Study level


Master of Philosophy



Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Chemistry and Physics

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Aijun Du
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Understanding novel physics in nanoscale materials is critical for the development of modern electronics technology.

However, such delicate materials are difficult to manipulate and characterize experimentally because of their tiny size. This raises the conundrum of how to proceed forward quickly with exploration and subsequently design of properties.

In principle, materials properties are determined by the electronic structure. Quantum mechanics based computational approaches are able to address fundamental electronic, optical and magnetic properties in such materials.

This provides a powerful complement to the experiments, allowing us to envisage innovative ways of designing and exploiting electronic functionality in novel nanomaterials.

Research activities

Quantum mechanics-based model Hamiltonian and computational approaches will be used to understand novel physics in nanomaterials. Examples include electronic, optical and magnetic properties.

Some specific projects are:

  • discovering new 2D materials with unique electronic properties
  • predicting new 2D materials using global minimization approach
  • predicting novel 2D ferromagnets for low energy spintronics
  • electron coupling in twisted 2D bilayer materials
  • computational prediction of 2D Dirac half metal
  • optical absorption and electron-hole binding in solar cell materials
  • computing lattice thermal and electrical conductivity in thermoelectric materials
  • 2D ferromagnetism, ferroelectricity and ferroelasticity.

View Professor Du's profile on Google Scholar for related publications


You will develop new skills in:

  • understanding novel physics in nanoscale materials
  • computational physics
  • basic programming skills
  • writing journal papers.

New knowledge/results generated during your project will be published in leading physics/materials-science scientific journals.

Skills and experience

You should have a background in Physics. Experience with computer programming will be a great asset for undertaking this research.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.