2D quantum materials studied by scanning probe methods

About this project

Project description

In this project, the student will investigate the electronic behavior of quantum materials. We are interested in understanding the electronic correlations leading to observation of quantum phases such as topological insulators, Weyl semimetals, and intrinsic magnetism in materials such as WTe2 and NiPS3. These materials holds great promise for low energy dissipation magnetic storage and spintronic applications. Studies of defects in these materials are critical to understand the defect tolerance of future devices and inadvertent changes to the electronic and magnetic structure.

Within the scope of this Ph.D. thesis, the student/s will learn to grow high-quality topological and magnetic materials and characterize them by scanning probes. As a measurement tool, the student/s will extensively work with a state of the art very low temperature ultra-high-vacuum scanning tunneling microscope equipped with a 3D vector magnetic field at IIT Delhi using 2D materials provided by Jacobson. This includes Fourier Transform STM to look for signatures of topological order and how this order is affected by intrinsic and extrinsic defects. At UQ, the ultrathin 2D films will be grown with tailored electronic and magnetic properties and these films will be measured at the Australian Synchrotron. Temperature and magnetic field dependent measurements will be performed to obtain information on the surface band structure of the respective materials.


  • High impact publications
  • Enhance collaboration between leading international institutions and regconised centres of excellence such as ARC FLEET
  • Mechanistic understanding of defects in topological materials which is directly related to device characteristic critical for industry
  • Training of students in state of the art experimental techniques

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Understanding of electronics, basic measurement skills and lab protocols.

Desireable capabilities

Skill in writing reports, course in condensed matter/solid state physics.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

MSc in Physics or closely related field.

Candidate Discipline

Physics, Electrical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, Materials Science.

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Dr Peter Jacobson

School of Mathematics and Physics
IITD Supervisor

Assistant Professor Pintu Das

Department of Physics