Advanced Nanotechnologies and Microtechnologies
CEITEC VUTAbbreviation: ANTMTAcad. year: 2019/2020
Programme: Advanced Materials and Nanosciences
Length of Study: 4 years
Accredited from: 1.1.2011Accredited until:
The field of study "Advanced Microtechnologies and Nanotechnologies" will provide students with knowledge and skills focused mainly on the issue of nanotechnology of materials and structures generally suitable for nanoelectronics and ananophotonics. This area includes both the preparation and characterization of nanostructures (specifically, semiconductor nanostructures, metallic and magnetic nanostructures, oxide superconductors and magnetics, nanotubes, nanofibers, supramolecules, and nanoelectronic elements beyond Moore's Law, etc.) will be investigated. The field also includes biological and medical applications of these materials and products (eg biosensors, nanodots, etc.).
By completing the study, the student will gain sufficient professional knowledge and skills needed to solve various scientific problems of research and development institutions and industrial practice. The graduate will be able to work at the necessary level for further development of the field at the workplaces of their further activities (academic and scientific institutions and institutions in the field of implementation) and contribute to improving the competitiveness of research and application areas of these institutions. The concept of the study program enables students to acquire sufficient competencies for cooperation in national and international development, design and research teams. The graduate of this field will gain solid abilities and skills to work in scientific and research centers not only in the Czech Republic but also abroad.
Issued topics of Doctoral Study Program
- A new biomimetic method to attain hydroxyapatite-titanium composites without undesirable phases
This Ph.D. topic explores a new method for the development of titanium-hydroxyapatite composites and their characterization. Traditionally such composites have been processed by sinterization leading on oxidation of titanium and decomposition of hydroxyapatite. To overcome this problem a new biomimetic processing route will be implemented, that allow the in situ formation of hydroxyapatite at room temperature, following a process similar to the natural growing of bones. The aim is to produce titanium-hydroxyapatite composites free of secondary phases that combine the mechanical strength of titanium and the bioactivity of hydroxyapatite. The methodology include the chemical activation of titanium to promote the chemical bonding with hydroxyapatite, and in turn achieve mechanical reinforcement. Chemical, microstructural, interfacial and mechanical characterization will be performed to understand the behaviour of these new composites. Finally, titanium scaffolds will be manufactured by robocasting and reinforced with hydroxyapatite foam to obtain porous structures that promote bone regeneration in load bearing clinical situations. Along the studies, the candidate will have the opportunity to learn and work from the synthesis of the materials to the biological characterization of the composite. Highly motivated and collaborative candidates with outstanding track of records and with the ambition to learn from both materials and biological sciences are welcome to submit an application.
- Advanced food analysis: Chemical functionalization of 2D materials with application for detection of dangerous polutants
This thesis will focus on the detection of mycotoxins in the food using DNA and immunoassays modified 2D materials.
- Advanced food analysis: Chemical functionalization of 2D materials with application for detection of dangerous polutants
This thesis will focus on the detection of mycotoxins in the food using DNA and immunoassays modified 2D materials.
- Advanced laser ablation based analytical techniques for high resolutin mapping
For detailed info please contact the supervisor.
- Advanced nanotools for a selective and efficient gene editing
Despite tremendous advances in recent years, gene editing has still its limitations. Among the most significant drawbacks, a selective delivery of the editing molecules to the target cells, markedly affecting the editing efficiency must be emphasized. Some tissues are very hard to edit, which also opens a new avenue for important discoveries in the field of advanced nanomaterials. Hence, the aim of this PhD project will be the use of variously modified hybrid organic/inorganic nanoparticles either static or dynamic as biocompatible delivery tools for gene editing molecules to increase the tissue/cell specificity and editing efficiency. In the first phase, developed nano-systems will be characterized and their efficiency will be tested on various immortalized and primary cell lines. In the second phase, with the focus on a deregulation of anti-apoptotic cascades, candidate delivery systems will be tested for biosafety, efficiency and specificity in vivo in pre-clinical murine model of breast cancer and selected monogenic hereditary disease.
Tutor: Heger Zbyněk, Mgr., Ph.D.
- Analysis of muscle-skeletal system by X-ray computed tomography
X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a non-destructive imaging method that provides high spatial resolution at sub-micron level and it allows to obtain three-dimensional (3D) information about various objects with the size ranging from sub-millimeter to several millimeters. Recent developments of this method have significantly advanced biological imaging. Evaluation of 3D models provides information about shapes, scales and geometry of variuos biological objects (vertebrate muscles and skeletal elements). In this work, new approaches in CT data processing will be studied with the aim of explanation of different processes in developmental biology.
- Analysis using Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) method in vacuum
Scope of the thesis: The aim of this dissertation thesis is the detection of elements with significant spectral lines in VUV region, such as C, N, S, P, Cl, and Br. This thesis will include necessary development and construction of detection system (including spectrometer and detector) designed for LIBS analysis with spectral range under 170 nm and resolution < 0.2 nm. It is desired that this detection system will be a modular extension of already developed LIBS interaction chamber, developed at CEITEC BUT. Consecutively, this system will be tested. Objectives: A. Literature research of current state of the art with respect to thesis goals. B. Design of the spectrometer and detection unit. C. Construction of the detection system. D. Analysis in vacuum. E. Estimation of detection limits for selected elements.
- Application of KPFM in graphene based sensors and solar cells
Kelvin's probe force microscopy (KPFM) is an excellent tool for mapping the distribution of surface potential locally up to nanometer resolution. This can be advantageously used in a study of charge distribution on nanometer-sized sensors and at investigation of p-n interfaces of solar cells during their operation. This new information, in addition to commonly studied sensor current responses and solar cell voltage responses, makes it easier to understand the ongoing physical processes, use this knowledge to eliminate the shortcomings of existing devices, and possibly to design higher efficiency devices. At work, you will need to master the general physical principles of KPFM, sensors and solar cells. A suitable applicant is a graduate of a Master's degree in Physics, Electrical Engineering or Chemistry. Aims: 1) Mastering physical principles and measurement of graphene-based sensors and solar cells. 2) Adopting theoretical and practical aspects of KPFM. 3) Mapping the charge distribution close to a graphene sensor and designing more sophisticated sensors. 4) Mapping the potential distribution on the graphene-semiconductor solar cell interface and designing the cell with higher efficiency. 5) Adequate publishing outputs and presentation of results at international conferences.
- Biophysical study of living cells
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno. The goal of this work is to study adhesion force between nanostructured surface and living cells. The student will set up a system of nanostructured pillars (substrates with those patterns are already available for the student) with desired surface properties. It is expected that the cells will attached to the top of the pillars and due to adhesion forces the cells will deform the pillars’ shapes. The student will capture a real-time video of the structure using either confocal or holographic microscope. The video will be processed by a script in MATLAB environment to create a real-time video of the adhesion force between the cell and the pillars. PhD candidate will work together with Regional Centre for Applied Molecular Oncology (RECAMO).
- Calorimetric sensor for biocatalytic reaction and affinity interaction
Calorimeters with pW resolution have a potential to monitor the thermodynamics of chemical and biochemical reactions at fL volume. A calorimeter made by microelectromechanical system (MEMS) technology with an integrated temperature sensor, surrounded by vacuum to improve its thermal isolation and precision will be fabricated and characterised. A unique properties of the system will be demonstrated by monitoring heat balance of biocatalytic and affinity reactions in solution. Thus, we are looking for highly motivated Ph.D. students with ability to carry out the research project independently, interpret the data and write manuscript. Background in microfabrication and characterisation techniques, and biosensing is strongly advantageous.
- Combination of spectroscopic and tomographic data to obtain 3D chemical imaging
Investigation of a sample gives only limited information when observed independently using different techniques. In order to improve the awareness of individual sample features it is beneficial to combine more techniques in a complementary analysis. We propose to provide chemical and structural analysis using laser-based spectroscopic and computed tomography techniques, respectively. Feasibility experiments shown a great potential in the combination of the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and micro X-Ray Computed Tomography techniques. In this work, the design of experiment has to be optimized to overcome obstacles in analysis given by both techniques. Another challenge lies in the processing and combination of obtained large scale data sets involving redundant and corrupted information. This thesis will build up a cornerstone of novel analytical approach.
- Complex automated bioreactor for holographic microscopy
For maximum information yield about live cells behaviour provided by coherence controlled holographic microscopy it is inevitable to design and develop complex automated bioreactor. Such a device should ensure optically suitable accommodation of live cells in the microscope with provision of control over physiological microenvironment and preprogrammed challenges. The task is to design, develop and validate the complex automated biorector for T1 holographic microscope.
Tutor: Veselý Pavel, MUDr., CSc.
- Coordination compounds showing the magnetic bi- or multistability
Proposed PhD project is oriented on the synthesis and characterization of magnetically active transition metal and/or lanthanide complexes showing specific magnetic phenomena like spin crossover effect, single molecule magnetism or single chain magnetism. Such coordination compounds exhibit magnetic bi- or multistability and in this sense are very attractive from the application point of view. Possible technological utilization might be in the case of high capacity memory devices, display technologies, spinotronics, contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging etc. PhD study will be focused on the advance organic and coordination synthesis of mononuclear and polynuclear complexes. New-prepared compounds will be characterized by analytical and spectral methods and magnetic properties will be studied by means MPMS SQUID and HFEPR spectroscopy.
- CRISPR/Cas9 system to study of secondary metabolism of unicellular algae
The aim of this thesis is to investigate of secondary metabolism of unicellular algae using genome editing based on Crispr/Cas9 technology. The main goal will be the construction of knockout generation of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii strain in genes involved in biosynthesis of secondary metabolites. Subsequently, use the ambient mass spectrometry under ambient conditions with desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and direct analysis in real time (DART) to study metabolome in the obtained strains.
- Deposition and functional properties of macro- and bio-molecules at surfaces
Large organic molecules (e.g. enzymes) present a prospective part of hybrid functional layers. However, deposition of large organic molecules under vacuum conditions presents an intriguing task as these cannot be thermally evaporated. Recently, in our laboratories, we got access to atomic injection system for deposition of soluble objects (e.g. molecules and nanoparticles) in ultrahigh vacuum. The goal of PhD is to develop methodology deposition of biomolecules and their characterization by microscopic and spectroscopic characterization. Within the Ph.D. study, deposited layers will be analyzed in-situ by the low energy electron microscopy (LEEM), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). This will be complemented by ex-situ complementary characterization (in collaboration) by AFM, X-ray diffraction and reflectivity, and TEM. (For detailed information, please, directly contact the Jan Čechal)
Tutor: Čechal Jan, doc. Ing., Ph.D.
- Design of Multipurpose Sample Holder for THz Spectroscopy
The aim of this PhD project is to develop multipurpose non-resonant sample holder for broadband Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer based on THz rapid frequency scans (THz-FRaScan-EPR) as well as for Fourier Transform InfraRed (FTIR) studies. Thanks to the developed sample holder the THz-FRaScan-EPR spectrometer will allow multi-frequency relaxation studies of variety of samples ranging from oriented bulk (crystal) materials, over powdered samples to air sensitive samples and liquid solutions. Furthermore, the design should allow inserting samples from Ultra High Vacuum. The sample holder should primary operate at frequencies between 80 GHz to 1100 GHz, at temperatures from 1.8 K to 300 K and at magnetic field up to 16 T. The sample holder will be tested on variety of samples ranging from Single Molecule Magnets over modern 2D solid state materials to air sensitive biological samples.
Tutor: Neugebauer Petr, Ing., Ph.D.
- Development and application of eucaryotic cell-based microcolumn separation techniques
The thesis will focus on development of new generation of electromigration capillary separation techniques by designing, preparation and testing of novel smart interactive phases for capillary electrophoresis or capillary electrochromatography. The designed phases will be based on living cells able to selectively transform target analyte from the complex sample to a detectable product. Manufacturing phase will be based on genetic modification technology enabling not only tailor the cell receptors towards the target analyte (to be extracted from the sample and internalized into the cell) but also modify the cellular pathway for transformation of the analyte into the product and its release back into the capillary flow.
- Development of a 500 MHz DNP-NMR system
The introduction of pulse techniques to the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy had dramatically enhanced its sensitivity, which, in turn, had changed its application landscape. For example, it gave birth to the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) — a revolutionary and (nowadays) indispensable tool in medical diagnosis and staging of disease. The further increase in sensitivity will improve the resolution and recording time of MRI scans, making it cheaper and more accessible. The most promising path in this direction is the so-called dynamic nuclear polarization (DNP) enhanced NMR. In this method, the much higher polarization of the electron’s spin is transferred to the nuclear spin via hyperpolarization processes. This technique has already proven its usefulness demonstrating the hundreds of times improvement of the sensitivity. The main goal of the project is to increase further the efficiency of DNP-NMR, and it consists of two parts. Firstly, we will couple the existing 500 MHz NMR console with our 16 T superconductive magnet in order to be able to run solid-state NMR. For this goal, the PhD student will design and develop the DNP-NMR probe for solid-state samples. The second part is devoted to experiments on the DNP enhanced NMR and improving the efficiency of hyperpolarization processes.
Tutor: Neugebauer Petr, Ing., Ph.D.
- Development of computational procedures and computer programs for processing pulsed EPR data
Pulsed Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) methods are intensively used to investigated structure and dynamics of complex macromolecules containing unpaired electrons. Among these methods Pulsed Electron-Electron Double Resonance (PELDOR) also known as Double Electron-Electron Resonance (DEER) has emerged as a powerful technique to determine relative orientation and distance between macromolecular structural units on nanometre scale. For successful applications of pulsed EPR methods it is important to have tools enabling transformation of measured signals into structural information. The goal of this PhD project is to develop new effective computational procedures and computer programs for the processing of measured pulsed EPR data in order to extract structural and dynamical information from experiments. This goal also includes application of the developed computational methods to real experimental data obtained on the molecules tagged with spin labels. For more details please contact Petr Neugebauer.
Tutor: Neugebauer Petr, Ing., Ph.D.
- Development of new materials for 3D printing of devices used in electrocatalytical water splitting for hydrogen evolution as a clean energy
This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new catalytic materials which are 3D printable for electrocatalysis and water splitting to hydrogen as clean energy source. Hydrogen is being used as clean energy source for smart city electromobility.
- Dimensionality reduction of spectroscopic data
The amount of data obtained in one experiment is steadily increasing. Contemporary state-of-the-art Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy system provide bulky data sets with millions of objects (spectra) and thousands of variables (wavelengths). Thus, there is a must driven by more efficient data storage, handling and processing; this might be tackled by lowering the dimension of raw data sets. This demands to truncate the information and omit redundancy and noise. In this work, advanced mathematical algorithms will be investigated, with special attention to non-linear algorithms. The main parameter is robustness of the algorithm. Outcomes of this thesis will be directly applied to data processing in various applications, including the multivariate mapping of sample surface.
- Direct ink writing for fabrication of biological-tissue-like-constructs
This PhD research topic explores Direct Ink Writing method, also known as robocoasting, for in vitro fabrication of tissue-like-constructs with potential application as i) tissue or organ substitutes in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine approaches or ii) development of models for in vitro testing of drugs and new therapies. Direct ink writing is an additive manufacturing method able to produce polymeric, ceramic or metallic shapes, besides, it offer the possibility to use cell-loaded materials to fabricate directly cell-containing constructs. Along the studies, the candidate will have the opportunity to learn and work from the synthesis of the materials for manufacturing, to the biological characterization of the manufactured constructs. Principal attention will devote to fabrication of bone-like tissues, but according with the results, other tissues such as pancreas, muscle or neuronal will be addressed. Highly motivated and collaborative candidates with outstanding track of records and with the ambition to learn from both materials and biological sciences are welcome to submit an application.
- Dual-energy nano computed tomography
Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) is a modality that was formerly used only at synchrotron based facilities. Recently it has been used in medical sphere of computed tomography (CT) and nowadays potential of DECT has been tested on laboratory based CT system with high resolution. This technique uses two energetically different X-ray spectra for examination and specific differentiation of individual sample components, in terms of materials or tissues, based on their attenuation properties. This differentiation is feasible even for materials which would be inseparable in CT data from standard CT measurement using only one beam energy. Therefore, an advantage of DECT is a possibility of precise material segmentation and classification. Furthermore, acquired information from DECT measurement can be utilized for creating pseudo-monochromatic CT images which results in specific reduction of tomographic artifacts e.g. beam hardening. Aim of this thesis will be study of DECT technique and testing its potential and utilization in sphere of laboratory CT system with submicron spatial resolution.
- Electrochemical detection of protein biomarkers with microfluidic chip
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno. The goal of this work is to perform theoretical study, design, fabrication and characterization of gold electrochemical sensors (EC) made by planar technology in combination with pulse electrochemical method, such as lock-in amplification. PhD candidate will perform detail analysis of electrode behavior and optimize their geometry. Besides that the student will design and fabricate a microfluidic system, which will allow to define the flow of liquid between individual electrochemical sensors. The lock-in amplification technique allows concurrently interrogate a few sensors. Basic characteristic will be perform using model Fe2+/Fe3+ system and compare with standard cyclic voltammetry. PhD candidate will then perform specific reaction antibody/antigen at the gold surface after the surface is treated with a thiol cross linker that there will be different antibody at each EC cell. PhD candidate will work together either with Regional Centre for Applied Molecular Oncology (RECAMO) or with partner group at Mendel University. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. Part of the project might be also carried out in P.R. China, based on current exchange program and mutual agreement, i.e. it is NOT mandatory.
- Electrochemical properties of nanostructured materials
Aim of this work is theoretical study, deposition and characterization nanostructured materials such as Au, Ag and their amalgams. Student is expected to optimize their deposition technique and characterize their properties, such as surface area and composition. Then the student will fabricate biosensing chip based on an array of those nanostructured materials and again perform their fundamental characterization using electrochemical, optical and electrical methods. Then the array of nanostructure electrodes in a microfluidic system will be used to perform an early cancer detection based on diagnosis of circulation cancer DNA. The chip fabrication, characterization will be conducted at CEITEC in collaboration with hospital laboratories, such as RECAMO.
- Electronic and optical characterization of novel plasmonic materials
Plasmon propagation in metals and metallic compounds provides an ideal foundation for strong interaction between an optical mode and an electronic system. The functionality of plasmonic layers can be extended far beyond simple waveguide applications, e.g. by structuring into meta-surfaces. This thesis will be focused on the development of functional plasmonic surfaces and their interaction with semiconductor heterostructures. The candidate is expected to characterize the electrical and optical properties of novel plasmonic materials to pave the road for device integration with monolithic mid-infrared sensors. Previous experience with measurement setups at CEITEC (i.e. probe station, cryostats, ellipsometry) is of advantage. Applicants should be fluent in English and committed to self-motivated work in an international research group. Further relevant skills include utility programming for data analysis and lab automation (e.g. C++, Ruby, Python, Linux) as well as documentation and publication of results (LaTeX, etc.). The group of Dr. Hermann Detz focuses on hybrid plasmonic systems for applications in near- and mid-infrared sensing platforms. Particular emphasis is placed on the integration of novel plasmonic materials with established III-V optoelectronic devices. The group provides a multi-disciplinary, international environment. Scientific results are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.
- Engineered 2D materials for biosensing
The great success of graphene throws new light on discovering more two-dimensional (2D) layered nanomaterials that stem from atomically thin 2D sheets. Compared with a single element of graphene, emerging graphene-like 2D materials composed of multiple elements that possess more versatility, greater flexibility and better functionality with a wide range of potential applications. This project highlights unique morphology, biocompatibility and physicochemical properties of 2D materials with focus on their applications in electrochemical biosensing and optical biosensing. Thus, we are looking for highly motivated Ph.D. students with ability to carry out the research project independently, interpret the data and write manuscript. Background in 2D materials, microfabrication and characterisation techniques and biosensing is strongly advantageous.
- Experimental study and modeling of prismatic dislocation loops
The prismatic dislocation loops have Burgers vector perpendicular to the loop plane and they are created by irradiation or by plastic deformation. These loops can be easily seen in transmission electron microscope (TEM) and can be produced by Ga+ ions in focused ion beam (FIB). The objective of this project is to study interactions of small prismatic loops with each other and with free surfaces of the TEM foil both experimentally and by atomistic modeling using empirical potentials.
Tutor: Fikar Jan, Mgr., Ph.D.
- Fabrication and structural characterization of novel plasmonic materials
Plasmonic waveguides were demonstrated to be an ideal component of monolithic infrared sensing platforms. While at present, they are commonly used for the confinement and guidance of optical modes, they offer a lot of potential to make a transition from purely passive to functional components of optical systems. The candidate should investigate the fabrication of Heusler-compounds for plasmonics applications at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths by UHV sputtering processes. Experimental work will include the nucleation and growth in different semiconductor surfaces as well as the structural characterization of these materials by X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy. Previous experience with relevant equipment within the CEITEC Nano Facilities (UHV sputtering, XRD, TEM) is of advantage. Applicants should be fluent in English and committed to self-motivated work in an international research group. Further relevant skills include utility programming for data analysis and lab automation (e.g. C++, Ruby, Python, Linux) as well as documentation and publication of results (LaTeX, etc.). The group of Dr. Hermann Detz focuses on hybrid plasmonic systems for applications in near- and mid-infrared sensing platforms. Particular emphasis is placed on the integration of novel plasmonic materials with established III-V optoelectronic devices. The group provides a multi-disciplinary, international environment. Scientific results are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.
Fabrication of functional nanostructures and thein analysis by surface-sensitive techniques
Due to their geometry, one-dimensional materials seem to be natural building blocks for many device systems, e.g. in electronics or photonics. Because of high surface-to-volume ratio there is a need to analyze the properties of surfaces (ether electronic, morfology etc.) by surface-sensitive techniques. However, these often lack spatial resolution. The aim of the disseration work is to study the surfaces of relevant nanomaterials (with emphasis on quasi-1D semiconductors and oxides) and correlate them with projected functional properties (e.g. optical – fotoluminiscence etc.).
- Fabrication of nanowire based devices for use in nanophotonics or bio-intefaces
Due to their geometry, one-dimensional materials seem to be natural building blocks for many device systems, e.g. in electronics or photonics. They can be easily and reproducibly contacted and allow to design 3D devices. Additionally, they seem to be natural choice for nanoscale electrodes (e.g. for detecting cells signalling) or for nanoscale-patterned macroscale electrodes (e.g. in electrochemistry). Currently, mostly undergraduates in our group deal with lithography, which is necessary for device design. We seek for a PhD candidate capable of fabricating a device geometry on demand, and aiming at performing measurements (electrical, optical) relevant for the device application (photonics, bio interfacing, sensing etc.).
- Functionalization of pore-solid nanoarchitectures for environmental catalysis
Aerogels are a unique class of ordered porous, solid materials that are characterized by network-like, mesoporous, open-pore structure and have a complex of exceptional characteristics, such as extremely high surface area, low density, high catalytic activity and negligible heat conductivity. A promising research area is the surface functionalization of aerogels and other related highly porous architectures (xerogels, ambigels) with catalytically active species. This will allow to use these materials for a wide range of energy applications, such as for example production of hydrogen, electrolytes and electrode materials in solid-oxide fuel cells. The topic aims at the exploration of new possibilities for the development of improved environmental catalysts based on modified single-phase and multicomponent aerogels. Synthesis methods to be used will allow to employ various oxide systems for building aerogel templates (based on perovskite, pyrochlore, zirconia and titania), while several other techniques (sol-gel synthesis, nanoparticle introduction and atomic layer deposition) will be applied to modify obtained templates to prepare catalysts of high gas reforming efficiency, selectivity and stability.
Tutor: Tkachenko Serhii, Ph.D.
- Gecko mimicking structures
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno. The project focuses on a development of a nanostructured materials for gecko mimicking surfaces. The key part of the work is to conduct finite element modelling (FEM) of the desired structure and to fabricate it primarily at CEITEC facility, as well as at National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, USA. Next the surface of the structure has to be treated to get desirable surface properties by self-assembly monolayer and characterize it using force spectrum (force-distance measurement) by atomic force microscope. Creation of a system to demonstrate utilization of the adhesion force is highly desirable. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. Part of the project might be also carried out in P.R. China, based on current exchange program and mutual agreement, i.e. it is NOT mandatory.
- High temperature plasticity and magnetic properties of high and medium entropy alloys
Solid solutions mixing four and more metals in an equiatomic proportion represent a brand new class of materials exhibiting many unique properties . Particularly striking examples are a combination of high strength and high ductility of CoCrFeMnNi alloy at low temperatures  or a possibility to “program” magnetic hysteresis of the same alloy by external field applied during cooling to a low temperature ferromagnetic regime . The original idea linking the thermodynamic stability to high configurational entropy of these materials does not seem to work. In spite of this, systems like the CoCrFeMnNi and some others are in the state of solid solution at the standard conditions. A satisfactory explanation based on thermodynamic principles has not yet been found. Similarly, a self-consistent theory which would provide explanation of the observed magnetic phenomena is missing. Furthermore, many alloys of the class were still not investigated with respect to their high temperature plasticity and related evolution of dislocation structures. Therefore, the topic proposed for the PhD study offers a wide range of possibilities to perform ground braking studies both in the theoretical as well as experimental fields. A subject of the thesis particularly focuses on two topical issues related to the high temperature strength and magnetic properties of the new class of solid solutions with the cubic lattices: 1) microstructural basis of the viscous glide controlled creep  and 2) physical background related to the vertical shift of magnetic hysteresis curves . The work assumes an application of various experimental and theoretical methods like micro and nano structural electron microscopy studies or numerical modelling of magnetic structures within a framework of Ising-Heisenberg approximation. The hosting institution will be the Institute of Physics of Materials [http://www.ipminfra.cz/]. I envisage multiple short term attachments at the partner institutions in Germany (Ruhr University Bochum) and in US (Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee).
- Holographic Incoherent Quantitative Phase Imaging (hiQPI) in biomedical applications
-Application of hiQPI for measurements of dynamic dry-mass distributions in live cancer cells in tissue culture including primary cells from patient biopsy -Development of relevant image processing and data analysis for quantitative evaluation of statistically significant changes in cellular responses to chemotherapeutic drugs using dynamic morphometric parameters derived by image processing The project will include developments in microscopy, image processing, data analysis and tissue culture.
Tutor: Zicha Daniel, Ing., CSc.
- Characterization of Nanoparticles and Nanoparticle Systems
Nanoparticles and nanoparticle systems have a unique position among nanomaterials. They have many important applications in technologies, biology, and medicine, and a huge potential for future developments. The physical and chemical properties of nanoparticles (nanometric volumes of materials) are fundamentally influenced by their morphology. Decreasing the particle size enlarges the surface-to-volume ratio, which can be utilized in chemical reactions (chemical catalysis), and to tune physical properties of these materials (quantum dots, superparamagnetic and magnetic nanoparticles). The topic of this dissertation is the structural and phase characterizations of nanoparticles and their aggregates using electron microscopy. The experimental results will help to unravel the relationship between their properties and structure, and will be used to optimize their synthesis method and functionalization.
- Increase of a dielectric constant of ceramic materials for application in capacitors
High permittivity materials are needed for new applications, eg. in the next generation integrated circuits or in capacitors. In the manufacture of capacitors, materials with high permittivity are desirable to achieve a higher density of energy in the capacitor and hence to diminish the dimensions. Nowadays, pure BaTiO3 material is used for commercial ceramic capacitors. By doping the permittivity of this material can be increased up to 10 times. The aim is to find options for BaTiO3 to increase the permittivity in the form of doping or material modification. Internship at the University of Oulu is planned.
In-situ monitoring of nanostructures growth
Revealing the growth mechanisms at nanoscale is particularly challenging from many reasons. The most prominent advances in physics of nanostructure growth were achieved utilizing real-time in-situ monitoring techniques (both microscopic and spectroscopic). In our group, we have a large expertise in real time electron microscopy and, in the following year, we will install a new vacuum chamber dedicated to Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy. The aim of this PhD dissertation is to work on revealing puzzling growth modes of different nanostructures of interest (semiconductor nanowires grown by MBE, metallic/oxide threedimensional nanostructures formed by Focused Electron Beam Induced Deposition etc.) utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. Close collaboration with ThermoFisher Scientific R&D labs will be part of applicants work.
- Integration of plasmonic nanoparticles with semiconductor-heterostructures
Plasmonic nanoparticles allow efficient coupling between optical fields and quantum-mechanical systems within semiconductor-heterostructures. The optical response of the nanoparticles depends on their shape and size and can therefore be engineered through lithographic processes. The main goal of this thesis will be to optimize the sputtering and structuring to realize well-defined geometries. The electronic and optical properties of hybrid systems (plasmonic particles + two-dimensional electron gas) shall be characterized to allow their application as beam-shaping elements for infrared sensing platforms. Previous experience with measurement setups at CEITEC (i.e. UHV sputtering, electron-beam lithography, laser lithography, ellipsometry) is of advantage. Applicants should be fluent in English and committed to self-motivated work in an international research group. Further relevant skills include utility programming for data analysis and lab automation (e.g. C++, Ruby, Python, Linux) as well as documentation and publication of results (LaTeX, etc.). The group of Dr. Hermann Detz focuses on hybrid plasmonic systems for applications in near- and mid-infrared sensing platforms. Particular emphasis is placed on the integration of novel plasmonic materials with established III-V optoelectronic devices. The group provides a multi-disciplinary, international environment. Scientific results are published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences.
- Interconnection of statistical physics and machine learning algorithms
Spectroscopic analysis using state-of-the-art analytical techniques (incl. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy, LIBS) results in big data; which in turn leads to challenges in data processing. Thus, in recent years, the attention in advanced algorithms for processing of large data sets is increasing. The interconnection of Machine Learning with Statistical Physics opens new perspective that might beneficially contribute to solution of contemporary bottle-necks in data processing; such as reducing the computation burden when handling overloading data sizes. Approaches and methods of Statistical Physics are bringing explanation and further improvement of complex Machine Learning models and their behaviour. Therefore, the goal of this thesis is the development of complex methodology for processing of spectroscopic data while taking into consideration the process of generation of data as such.
- Investigation of quantum phase transitions via Electron Spin Resonance
Magnetism emerges in matter due to the presence of unpaired electronic spins and the interaction between them in a wide range of materials from oxides to molecular materials. The collective behavior of spins, also known as quantum entanglement of spins, is a very active area of research with application to communication and computation. Electron spin resonance (ESR) is a key technique that enables to investigate spin states and spin-spin interactions. It has been successfully applied to monomeric and dimeric spin systems for identifying quantum transitions between entangled phases by varying parameters such as the temperature or the orientation of an external applied magnetic field. The aim of this project is to identify suitable materials such as spin dimers of molecular nature and apply ESR spectroscopy to study quantum phase transitions in the high frequency (up to 1 THz) and high field (up to 16 T) regime.
Tutor: Neugebauer Petr, Ing., Ph.D.
- Label-free detection of protein biomarkers using ultrathin silicon sensors
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno. The goal of this work is to perform theoretical study, design, fabrication and characterization of nanosheet sensors made by an advanced planar technology in combination with pulse method, such as lock-in amplification. Goal of this work is to study, characterize and optimize an array of sensors made from ultrathin single crystal silicon (chips have been fabricated and they are available). This silicon device with thickness of 10.5 nm can be used as resistive sensor connected as van den Pauw device or as Hall sensor to detect intensity of magnetic field. Change of charge at its surface will modulate its conductivity or magnetic particle its properties as Hall sensor. The device will be powered by a current pulses and the output will be process by a lock-in amplifier. PhD candidate will identify the system signal noise ratio and limit of detection (LOD) of the biosubstances of interest. He/she will also design and fabricate a simple microfluidic system to confine the tested sample at suitable location at the chip. There is also required to optimize the buffer solutions not to affect the measurement. PhD candidate will analyze the type of silane crosslinkers and their utilization using chemical vapor deposition technique. Basic properties will be conducted using albumin. Next the PhD candidate will perform specific reaction antibody - antigen of one biomarker and determines its LOD. PhD candidate will work together either with Regional Centre for Applied Molecular Oncology (RECAMO) as they have cancer’s biomarkers or with partner group at Mendel University. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. Part of the project might be also carried out in P.R. China, based on current exchange program and mutual agreement, i.e. it is NOT mandatory.
- Long range ordered arrays of molecular quantum bits at surfaces
Single molecular magnets (SMM) are molecular entities bearing nonzero magnetic moment. In addition to the magnetic properties SMM provide one important attribute: they represent two-state system that can be in superposition state, i.e., SMM represent quantum bits (qubits). Recent developments pushed the coherence properties of individual magnets to the range required for competitive qubits. However, for any future application the molecular qubits should be processable as thin films. Moreover, the individual qubits should be mutually interacting. The goal of PhD study is to prepare long-range ordered arrays of molecular qubits on solid surfaces a possible basis for a molecular quantum registry. The experimental research within the PhD study aims at the understanding of deposition/self-assembly phenomena of organic compounds containing magnetic atoms on metallic and graphene surfaces. A special focus will be given to graphene surfaces that provide means to control their electronic properties (by intercalation or external gate voltage) and, hence, mutual interaction of individual spins. The spin coherence properties will be investigated by cooperating partners at CEITEC and University of Stuttgart. (For detailed information, please, directly contact the Jan Čechal)
Tutor: Čechal Jan, doc. Ing., Ph.D.
- Low power consumption sensing elements for monitoring gas/vapor biomarkers from exhabled breath
Sensor systems are evolving technologies with potential to contribute towards raising living standards and quality of life. In particular, gas sensors are important in numerous traditional applications in the industry, home safety and environment, but the modern scenarios for these devices also forecast their relevance in the Internet of Things and, specifically, less traditional areas as medical diagnosis. Against a host of competing enabling technologies for gas sensing, nanomaterial-based gas sensors are well positioned due to their potential to be miniaturized and integrated in portable electronic devices at relatively low costs. However, due to their intrinsic low selectivity, the use of multivariable sensor criteria (various integrated sensors) is projected for the future, and with this, the need of better use of electrical power to achieve autonomous systems. The aim of the thesis will be directed to energy saving in gas sensors, deepening further into the use of concepts based of self-heating of (1D) nanostructures and the investigation of optical gas sensing (a promising technology to save energy and take further the sensing at molecular level). The methodologies proposed involve micro/nano fabrication cleanroom processes and electronic/chemical/optical characterization techniques to identify the changes produced in the different developed elements during gas sensing. The specific tasks will be focus on: 1. Developing transducing platforms for self-heating and optical sensing using micro/nano fabrication cleanroom processes. 2. Testing the functional properties of the sensors upon gaseous biomarkers found in exhaled breath. The thesis proposal has a strong base on previous concepts implemented by the supervisor and her team, and it will include active collaboration with other research groups particularly at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona and the Unviersity of Barcelona (Spain). With this project, the student will acquire knowledge on micro/nano fabrication, gas sensors, nanostructured materials, and electrical/optical characterization techniques. Keywords gas sensors, micro/nano fabrication, 1D nanostructures, self-heating based sensors, optical sensing, low power consumption
Tutor: Vallejos Vargas Stella, Dr.
- Lowering the detection limits of Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique via innovative approaches
Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a technique that utilizes high power-densities obtained by focusing the radiation from a pulsed laser to generate a luminous micro-plasma from an analyte in the focal region. The micro-plasma emission is subsequently analyzed by a spectrometer. The plasma composition is representative to the analyte's elemental composition. The topics of the dissertation work include the application of LIBS and its modifications for high-resolution elemental mapping of solid samples.
- Magnetic switchable systems based on metal complexes
Switchable systems based on metal complexes able to change magnetic properties are highly attractive for sensor applications, new electronic devices, or active smart surfaces usable in materials providing high-density data storage. For these applications, the magnetic activity of metal complexes can be utilized and furthermore, it can be modulated by modification of their coordination, redox, electronic and ligand field properties. Three ways to obtain such function are to vary the ligand field strength, switching the coordination chemistry or switching the degree of coupling between two spin metal ions in the case of polynuclear compounds. The aim of the project is to synthesize bi- or multistable metal complexes incorporating switch regulation site in order to perform controlled spin change. Our systems will be characterized by different physical techniques: high field and frequency EPR and NMR spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry, SQUID and X-Ray crystallography.
Tutor: Neugebauer Petr, Ing., Ph.D.
- Mechanic stability and strenght of crystalline solids from first principles
The aim of the study is to delimit a region of mechanical stability of selected crystals under nonhydrostatic triaxial loading. For this purpose, phonon spectra will be computed for the crystals in their ground states as well as in deformed states. Phonon spectra will be obtained using force constants that will be computed by the VASP code.
- Mechanism of the small creep strains of the metallic materials at low stresses and transition to the plastic strain - model development and experimental study
Creep strains measured at very low applied stresses are, by their properties, very different from those measured at higher stresses during the conventional creep tests . The stress and strain dependencies of the creep rate are much weaker and the strain is mostly anelastic. Deformation mechanisms controlling these strains are not known, mainly because there are no observable signatures of the small strains in the microstructure. The small strain kinetics is clearly related to the internal stresses build-up. At present, only one simplified micromechanical model exists which is based on the dislocation segments bowing. This model combines the viscous glide and climb of dislocations , but its predictions are only relevant for very small strains, not explaining the transition to the normal plastic creep regime. The main topic of the thesis is the development of the complex dislocation model which will provide better insight into a nature of creep strains which accumulate at very low stresses. The model should also address the transition into the normal plastic creep regime. The solution will be based on the simplified model mentioned above and will include realistic description of the interactions between dislocations and solute atoms. Recently developed discrete dislocation dynamics method  will facilitate a statistical description of dislocation segments reaching a critical stress condition. Experimental study of the low-stress creep of the selected metallic materials will be important part of the work. The materials having exceptional creep behaviour observed during the conventional creep tests will be targeted. The Institute of Physics of materials AS CR [http://www.ipm.cz] , which is fully equipped with all the required facilities, will be the workplace .
Tutor: Kloc Luboš, RNDr., CSc.
- Mechanisms of grain boundary mediated plastic deformation in hcp metals
Due to their low density hcp metals (such as Ti and Mg) are important structural materials for aerospace and automotive applications. Their physical and mechanical properties are often determined by behaviour of grain boundaries, particularly, by interface-mediated plastic processes. For instance, formation and migration of the twin/matrix interfaces are important during fatigue and fracture of α-Ti alloys. Twinning is also important mechanism of plastic deformation in magnesium alloys. Interphase boundaries play significant role in TiAl alloys. Clarification of the interfaces role in mechanical behaviour is important for the design, processing and application of Ti and Mg alloys. The present project focuses on study of the key processes during plastic deformation using atomic scale simulations. The aim is to understand the atomistic mechanisms of interface-mediated plasticity in hcp materials such as titanium- and magnesium-based alloys.
- Method of perspiration rate measurement based on MEMS technology
The sweat perspiration rate is based on the measurement of the evaporation by differential measurement of humidity and temperature. This measurement is conditioned by sufficient distance between the measured points. In the case of a wearable device, its size must be very small, which significantly limits this condition. The research will focus on finding conditions, dependencies and shape of a MEMS-based measurement system to assure that the accuracy of the assay is as accurate as possible. The study of vapor-fluid systems and their modelling should result in the realization of the MEMS device.
- Modeling of functional properties of nanostructures for plasmonics
For detailed info please contact the supervisor.
- Monitoring of cell energy balance and mapping of cells’ internal temperature distribution
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno, in collaboration with Institute of Biotechnology (IBT), Prague, Czech Republic. The project focuses on a development of a method to seed cells inside a calorimeter with an internal volume of ≈ 100 fl under an objective lens of a high power optical microscope. A considerable part of the project involves development of special methodology to grow cells in a calorimeter. The method will then be applied to monitor cellular energetic balance with respect to cell life cycle, such as mitosis, induction of apoptosis etc. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC, with a minor involvement of the IBT; part of the project might be also carried out in P.R. China, based on current exchange program and mutual agreement, i.e. it is NOT mandatory.
- Nanotransportes of potential drugs based on coordination compounds
Coordination compounds are very well known for their application in cancer therapy. As an example can serve cisplatin which is still used in medicine. Unfortunately, the cytostatics have a lot of side effects. To overcome them nanotransporters are applied, for example liposomes which can be further modified. The aim of the work will be preparation of such complexes and a study of their biological activity.
- New methods of control for holographic microscopy
Coherence-controlled holographic microscopy is focused on the observation of living cells in vitro. Long-term observation of living cells necessarily requires automated control of both microscope and experiment. The first goal is to design a new optical arrangement of a fully automated microscope, its mechanical design, and creation of the control software. Another goal is to propose methods for automation of biological experiments, implementing them into control software, and testing in real experiments. Requirements for applicants: optomechanical designer with basic knowledge of robotics.
- Novel technology platforms for bioanalysis using magnetic nano- and microparticles
Nowadays, analytical techniques do not benefit only from expensive benchtop devices, which are suitable for laboratory use only. Technological progress enables to integrate several simple elements such as miniaturized electrodes, LED diodes, computers, and other necessary hardware platforms into simple and cheap bioanalytical devices. The key tool in this field seems to be fused deposition modelling based 3D printing and designed magnetic micro and nanoscale particles. Mentioned magnetic materials often possess spherical shape and surface modification suitable for selective target molecule isolation/preconcentration. The aim of dissertation is to design and fabricate portable device, which can be controlled by Bluetooth of cell phones. Student will acquire skills in the field of chemical analysis, 3D printing, magnetic materials synthesis, modification and characterization (SEM, TEM, FTIR, XPS, DLS…). The special attention will be paid the isolation of nucleic acids. Further, the student will acquire experience from prototype fabrication and its testing.
- Optimization of the early stage of heteroepitaxial growth of semiconductor films
Most technologically useful semiconducting films are grown epitaxially on lattice mismatched substrates, which results in a large density of misfit dislocations. Continued growth of these lattice-mismatched films produces threading dislocations that reduce the efficiency of these materials in electronic and optoelectronic applications. This is particularly the case for AlN/Si films (19% lattice misfit) used as substrates for the growth of active layers in LEDs and laser diodes, and for Ge/Si, SiGe/Si films (lattice misfit 3-5%) used in photovoltaics. The objective of this thesis is to manipulate the initial stage of the UHV-MBE growth such that the nucleation of threading dislocations is energetically unfavorable as predicted theoretically from strong interactions between dislocations and growing surfaces at the nanoscale. These studies will be combined with the layer-by-layer deposition of these films using ALD. The density of threading dislocations will be characterized using SPM and TEM, combined with the SEM/EBIC mapping of the electrical activity of individual dislocations.
- Organic semiconductors on oxide electrode surfaces
Studies of model oxides with well-defined surfaces provide detailed information important for a understanding of adsorbate−oxide interactions. Indium oxide is the prototypical transparent contact material that is extensively used in a wide range of applications, most prominently in optoelectronic technologies especially if doped with tin; then is commonly referred to as indium tin oxide (ITO). The performance of an organic semiconductor devices is determined by the geometric alignment, orientation, and ordering of the organic molecules. Despite its technological importance, surprisingly little is known about the fundamental surface properties of and the organic semiconductor/ITO (In2O3) interface. The goal of PhD is to reveal the structure and morphology of organic semiconductors (para-hexaphenyl, pentacene, PTCDA) and describe kinetics of its growth by real-time LEEM. This will be complemented atomic/molecular scale investigation by STM/AFM and area integrated XRD and XPS. The PhD is a part of of our collaboration with TU Wien in the framework of SINNCE project.
Tutor: Čechal Jan, doc. Ing., Ph.D.
- Phase stability and magnetism of thin surface layers in Fe, Co, Pd a Pt binary alloys
FePd, FePt, CoPt, and other magnetic layers became extensively investigated because of their potential application in ultrahigh magnetic recording media. The aim of the study is to delimit a theoretical region of stability for selected crystals of binary alloys. Student will make a model of such crystals under simulated deformations using some of available ab initio codes. In particular, magnetic phase transitions will be studied during the deformation. Results will be compared with available literature data measured on thin films.
- Plasmon enhanced photoluminiscence
In this study plasmonic resonant nano-and micro-structures (particles, antennas, tips) will be used for enhancement of photoluminescence of nanostructures such as nanodots, nanowires and 2D materials (e.g. metal dichalcogenides: MoS2, WS2,....). In this way single photon sources provided by defects of these structures might be recognized.
Tutor: Dub Petr, prof. RNDr., CSc.
- Polarization multiplexing in correlation and holographic imaging
Correlation and holographic imaging are techniques that allow either quantitative phase or three-dimensional image reconstruction from interference pattern. The doctoral thesis aims to implement new configurations for correlation and holographic imaging, where the light is multiplexed into orthogonal polarization states rather than divided into independent optical paths. Such systems are expected to improve existing and provide new imaging features, which are unavailable in up-to-date experiments. The required polarization states will be generated and modulated using electro-optic effect in liquid crystal molecules or new generation optical components working on geometric phase.
- Preparation of carbon quantum dots and their bio-application
Quantum dots find their application in analytical chemistry as well as in biochemistry. Due to no toxicity more preferred are quantum dots based on carbon. There are many preparation ways and modifications of such quantum dots. The aim of the work will be preparation of carbon quantum dots, their modifications and application in practice.
- R&D of high voltage and high power electric devices
The thesis will deal with the research and the development of new high voltage (> 600V) semiconductor devices (diodes and transistors) for High Performance Power Conversion (HPPC) and Motor Control (MC) applications in the automotive industry, renewable energy sources and transmission systems. These devices will be developed in collaboration with On Semiconductor company. The doctoral work will be focused on the development of new methods for diagnostics and analysis of defects of developed devices using instrumentation in CEITEC.
- Remote graphene doping
The possibility to tune the graphene transport properties, i.e., type and concentration of charge carriers makes graphene an attractive candidate for electronic devices, sensors, and detectors. In this context, various approaches for providing graphene with controlled doping were developed. The original approach – application of an external electric field provided by the voltage between the graphene and a gate electrode – was followed by deposition of atoms or molecules featuring as charge donors or acceptors in direct contact with graphene. Remote graphene doping based on charge trapping in gate dielectric by visible-, UV-, and X-ray radiation was only recently established. In parallel, the effect of electron beam (e-beam) irradiation on graphene devices was evaluated and the e-beam also entered the group of techniques capable of providing graphene with remote doping. The goal of PhD is to reveal the mechanism of electron beam induced graphene doping, assess the role of defects in dielectric layer and develop a theoretical model describing the kinetics of the process. Our current understanding suggests that the key mechanism here is a charging of defects in an oxide dielectric layer and a p-/n- doping is achieved depending on possibility of formation of electron-hole pairs in the dielectric layer by electron irradiation. We envision the utilization of the project outputs in adaptive electronics and fabrication of graphene devices, in general.
Tutor: Čechal Jan, doc. Ing., Ph.D.
- Rigorous simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation in inhomogeneous media
The topic is focused on development of numerical methods for rigorous simulation of electromagnetic wave propagation in arbitrary inhomogeneous media. Namely, we assume investigation of the techniques based on the expansion into plane waves and/or eigenmodes in combination with perturbation techniques. Developed techniques will applied to modeling of light scattering by selected biological samples. Requirements: - knowledge in fields of electrodynamics and optics corresponding to undergraduate courses - basic ability to write computer code, preferably in Matlab.
- Scanning probe microscopy based tomography
Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques (SPM) and particularly Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) are most common techniques for surface topography measurements. They have however still some limitations, for example its limited scanning range and lack of techniques for sub-surface mapping. Even if the interaction between probe and sample is already including information from sample volume, typically only surface topography or surface related physical properties are evaluated and the sub-surface information is lost. In most of the scanning regimes the amount of recorded and stored data is even so small that the information about sample volume is lost. On the other hand, there is lack of reliable subsurface mapping techniques with high resolution suitable for the growing field of nanotechnology, and methods of SPM tomography have large potential – and we can already see some first attempts for sub-surface mapping in the scientific literature. Aim of the proposed work is to develop techniques for mapping volume sample composition using SPM, particularly based on AC Scanning Thermal Microscopy and conductive Atomic Force Microscopy. This includes development of special reference samples, methodology and software development for control of a special, large area, SPM. In cooperation with the research group also a numerical modeling of probe-sample interaction will be performed and methods for sub-surface reconstruction will be tested.
Tutor: Klapetek Petr, Mgr., Ph.D.
- Smart skin
A PhD fellowship is available to conduct a project in the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC), Brno. Goal of this work is to perform theoretical study and characterize a nanostructured material which changes color based on the environment. The PhD candidate will first perform finite element modelling (FEM) to determine the physics origin of the structure behavior and fit the model on the actual structure. Then the available structures will be further studies using techniques such as near-field optical microscopy, atomic force microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The PhD candidate will try to replicate the structure at CEITEC cleanroom or at National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, USA. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. Part of the project might be also carried out in P.R. China, based on current exchange program and mutual agreement, i.e. it is NOT mandatory.
- Stability of plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings – The role of the bond coat roughness
The work aims at deeper understanding of stability of plasma-sprayed thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) as affected by the roughness of MCrAlY bond coat. Damage mechanisms and damage evolution in TBCs will be examined to identify the optimal topography of the bond coat in order to improve coating performance for components used in propulsion and power generation industries. Conventional MCrAlY + ZrO2-Y2O3 TBCs with the bond coat prepared by plasma spraying using feedstock powders with different size-distribution will be studied under high-temperature isothermal oxidation, thermal cycling, and room temperature mechanical loading.
Tutor: Slámečka Karel, Ing., Ph.D.
- Structure and composition of advanced metallic nanocomposites
Nanostructuring of composites is one of the most recent approaches in research and development of advanced metallic materials intended for newly emerging industrial applications. Nanocomposites containing high densities of internal interfaces allow for fine-tuning of material properties which are inaccessible by other means. Interface-related local stress fields and chemical interactions result in chemical compositions and properties constituting phases which could be significantly different from those experimentally detected in macro-scale bulk samples. The topic of the proposed PhD program is the determination of the structure and chemical composition of phases existing in advanced nanocomposites, such as intermetallics with the Heusler structure, using electron-microscopy methods.
- Structure of magnetic materials at low temperatures
Our thorough understanding of magnetic properties is intricately inter-linked with a detailed information about the structure of studied materials. The decreasing particle size and/or temperature resulted in the past few years to the observation of new magnetic states, for example, the superparamagnetism. Importantly, the magnetic states sensitively depend on the atomic structure, crystal boundaries and/or magnetic domains which all significantly change with the temperature. The proposed PhD study will therefore focus on these structure-property relations at low temperatures. The following aspects will be covered: - Preparation of samples by various methods - Structural study of materials by XRD, SEM, TEM, AFM etc. - Magnetic measurements by VSM, PPMS and SQUID
Tutor: Friák Martin, Mgr., Ph.D.
- Study of electrical and sensing properties of semiconducting nanowires
Nanowires are a 1D structure where a quantum phenomenon is applied across the structure, which can significantly affect electrical properties compared to macrostructures. Interaction of nanowire with the environment, whether with gas molecules or bounded particles, affects electron density from surface to bulk. Temperature dependence of conductivity due to thermal excitation and eventual emissions may also differ greatly from assumptions. Experimental study of semiconducting materials such as some oxides or metal nitrides will need to be compared with available models and draw conclusions about the phenomena that play a role in electrical behaviour of nanowires.
- Study of electrical properties of very thin dielectric stacks grown by Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) method
Very thin dielectric layers have been used in microelectronics for many years. Recently, it has encountered material limits where the tunneling of electrons in the gates of MOS transistors has begun to exceed an acceptable limit. From a nanotechnology point of view, we talk about 2D nanomaterials. The quality of dielectrics is assessed not only by min. thickness, breakthrough voltage and large dielectric constants, but also by the size of leakage currents. These streams can be the result of a number of phenomena such as direct and Fowler-Nordheim tunneling, Frenkel-Pool current and Schottky emission, or another yet not described phenomenon. The ALD method allows conformational growth of materials thinner than 1 nm. The combination of different materials to stacks allows to reach good dielectric constants while retaining high breakthrough voltage and low leakage currents. The work should focus on the study of the influence of the production process and the forming of stacks while examining the phenomena that cause leakages.
- Synthesis and modification of magnetic particles for isolation and analysis of microbial pathogens
This work is aimed at inorganic synthesis of magnetic nanoparticles, its surface modification, characterization and testing in the area of an isolation of target molecules for subsequent chemical analysis. Produced particles will be chemically modified for selective isolation of nucleic acid from bacteria. The whole procedure of the isolation will be firstly tested using common laboratory approach and subsequently will be integrated in fluidic device. This device will be than tested for processing of samples of pathogenic bacterial strains.
- Testing putative anti-cancer drugs using Holographic Incoherent Quantitative Phase Imaging (hiQPI)
-Perform a screen with a set of putative drugs with potential effect on malignancy, particularly cell motility which is important for invasion and metastasis, with established cell lines derived from common aggressive carcinomas such as A549 (model for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer) -Cell motility will be measured using hiQPI with sub-confluent cell cultures The project will include microscopy, image processing, data analysis and tissue culture.
Tutor: Zicha Daniel, Ing., CSc.
- Time and space resolved dynamics of metamagnetic nanostructures across the phase transformation
The aim of the Ph.D. thesis is to obtain a profound understanding as well as active control of the dynamics of the phase transformation in materials featuring a first-order phase transition between antiferromagnetic and ferromagnetic states. This class of materials exhibits a metamagnetic behaviour in which the transition can be driven by several types of excitations, such as temperature, magnetic field, strain or laser pulses. The prototype material to perform this study will be the FeRh alloy. Recent studies suggest that its incorporation into meso- and nanoscale devices can result into emergent phenomena and new routes to stabilize and control the antiferromagnetic or the ferromagnetic state. The Ph.D. candidate will investigate the dynamics of the phase transition in patterned films driven by ultrafast current and laser pulses. The project will involve extending the existing scanning magnetooptical Kerr microscope to a pump-probe set-up and combining it with electrical transport measurements. Further steps will lead towards all-optical control of the magnetization in the ferromagnetic phase.
Tutor: Uhlíř Vojtěch, Ing., Ph.D.
- Transport Properties of 2D Materials
The work will be devoted to a study of transport properties of 2D materials (graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides,….) modified by various layers of adsorbants. Emphasis will be put on in situ-measurements of these properties under well defined UHV conditions and consequently to their utilization in sensing and other applications.
- Tuneable magnetic materials based on heterostructures featuring a first-order magnetic phase transition
Magnetic materials constitute highly tunable material systems that have been associated with a wide range of new scientific discoveries. Coupled order parameters in complex phase-transition materials can be controlled using various driving forces such as temperature, magnetic and electric field, strain, spin-polarized currents and optical pulses. Tuning the material properties to achieve efficient transitions would enable fast and low-power electronic devices and novel functionality at nanometer length scales. The Ph.D. candidate will explore the first-order magnetic phase transition in materials that have been subjected to strong spatial confinement and design new functional systems by assembling individual structures with well controlled properties into 2D and 3D arrays forming magnetic materials with tuneable properties. The Ph.D. candidate will be involved in the deposition of materials, advanced characterization, and lithography of nanostructures. Magnetic imaging (scanning Kerr microscopy, magnetic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with polarization analysis, x-ray and photoemission electron microscopy), structural imaging (low energy electron microscopy, electron backscatter diffraction), and magnetometry will be employed to tackle the project objectives.
Tutor: Uhlíř Vojtěch, Ing., Ph.D.
- Utilization of surface analytical methods for the study of nanostructures
For detailed info please contact the supervisor.
Tutor: Dub Petr, prof. RNDr., CSc.
- X-ray computed tomography in dimensional metrology
Non-destructive imaging method of X-ray computed tomography (CT) is very suitable for dimensional metrology. Through the development of standards it is also becoming accepted as a metrology tool. In comparison with conventional tactile and/or optical coordinate measuring machines (CMM), the CT advantage is analysis of outer and inner features of the sample. CT provides high information density and samples of any surface, shape or material can be measured (up to limit of density and thickness penetrable by X-rays). However CT measurement uncertainties caused by tomography artifacts or multimaterial samples still occur and reduce the measurement accuracy. The aim of this work is to develop practical solutions for CT measurement and the subsequent comparison of the proposed measument procedures with conventional methods of dimensinal metrology.
- 2D materials for biomedical analysis
This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new sensors and biosensors for biomedical applications based on detection of biomarkers based on graphene and other 2D materials.
- 2D materials for electrocatalysis and hydrogen generation as clean energy source
This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new 2D materials for electrocatalysis and water splitting to hydrogen as clean energy source. Hydrogen is being used as clean energy source for smart city electromobility.
- 2D materials for energy storage
This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new 2D materials on the basis of transition metal dichalcogenides for energy storage and supercapactitors
- 2D materials for water treatment
This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new 2D materials for water treatment and purification.
- 3D printing for electrochemical energy storage
This thesis will focus on the research and development of new 3D printed materials for fabrication of supercapacitors.
- 3D printing for electrochemical sensors and biosensors for environmental protection
This thesis will focus on the research and development of new 3D materials for electrochemical sensing and biosensing of important environmental pollutants.