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Quantum spin Hall spintronics


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Monday 10 June 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Doctoral training partnership
Professor Christopher Marrows
Additional supervisors
Professor Edmund Linfield (Electronic & Electrical Engineering)
School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, School of Physics and Astronomy
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

In this project we shall investigate the potential for spintronics of the quantum spin Hall (QSH) regime in hybrid nanostructures made by attaching ferromagnetic metal contacts to the edge states of two-dimensional topological insulators. <br /> <br /> Being able to harness the spin-momentum-locked helical edge states in the QSH regime will allow us to direct the spatial path of electrical currents by controlling their spin. This breakthrough has the potential for exploiting quantised electrical conduction to realise dramatic reductions in the power consumption of classical ICT hardware and provide a route to topological quantum computing by exploiting the presence of Majorana bound states.<br /> <br /> These 2D materials will be formed from semiconducting InAs/GaSb coupled quantum wells, a candidate QSH system that is unusual in that it comprises from conventional semiconductor materials capable of being grown at wafer scale by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE).

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>The project is a collaboration between the School of Physics and Astronomy, who have expertise in spintronics and the study of devices incorporating ferromagnetic materials, as well as topological materials, and the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, who are capable of growing ultra-high quality InAs/GaSb coupled quantum wells in their III-V semiconductor MBE system. We shall combine this expertise to measure the spin-polarisation of currents injected into these helical edge states from the ferromagnetic contacts, the distances over which they remain coherent and the extent to which they can be redirected according to the magnetic state of the contacts.</p> <p>The results we shall obtain will not only lead to high impact publications and conference presentations by shedding light on the possibilities offered by this novel combination of materials, but also develop valuable know-how in the field of quantum spin Hall spintronics for technological applications.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course for Study section that you are applying for&nbsp;<em><strong>EPSRC DTP Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences</strong></em>, in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is&nbsp;<strong><em>Quantum spin Hall spintronics</em></strong>&nbsp;as well as <a href="">Professor Christopher Marrows&nbsp;</a>as your proposed supervisor and&nbsp;<em><strong>in the Finance section, please state that the funding source you are applying for is EPSRC Quantum Technologies&nbsp;Doctoral Training Studentship</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p>Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents at the point you submit your application:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p>A highly competitive EPSRC Quantum Technologies Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship offering the award of fees, together with a tax-free maintenance grant of &pound;19,237 per year for 3.5 years.&nbsp; Training and support will also be provided.<br /> <br /> This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.<br /> <br /> Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by email to&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information regarding this project, please contact Professor Christopher Marrows by email to <a href=""></a>.</p> <p>For information about Quantum Technologies or the Bragg Centre for Materials Research, please email&nbsp;<a href=""></a>.</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>