2D heterostructures for future electronics

Study level

Master of Philosophy


The traditional approach to the miniaturisation of electronic devices is coming to a halt. Experts agree that the Moore’s law prediction of doubling the number of transistors per chip every two years will cease to be fulfilled in 2020, as the heat produced in small structures cannot be cooled down quickly enough.
However, by reducing the size of the device, the quantum nature of atoms and solids can be turned into an asset. By exploiting the phenomena occurring at these scales, these electrons can travel without scattering, minimising the heat due to the Joule effect and drastically reducing the power consumption.
2D material heterostructures represent an elegant approach to the design and synthesis of few layers, obtaining the desired properties by combining these stacked layers in a particular order,
This materials-by-design approach creates unprecedented opportunities to modulate or create electronic functions for future devices that operate faster, more energy efficient, and are multi-functional.
This project aims to create, understand and engineer novel 2D vertical heterostructures. We will then explore their electronic and optoelectronic properties as well as modulate such properties through interface engineering approaches.

Research Activities

The specific activities will be tailored to your study level and availabilities.
You will work in a well-established, highly-collaborative research group environment, using the most advanced instrumentation available at CARF, providing an effective and rich learning experience.
You will also benefit from an outstanding collaboration network including QUT researchers, international scientists and the principal supervisor, Dr. Dongchen Qi, who is an ARC Future Fellow and an expert in surface science and nanoscience.
Some of the research activities will include:
• studying the synthesis of novel 2D heterostructures both from bottom-up and top-down approach
• studying the atomic and electronic structures with a combination of materials characterisation techniques including synchrotron radiation
• device fabrication and characterisation.


Outcomes of the project include developing knowledge and skills in:
• surface science
• surface analysis
• device fabrication and characterisation.
The success of this project will advance the scientific field through perfect control of the growth of these heterostructures, exploitation of new quantum and topological effects. These discoveries are capable of revolutionising the electronic industry.

Skills and experience

To be considered for this project, you must have:
• motivation and interest in scientific problems
• strong foundations in physics, chemistry or engineering
More specific skills will depend on your study level.