Funded EPSRC PhD studentship

PhD studentships: Advanced image analysis of semiconductor structures

Recent advances in algorithms and computing power have produced new methods which, for some problems, can outperform human expertise in data analysis, image processing and pattern recognition. These techniques have been used to examine and analyse features in single and multiple images, as well as video footage. These machine learning approaches are beginning to revolutionise many areas including astronomy, medicine and machine vision. However, they require careful use. At the moment there are issues in the reproducibility and reliability of many of these applications, with calls from leading groups for a more physical understanding and Physics-like model approach to using these techniques.

This project aims to apply some of these new techniques to rapidly and accurately examine experimental data generated by the Semiconductor and Spectroscopy (SSD) Group in Strathclyde. We use nanoscale scanning electron probe and microscopy measurements of semiconductor nano-structures, particularly GaN and related materials. These are now extensively used for solid state lighting and lasers, having had massive impacts on world wide energy use (partly recognised by the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics). But in order to expand their use into areas like high power electronics and ultra-violet light sources requires robust wide area microscopy and analysis of data. Its here that machine learning methods can have a substantial impact, if used carefully.

For details contact Dr Ben Hourahine or Dr Paul Edwards.

Updated May 2018

PhD studentships

PhD studentships: Nanoanalysis of semiconductors and devices built from III-nitrides
There is potentially funding available for UK or EU students to carry out PhDs in our research group. For additional information please contact Professor Robert Martin, Dr Carol Trager-Cowan or Dr Ben Hourahine.

We investigate technologically important GaN-based semiconductor materials. Such materials underpin highly successful and growing technologies, such as LED lighting and power transistors, and also have great potential in developing technologies, such as UV emitters and solar energy converters, but deeper understanding of the materials is needed to ensure progress. We use advanced and developing scanning electron microscope based techniques such as electron channelling contrast imaging, cathodoluminescence and electron beam induced conductivity, to analyse the structural, optical and electrical properties of state-of-the-art III-nitride semiconductor structures down to the nanometer scale. The experimental data acquired is combined via software tools developed in the group to provide as much information as possible on the material and on the performance that can be delivered in subsequent devices. Experiments are guided and data interpreted through use of theoretical simulations and machine vision tools. New instrument development involving collaboration with academic and industrial partners is further expanding our materials’ characterisation capabilities. The GaN-based structures are provided from epitaxy specialists at collaborating groups at the Universities of Cambridge, Sheffield, Bath, Cork and Nottingham and from industry.

We welcome applications from potential PhD students interested in participating in research as described above.

Posted 20th April 2017