DPhil Projects

Postgrad project 1: Mimicking electronics with magnetic systems

In this DPhil project you will explore the possibilities opened by almost-perfectly one-dimensional systems, composed by metal chains ordered in a crystal. You will build on our previous expertise to create novel systems, where the usual properties of an electronic circuit (energy bands, capacitor etc…) are mimicked into a molecular spin system. This will produce the first spin analogues of nanoscale electronic devices, and will help establish the first tenets of a new area of research. The characterization will be developed using magnetometry and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy at low temperatures and in magnetic field. The thesis is strongly multidisciplinary and candidates from materials, chemistry and physics will be welcome. The work is developed in the context of national and European collaborations, so different aspects can be privileged depending on the interests and attitude of the candidate. Visits and learning periods to international laboratories can also be arranged. You will join an active and lively laboratory with an international atmosphere, and will be assisted in developing a personal vision and an autonomous scientific profile, as well as possible industrial links and scientific collaborations. Please refer directly to Lapo Bogani and the Director of Studies of the Department of Materials for details.

 

Postgrad project 2: Putting spins into carbon nanostructures

Conducting carbon nanostructures have already been integrated in functioning electronic nanodevices and could soon constitute the fundamental elements of new era in electronics. Some of the most interesting representatives of this class of materials are probably graphene and carbon nanotubes. At the same time research in the field of spintronics has become a leading part of today’s science and technology. In this DPhil project you will make one more step ahead and connect the two fields of carbon nanostructures and spintronics, establishing a new field: molecular spintronics. The work will comprise the fabrication of carbon nanodevices with magnetic properties and their characterization of conducting nanostructures. The thesis is strongly multidisciplinary and candidates from materials, chemistry and physics will be welcome. The work is developed in the context of national and European collaborations, so different aspects can be privileged depending on the interests and attitude of the candidate. Visits and learning periods to international laboratories can also be arranged. You will join an active and lively laboratory with an international atmosphere, and will be assisted in developing a personal vision and an autonomous scientific profile, as well as possible industrial links and scientific collaborations. Please refer directly to Lapo Bogani and the Director of Studies of the Department of Materials for details.

 

Postgrad project 3: Observing single-electron single-spin interactions

Several drawbacks have plagued the field of molecular electronics, up to now. For example the molecules cannot be placed into junctions in a controlled and reproducible way. Thus no control over the mutual direction of the electron flow and the magnetization is achieved. Reproducibility of the measurements is a long-lasting problem in single-molecule electronics, and doubts over what is really measured sometimes arise. Moreover we have no idea on what is the effect of the electron flow on the magnetic properties of a molecule, while one can easily imagine that the passage of electrons will strongly affect the magnetic properties. In this DPhil thesis the candidate will develop a new, original method of measuring interaction between one single spin and one flowing electron: Instead of using two bulk electrodes and place the molecule in between, we will grow two photoactive groups on the two sides of the molecule. When a light pulse is shone on the system electron flow from one group to the other occurs, and the effect can be detected via pulsed at GHz frequencies. This allows overcoming all the aforementioned problems, providing the candidate with an insuperably clean, time-resolved method to investigate electron-spin interactions. The thesis is strongly multidisciplinary and candidates from materials, chemistry and physics will be welcome. The work is developed in the context of national and European collaborations, so different aspects can be privileged depending on the interests and attitude of the candidate. Visits and learning periods to international laboratories can also be arranged. You will join an active and lively laboratory with an international atmosphere, and will be assisted in developing a personal vision and an autonomous scientific profile, as well as possible industrial links and scientific collaborations. Please refer directly to Lapo Bogani and the Director of Studies of the Department of Materials for details.

 

Postgrad project 4: Synthesis and characterization of novel magnetic materials

The field of molecular magnetism is a playground where the desired functionalities can be inserted into magnetic materials by rationally tuning the molecular systems, using chemical synthesis. In this project you will play with the chemical possibilities of coordination chemistry compounds, creating molecular and extended structures with novel spin properties, long coherence times and an admixture of electronic and magnetic properties. The materials will be tailored by changing the topology, by introducing novel functionalities (e.g. pi-stacking groups, luminescent elements, etc…) and will be the basis for an in-depth exploration with electron paramagnetic resonance, magnetometry, and conduction experiments. Special attention will be placed on the quantum properties of the magnetic nanomaterials, and their inclusion into functional nanodevices. The thesis is rather synthesis (+characterization) oriented and suitable candidates from materials or chemistry background. The work is developed in the context of national and European collaborations, so different aspects can be privileged depending on the interests and attitude of the candidate. Visits and learning periods to international laboratories can also be arranged. You will join an active and lively laboratory with an international atmosphere, and will be assisted in developing a personal vision and an autonomous scientific profile, as well as possible industrial links and scientific collaborations. Please refer directly to Lapo Bogani and the Director of Studies of the Department of Materials for details.

 

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