Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre


Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces DTP

Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces

Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) 


The DTP in Low-Dimensional Materials & Interfaces aims to form a cohort of 8 PhD students, trained equally well in nanomaterials synthesis and characterisation of advanced materials, with an opportunity to undertake world class research using Nottingham’s unique expertise and facilities in topics that underpin the development of new innovations in advanced materials, energy, sustainable chemistry and healthcare technologies. Developing and harnessing an understanding of fundamental processes taking place at the nanoscale is essential for a wide spectrum of applications, ranging from electronic devices, catalysts, drug delivery systems and sensors, along with materials for energy storage and conversion, and tissue engineering. 


The DTP training programme

The DTP will provide a structured programme of training (both practical and theoretical), aiming to cultivate the first generation of researchers proficient in both innovative synthesis and advanced characterisation of new materials. In particular, the cross-faculty Nanoscale & Microscale Research Centre (nmRC) will provide a unique training environment for the DTP students and will act as an interdisciplinary hub for this programme.

Stage of DTP

Activity/topic of training

Months 1-6

  • Research programme development: planning and methodology
  • Workshops/modules on the fundamentals of nanomaterials synthesis & characterisation 

Months 1-12

  • Practical classes on nanomaterials characterisation (basic level) 
  • Business training 

Months 9-21

  • Practical classes on nanomaterials characterisation (intermediate level) 
  • Science communication 

Months 18-30 

  • Practical classes on nanomaterials characterisation (advanced level)

Months 31-42

  • Media training 


The nmRC

The cross-faculty nmRC will provide a unique training environment for the DTP cohort and will act as a training hub for the characterisation aspects of the programme.  The nmRC houses a suite of state-of-the-art instrumentation (total capital value > £12m) and allied expertise for nanoscale and microscale characterisation, supported by 12 highly qualified research and technical staff who provide training for all researchers. The nmRC laboratories are equipped with a unique suite of 20 major instruments, including 14 electron microscopes, offering a diverse range of capabilities, to facilitate the imaging and analytical investigation of a wide variety of materials. In addition, the Centre hosts a powerful suite of surface characterisation equipment (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman microscopy), a cleanroom and a electron beam lithography system, along with a comprehensive sample preparation laboratory. 

Transmission Electron Microscopy
Scanning Electron Microscopy
Semiconductor (SEM with EDS)


PhD projects

The synergy between nanomaterials synthesis and advanced materials characterisation will be at the core of all the research projects which will be jointly supervised by two academics from different disciplines. Some examples of potential interdisciplinary projects offered within the DTP are illustrated below:

Supervisor 1



Supervisor 2

Advanced Characterisation




Growth of graphene, boron nitride and 2D heterostructures


Atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy

Electronic devices, quantum sensors and detectors

Assembly of 2D molecular arrays


Raman, scanning tunnelling microscopy, high resolution transmission electron microscopy, electron energy loss spectroscopy

Nano-devices, solar cells, smart coatings

Synthesis of clusters and nanoparticles, heterostructures of nanoparticles with nanotubes and surfaces


Transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy

Catalysis, electro-catalysis, data storage

Preparation of nano-porous carbons


Cryo transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy

Gas storage, supercapacitors, nano-reactors, catalysis

Fabrication of alloy and ceramic coatings


X-ray diffraction, in situ scanning electron microscopy, focused ion beam analysis, wear/corrosion tests

Wear & corrosion resistant coatings 

Preparation of drug-polymer alloys for particles, fibre and devices


Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, time of flight secondary ion mass spectrometry

Healthcare devices, personalised medicine 


To apply

Applications for PhD Studentships are now closed.

Academic and associated staff

Prof. Neil Champness, Director of Doctoral Training Programme

Prof. Paul Brown. Director of Nanoscale & Microscale Research Centre (Faculty of Engineering)

Prof. Andrei Khlobystov, Professor of Chemical Nanoscience (Faculty of Science)

Dr. Nick Bennett, Business Partnership Unit

Dr. Karen Alvey,  Nanoscale & Microscale Research Centre

Nanoscale and Microscale Research Centre

Cripps South building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 748 6340
email: nmrcenquiries@nottingham.ac.uk