Tailoring 2D materials via interface engineering

Study level



2D materials are crystalline materials with only a single layer thickness. The best known 2D materials is graphene, but it also encompasses a large family of materials , such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs).
2D materials are set for breakthroughs in fundamental research and transformative technologies. They have few surface dangling bonds and unique atomic-level uniformity which make them very appealing for developing optical, electronic and energy applications.
These materials also bring a new degree of freedom to combine highly distinct materials, even molecular layers, at the atomic scale to create artificial superlattices and heterostructures.
Such a materials-by-design approach serves as an exciting frontier for exploring fundamental physics, chemistry, materials science and device engineering. This approach opens up technological opportunities beyond traditional materials to allow advances across diverse areas from electronics, optoelectronics, energy storage, spintronic to bio-electronics.
This project aims to tailor the electronic, piezoelectric, and optoelectronic properties of 2D materials and 2D heterostructures via an innovative interface engineering approach called surface transfer doping.
You will be using a custom-built in-situ high-vacuum optoelectronic characterisation system complemented by other surface science and materials characterisation techniques.

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 effect of surface transfer doping on the surface electronic structures
• characterising the electric and/or optoelectronic properties of devices and study their response to surface transfer doping.
• understanding the atomic structure of the 2D materials using state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy
• developing a fundamental understanding of the modulation of the electronic and optoelectronic properties and their coupling with the help of state-of-the-art first principle calculations


Outcomes of the project include developing knowledge and skills in:
• surface science
• surface analysis
• device fabrication and characterisation.
The success of this project will lead to new 2D devices with tailored performance and functions.

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.

External Collaborator

  • Dr Luhua Li, Deakin University