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Our research cuts across the traditional disciplinary boundaries, and we therefore invite applications for research leading to the PhD degree from scientists and engineers in all appropriate subjects who have an interest in any of our research areas.
The main application sectors addressed by our research are: energy conversion; environmental protection; transport; electronics/optoelectronics; and healthcare. Across all themes the research is carried out with strong support from and involvement of industrial organisations. This close collaboration with industry, alongside our first class facilities, ensures that the Department is at the forefront of Materials Science and Engineering research.
Effective brain-computer interfaces based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been
developed recently. However, commercially viable wearable EEG headsets typically use
electrodes which degrade over time, lead to excessive noise and/or require messy gels or
solutions: improvements are clearly needed. Small, durable, gel-free electrodes with active
on-electrode amplification capable of providing a high signal-to-noise ratio are also
required for high spatial resolution quantitative real time brain mapping for clinical research
In this regard, biosensors based on group-III-nitride field effect transistors (FETs) can offer
a signal-to-noise ratio almost two orders of magnitude better than that previously reported
for Si-based technologies. III-nitride semiconductors are non-toxic, chemically inert and
impermeable to ions, offering excellent durability in biocompatible applications.
III-nitride-based FET structures are also promising for use in active dry EEG electrodes.
Consequently, the aim of this project is to design, fabricate and test prototype
nitride-based dry, active electrodes suitable for incorporation into a wearable EEG headset
for brain-computer interfacing. The project is designed to lead to practical exploitation in
next-generation quantitative EEG imaging headsets, as well as to academic publications.
This project will involve collaboration with the UK National III-V Facility based at the
University of Cambridge.
We invite applications from bright and motivated students with a relevant background in
Electrical Engineering, Physics or a related subject area. The minimum academic
requirement for admission is an upper second class UK MSci or MEng honours degree, or
a lower second with a good Master's in a relevant subject (or their overseas equivalents).
UK and EU students will receive full funding, including ‘home rate’ fees plus the standard tax-free stipend of approx. £16,000