Potential student research projects

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

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

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Clean Energy

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, Dr Cormac Corr

Electric field structure of Energetic Geodesic Acoustic Modes (EGAMs)

The project aims to add particle orbit effects to an ANU developed theory for solving the electric field structure of Energetic Geodesic Acoustic Modes (EGAMs). EGAMs are unstable electrostatic oscillations in tokamak plasmas that are harmful to plasma confinements. The project involves analytic components as well as code developments.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Mr Zhisong Qu

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

Imaging fluid-fluid interfacial curvatures in porous media: relating physics and geometry

This computational and theoretical project will extract geometric information from sequences of newly obtained 3D x-ray microscope images to better understand how two immiscible fluids interact inside complex porous materials.

Prof Adrian Sheppard, Dr Anna Herring

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

Inclusion of toroidal flow into multiple relaxed region MHD

A new model, multiple relaxed region MHD, has been developed to describe magnetic islands and chaotic fields in toroidal magentic cofinement. This project would extend that model to include toroidal flow.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Graham Dennis, Emeritus Professor Robert Dewar

Nonlinear evolution of energetic particle modes to saturated helical structure

At large amplitude these bursty energetic particle driven fishbones have been observed to evolve into long-lived "helical" structures in several tokamaks, notably the Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy.  In this project we investigate the role of energetic particles during the transition from bursting fishbone to a long-living mode.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

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

Lorentz forces in a tokamak

In this project we will examine the forces generated in superconductoring magnetics, and scope the forces generated during a disruption.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole

Orbit topologies and wave-particle resonance in fusion plasmas

In this project the wave-particle resonance condition will be computed for a range of precomputed particle orbits (and orbit populations), which initially were computed for transport studies. An estimate of wave-drive due to spatial gradients will be afforded using wave functions from an ideal MHD stability analysis and orbit population information, and compared to diagnostics.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Michael Fitzgerald

Tearing modes in the multi-region relaxed MHD plasma model

The project is to relate the onset of tearing mode instability in MRXMHD to the multi-tearing Delta' formalism of Dewar and Pletzer (developed in an earlier ANU PhD project) and to use this to model recent experimental results in Reversed Field Pinches (RFPs), a class of toroidal fusion devices.

Assoc. Prof. Matthew Hole, Dr Graham Dennis, Emeritus Professor Robert Dewar

Solar Fuels Generation using III-V Semiconductors

This project aims to develop III-V semiconductors for applicaiton in solar fuels generation. 

Dr Siva Karuturi, Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC, Professor Hoe Tan

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

Updated:  15 January 2019/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster