PhD Studentship - Fundamental Excitations of monolayer 2D Semiconductors

University of Southampton

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Position type:

Full time

03 Dec 2019
31 Mar 2020

Full details:

Reference number: SOU-1215519WF

We are offering a PhD position suitable for a candidate who has a real interest in understanding the properties of technologically important materials. The materials to be investigated, transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers and heterostructures, are at the forefront of nanoscience as they are the limit of semiconductor quantum wells, i.e. a one atom thick quantum well. Our aim is to fully understand the behaviour of the key electronic excitations in these materials (excitons and trions) and how they interact with the lattice vibrations (phonons) in these materials. To achieve this aim we use high resolution laser spectroscopy. Resonance Raman spectroscopy offers us access to electronic excitations which are dark, i.e. they don’t interact directly with light, which are not directly accessible by any other technique. In this, we are world leaders in the application of resonance Raman spectroscopy to these materials. 

The project will offer an opportunity to learn a wide range of laser based spectroscopic techniques and cryogenic techniques required to cool the samples to 4 K. In addition, you will how to produce the TMDC samples and cleanroom techniques required to pattern contacts onto micron sized sample regions. You will learn a range of data analysis techniques and the theory required to understand the optical properties of crystalline materials. Previous members of the group are now working on diamond electronics, organic semiconductor devices, ultra-resolution microscopy techniques used for characterising hip implants, jet engine blades in positions in both in academia and industry. The most recent PhD student to finish in the group had xx journal publications at the time of his thesis defence. Therefore, the suitable candidate should have a 1st or good 2:1 or better degree in Physics or closely related subject, 

You will be joining a group consisting of two postdocs and a PhD student with all of the experimental infrastructure required to undertake the studies. The group is funded by an Engineering and Physical Science Research Council Programme Grant (£6M over 5 years) in collaboration with research groups in Chemistry in Southampton and Nottingham and Physics in Warwick. We are actively collaborating with researchers in Seattle, the Graphene Institute in Manchester and the Czech Republic on sample production and theory. We travel widely internationally to present our research.

To conclude if you are interested in a PhD at the forefront of nanoscience, are interested in solid state physics or advanced laser-based spectroscopies, want a research position in a group with a proven track record of delivering PhD projects on time and enabling alumni to obtain onto a wide range of jobs across academia and industry, contact us immediately to find out more. 

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Prof David Smith , Nanomaterials Research Group, Email:


Closing date

Applications should be received no later than 31 March 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.



Full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

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