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EPSRC iCase PhD in Physics: 2D Materials on Compound Semiconductors

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 15 March 2019
Start date 1 October 2019
Duration 4 years
Funding body EPSRC
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships One

This research will develop, analyse and simulate a select family of 2D materials (MoS2, WS2 and WSe2) integrated into the GaN platform for optoelectronic applications.


Atomically-thin, inherently 2D semiconductors offer nano-scale devices with excellent response to light for ultra-low-power applications. Using exfoliated microflakes, devices and simple integrated circuits have been reported, underpinning potential applications in nano-optoelectronics. Exploring new device functionality along with materials scale-up are the next challenges; only recently have researchers started to address the integration of these materials into the compound semiconductor (CS) platform.

Fewer than twenty labs world-wide are equipped to “grow” single-monolayer 2D materials using molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) or atomic layer deposition (ALD).  Significantly fewer have the ability to address the hybrid 2D/CS heterostructure which provides an opportunity for academic exploration and industrial exploitation.

Thus, the newly-established Cardiff MBE facility, the well-equipped Ser-Cymru Laboratory supported by Oxford ALD provide an internationally unique setting for this CASE Studentship.

Project aims and methods

The challenge of producing highly-crystalline 2D layers via ALD on III-V systems is expected to result in scientific breakthroughs including single-monolayer 2D crystals at moderate process temperatures followed by control of the underlying physics in 2D/III-N alloys, interfaces and heterostructures.

Anticipated outcomes include the demonstration and analysis appropriate for future scale-up leading to continued Cardiff-Oxford collaborations such as the EPSRC “Adventurous Manufacturing” Proposal (bid-in-progress).

You will learn/develop new methods to include 2D deposition using both ALD (Oxford), simple exfoliation/transfer methods (Cardiff) along with hybrid heterostructures comprised of 2D/(InAl)GaN alloys (MBE) noting that MoS2 is lattice-matched to In0.15Ga0.85N.

Analysis of these new heterostructures includes research-to-wafer-scale xray diffraction, photoluminescence, time-resolved-photoluminescence along with Raman, and supported by band structure simulation. You will also explore opportunities within PHYSX-CMP and ENGIN Materials Network for complimentary characterization methods and collaborations.


  • Image of Diana Huffaker

    Professor Diana Huffaker

    Scientific Director of the Institute for Compound Semiconductors
    Sêr Cymru Chair in Advanced Engineering and Materials


Postgraduate Admissions Team

School of Physics and Astronomy

Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend Doctoral stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum

Eligibility criteria

Residency UK Research Council eligibility conditions apply
Academic criteria

You should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate master’s level qualification (or their equivalent).

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).

The studentship is open to:

  • UK students
  • EU students who have been resident in the UK for three years at the course start date
  • other candidates who can demonstrate a connection to the UK, usually through residency.


Postgraduate Admissions Team

School of Physics and Astronomy

Interested applicants are invited to send a CV and personal statement to the School of Physics and Astronomy.

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University Online Application Service.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from EPSRC DTP.

If are applying for more than one Cardiff University project please note this in the research proposal section.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.


Postgraduate Admissions Team

School of Physics and Astronomy

Funding opportunity provided by:

Eligible research programmes