Available student project - Semiconductor nano-foams for sensor and energy applications

Research fields

  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology
Nanoporous GaSb

Project details

Antimony based semiconductors such as GaSb and InSb can be rendered porous by irradiating them with high energetic ions with energies between keV and GeV (see image). The porous morphology depends on the ion energy and our recent pioneering experiments using ions >50 MeV show high potential for creating novel nanostructures for application such as gas sensors or thermoelectric devices.

On a fundamental level, the project seeks to investigate the structure and morphology of the fascinating porous networks that evolve in the antimonides upon high energy ion irradiation and determine the mechanisms for the continous-to-porous transformation that are still elusive.  

The project also seeks to exploit the porous microsturuture of the semiconductors for applications including thermoelectric genrators, gas sensors by by building simple prototype devices.

The project offers the ability for the student to become acquainted with a range of state of the art analytical and processing techniques including synchrotron x-ray techniques at the state-of-the-art Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne and device fabrication equipment at ANU.

Depending on the extent of the project the student can develop skills in:

  • High energy ion beam processing
  • Synchrotron based small angle x-ray scattering and x-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • Microscopy techniques such as transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy
  • Laboratory based analytical techniques such as x-ray diffraction and raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy
  • Semiconductor processing techniques and device fabrication
  • Working in a team on a multidisciplinary project

This project is supproted by an ARC Discovery Project.

Required background

Interest in solid state physics, nanotechnology, materials science, synchrotron techniques, and device fabrication

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project
  • PhB (2nd or 3rd year)
  • Honours or MSc project
  • Phd or MPhil

Contact supervisor

Kluth, Patrick profile

Other supervisor(s)

Notthoff, Christian profile

Updated:  5 July 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster