Masaryk University – Department of Condensed Matter Physics

Qualification Type:PhD
Location:Brno – Czechia
Funding for:UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount:Not Specified
Hours:Full Time
Placed On:4th March 2021
Closes:20th April 2021

Type of Cooperation: PhD fellowship (more information on PhD study programmes at the Faculty of Science here

Expected Start Date: negotiable (approx. September 2021) 

Application Deadline: 20 April 2021  

About the Workplace 

The PhD student will join our research activities in the Department of Condensed Matter Physics. Experiments will be performed using the unique equipment of CEITEC Nano Infrastructure, the national joint research infrastructure of the Central European Institute of Technology of Brno University of Technology and Masaryk University (see http://www.nano.ceitec.cz).  

Masaryk University is the second-largest university in the Czech Republic with nine faculties, more than 5000 staff, and more than 30 000 students. As a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing, our mission is to pursue top-quality research and education. 

Faculty of Science, a proud holder of the HR Excellence in Research Award by the European Commission, is a research-oriented faculty, offering university education (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degree programs) closely linked to both primary and applied research and high school teaching of the following sciences: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Earth sciences.  

Positions 

1)  Field of Experimental Nano-Magnetism and Magnetic Materials 

Thesis Topic: Investigations of Nano-scaled Ferromagnetic Semiconducting Oxides for Spintronic Applications 

Supervisor: Hoa Hong Nguyen, PhD 

Contact: hong.nguyen@mail.muni.cz 

Description 

The aim of the study is to verify the role of oxygen vacancies and defects in introducing room temperature ferromagnetism in various pristine Semiconducting Oxides in nanoscale. By down scaling semiconducting oxides, under appropriate conditions that may create oxygen vacancies/defects, room temperature ferromagnets can be obtained. This may allow one to manipulate the spins and charges simultaneously in the same device. We propose to study the effect of introducing additional carriers and lattice defects on the ferromagnetic properties of thin films of undoped oxides. The investigations will exploit the element selectivity of X-ray magnetic circular dichroism to detect changes in the spin polarization caused by the presence of extra charge carriers due either to x-ray irradiation or to dopant impurities. We expect these studies to shed new light on the mechanisms of d0-Ferromagnetism.  

Desired Skills and Experience 

Hands-on experience in experimental laboratories, being familiar with equipment in Physics and/or Chemistry Labs should be preferable. 

2)  Field of Experimental Study of Topological Insulator Materials 

Thesis Topic: Structural and electronic investigations of topological insulator thin films 

Supervisor: Ondrej Caha, PhD 

Contact: caha@physics.muni.cz 

Description 

Topological insulators have a unique electronic band structure of surface states. These states have spin-momentum locked dispersion caused by time-reversal symmetry or mirror symmetry for topological insulators and topological crystalline insulators, respectively. The time-reversal symmetry can be broken by the magnetic field; thus, ferromagnetically doped topological insulators are of great scientific interest for the possible electronic and spintronic application. The other materials to be studied are thin films and quantum wells of topological crystalline insulators. The quantum well changes the electronic structure of the topological surface states due to changing the inversion symmetry protecting the topological surface states. 

Desired Skills and Experience 

Experience in en experimental laboratory, preferably in Solid State Physics. 

3) Field of Experimental Study of Soft Condensed Matter and Organic Semiconductors  

Thesis Topic: Investigations of Thin Films of Organic Semiconductors on Graphene  

Supervisor: Jiri Novak, PhD 

Contact: novak@physics.muni.cz 

Description 

The Ph.D. research will be focused on the preparation and structural characterization of thin films of organic semiconductor molecules (OSMs) on graphene. The studied systems serve as channels in future optoelectronic devices based on OSMs, where graphene may be used as an electrode. In these devices, the structure of the molecular layer plays a defining role in the device performance. The OSM films will be prepared using organic molecular beam deposition in ultra-high vacuum and characterized by x-ray scattering/diffraction and atomic force microscopy. An important subject of the study is the relation of the thin film structure with the initial growth, i.e. structure and morphology of the first few molecular layers, which will be determined by low energy electron diffraction and microscopy (LEED and LEEM, respectively). Selected analytical techniques will be applied in-situ during the growth or during the post-growth annealing either in the home laboratory or at synchrotrons. The goal of the research is to get insight into the relation between the film growth parameters (e.g. substrate temperature) and the film structure and morphology. 

Desirable but not essential skills and experience: an experience with computer-aided simulations, molecular materials, x-ray scattering techniques, or measurements at synchrotron facilities  

Required Skills and Qualifications 

  • Master’s degree in either Condensed Matter Physics, Materials Science, Physical Chemistry or Chemistry of Solids. 
  • A well-organized person and a team player. 
  • Good communication skills (oral and written) in English.  
  • High level of commitment to complete the PhD studies 

How to Apply  

Please send your curriculum vitae, cover letter with a concise summary of your previous research activities, and contacts of two persons who might provide references to the supervisor. 

Detail information   

Selection Process 

Received applications will be continuously reviewed and carefully considered. Shortlisted applicants meeting the requirements will be invited to an interview.   

Please note that your application does not substitute an official admission process to Ph.D. studies at SCI MUNI. Details including discussion about the research topic, required documentation or formalities will be a subject of the interview with successful candidates. Only upon the informal pre-agreement with potential future supervisor, a formal application for PhD studies at Faculty of Science, Masaryk University can be submitted. 

We are looking forward to hearing from you!  

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