PhD project: Structure and properties of defects and adsorbates at surfaces of 2D materials

Applications are invited for a PhD position in the group of Prof Alexander Shluger at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London The successful candidate will join a very active inter-disciplinary group to work on the theory and implementation of novel algorithms to model atomistic processes at surfaces of 2D materials using high performance computing.

The Studentship

This 4-year studentship is fully funded by EPSRC and is open both to UK and EU applicants. The PhD training and research will be carried out within the Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials  at UCL and Imperial College London, and the London Thomas Young Centre

 The Project

Properties of 2D materials attract strong interest due to their potential applications in electronics and photonics. Our group has been involved in understanding the properties of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and black phosphorus (b-P) and other layered materials. h-BN has become a very attractive dielectric material for future 2D electronic devices thanks to its enhanced reliability and compatibility with graphene and MoS2. Phosphorene (b-P), another elemental 2D material, is gaining increasing attention for potential applications in electronics and photonics.

You will collaborate with leading experimental groups within the ACM CDT and internationally, which are using Scanning Probe Microscopy and other high resolution characterization techniques to image defects at surfaces of these materials and understand their properties. These include missing atoms, impurities and adsorbates. Theoretical simulations will be used to predict the structure and fundamental properties of these defects and how they should look like when imaged using scanning probes and spectroscopy. Together with experiment you will identify these defects and will learn how they affect properties of 2D materials and can be modified or eliminated. Then you will study how new electronic devices and memory cells can be made combining layers of 2D materials.

 The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours or equivalent for undergraduate degree in Physics or Physical Chemistry. They will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good computational skills, ability to think analytically and creatively. Good presentation and writing skills in English are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided.

Please contact Prof.  Alexander Shluger ( for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 30 May 2018 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.


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