PhD Research Topics & Scholarships
 
Below I have listed a number of possible PhD and Master’s topics.
 
 
 
Artificial Intelligence in Materials Design— This collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) involves predicting structure-property correlations using machine learning. The research question is: “How can high-throughput materials science and AI be used to invent novel materials”. During the PhD you will gain both theoretical and practical research skills. The successful PhD candidate is expected to spend at least 6 months in the lab of Professor Mike Short at MIT.
Co-advisor: Professor Mike Short (MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering)
 
Accelerating Serendipity in Materials Design— This collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) involves using high-throughput materials techniques to identify new materials with unexpected properties.  The research question is: “How can serendipitous discovery of new materials be accelerated”. During the PhD you will gain both theoretical and practical research skills. The successful PhD candidate is expected to spend at least 6 months in the lab of Professor Mike Short at MIT.
Co-advisor: Professor Mike Short (MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering)
 
Black Silver Biosensing— We recently invented a new material with remarkable biosensing capabilities. The research question is: “How can we design a product that fully exploits the properties of black silver”. The PhD will require both practical and theoretical skills. This project will be particularly interesting to those interested in deep-tech start-up opportunities (entrepreneurship).
 
All-Optical Neural Networks— The research question is: “How to design an all-optical neural network?”. Many machine learning algorithms are based on neural networks that are implemented in software. However, these software codes are power hungry and relatively slow. In contrast all-optical neural networks have the potential to be faster and substantially more energy efficient. The reprogrammable optical materials that we research are highly suitable for all-optical photonics integrated circuit neural networks. During the PhD you will design materials and devices for all optical neural computing. This project will involve both theoretical modelling and experiments.
 
Tuneable InfraRed Photonics— The research question is: “How to design high transparency tuneable materials for infrared photonics”. The infrared spectrum is important for bio-sensing and chemical sensing. However IR optics are bulky and inconvenient. Here, we will design new IR materials that will enable mid-infrared spectroscopic analysers to be incorporated into smart phones and wearables. This could revolutionise food security, health tracking, and atmospheric monitoring. This project will involve both theoretical modelling and experiments.
 
Refractive index switching in Sb2S3— Sb2S3 is an interesting material because it exhibits an enormous change in refractive index in the visible spectrum. This makes it useful for reprogrammable visible photonics. However the reason for the large index change is unclear. The research question is “What is the fundamental physics of refractive index switching in Sb2S3 and how can the effect be optimised”. This project will involve both theoretical modelling and experiments.
 
Nanoantenna spatial light modulators for holographic display technologies— This project is in collaboration with the A*Star Institute for Materials Research. The research question is: “Can we design a phase change material to steer laser beams for holographic display applications?”. The idea is to exploit the large refractive index change in some phase change materials to steer laser beams using dielectric nano resonators. This project will involve both theoretical modelling and experiments.
 
Chalcogenide photonics— The aim here is to explore new opportunities for chalcogenide materials in Integrated Photonics Chips.  This project will involve design, nano-science, theoretical modelling and experimentation.
 
Requirements
  • A good degree in Physics, Materials Science, Optics & Photonics, or an engineering subject
  • A good command of English (TOEFL> 90, or IELTS >6.5).
 
1. EDB-Industrial Postgraduate Program (IPP).
The IPP is doctoral program, which leads to Ph.D. after four years of study and research.
The research will be carried out partnership with a large multinational company from the microelectronics manufacturing sector. The successful candidate will be employed by this company and complete his/her PhD during the employment. A salary will be paid to the candidate from the company and the EDB-IPP program will also provide a grant.
Candidates for the program will have a  good undergraduate degree in either physics, chemistry, materials Science, electronic engineering, photonics, or applied mathematics. The candidate should also be a Singaporean citizen or permanent resident. See here for more information.
 
2. SUTD Scholarships.
SUTD provides scholarship for exceptional students of any nationality. Funded projects in ACTAlab will involve applied and theoretical research into materials for nano-photonics and nanoscale electronics. Examples of possible projects include:

Please see the the SUTD scholarships page.

SINGA provides grants for exceptional students of any nationality. SINGA  projects in ACTAlab will involve applied and theoretical research into materials for nano-photonics and nanoscale electronics.
 
 
Visiting students and researchers
We welcome opportunities to collaborate with visiting scholars and students. Please contact robert_simpson@sutd.edu.sg for further details.