Van der Waals heterostructures for valley and spintronics


This project is part of a 4-year Dual PhD degree programme between the National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) and the University of Liverpool (England). As part of the NTHU-UoL Dual PhD Award students are in the unique position of being able to gain 2 PhD awards at the end of their degree from two internationally recognised world-leading Universities. As well as benefiting from a rich cultural experience, students can draw on large-scale national facilities of both countries and create a worldwide network of contacts across two continents.

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Progress in materials science depends on the ability to develop new materials. Of these new materials, those with reduced dimensionality offer particular appeal for technological incorporation. 2D Van der Waals materials (VdW), which include metals, semiconductors (e.g. transition metal dichalcogenides; TMDs), insulators (hexa-Boron Nitride; hBN) and metal oxides, have become a key focus of material science and engineering due to their unique properties for magnetic 2D materials. In tandem, spintronics offers a new approach to achieve improved magnetic memory and logic device performance, via efficient spin-charge conversion. The main advantages of 2D spintronics over conventional 3D magnetic materials provide opportunities to push devices to the 2D limits, that are both chemically more diverse and mechanically more flexible than conventional devices. Recent studies suggest that graphene in proximity to a single layer TMD can acquire anisotropic spin dynamics while preserving its electronic properties. Theoretical studies further suggest that graphene proximity also induces spin-orbit interaction and can enhance graphene spin-charge conversion efficiency.

Spin-orbit coupling (SOC) is a promising field of research for spintronic devices. Indeed, the emerging field of spin-orbitronics, where SOC underpins spin-to-charge current interconversion, offers an energy-efficient means to manipulate the magnetization in future non-volatile memory technologies. This project aims to develop SOC device architectures using two-dimensional materials, in particular, leveraging unique optical, electrical and spin properties of these materials to tailor and enhance spin-charge interconversion efficiency.
This PhD project will target the fabrication of 2-D VdW heterostructures from 2D VdW magnetic materials, which exhibits active carrier spin, and TMDs, where pseudo-spin is involved. These materials will be fabricated using novel methods developed at NTHU, and their spin related characteristics studied. This approach can provide many opportunities for different electronic applications, especially magnetic memories, with the integration of these materials the ground of fundamental science and an approach towards seamless integration of information storage and processing.

During this project the PhD student will gain expertise in functional materials development, provided by extensive fabrication, characterization, and functional materials testing equipment available at NTHU. They will develop key knowledge in advanced spin transport measurements through working within UoL research groups which focus on nanomagnetism, magnetic thin films and spintronics research.

Applicants should apply via the University of Liverpool application form, for a PhD in the subject area listed above:

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For enquires on the application process or to find out more about the Dual programme please contact School of Physical Sciences Postgraduate Office ()


Open to students worldwide

Funding information

Funded studentship

This project is a part of a 4-year dual PhD programme between National Tsing Hua University (Taiwan) and the University of Liverpool (England). Students should spend equal time studying in each institution. Both the UoL and NTHU have agreed to waive the tuition fees for the duration of the project and stipend of $11,000 TWD/£280 GBP a month will be provided as a contribution to living costs. When applying please ensure you Quote the supervisor & project title you wish to apply for and note ‘NTHU-UoL Dual Scholarship’ when asked for details of how plan to finance your studies.