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School of Physics and Astronomy

Advanced 2D Materials for Quantum and Bio Nanotechnology

Research Group:Centre for Condensed Matter and Material Physics

Number of Students:1

Length of Study in Years: 3 years

Full-time Project: yes


Diamond Doctoral Studentship

Project Description:

First proposed in 1974, the idea of using individual molecules as the functional building block of electronic devices has prompted decades of research into understanding and controlling charge transport down to the single-molecule level. These efforts have not only led the elucidation of fundamental quantum transport phenomena at the atomic and molecular scale, but also to the demonstration of basic electronic components, including diodes and transistors, based on rational molecular design. While molecular device technologies have not yet made the transition from the laboratory to R&D departments, major advances have been made in the underpinning science of single-molecule electronics.

For a long time, it seemed that the advantages of atomically engineering nanodevices via rational molecular design were being largely negated by the lack of atomically precise electrodes. However, recent advances in transmission electron microscopy (TEM) now provide a route towards sculpting electrode materials in-situ, with atomic resolution. Moreover, the development of ordered molecule-nanoparticle arrays has enabled the transition of quantum effects in single-molecule junctions to functional large scale devices.

In this project we will optimise the fabrication and atomic resolution imaging of single-molecule electronic devices within the TEM. Devices will be fabricated on TEM compatible chips and their electronic properties measured both in-situ at temperatures down to 100K and ex-situ down to 1.5K. This will enable the correlation of precise atomic structure with quantum-mechanical electron transport phenomena.

This studentship will:

  • Develop capabilities for combining transmission electron microscopy with low-temperature quantum transport measurements;
  • Demonstrate atom-by-atom fabrication of graphene nanoelectronics devices;
  • Characterise heat and charge transport in molecule-nanoparticles using in-situ transmission microscopy
  • Train the student in nanofabrication, quantum transport, and transmission electron microscopy.


A degree in Physics or Chemical Physics/Physical Chemistry

SPA Academics: Dr Jan Mol