Thin film materials and processes for p-type flexible electronics


A PhD studentship is available for the development of p-type flexible thin film transistor technology. This student will focus of the development of thin film materials and device fabrication processes. In particular, the project will be based on Atomic Layer Deposition technology being developed at Liverpool.

There is an increasing demand for smart electronic systems to be integrated into everyday wireless products. The day is fast approaching when, enabled by 5G, the functionality of a smartphone will be replaced by a network of wearable, handheld, structurally integrated devices with embedded artificial intelligence to realise the Internet of Things (IoT). Large-area electronics will be behind the creation of this IoT as it drives the transformation of electronics into flexible devices. Our Industrial Partner, Pragmatic Semiconductor (PS) is a leading developer of large-area electronic logic and memory on flexible substrates and part of the strategic roadmap for this technology is the realisation of so-called CMOS which offers low-power and greater circuit functionality. A significant barrier to achieving flexible CMOS is the lack of compatible p-type oxide semiconductors. The PhD student will work within a project team developing materials, manufacturing processes, circuits and devices. The achievement of flexible CMOS is a word class ambition. The student cohort will have access to world class facilities and expertise to facilitate their training and development.

The PhD student will receive cohort training, together with students from the Universities of Bath and Cambridge. We have allowed for each student to spend time at the other academic partners to gain training across precursor chemistry, deposition technology and circuit design and fabrication, with each academic group. With the possibility of one month per year working together at PS’s facilities in County Durham, they will receive hands-on training in fabrication/scaled-up processes from PS’s technical staff, providing a uniquely broad education. This training will make them ideal employees for the large-area electronics industry. Additional training will come in the form of an annual one-day research conference/sandpit, through which the student will be able to interact with leading researchers across academia and industry. 

Applicant Eligibility

Candidates will have, or be due to obtain, a Master’s Degree from a reputable University in an appropriate field of Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics or Engineering.  Exceptional candidates with a First Class Bachelor’s Degree in an appropriate field will also be considered. 

Application Process

Candidates wishing to apply should complete the University of Liverpool application form applying for a PhD in Materials Engineering and uploading: Degree Certificates & Transcripts, an up to date CV, a covering letter/personal statement and two academic references. 


Candidates wishing to discuss the research project should contact the primary supervisor (, those wishing to discuss the application process should discuss this with the School Postgraduate Research Support Office [].  


Open to UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

This PhD studentship is granted on current UKRI levels of support for UK National Students Only. The Home fee rate, Research Training Support Grant and annual stipend granted for 3.5 years for full-time study. The home fee rate is (@2023) £4,712, the stipend is £18,622, and the Faculty cover a RTSG of £5000 over the duration of study. The fee rate and stipend will change according to UKRI levels at the time of student registration.