Semiconductor physics PhD projects

Our highly active group has more than 20 PhD students involved in research on a variety of topics in the area of semiconductor nanostructures. For the year 2016 we are seeking 5 new PhD students, with funding available for both UK and EU candidates.

For general enquiries contact Prof Maurice Skolnick,

Further details of our research areas are given on our web pages:

PhD positions available include the following. At any particular time there may also be associated postdoc positions:

Semiconductor quantum optical circuits

As a result of a five year large grant award ( from the UK funding agency, EPSRC, several positions are available in highly topical areas of semiconductor physics and optics research. These include the physics of the first semiconductor quantum optical circuits, novel methods for spin readout and new types of single photon sources. All topics have the opportunity for advanced fabrication of nanoscale structures, and involve participation in research at the leading edge of semiconductor physics and photonics.

Both experimental and theoretical projects are available, starting in October 2016.

For more information please contact Prof Maurice Skolnick,

Optics of novel 2D materials beyond graphene

The isolation of single-atomic layer graphene has led to a surge of interest in other layered crystals with strong in-plane bonds and weak, van der Waals-like, interlayer coupling. Heterostructures made by stacking different 2D crystals on top of each other provide a platform for creating new artificial crystals with potential for discoveries and applications. In this PhD project you will study 2D materials with a wide range of fundamental properties ranging from semi- to superconductors. You will work on advancing fabrication technology for hybrid layered devices and also explore the potential of the van der Waals heterostructures in photonics applications. You will perform advanced optics experiments in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Sheffield group and will work on novel device fabrication in the modern clean room.

The start date is 1st October 2016. All formal and informal inquiries: Prof Alexander Tartakovskii,

Further information about the group: see

Electron and nuclear spin effects in nano-structured semiconductor materials

Recent advances in semiconductor nano-technology lead to a new generation of robust controllable structures where manipulation of the matter is possible on a single electron level. The electron charge is not the only practical solution as a means of encoding information using novel nano-devices. In semiconductor quantum dots to be studied in this project, an increasingly important role will be played by the electron quantum degrees of freedom. A particular emphasis in this project will be placed on the electron spin, offering a variety of very attractive properties for control. Additional flexibility in dealing with quantum information will be gained from manipulation of spins of lattice nuclei of which the nano-structure is composed.

The start date is 1st October 2016. All formal and informal inquiries: Dr Evgeny Chekhovich,

Further information about the group: see

Green photonics using photonic crystals

Present day telecommunications systems consume large amounts of energy. One very promising route to overcome this major energy cost is to employ photonic crystal technology to achieve all optical switching operating at low light levels. Photonic Crystals are structures with periodicity on the order of the wavelength of light, which allow control of the flow of light, its storage and switching. The student will study the optical properties of cavities and waveguides fabricated using this advanced technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the study of cavities for photon storage fabricated in the crystal: the long photon lifetimes in such cavities have high potential to lead to very low power switching phenomena, providing a very favourable route towards the overall aims of the project.

For more details contact Prof Maurice Skolnick,

Exciton-polaritons in semiconductor nanostructures: physics and applications

PhD applications are invited for research into exciton-polariton phenomena in semiconductor microcavities. Polaritons are exciton-photon coupled modes with many novel properties including condensation into a highly occupied state, superfluidity, vortices and soliton propagation. The available position is supported by a European Research Council Advanced Grant ( A successful applicant will likely be engaged on agenda setting work on polaritons in a periodic potential, using new tunable cavity geometries. A further important goal will be the creation of some of the first polariton circuits, opening the field to polariton applications.

For more details contact Dr D Krizhanovskii, and see

New semiconductor materials for quantum cascade lasers

Supervisor: Dr John Cockburn

A PhD student is sought in this new area of semiconductor laser research. Our group has established a substantial track record in this area, with a number of world firsts over the last few years. Our position in the field is substantially enhanced by the wide ranging crystal growth and device fabrication capabilities at Sheffield, together with excellent techniques for device measurement and for study of new physics. This new PhD position will be concerned in particular with the investigation of quantum cascade lasers in new materials systems with the aim of extending operation into new wavelength ranges, and achieving significant enhancement to performance of present day lasers.