Atomically engineered materials for exotic physical phenomena

Supervisor:                                                            Prof. Dr. Stuart Parkin
Responsible Scientific Pillar Coordinator:      Dr. Yicheng Guan


Recent advances of the thin-film deposition method including, but not limited to, magnetron sputtering, pulsed laser deposition, atomic layer deposition, chemical vapor deposition and molecular beam epitaxy have enabled the growth of ultra-thin nanometer thin films even down to the mono-layer limit. Exotic and unexpected physical phenomena have been observed in these mono-layers, such as high-temperature superconductivity, two-dimensional ferroelectricity and two-dimensional ferromagnetism [1-2]. The dissimilarities in their transport, optical and magnetic properties between these mono-layer materials and their bulk counterparts have made them extremely attractive for basic physical research and are believed to herald next generation functional devices. For example, recently, the mono-layer perovskite materials have caught attention due to their enhanced stability and structural tunability. They offer a versatile platform for manipulating the charge carrier lifetime and their magnetic and electronic structures since the broken inversion symmetry at the interface can enhance the Rashba splitting [1-2]. Apart from the oxides, the ultra-thin metals can also be used as dusting layers to engineer the interfaces in magnetic heterostructures, which may in turn give rise to significant enhanced magnetic dynamics [3].

This project deals with atomically engineered materials that possess exotic physical properties and underpin the fields of spintronics, oxide electronics, cognitive devices and routes to room temperature superconductors. In this project, it is expected that you will work with multiple film deposition systems such as pulsed laser deposition, atomic layer deposition and molecular beam epitaxy with  characterization methods including, but not limited to, transport, magnetization, scanning electron microscopy, piezoelectric force microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. Functional devices will be further investigated taking advantage of the atomically engineered materials.


[1] A. G. Ricciardulli et al., Nat. Mater. 20 (2021)

[2] P. Kumbhakaret et al., Materials Today 45 (2021)

[3] Y. Guan et al., Adv. Mater. 33 (2021)


For scientific questions about the possible PhD topic, please contact Dr. Yicheng Guan. For formal question regarding the application, please contact Michael Strauch.

Go to Editor View