Department of Physics

AFM image of microtubules extracted from a cell

Nanoscience

Nanoscience group photo

The physical properties of nanoscale materials can be very different from those of large macroscopic samples and recent technological advances have provided unique tools to tailor and exploit these new functionalities.

A 3D visualisation of electrodesA nanosilicon explosionSuperconducting disk array
A 3D visualisation of electrodes, a nanosilicon explosion and an array of discs fabricated with ion milling.

In the Nanoscience Group we are particularly interested in how the quantum mechanical and thermodynamic properties of molecules, nanostructures, multilayers and glassy materials can be dramatically modified by careful atomic-level design. This new direction of science is intrinsically multi-disciplinary, spanning physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, materials science and engineering. An excellent example of this interdisciplinary approach is the Centre for Graphene Science, a major collaboration bridging the Universities of Bath and Exeter.

Research

Our research work combines both “top down” and “bottom up” approaches. The former exploit unique crystal growth techniques as well as the advanced nanomachining tools in the Bath Nanofabrication Facility to pattern structures small enough that they exhibit strong quantum mechanical effects. The latter exploit state-of-the art scanning probe microscopy and spectroscopy to manipulate and image molecular structures.

A nano University of Bath logo
The University logo cut through a 100nm Au film on a glass substrate using an ion beam. The smallest feature is <10 nm.

  • Amorphous and Liquid Structures (PSS)
  • Artificial Neurons (ARN)
  • Bionanotechnology (SG)
  • Centre for Graphene Science (SJB, AI, PXS, SC, SG, ARN, PSS, DW)
  • Magneto-optics (DW, SRA, DK)
  • Nanofabrication (SG, SJB, KT, SRA, ARN)
  • Nanomagnetism (SJB, ARN)
  • Nanoscience Theory (SC, ABW)
  • Ultrafast Science and Terahertz Photonics (SRA)
  • Positron Spectroscopy (PGC)
  • Quantum Transport (KT, SJB, ARN)
  • Raman Spectroscopy (DW)
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy and Atomic Manipulation (AI, PXS, SJB)
  • Silicon Nanophotonics (DK, DW, PAS)

PhDs

Positron beam systemThere are opportunities for postgraduate research throughout our group. Interested students can either contact academic staff directly or see the Physics PhD project page.

Our website also contains more information on Physics PhDs or, for more general information on postgraduate study, please visit the Faculty of Science Graduate School.

The group environment

A group seminar

The Nanoscience group carries out research in diverse fields and in collaboration with many other groups across the world. Our research is supported by shared use of advanced instrumentation and shared access to the Bath Nanofabrication Facility and other facilities such as the Microscopy and Analysis Suite.

We have regular seminars on research within the group and frequent visits from external speakers. By meeting together in this way, we are able to share new methods and identify novel problems for future study. We also run regular lectures for postgraduate students on a variety of topics relevant to the research in the group from nanofabrication techniques to quantum theory in condensed matter physics.