural changes. This project is aiming to develop a new high resolution setup to measure angular correlations between conversion electrons and gamma rays.

Mr Jackson Dowie, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Creating new superheavy elements

The discovery of new elements is of fundamental importance in progressing our society – new elements have contributed human history toward an affluent society. This project aims at proposing the best way to create new superheavy elements based on our studies, and at creating new superheavy elements with the best way. 

Dr Taiki Tanaka, Professor David Hinde, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

What killed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago?

The Cretaceous–Tertiary (K–T) mass extinction about 66 million yearsa go is believed to be caused by a massive impact, most likely an asteroid or a comet. Within this project we will analyse a sample from this time to search for supernova-signatures.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Froehlich

Particle detection with exotic scintillators for nuclear structure research

Compact particle detectors using exotic, new scintillator materials and silicon photomultipliers are being developed for varied roles in our nuclear structure research program.

Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr AJ Mitchell, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

Search for supernova-signatures on Earth

Detection of supernova‐produced (radio)nuclides in terrestrial archives gives insight into massive star nucleosynthesis; when and where are heavy elements formed. Direct observation of radioactive nuclides from stars and the interstellar medium would provide first experimental constraints on production rate.s We will use the most sensitive technique, accelerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Michaela Froehlich , Mr Dominik Koll

Searching for the decay of the X17 neutral boson with a magnetic pair spectrometer

The project aiming to repeat the observation of the hypotetical X17 particle in the nuclear physics laboratory

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear reactions for carbon beam therapy

High energy heavy ion beams can be use to effectively treat cancerous tumours, but nuclear reactions of the 12C beam spread the dose, potentially harming healthy tissue. This project will investigate nuclear reaction cross sections relevant to heavy ion therapy.

Dr Edward Simpson

Nuclear isomers for energy storage and fundamental physics

Investigate the internal structure of atomic nuclei by constructing the spectrum of excited states using time-correlated, gamma-ray coincidence spectroscopy.

Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Radioimpurities in particle detectors for dark matter studies

This experiment will characterise dark matter detector material. Lowest levels of natural radioactivity in high purity samples will be analysed via ultra-senstive single atom counting using acclerator mass spectrometry.

Dr Michaela Froehlich , Dr Anton Wallner, Professor Keith Fifield, Professor Gregory Lane

Crucial fundamental nuclear data for nuclear fusion and nuclear fission

Nuclear data are urgently required in national security, non-proliferation, nuclear criticality safety, medical applications, fundamental science and for the design of advanced reactor concepts (fusion, e.g. ITER), or next generation nuclear power plants (Gen IV, accelerator driven systems, ...).

Dr Anton Wallner

Paving the way to study the chronology of the Early Solar System

Radionuclides can serve as tracers and chronometers for environmental processes. The time scale for these clocks is set by the half-life of the respective radioisotope. Using accelerator mass spectrometry and decay counting this project aims investigate the chronology of the Early Solar System.

Dr Stefan Pavetich, Dr Michaela Froehlich , Dr Stephen Tims, Mr Dominik Koll

High precision electron spectroscopy of electric monopole transitions

The project is aiming to develop a high resolution conversion electron spectrometer to study electric monopole transitions in atomic nuclei. 

Mr Jackson Dowie, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear moments and intense hyperfine fields in ferromagnetic media

This project evaluates data at the interface of nuclear, atomic and solid-state physics with a view to discovering new physics and providing reliable data on the magnetic moments of short-lived nuclear quantum states. It assists the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide reliable nuclear data for research and applications.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Timothy Gray, Mr Ben Coombes, Mr Brendan McCormick

Directional Dark Matter Measurements with CYGNUS

This project will develop an R&D prototype particle detector as part of the CYGNUS dark matter collaboration

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

The SABRE Dark Matter Experiment

Multiple projects are available to support the SABRE dark matter particle experiment. These include local experiments at ANU, computer simulations to predict backgrounds and the overall experimental sensitivity, data acquisition system development and analysis of the SABRE measurement data.

Dr Lindsey Bignell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Ms Yiyi Zhong

Nuclear lifetimes - developing new apparatus and methods

The measurement of the lifetimes of excited nuclear states is foundational for understanding nuclear excitations. This project covers three measurement methods that together span the nuclear lifetime range from about 100 femtoseconds to many nanoseconds. The project can include equipment development, measurement, and the development of analysis methodology (programming and computation). 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Ben Coombes

Solenogam: Electron and gamma-ray spectroscopy with an 8T magnetic solenoidal separator

Exotic nuclei, in their long-lived ground and excited states, are produced in nuclear reactions, transported through an 8T superconducting solenoid magnet to separate them in time and space from the intense beam-induced background, before studying their decay with an array of electron and gamma-ray detectors.

Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Matthew Gerathy, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Dr AJ Mitchell

Auger electrons and X-rays from nuclear decay for medical isotopes

Following nuclear decay involving electron capture and/or internal conversion the  daughter atom will be ionised, resulting the emission of a cascade of X-rays and Auger electros. The project is aiming to develop a new model required for basic science and applications, including cancer treatment.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Mr Bryan Tee Pi-Ern

Proton-gamma coincidence studies around the N=Z=20 and 28 nuclei

This project seeks to develop and use a new proton-gamma detector system to investigate the level structure of a range of nuclei in the N=Z=20 to 28 region, specifically to determine the electric monopole strengths between 0+ states and invesitgate the presence and degree of shape coexistence in this region.

Mr Jackson Dowie, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Quantum tunnelling and energy dissipation in nuclear collisions

This research project, with both experimental and theoretical angles, is developing a new perspective on the transition from a quantum superposition to effectively irreversible outcomes in quantum collisions.

Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Dr Edward Simpson, Professor David Hinde

Measuring and modelling free-ion hyperfine fields

Motivated by exciting prospects for measurements of the magnetism of rare isotopes produced by the new radioactive beam accelerators internationally, this experimental and computational project seeks to understand the enormous magnetic fields produced at the nucleus of highly charged ions by their atomic electron configuration.

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Mr Brendan McCormick

Nuclear spectroscopy with nucleon transfer reactions

Contribute to the development of a new experimental research program at the ANU Heavy Ion Accelerator Facility and investigate the internal structure of atomic nuclei with nucleon transfer reactions. Interested students will have the opportunity to undertake research projects in nuclear instrumentation, software development and fundamental physics. 

Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Gregory Lane, Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi

Nucleosynthesis in the laboratory - how elements are formed in stars

A fundamental scientific question is a better understanding of the elemental abundances and the isotopic pattern of our solar system which is a fingerprint of stellar nucleosynthesis. We perform nucleosynthesis in the laboratory at the ANU via a new and powerful tool, accelerator mass spectrometry, to elucidate open questions in these processes.

Dr Anton Wallner, Dr Stefan Pavetich

Latest challenges in nuclear fission theory

This project aims to study nuclear fission in both analytical and numerical ways to understand the mechanisms responsible for the diversified and astonishing fission properties in the actinide and sub-lead regions.

Dr Remi Bernard, Dr Cedric Simenel

The pair conversion decay of the Hoyle state

The triple–alpha reaction leading to the formation of stable carbon in the Universe is one of the most important nuclear astrophysical processes.  This project is aiming to improve our knowledge of the triple-alpha reaction rate from the direct observation of the electron-positron pair decays of the Hoyle state in 12C.

Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

This project builds on our established track record of developing novel methods to measure magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in atomic nuclei, and the theoretical interpretation of those measurements. Students will help establish new methodologies to underpin future international research at the world's leading radioactive beam laboratories.
 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Brendan McCormick

Coulomb excitation as a probe of the emergence of nuclear collective motion

Coulomb excitation is a reaction mechanism that proceeds via purely electromagnetic interactions and enables measurement of the nuclear shape. A new program of Coulomb excitation measurements is planned to understand how collective nuclear motion can emerge in a nucleus made of ~100 nucleons.

Professor Gregory Lane, Dr AJ Mitchell, Professor Andrew Stuchbery

Plasma Applications and Technology

Low-temperature plasma nitrogen fixation for enhancing plant growth

Plasma agriculture is an innovative field that applies plasma to agriculture processes such as farming, food production, food processing, and food preservation.  In agriculture, plasmas may be used to eradicate all microorganisms; bacterial, fungal and viral particles in fruit and vegetables.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Plasma-liquid interactions

Plasma–liquid interactions are an important topic in the field of plasma science and technology. The interaction of non-equilibrium plasmas with a liquid have many important applications ranging from environmental remediation to material science and health care.

A/Prof Cormac Corr

Magnetic nozzles and plasma generated by a remote source.

When plasmas are decoupled from their source of power, much can be learned about non-local effects of energy transport.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Efficient one-step plasma synthesis of high surface area nanostructures

This project aims to develop new plasma processing techniques which can be used to generate complex nanostructured surface morphologies on a range of mateirals. These materials have potential applications in a wide range of areas, including catalysis, high energy-density batteries, and anti-reflection coatings.

Dr Matt Thompson, A/Prof Cormac Corr

Plasma surface interactions under extreme conditions

High power ion beams can be used to replace lasers as sources for evaporated coating material. Work with industry to discover the physics.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Computer simulation of expanding plasmas

Experimental work on expanding plasmas is greatly aided by computer simulation using plasma fluid codes. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

Particle simulation of dual frequency processing plasmas

We employ Particle in Cell simulations that are inexpensive true computer experiments to complement the use of costly industrial microchip plasma systems.

Professor Roderick Boswell

Plasma Thrusters for Spacecraft

Low Earth Orbit satellites such as CubeSats can have their lifetime boosted by using our unique plasma thrusters to insert them into higher orbits. 

Professor Roderick Boswell

System calculations for hunter killer satellites

Space junk is a major problem for space travel. We use an energetic particle beam to manoeuvre a satellite close to junk then blast it with the particle beam to deorbit the junk

Professor Roderick Boswell

Quantum Science and Technology

Quantum microscopes for revolutionary interdisciplinary science

This project aims to invent and apply quantum microscopes to solve major problems across science.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson, Dr Liam McGuinness

Optimal control of a spinor condensate for robust entanglement generation

Ultracold atoms are ideal systems to engineer novel states of matter, such as large particle entangled states, promising for quantum technology applications. This project will apply optimal control to multi-component Bose-Einstein condensates, in order to maximize the entanglement between the the spin-components in an experimentally realistic way. 

Dr Angela White

Developing a planar waveguide photonic quantum processor

This project aims to develop a photonic quantum processor based on a planar waveguide architecture incorporating rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Associate Professor Duk-Yong Choi

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

Laser levitation of a macroscopic mirror

This project aims to be the first in the world to use radiation pressure force of laser beams to levitate a macroscopic mirror. The coherence of this resonantly amplified scheme creates a unique opto-mechanical environment for precision quantum metrology and tests of new physics theories.

Dr Giovanni Guccione, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

Quantum emitters in 2D materials

This project focuses on the integration of quantum emitters in 2D materials with photonic and optoelectronic platforms, enabling new applications in quantum communications and quantum information processing.

Dr Giovanni Guccione, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Integrated quantum photonics

The goal of the project is to understand new physical phenomena arising from quantum and nonlinear optical integration. In the future this research may open doors to new types of computers and simulators with information capacity exceeding the number of elementary particles in the entire universe.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Mr Jinyong Ma, Dr Jihua Zhang, Prof Dragomir Neshev

Exploring the limits of sensing with ultra-cold atoms

This project utilises a state-of-the-art multifield quantum sensor to develop new techniques and technologies for future high precision measurement devices.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Christian Freier, Dr Kyle Hardman

Optical quantum memory

An optical quantum memory will capture a pulse of light, store it and then controllably release it. This has to be done without ever knowing what you have stored, because a measurement will collapse the quantum state. We are exploring a "photon echo" process to achieve this goal.

Professor Ben Buchler

Storing quantum entangled states of light

In this project you will demonstrate the storage of quantum entangled states of light using quantum memories based on rare-earth doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Rose Ahlefeldt, Dr Kate Ferguson

Quantum squeezed states for interferometric gravitational-wave detectors

Using non-classical light states on laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, to further enhance the best length measurement devices in the world.

Distinguished Profes David McClelland, Professor Daniel Shaddock, Dr Bram Slagmolen

Interactions between Antimatter and Ultracold Atoms

Antiparticles and antimatter have progressed from theory and science fiction to become an important and exciting area of pure and applied science. This fundamental atomic physics project will investigate how antimatter and matter interact by experimentally studying the interaction of positrons (the electron anti-particle) with trapped ultracold rubidium atoms.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Stephen Buckman, Dr Joshua Machacek

Metasurface polarization optics and quantum photonics

This project aims for developing polarization optical devices based on all-dielectric metasurfaces. As no bulky optical elements and moving parts are required, these devices are compact, stable, and can operate in a single-shot mode with high time resolution. Potential applications include sensitive biological imaging and quantum state manipulation and tomography. 

Dr Jihua Zhang, Prof Andrey Sukhorukov

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, Dr Aaron Tranter

Low-energy tests of the signatures of quantum gravity

This project will investigate the potential of various experimental platforms to search for effects of quantum gravity.

Dr Simon Haine

Satellite based geodesy

Precise Earth gratitational field measurements with laser-ranging interferometry.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

Discovering quantum defects in diamond and related materials

This project aims to discover and study defects in diamond and related materials that are suitable for quantum technology.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Professor Neil Manson

Developing a quantum memory for the 1550 nm optical communication band

In this project you will develop a quantum memory for storing light at 1550 nm using erbium doped crystals.

Associate Professor Matthew Sellars, Dr Kate Ferguson

Quantum Device Engineering

For quantum technologies to transition to real-world applications, there are a multitude of engineering challenges to be solved. Using diamond NV centres, our group is developing small-scale quantum computers, and quantum microscopes sensing electric and magnetic fields down to the nanoscale. Available project themes include instrumentation, experiment control, machine learning, and optimal control. 

Dr Andrew Horsley, Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Michael Barson

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

Atomic magnetometer for exploring physics beyond the standard model

The Global Network of Optical Magnetometers for Exotic Physics (GNOME) uses precision atomic magnetometers to look new physics.  The concept is to have a global network of magnetometers looking for correlated magnetic field fluctuations that may be caused by strange, and unknown physics.

Professor Ben Buchler, Dr Geoff Campbell

Quantum tunnelling and energy dissipation in nuclear collisions

This research project, with both experimental and theoretical angles, is developing a new perspective on the transition from a quantum superposition to effectively irreversible outcomes in quantum collisions.

Professor Mahananda Dasgupta, Dr Edward Simpson, Professor David Hinde

Probabilistic quantum cloning with noiseless linear amplifier

Student will use electro-optic feedforward techniques to implement noiseless linear amplification of information carrying laser light

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Dr Thomas Symul

Quantum multi-parameter estimation

Multi-parameter state estimation at the fundamental precision limit

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

Second Harmonic Generation for Quantum Optics Applications

Student will develop a source of laser light at 775nm that will be utilised for pumping of squeezing cavities  

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Professor Ben Buchler

Synthetic multi-dimensional photonics

This project goal is to investigate, theoretically and experimentally, photonic systems with synthetic dimensionality exceeding the three spatial dimensions, and reveal new opportunities for applications in optical signal switching and sensing in classical and quantum photonics.

Prof Andrey Sukhorukov, Dr Jihua Zhang

Dual torsion pendulum for quantum noise limited sensing

Construct a small dual tosion pendulum which have their centre of mass co-incide and their rotational axis colinear. Inital diagnostics will be done using shadow sensors.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Distinguished Profes David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

Experimental quantum simulation with ultracold metastable Helium atoms in an optical lattice

This project will construct a 3D optical lattice apparatus for ultracold metastable Helium atoms, which will form an experimental quantum-simulator to investigate quantum many-body physics. A range of experiments will be performed such as studying higher order quantum correlations across the superfluid to Mott insulator phase transition.

Dr Sean Hodgman, Professor Andrew Truscott

Optimised atom interferometry for space-based experiments

This theoretical physics project aims to optimise the performance of atom interferometry in a space-based environment. Space-based operation requires novel beamsplitting and atomic source production techniques, which will be developed in this project.

Dr Stuart Szigeti, Professor John Close

Whispering Gallery Mode Resonators for Ultra-Sensitive Magnetometry

This projects aims to construct an ultra-sensitive magnetic field sensor from a whispering gallery mode crystal resonator.

Professor Ping Koy Lam

Hot entanglement with cold atoms

This theoretical physics project aims to develop novel schemes for generating long-lived, thermally-robust entanglement between individual pairs of cold atoms. Theoretical models developed in this project will inform optical tweezer experiments in the lab of Mikkel Andersen at the University of Otago.

Dr Stuart Szigeti

Vibration control for optical interferometry

Develop an active vibraiton isolation platform to provide a quiet, small displacement environment for high precision inteferometry.

Dr Bram Slagmolen, Distinguished Profes David McClelland, Dr Robert Ward

Diamond quantum computing and communications

This project aims to engineer diamond quantum computers and communication networks.

Dr Marcus Doherty, Dr Andrew Horsley

Fundamental tests of quantum mechanics with matter waves

We create the coldest stuff in the Universe – a Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC) – by laser-cooling helium atoms to within a millionth of a degree Kelvin. At these extremely low temperatures particles behave more like waves.  You will use the BEC to study fundamental quantum mechanics and for applications like atom interferometry.

Professor Andrew Truscott, Professor Kenneth Baldwin

Development of Squeezed Laser Sources for Quantum Communication

Student will build and characterise a new source of quantum squeezed light genearted from an optical parametric oscillator

Professor Ping Koy Lam, Professor Ben Buchler

Multi-component quantum gases : instabilities, turbulence and dynamics

This project aims to explore and measure new or predicted phenomena in complex multicomponent quantum systems.

Dr Nicholas Robins, Dr Angela White

Few-vortex dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will investigate how the dynamics of few quantum-vortices are altered in the presence of a moving second superfluid component. 

Dr Angela White

Quantum super resolution

When two point sources of light are close together, we just see one blurry patch. This project aims to use coherent measurement techniques in quantum optics to measure the separation between the point sources beyond the Rayleigh's limit.

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam

Non-equilibrium quantum condensation of microcavity exciton polaritons

This project combines theoretical and experimental research on exciton polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. We investigate emergent quantum phenomena far from equilibrium and their applications for next-generation optoelectronics devices.

Prof Elena Ostrovskaya, Professor Andrew Truscott

Theoretical Physics

Combinatorics and integrable systems

We will study links between integrable systems in statistical mechanics, combinatorial problems and special functions in mathematics. This area of research has attracted many scientist's attention during the last decade and revealed unexpected links to other areas of mathematics like enumeration problems and differential equations.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev, Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Instability dynamics in superfluid mixtures

This project will theoretically model instability dynamics generated at the interface between two superfluids. This is an opportunity for a student to be involved in a theory project that will drive current experiments in the atom laser and sensors group. 

Dr Angela White, Dr Nicholas Robins

Coherent control of quantum-mechanical systems

The project studies possibility of the coherent control (i.e. manipulating properties of a quantum system, such as charge density, levels populations, etc., using a suitably tailored laser pulse) for a quantum mechanical model of a molecule.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets

Creating quantum entanglement for improving measurements of gravity

This theoretical project will investigate and theoretically model how to create quantum entanglement within a Bose-Einstein condensate, with the motivation of improving the sensitvity of atom-interferometers used to measure gravitational fields. 

Dr Simon Haine, Professor Joseph Hope

Nuclear fusion and sub-zeptosecond breakup reactions

Fusion probabilities at high energies are significantly smaller than theoretical predicted, in part due to disintegration of the projectile nucleus into lighter nuclei (breakup) on timescales faster than 10-21 s. This project will help us understand these fast, complex breakup processes and their influence on fusion.

Dr Edward Simpson, Professor Mahananda Dasgupta

High energy scattering in gauge and string theories

It appears that the scattering amplitudes in Quantum Chromodynamics (theory of strong interactions) can be exactly calculated in certain limiting cases (e.g. in the so-called multi-Redge kinematics). This is possible due to remarkable connections of this problem to the theory of integrable systems based on the Yang-Baxter equation. 

Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Stochastic dynamics of interacting systems and integrability

There are many interesting physical statistical systems which never reach thermal equilibrium. Examples include surface growth, diffusion processes or traffic flow. In the absence of general theory of such systems a study of particular models plays a very important role. Integrable systems provide examples of such systems where one can analyze time dynamics using analytic methods.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Extreme events in nature and in a laboratory

The concept of rogue waves was born in nautical mythology, entered the science of ocean waves and gradually moved into other fields: optics, matter waves, superfluidity. This project will allow students to enter the front edge of modern science.

Professor Nail Akhmediev, Dr Adrian Ankiewicz, Dr. Wonkeun Chang, Dr Natasha Devine

Low-energy tests of the signatures of quantum gravity

This project will investigate the potential of various experimental platforms to search for effects of quantum gravity.

Dr Simon Haine

Atomic ionization in super-strong laser fields

Using methods of quantum many-body theory to describe elementary processes in atoms and molecules interacting with strong electromagnetic fields.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Exact Bohr-Sommerfeld quantisation and Conformal Field Theory

It is well known that the quasiclassical quantisation of the harmonic oscillator leads to its exact quantum mechanical spectrum. Remarkably, this result can be generalized to various anharmonic systems via mysterious connections to Conformal Field Theory.

Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Variational approach to many-body problems

In recent years there was a large boost in development of advanced variational methods which play an important role in analytic and numerical studies of  1D and 2D quantum spin systems. Such methods are based on the ideas coming from the renormalization group theory which states that  physical properties of  spin systems become scale invariant near criticality. One of the most powerful variational algorithms is the corner-transfer matrices (CTM) method which allows to predict properties of large systems based on a simple iterative algorithm.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Chaotic vortex dynamics in superfluids

This project aims to shed light on a fundamental physics question, what is the role of chaotic events in turbulent flows?

Dr Angela White

Attosecond time-resolved atomic reactions

We apply the most advanced quantum-mechanical modeling to resolve electron motion in atoms and molecules on the atto-second (one quintillionth of a second) time scale.  Our theoretical modeling, based on a rigorous, quantitative description of correlated electron dynamics, provides insight into new physics taking place on the atomic time scale.

Professor Anatoli Kheifets, Dr Igor Ivanov

Topological Crystallography: Graphs and surfaces with symmetry

What are the underlying geometric and topological properties of periodic structures that guarantee large and stable porosity in nano-porous crystalline materials required for gas storage and efficient catalysis?

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde, Dr Olaf Delgado-Friedrichs

New connections between classical and quantum field theories

The standard correspondence principle implies that quantum theory reduces to classical theory in the limit of the vanishing Planck constant. This project is devoted to a new type connection between quantum and classical systems which holds for arbitrary finite values of the Planch constant.

Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Soft Condensed Matter: Molecules made by Threading

Of great recent interest is the subject of rotaxanes.  Rotaxanes are molecules  where one or more ring
components is threaded onto an axle that is capped on both ends with stoppers to prevent the rings from
falling o ff. These systems exhibit complex and fascinating physics.

Professor David Williams

Quantum multi-parameter estimation

Multi-parameter state estimation at the fundamental precision limit

Dr Syed Assad, Professor Ping Koy Lam, Mr Lorcan Conlon

Optical nanoantennas

Antennas are at the heart of modern radio and microwave frequency communications technologies. They are the front-ends in satellites, cell-phones, laptops and other devices that make communication by sending and receiving radio waves. This project aims to design analog of optical nanoantennas for visible light for advanced optical communiction. 

Prof Dragomir Neshev, Dr Andrey Miroshnichenko

Latest challenges in nuclear fission theory

This project aims to study nuclear fission in both analytical and numerical ways to understand the mechanisms responsible for the diversified and astonishing fission properties in the actinide and sub-lead regions.

Dr Remi Bernard, Dr Cedric Simenel

String theory and integrable systems

This project aims to develop and employ the full power of the theory of integrable quantum systems to new models of quantum many-body spin systems in string theory.

Professor Vladimir Bazhanov

Localised formations in open systems

Dissipative solitons are generated due to the balance between gain and loss of energy as well as to the balance between input and output of matter. Their existence requires continuous supply of energy and matter that is available in open systems. The model explains variety of phanomena in biology and physics.

Professor Nail Akhmediev, Dr Adrian Ankiewicz, Dr Natasha Devine, Dr. Wonkeun Chang

Introduction to quantum integrable systems

The aim of this project is to introduce quantum integrable systems which play a very important role in modern theoretical physics. Such systems provide one of very few ways to analyze nonlinear effects in continuous and discrete quantum systems.

Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Mathematical Aspects of Conformal Field Theory

Conformal Field Theory (CFT) in two-dimensions describes physics of the second order transitions in statistical mechanics and also plays important role in string theory, which is expected to unify the theory of strong interaction with quantum gravity. The project aims to explore and further develop mathematical techniques of CFT.  

Professor Vladimir Bazhanov, Dr Vladimir Mangazeev

Nuclear magnetism - magnetic moment measurements

This project builds on our established track record of developing novel methods to measure magnetic moments of picosecond-lived excited states in atomic nuclei, and the theoretical interpretation of those measurements. Students will help establish new methodologies to underpin future international research at the world's leading radioactive beam laboratories.
 

Professor Andrew Stuchbery, Dr Tibor Kibedi, Professor Gregory Lane, Mr Brendan McCormick

Topological and Structural Science

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

Topological photonics

This project will address significant problems of feasibility and tunability of novel photonic metadevices aiming to open novel possibilities for a control of light flows topologically protected against scattering losses, energy leaking, or imperfections. 

Professor Yuri Kivshar, Dr Sergey Kruk

Topological Crystallography: Graphs and surfaces with symmetry

What are the underlying geometric and topological properties of periodic structures that guarantee large and stable porosity in nano-porous crystalline materials required for gas storage and efficient catalysis?

Dr Vanessa Robins, Professor Stephen Hyde, Dr Olaf Delgado-Friedrichs

Simulation of x-ray scattering from nano-objects

Develop and utilise computer simulations to analyse synchrotron based scattering from nano-sized objects.

Prof Patrick Kluth, Dr Christian Notthoff

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