Advanced Nanotechnologies and Microtechnologies


RG 1-02 Smart Nanodevices


Research of advanced techniques in (bio) analytics for personal medicine

The current development of wearable technologies beside to analytical methods for the determination of metabolites as markers of civilization diseases, requires studying the possibilities of combining both directions and seeking for non-invasive methods for new technologies useful in personal medicine, either directly wearable on the body or in the form of small mobile laboratories which are close in accuracy to those laboratories even without the need of professional staff. The work will require a search for the degree of compliance of markers in blood and body fluids, or on the periphery of the body (epidermis), discuss the development of such techniques, effects on accuracy and selectivity and propose a suitable quantitative or qualitative method of analysis. In particular, analyses of markers in the field of cardiovascular, respiratory diseases, stress hormones and diabetes are proposed.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jaromír Hubálek, Ph.D.


On chip porous membrane for sensing applications

Exploring advanced porous materials is of critical importance in the development of science and technology due to their unique characteristics and specific applications. Porous membrane with precise positioning of pores must be prepared by microfabrication instead of conventional track-etching. Including non-conventional materials such as parylene or PDMS in standard microfabrication processes is not trivial and the related technological development is not as far developed as for rigid materials such as silicon, oxides, nitrides and metals. Moreover, patterning polymeric materials with features smaller than 5μm in a reproducible and reliable way is still cumbersome. Additionally, the application of polymeric porous membrane as the transducer in sensing applications has been found to be highly desired. Therefore, the aim of the project is the development of MEMS flow-through chip with “in situ” porous polymeric membrane as the impedance sensor for molecular detections.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisor: Mgr. Zdenka Fohlerová, Ph.D.


Carbon dots in electrochemical and optical biosensing

Carbon dots (CDs) have aroused intense interest because of their photoluminescence and photophysical properties: for example, high photostability, which resemble in some respects those found in semiconductor quantum dots (QDs), and photocatalytic applications. In addition, CDs can be produced easily from a wide range of raw materials and are particularly attractive due to their robust chemical inertness and the many surface carboxylic acid moieties, which provoke excellent water solubility and facilitate their subsequent functionalization with organic, polymeric, inorganic, or biological species. CDs have been proposed as promising substitutes for traditional QDs because they do not require tedious and costly preparation steps and possess high biocompatibility due to the absence of toxic metal ions. Regarding CDs’ preparation, a variety of methods, including acidic oxidation, microwave, ultrasonic, electrochemical oxidation, hydrothermal, supported synthesis, arc discharge, and laser ablation, have been reported. However, unlike other carbon based nanomaterials and despite the interesting features, CDs have not been widely explored as electrode modifiers for the development of electrochemical biosensors. The few applications of CDs in electrochemical biosensing described to date are mainly focused on the electrocatalytic properties of these nanoparticles towards O2 and H2O2 reduction, exploited for the biosensing of glucose or H2O2 and the sensing of dopamine, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, patulin, and glucose. In the particular case of electrochemical affinity biosensors, only one example involving the use of CDs as electrode modifiers in the preparation of a DNA sensor to detect single gene mutations has been reported so far. It is worth mentioning that, to our knowledge, the use of CDs as labels in electrochemical biosensors has not been described yet. Thus, this thesis focuses on the further development of carbon dots as an electrode modifier and labels in electrochemical or optical biosensing.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisor: Mgr. Zdenka Fohlerová, Ph.D.


The application of photon-upconversion nanoparticles for counting and imaging of single molecule

Detecting single molecules may be considered a “holy grail” for analytical chemists –direct counting of molecules is the most straightforward method for estimating their concentration. Molecular counting reshapes the ways analytical chemists work towards a more reliable, more accurate, more complex, and more affordable analysis.
Analyte molecules can be specifically labeled by luminescent molecules or nanoparticles and visualized by recording their images by a digital camera. Thus, the number and spatiotemporal distribution of analyte molecules can be estimated. Fluorescent molecules and fluorescent nanoparticles are the best known optical labels. However, they commonly suffer from photobleaching, blinking, and moderate capabilities for multiplexing. To address these limitations, photon-upconversion nanoparticles were introduced. Photon-upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) provide short-wavelength emission (including visible) under the near-infrared excitation of moderate intensity. Near-infrared excitation is less scattered, does not cause photochemical damage to living tissues, and does not cause autofluorescence, i.e., provides “background-free” imaging/detection. UCNPs provide excellent stability (hours of continuous single nanoparticle imaging) and good capabilities for multiplexing (a large number of nanoparticles may be barcoded on a single nanoparticle level). This thesis focuses on the further development of photon-upconversion labels for singlemolecule assays to reduce the time of analysis, decrease the limit of detection, introduce multiplexed single-molecule detection, and expands the field of use. Ultrasensitive singlemolecule detection promises improved diagnostics and disease treatments, tracing environmental micropollutants and single-molecule visualization may become a routine tool in hands of molecular biologists.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisor: Mgr. Zdenka Fohlerová, Ph.D.



Biophysical properties of life 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).

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


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.

► Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Detection of protein biomarkers using ultrathin silicon

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 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.

► Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


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.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Smart surfaces

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.

► Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


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.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Nanostructured gecko lizzard mimicking surfaces

Short description of the topic in English: 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 with collaboration with other places such as HKUST, Hong Kong, P.R. China. 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. The candidate should be highly motivated, self-driven and passionate about science. Master degree in physics, mathematics or mechanical engineering is needed. Knowledge of basic instrumentation is essential. Good communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in spoken and written English are required. 

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Study of individual cells using microfluidic systems

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 using microfluidic systems. The student will set up a system of nanostructured pillars 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. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. The candidate should be highly motivated, self-driven and passionate about science. Master degree in either physics, mathematics, molecular or cell biology, analytical, physical chemistry, bioengineering or biology is needed. Knowledge of MATLAB and basic skill of instrumentation is plus. Good communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in spoken and written English are required.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


 "Internet of Things" based on DNA / RNA detection for global health monitoring

Short description of the topic in English: The PhD candidate will develop fast, user-friendly, and affordable Internet of Things (IoT) system based on existing miniaturized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) device. The student will first identify the system structure, method of communication and result registration via internet. Then the student will develop a system to amplify RNA either from dengue fever or another virus based on existing portable PCR hardware. The resulting data will then automatically upload via a suitable interface to an Android-based smartphone and then wirelessly sent to a global network, instantly making the test results available anywhere in the world. Then a software interpreting the result will be developed to shown the RNA spreading on a map with suitable statistics. Then existing PCR will be used to detect RNA using RT-PCR reaction with addition of a simple sample preparation to demonstrate the entire system capability using field testing. 

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Nanostructured arrays for electrochemical detection of biomarkers

Short description of the topic in English: The PhD candidate will model, design and fabricate an array of nanostructured electrodes made of Au, Ag or their amalgams to perform detection of cancer biomarkers. The work will start with literature study to determine the most suitable electrochemical method for biomarker determination. Then the PhD candidate will perform fundamental study of selected electrochemical detection techniques using standard electrode systems. In parallel he/she will also determine conditions for Au, Ag, AuHg, and AgHg electrochemical deposition forming nanostructured surface. After this surface characterization, such as surface area and composition. PhD candidate will design and fabricate a microfluidic system using micromachined array of nanostructured electrode and repeat the measurement described above, later on with an emulated clinical sample using metallothionein or other suitable cancer marker.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Study of thermodynamics of photosynthesis

Short description of the topic in English: There is a PhD scholarship for work on the project at the Central European Institute of Technology (CEITEC) in Brno. The project is focused on thermodynamics of the photosynthesis of algae. The key part of the PhD work is design, manufacturing, test and evaluation a microfluidic calorimeter to measure photosynthesis taking place in algae. The PhD student will design a system for measuring changes in the calorimeter with an accuracy of 1 mK or less. He/she will be able to detect changes in the microcaloriemeter and thereby monitor photosynthesis to an accuracy of 1 pW or less. This work will be conducted in the CEITEC as well as in collaboration with the Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Trebon, and HKUST in Hong Kong, PRC. The candidate should be highly motivated person. A master's degree in physics, mathematics, engineering, or molecular biology or a field of bioengineering or biology is required. Good communication and interpersonal skills and knowledge of English are required.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Study of electronic properties of new 2D materials

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 2D materials-based field effect transistor (FET) sensors made by an advanced planar technology and using modern 2D materials such as silicene, germanene etc. PhD candidate will identify the system signal noise ratio and limit of detection (LOD) of the biosubstances of interest using 2D FETs. He/she will also design and fabricate a simple microfluidic system to confine the tested sample at suitable location at the chip. PhD candidate will work together either with Regional Centre for Applied Molecular Oncology (RECAMO) or with a group at Mendel University. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC. The candidate should be highly motivated, self-driven and passionate about science. Master degree in either physics, mathematics, biology, analytical and physical chemistry is needed. Knowledge of MATLAB and basic skill of instrumentation is plus. Good communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in spoken and written English are required.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


System of digital polymerase chain reaction for prenatal diagnostics

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 digital polymerase chain reaction system (dPCR). The key part of the work is to perform a theoretical analysis of the system, derive an algorithm and design the dPCR chip. Besides the theoretical part the PhD candidate will also setup and optical imaging system using CMOS (CCD) camera with fluorescent filter set and write an algorithm to perform the image processing using MATLAB environment. The PhD candidate will either fabricate new or uses currently available dPCR chips, runs the dPCR protocol and detect number of wells in the chip containing DNA. The student will also perform PCR multiplexing to detect more than one gene at the chip with an aim to identify DNA related to Down syndrome or similar. This work will be primarily conducted in CEITEC and partially also together with Carles University in Prague. The candidate should be highly motivated, self-driven and passionate about science. Master degree in either physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering or molecular biology is needed. Knowledge of MATLAB environment is essential. Good communication and interpersonal skills and fluency in spoken and written English are required.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


Portable system for CODIV19 diagnostics and beyond

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 portable system to detect presence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA and its isothermal amplification. The key part of the work is to perform a theoretical analysis of the system, derive an algorithm of the dPCR chip. In addition to the theoretical part, the PhD candidate will also design and fabricate a microfluidic RNA extraction system as well as an optical system based on a smartphone with a fluorescent filter and in cooperation with another student will create an algorithm for image processing in MATLAB. The PhD candidate will run an extraction protocol, and detect the presence of RNA. The system will be able to concurrently process 4 samples. This work will be primarily performed at CEITEC and partly also in cooperation with Charles University in Prague. The candidate should be highly motivated. A master's degree in physics, mathematics, mechanical or electrical engineering or molecular biology or another field in bioengineering is required. Basic knowledge of MATLAB environment is necessary. Good communication and interpersonal skills and knowledge of English are required. The student will NOT work with COVID-19 viruses or others, this work will be performed at a specialized workplace with an appropriate level of biological protection by designated workers.

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.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisorprof. Ing. Pavel Neužil, Dr., DSc.


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: Developing transducing platforms for self-heating and optical sensing using micro/nano fabrication cleanroom processes. 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.

 Smart Nanodevices

Supervisor: Vallejos Vargas, Stella, Ph.D.


Gas sensitive nanomaterials for room temperature operation 

Monitoring of chemicals such as gases and vapors using portable instruments is essential in different areas. For instance in environmental surveillance, in which it is needed an accurate control of greenhouse gases (e.g., CO2, CH4and N2O) and large number of sensing systems to provide ubiquity. Nanomaterial-based gas sensors are attractive over other portable gas sensing instruments in environmental surveillance (including microfabricated designs of ‘classic’ analytical instruments as gas chromatography, mass spectroscopy or ion mobility spectrometers) due to their relatively simple architecture that allows for high levels of integration, miniaturization and in turn low cost production. At present, the major concerns in nanomaterial-based gas sensors are focused on ‘typical’ operational parameters such sensitivity, selectivity and stability, as well as on their power consumption which is generally associated to the need of thermal activation at temperatures above 200 °C. The use of conducting polymers or carbon-based materials can solve in part these issues providing sensitivity to specific gaseous analytes near room temperature (i.e. with less power consumption). However their reversibility and stability are not as good as that of traditionally gas sensitive materials based on semiconducting metal oxides. Hence the need of engineering further gas sensitive materials, including semiconducting metal oxides and/or modified (composites/hybrid) structures by combining inorganic and organic materials to achieve chemical, electronic, and optical sensitization and stability at room temperature. Hence, this thesis will aim at tuning the chemical, electronic, and optical properties of nanomaterials synthetized via liquid- or vapor-phase chemical routes (e.g., hydrothermal synthesis and chemical vapor deposition) to achieve gas sensitivity at room temperature.  The specific tasks will focus on: 1. Synthesis of gas sensitive nanomaterials based on rare-earth doped metal oxides, 2. Synthesis of hybrid/composite (inorganic and organic) gas sensitive materials , 3. Material analysis and gas sensing characterization to greenhouse gases. The work will include active collaboration with other research groups particularly at the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (Spain). With this project, the student will acquire knowledge on synthesis of materials, gas sensors, and chemical/electrical/optical characterization techniques.

 Smart Nanodevices

SupervisorVallejos Vargas, Stella, Ph.D.



RG 1-03 Experimental Biophotonics (Radim Chmelík)



Microscopy with geometric-phase optical elements

Geometric-phase optical elements are a new tool for complex light shaping and generation of special states of light. Unlike traditional refractive elements, the geometric-phase elements control the light using transformation of its polarization state. Thanks to technology of liquid crystals or principles of plasmonics, geometric-phase elements provide abrupt phase changes on physically thin substrates. Compact size and unique polarization properties make them ideal candidates for simply integrable spatial light modulators. The dissertation thesis topic is to find and verify the potential of geometric-phase elements in common-path digital holography and advanced optical microscopy.

 Experimental Biophotonics

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Chmelík Radim, Ph.D.


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.

 Experimental Biophotonics

SupervisorMUDr. Veselý Pavel, CSc.


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.

 Experimental Biophotonics

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Jiří Petráček, Dr.



RG  1-04 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures (Tomáš Šikola)




Utilization of plasmonic nanostructures for local enhancement of magnetic components of electromagnetic fields  

The study will be aimed at design, fabrication, and characterization of resonant plasmonic nano- and micro-structures (“diabolo” antennas, split ring resonators, etc.)  providing a significant local enhancement of magnetic components of electromagnetic fields. The structures with resonant properties particularly in the  IR and THz will be studied,   with respect to their potential applications in relevant spectroscopic methods. 

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc.


Generation and detection of THz spin waves by plasmonic antennas

Spin waves in the THz region have become a subject of growing interest due to a high group velocity of magnons (steep dispersion curve) which renders them attractive for the design of ultrafast spintronic devices [1]. Here, antiferromagnetic materials like rare earth orthoferrites (RFeO3) could be a solution because of their very high (terahertz) frequencies of spin resonances [2], [3]. However, due to the lack of efficient sources and detectors, the physics of magnons at THz frequencies is far less studied. 
The proposed interdisciplinary PhD study combining photonics and magnetism is based on generation and detection of THz spin waves by near fields enhanced by plasmonic resonant structures  - antennas. It brings a new qualitative view into this subject. The antennas will be fabricated on a substrate surface, ideally on ribbons or magnonic crystals made out of RFeO3 thin film samples (e.g. TmFeO3) by EBL/FIB at CEITEC. Then, the magnons propagating along these structures will be analysed by a Brillouin light scattering (BLS) micro-spectrophotometer [4], using the method reported in [5] and successfully implemented at CEITEC [6]. Further, to extend the detected Brillouin-zone range, plasmonic resonant nanostructures providing large momentum components in their near-field hot spots will be used as well [7]. In this PhD study, plasmonic resonant structures for generation and detection of magnons should be optimized, and then dispersion relations tuned by shape, dimensions and periodicity of ribbons/magnonic crystals [6] and external magnetic field. Supportively, magnetic near-field enhanced THz T-D spectroscopy might be applied to test magnon-polariton dispersion curves of the thin film samples according to [3].  

Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc.



All-dielectric Metasurfaces

Metasurfaces represent a new kind of promising nanophotonic devices providing new functionalities at their radical miniaturization.  Thus, they are perspective for outperforming classical optical elements and devices. They consist of subwavelength nanoelements, either metallic or dielectric, which contribute to forming their overall optical properties by scattering-induced phase modification.              Plasmonic metasurfaces, i.e. those based on metallic elements, are generally lagging behind the expectation because of big ohmic losses in their metallic constituents. 
Therefore, PhD study will be aimed at exploring all-dielectric metasurfaces utilizing Mie resonances [1] and providing novel functionalities concerning modification of optical properties and shaping optical beams. Here, a special attention will be paid to (i) tunable systems with overlapping magnetic and electric dipole resonances which might lead e.g. simultaneously to EIT and enhanced Faraday rotation [2] and other interesting effects. Such tuned systems might act as sensitive sensors to their surroundings, e.g. magnetic molecules, and to (ii) tunable chiro-optical surfaces [3].     
The optical properties of metasurfaces and beams shaped by them will be studied by (i) far-field illumination and detection methods. In addition to standard methods like transmission/reflection micro-spectroscopy, we will use an original method of quantitative phase imaging by coherence-controlled holographic microscopy (CCHM) [4] and follow-up Q4GOM microscopy [5]. By this wide-field technique, we introduced into the area of metasurfaces, the phase of radiation scattered/shaped by resonators/metasurfaces can be quantitatively imaged over the whole sample area/beam in-real time with resolution down to a single antenna. Further, (ii) far-field illumination and near-field detection approach will be used using a spectroscopic a-SNOM [6]. 

  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc.


2D materials for supercapacitors

Supercapacitors (SCs) represent one of the most promising energy storage technologies because of their remarkable features, such as ultrahigh power density and ultralong cycling life. This PhD study aims at an exploration of 2D hybrids based on MXenes and black phosphorous (BP), as high-performance electrode materials for SCs. It will concentrate on (i) multi-scale characterization of 2D hybrids up to atomic resolution to provide fundamental knowledge underlying the interaction between the components of 2D hybrids, and on (ii) an in situ study of chemical stability and growth mechanisms of these materials.  In the study,  state-of-the-art characterisation methods available at CEITEC Nano core facility such as Low Energy Electron Microscopy (LEEM), UHV STM/AFM, X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS), Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS), Scanning Auger Microscopy (SAM),  FT-IR Spectroscopy, and HR (S)TEM will be used. The collaboration with the Dresden University of Technology planned to synthesize the 2D materials will be held. 

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc. 


GaN/Graphene-based detectors of UV radiation 

The PhD project will concentrate on a study of complex issues related to development of UV detectors using GaN (Ga)/graphene nanostructures.
The initial part of the study will focuses on the preparation of Ga and GaN nanostructures on poly-and single-crystal graphene using a low-temperature deposition method. The low temperature growth of GaN nanocrystals will be carried out by a combination of UHV PVD technologies such as Ga vapour deposition and low energy nitrogen ion-beam (50 eV) post-nitridation using a unique ion-atomic beam source [1] . The growth of GaN will be realized at much lower temperatures (T<250°C) than in conventional technologies (e.g. MOCVD, 1000°C). Subsequently, the relation between parameters/functional properties of Ga and GaN nanostructures and deposition conditions will be studied. The complex characterization of the Ga (GaN)/graphene nanostructures will be provided by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Scanning Probe Microscopy (AFM, EFM, SKFM), Raman spectroscopy, photoluminescence micro-spectroscopy, etc. Finally, the electrical response of the nanostructures to UV radiation will be studied via a FET-setup utilizing these optimized nanostructures as photosensitive elements. References:
[1] J. Mach, P. Procházka, M. Bartošík, D. Nezval, J. Piastek, J. Hulva, V. Švarc, M. Konečný, and  T. Šikola, Nanotechnology, Vol. 28, N. 41 (2017).

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures     

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc.


Mapping plasmonic modes

Localized surface plasmons (LSP) generated in metal nanoparticles (plasmonic antennas) can exhibit various modes differing in energy, charge distribution (dipoles vs. multipoles) and radiation capability (bright and dark modes). One of the most effective methods enabling generation and characterization - mapping of these modes at the single antenna level is Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) provided by High-resolution Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (HR STEM). The PhD study will be aimed at application of HR STEM-EELS for mapping the modes of LSP in plasmonic antennas. The emphasis will be especially put at a study of hybridized modes of coupled antenna structures and/or strong coupling effects between modes in plasmonic antennas and excitations in their surrounding environments. These excitations will be polaritons in quantum nanodots localized nearby antennas (the visible range) and/or phonons in absorbing antenna substrate membranes (IR – mid IR). In the former case, the experiment will be carried out by HR STEM-EELS  at CEITEC Nano infrastructure (Titan), in the latter case, by Nion Ultra STEM available at some laboratories abroad (e.g. Oak Ridge national laboratory). 

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures     

Supervisorprof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc. 


Topological Insulators and Topological Superconductors

Topological insulators (TIs), which demonstrate conductor properties at surfaces and behave as insulator in the bulk, present unique quantum state properties. Therefore, we have witnessed enormous research interest on these materials. It is anticipated that TI materials have a great potential to serve as a platform for spintronics due to their spin-locked electronic states, which could open new avenues for spintronic, quantum computing and magnetoelectric device applications. Moreover, interfacing TIs with superconducting layers is predicted to create mysterious physical phenomena, ranging from induced magnetic monopoles to Majorana fermions. 
The present PhD study aims at i) synthesizing theoretically studied topological insulators and ii) investigating topological superconductors, formed by hybridizing TIs and superconductor materials. TI and superconductor thin films will be fabricated via employing physical vapor deposition processes such as magnetron sputtering, pulsed laser deposition and molecular beam epitaxy. The obtained films will be characterized by X-ray diffraction method, X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and HR (S)TEM and so on. Furthermore, the magnetic properties of the thin films will be examined by Vibrating Sample Magnetometer (VSM). In addition, magneto-transport measurements of these films will be carried out as well. 

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures     

Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc. 


Synthesis and Characterization of Band Gap Engineered Ferroelectric Oxides for Photovoltaics

The direct conversion of sunlight into electricity is a very elegant method to produce environmentally friendly renewable energy. This branch of science is known as "photovoltaics (PVs)."  Recently ferroelectric (FE) solar cells have become very popular among various research groups all over the world due to their unique features such as having open circuit voltages (VOC) higher than their band gaps, and holding spontaneous polarization, which leads to a photovoltaic (PV) effect. The current problems with the present FE PV materials is that i) wide band gap (Eg), which is close to 3 eV for the most of FE PVs, ii) poor sunlight absorption, iii) short lifetime of the generated charge carriers and iv) the low mobility of charge carriers.             The present PhD study aims at: i) reducing the band gap of targeted FE materials usually having band gaps between 2 and 4 eV via doping. ii) Hybridizing organic singlet exciton fission (SF) materials with inorganic FE materials to synthesize epitaxial FE photovoltaic (PV) films. iii) Investigating the electrical and optical properties of obtained FE-PVs. iv) Understanding the mechanism behind the solar energy conversion in FE PV devices. FE PV thin films will be grown by using physical vapor deposition processes, for instance, magnetron sputtering, pulsed laser deposition and molecular beam epitaxy. The obtained films will be characterized by X-ray diffraction method, X-ray Photo-electron Spectroscopy (XPS), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and HR (S)TEM and so on. Furthermore, the optical and electrical properties of the materials will be examined. 

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures     

Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc. 


Phase-change material nanophotonics

Nanophotonics embodies all sorts of specifically nanostructured surfaces that enable control of light propagation, acting as both free-space or integrated optical components. Introducing phase-change materials into nanophotonic devices brings in the possibility to tune or switch their properties and change them into active optical components. This dissertation will be focused on incorporation of phase change materials (such as VO2, Sb2S3 or Ge2Sb2Te5) into various nanophotonic devices with the main goal of optical control of the resulting tunable optical components. 

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures     

Supervisor: prof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc. 


Modeling of functional properties of nanostructures for plasmonics

For detailed info please contact the supervisor.

  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisordoc. Ing. Radek Kalousek, Ph.D.


Optical characterization of advanced materials and nanostructures

Due to their dimensions comparable with the wavelength of light, nanostructures can directly modify properties of reflected and/or transmitted electromagnetic waves. The discipline investigating the interaction of an electromagnetic wave and nanostructures is called Nanophotonics. Its applications can be found for instance in photovoltaics or enhanced optical spectroscopy. Besides the shape and dimensions of nanostructures, the light can be also modified by their material properties. Recently, many scientific teams have been concentrating on the optically active advanced materials such as perovskites or 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). These advanced materials can be often characterized by their photoluminescence, especially using confocal optical spectroscopy, time-resolved spectroscopy, or scanning near-field optical microscopy. All these experimental techniques together with adequate numerical simulations (e.g., FDTD, DFT, BEM) are available at the Institute of Physical Engineering BUT and will constitute the main tools for successful completion of the PhD research project.

►  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Radek Kalousek, Ph.D.


Study of catalytic reactions in real time

The doctoral thesis will deal with research in the field of catalytic reactions using analytical methods capable of monitoring reactions in real-time. The reactions will be studied by various analytical methods such as UHV-SEM, E-SEM, MS, SIMS etc. aiming to better understand the mechanism of catalytic reactions on different types of surfaces (crystals, nanoparticles) and in a wide range of reaction pressures. In the first phase, the oxidation of carbon monoxide and subsequently other oxidation or reduction reactions important in technical practice will be studied. The work will also include the development of new methods and devices enabling real-time observation under various experimental conditions.

  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisordoc. Ing. Miroslav Kolíbal, Ph.D.


In-situ microscopy and spectroscopy of 2D materials growth

The observation of 2D materials growth at nanoscale is a challenging task. In our group, we have a large expertise in real time electron microscopy and we operate beyond-state-of-the-art instrumentation (LEEM, FTIR in UHV and SEM for observations in extreme conditions). The aim of this PhD dissertation is to revealing the growth modes of 2D materials (transitiv metal dichalcogenides, group-IV-based 2D materials etc.) and thein properties by advanced microscopy and spectroscopy in UHV as well as under high pressure and at high temperature.  

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Miroslav Kolíbal, Ph.D.


Study of catalytic transformation of carbon dioxide in to the fuel

The use or conversion of carbon dioxide into sustainable synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, in particular for transport purposes, continues to attract worldwide interest and may lead to the start-up of a circular economy based on the CO2 capturing from air and subsequent hydrogenation. Recently, iron-based catalysts were used for the direct and efficient conversion of CO2 to jet fuel range hydrocarbons. The thesis will deal with the research of such catalytic reactions that take place on metallic surfaces.  Reactions will be studied by different analytical methods like UHV-SEM, E-SEM, MS, NanoSEM, SIMS, TEM, and others to deeply understand the mechanism of the reaction on different types of surfaces (crystals, nanoparticles) and a wide range of reaction pressures.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Miroslav Kolíbal, Ph.D.


Prototyping of devices based on low-dimensional materials for use in nanophotonics and nanoelectronics

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). 2D materials are less challenging, however, i tis necessary to prepare a suspended membranes to avoid formation of substrate/2D materiál interface, which can significantly affect e.g. their electrical properties. 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.). 

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Miroslav Kolíbal, 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.   

►  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

SupervisorDoc. Ing. Miroslav Bartošík, Ph.D.


 Utilization of surface analytical methods for the study of nanostructures

For detailed info please contact the supervisor.


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.

  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Utilization of surface analytical methods for the study of nanostructures

For detailed info please contact the supervisor. 


 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

SupervisorDoc. Ing. Miroslav Bartošík, Ph.D.


DFT calculations of graphene and related 2D materials with regard to application in senors / biosensors

Due to its biocompatibility, high mobility of charge carriers and ultra-sensitivity of electronic properties to the presence of individual adsorbed and substituted atoms and molecules, graphene is a suitable material for utilization in the area of sensors and biosensors. Density functional theory (DFT) allows first-principle determination of the adsorbents and substitutes influence on the electronic properties of graphene and other 2D materials, which are key for understanding the physical nature of these devices operation. The subject of this doctoral thesis is the study of this issue using DFT calculations in a broader theoretical context, as well as computational support for experiments performed within the group. Therefore, the person with strong theoretical background in quantum mechanics, solid state physics, and practical knowledge of DFT calculation and data processing is expected.  

  Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures 

Supervisor: Doc. Ing. Miroslav Bartošík, Ph.D.


3D epitaxial printing of semiconductors using electron tweezers

 The dissertation thesis will deal with the development of 3D epitaxial printing using eutectic liquid droplets, which are moved by electron beam (electron tweezers) in the UHV-SEM microscope, developed in cooperation with TESCAN. During the movement, the gold-containing droplet is saturated with germanium (silicon) atoms, resulting in epitaxial deposition of the semiconductor at the droplet location. The movement of the droplet and thus also the "print" location of the semiconductor can be controlled programmatically. Part of the work will be optimization of this process including its real-time monitoring using UHV-SEM microscope.

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisordoc. Ing. Stanislav Průša, Ph.D.


Electron tweezers and development of new applications

The dissertation will deal with the development of electron tweezers, which allows to move droplets of eutectic liquids on the surface of semiconductors. The electron tweezers utilize the focused electron beam and is already tested in the UHV-SEM microscope, developed in cooperation with TESCAN company. During the controlled movement, the gold-containing droplet can for example etch or otherwise modify the surface of semiconductors (germanium, silicon). The dissertation thesis should focus on the interaction of different eutectic droplets with various substrates including 2D materials (graphene, etc.). Part of this work will be optimization of this process including its real-time monitoring using UHV-SEM microscope.

► Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisordoc. Ing. Stanislav Průša, Ph.D.


Characterisation of solid state surfaces and thin layers with nanometre depth resolution by LEIS

The Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) has proved its capability to study composition of the solid state surfaces. It is a low energy modification of the famous experiment of Rutherford with scattering of alpha particles on gold foil. The extreme surface sensitivity of the technique is widely used in analysis of the elemental composition of a topmost atomic layer with nanometre depth resolution. The sensitivity of the methods originates mainly from charge exchange mechanisms between the projectile and involved surface atoms. Only a small fraction of the scattered projectiles leave the surface in ionized state. This ion fraction is represented by characteristic velocity that is the measure of the charge exchange processes and is characteristic to the given combination of projectile and surface atom. The characteristic velocity is frequently influenced by chemical arrangement of the sample surface as well. This project aims to the characterisation of the charge exchange processes between the He and Ne ions (projectiles) on variety of solid state surface and thin layers. The primary kinetic energies of the projectiles will be varied within the range between 0.5 keV to 7.0 keV. Outputs of the project will significantly improve the potential of the LEIS technique at the field of quantitative analysis. The experiments will be performed on dedicated high sensitivity LEIS instrument – Qtac100 (ION TOF GmbH).  See for example: Highly Sensitive Detection of Surface and Intercalated Impurities in Graphene by LEIS. (By S. Prusa and H.H. Brongersma).

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisordoc. Ing. Stanislav Průša, Ph.D.


Topological insulators studied by LEIS

The Low Energy Ion Scattering (LEIS) has proved its capability to study composition of the solid state surfaces. The extreme surface sensitivity of the technique is widely used in analysis of the elemental composition of a topmost atomic layer. The topological insulators are materials where the thin surface layer is conductive in two directions parallel to the surface plane while the bulk material remains insulating. These materials are very promising in the field of spintronics and quantum computation. Thus the surface termination plays the critical role in the definition of the topological insulator properties and can be effectively studied using LEIS in combination with selected analytical and imaging techniques (XPS, SIMS, SEM, AFM and STM). The state of art LEIS spectrometer (Qtac100, ION-TOF GmbH) is part of the complex UHV apparatus for deposition of thin films and modification of solid state surface at micro and nanotechnology laboratory of CEITEC BUT.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisordoc. Ing. Stanislav Průša, Ph.D.


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.   

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Mgr. Vlastimil Křápek, Ph.D.


Utilization of surface analytical methods for the study of nanostructures

The doctoral thesis will focus on research and development of new analytical approaches in the field of secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and electron microscopy for the study of nanostructures and their ability to moderate catalytic reactions (CO oxidation, CO2 hydrogenation etc.). The work will focus on the development of new experimental procedures capable of monitoring the composition of the surface and nanostructures during reactions in real-time.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Ing. Petr Bábor, Ph.D.


Electron gun for Ultra Fast TEM

Ultra Fast TEM (U-TEM) allows to monitor dynamic phenomena such as phase changes, melting/crystallization of materials with time resolution in ns to ps. Furthermore, samples sensitive to electron beam exposure can be observed using stroboscopic illumination (another U-TEM mode). Current U-TEM microscopes use photoemission sources or a combination of standard sources with very fast deflectors (RF cavity,…).
Nanostructured materials appear to be very promising for the production of U-TEM electron sources. For example, GaN materials are seems to be good candidate for this purpose due to their considerable chemical and thermal resistence, low switching voltage of 1.25 V/um and high current density. The properties of the cathode depend to a large extent on the shape and form of nanostructures such as nanotubes, nanocarbons and nanocrystals.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Ing. Jakub Zlámal, 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.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Miroslav Černý, Ph.D.


Effect of entropy in impurity segregation at grain boundaries

Despite of evident significance of entropy in various phenomena of materials science, this quantity is neglected in their quantification in majority of cases. This negligence results in inaccurate quantitative values and – in the case of generalization – in incorrect prediction and interpretation of the effects. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the role of the entropy for an important example of solute segregation at grain boundaries of bcc iron. Practical methods of theoretical determination of the entropy of segregation will be developed and the data calculated for selected solutes will be compared to experimental values in literature. The calculated data will be then tested using known phenomena, such as the anisotropy of the grain boundary segregation and enthalpy–entropy compensation effect.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: doc. Mgr. Miroslav Černý, Ph.D.


Theory-guided materials design of new ferritic superalloys.

For further details, please contact mafri@ipm.cz.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Mgr. Martin Friák, Ph.D.


Influence of surface treatment by LSP method on selected materials

This thesis will focus on the assessment of the effects of surface treatment by the LSP method on various types of alloys. Laser shock peening (LSP) cures the surface using a pulsed laser beam, which generates a strong compression shock wave upon impact with the surface of the material. The shock wave propagates through the material and creates compressive residual stresses on the surface of the material. This increases the resistance of the material to certain defects or increases the hardness of the surface layer. Various microscopic methods, X-ray diffraction and other methods will be used to characterize the material.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Mgr. Martin Friák, Ph.D.


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

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Mgr. Martin Friák, Ph.D.


Magnetic properties of high-entropy alloys

So-called high-entropy alloys represent one of the most promising classes of modern materials. They are characterized by specific atomic distributions when a number of chemical species randomly occupy crystalline lattice positions. Combination of different elements and their concentrations provide materials with a wide range of unique properties. After years of intensive research focused on mechanical properties of high entropy alloys, the international scientific community has become recently interested in their magnetic properties. These will be the main topic of the proposed PhD program. The planned measurements will be supported by theoretical simulations. The research will be based on a recent cooperation of Czech, German, Austrian and American scientists: 
O. Schneeweiss, M. Friák, M. Dudová, D. Holec, M. Šob, D. Kriegner, V. Holý, P. Beran, E. P. George, J. Neugebauer, and A. Dlouhý, Magnetic properties of the CrMnFeCoNi high-entropy alloy, Physical Review B 96 (2017) 014437.

 Fabrication and Characterisation of Nanostructures

Supervisor: Mgr. Martin Friák, Ph.D.





RG 1-05 Development of Methods for Analysis and Measuring (Petr Klapetek)



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.

►  Development of Methods for Analysis and Measuring

Supervisor: Mgr. Klapetek Petr, Ph.D.



RG 1-06 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings (Jozef Kaiser)



Advanced laser ablation based analytical techniques for high resolutin mapping

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a technique providing fast analysis of investigated sample surface. Its performance is oriented on repetition rate and thus enable elemental imaging of large-scale areas. Currently, the LIBS analysis has resolution on the level of hundreds of microns which is not sufficient for high-end applications, especially in biology. The goal of this thesis is to design a LIBS system with high spatial resolution with satisfactory sensitivity in detection of selected analytes.

  Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Pavel Pořízka, Ph.D.



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.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Pavel Pořízka, Ph.D.


Investigation of spatial and temporal development of laser-induced plasmas

Laser ablation of matter is an essential process involved in the chemical analysis using various techniques of analytical chemistry. The spectroscopic investigation of characteristic plasma emission provides qualitative and quantitative information about the sample of interest. Standard analysis is based on the processing of emission signal; the process of laser ablation and consecutive development of laser-induced plasma is marginal and of little analytical interest. But, understanding the complexity of laser-matter interaction is a crucial step in the improvement of the latter data processing approaches. Thus, this work will target the investigation of spatial and temporal development of laser-induced plasmas, imaging of plasma plumes and determination of their thermodynamic properties. Outcomes of this work will be used in further advancement of the ablation of various materials (incl. biological tissues), improvement of optomechanical instrumentation (collection optics) and optimization of signal standardization.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Pavel Pořízka, Ph.D.



Laser spectroscopy in industrial applications

Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is getting established in various industrial applications. This method excels for its instrumental simplicity and robustness and is thus a potential alternative for existing techniques. When considering LIBS as an analytical tool, it is necessary to evaluate its analytical performance and the level of implementation into the existing production line. The topic of this thesis is the identification of individual industrial applications and the development and adaptation of analytical apparatus together with the optimization of measurement methodology from sample pretreatment to data processing.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Pavel Pořízka, Ing., Ph.D.



Laser spectroscopy for analysis of plastics

Plastic recycling and production is currently at its climax, current legislative is forcing faster processing of material while avoiding toxic metal content. Plastic industry is looking for solution in analytical chemistry, with high throughput and satisfactory analytical performance. Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique is being intensively applied in various industrial applications. Its robustness and instrumental simplicity drive its direct implementation into production processes and even to production lines. The goal of this thesis is design of LiBS instrumentation, methodological protocol for classification of individual plastic materials and detection of toxic metals using LIBS spectra.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Pavel Pořízka, Ing., Ph.D.


Detection of microplastics in biological tissue using laser spectroscopy methods

Plastic materials are intensively polluting our environment. They are getting into the food chain and influencing individual bio-organisms in the form of microplastics. Their toxicity and impact on living organisms, thus, must be assessed. The topic of this thesis is to find an integrative approach to study the fate and effects of emerging microplastics in the aquatic environment. Main goal is to find methodology for analysis of microplastics accumulated in aquatic organisms in order to understand adverse outcomes.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Pavel Pořízka, Ing., Ph.D.


Depth profiling of layered materials using laser spectroscopy

Engineering and production of novel materials, including coatings and layers, is demanding new analytical solutions. Compared to other analytical techniques, Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) enables selective ablation of layers with variable depth resolution. However, the depth of the analysis with certain number of laser pulses differs for individual materials. The calibration of depth to laser pulse number is also of an issue, while there is no solid evidence for this phenomenon in classical LIBS literature. The goal of this thesis is to find complementary approaches, for instance using Computed Tomography and standard approaches of metallography, in depth profiling in order to fully calibrate LIBS technique to depth profile analysis. As an output, methodological protocol applicable across broad range of materials is demanded.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisorprof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Pavel Pořízka, Ing., Ph.D.


Correlation of X-ray computed tomography with microscopic techniques for material characterisation

X-ray computed tomography (CT) is an important method for 3D non-destructive imaging of samples in many fields. It is commonly used in industry for defect detection and quality control, scientific projects utilise imaging and quantification of data and apply a number of analyses to determine morphological and physical parameters. To put CT data in context with other methods, they often have to be supplemented with established imaging methods such as electron and light microscopy and qualitative techniques such as X-ray spectroscopy. The data from each technique typically have a different format, size, resolution, etc. Combining such different information about samples is a challenge. When correlating two different 3D datasets, it is necessary to ensure that the sample structures correspond to each other. For a combination of 2D and 3D techniques, a corresponding 2D section has to be found in the 3D dataset. This requires a programming approach or a use of special software. The work will deal with techniques of correlation of information from various imaging methods. Such a multidisciplinary approach is in high demand today and has a big potential.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Tomáš Zikmund, Ph.D.


 X-ray computed tomography of mineralised and soft tissues of biological samples

X-ray micro computed tomography is becoming one of the commonly used imaging methods in the fields of developmental biology and other biological disciplines. In the native sample only the mineralised bones are visible in the microCT scan, the visualization of the soft tissues requires the staining of the sample in the solutions of elements with high proton number. When the scans of the same sample in native and stained condition is combined the time-consuming process of segmenting the mineralised bones from the stained dataset can be skipped, this new approach enables much faster method of analysing the complex biological samples. In the scope of this work the optimising of the staining method of soft tissues and co-registration of both stained and native scans of same sample will be performed.  

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Tomáš Zikmund, Ph.D.


Linear accelerator based X-ray computed tomography

The current laboratory computed tomography systems are equipped by X-ray tubes as a source of X-rays. Among other possibilities how to generate X-rays belongs a linear accelerator which greatly increases the velocity of electrons and produce high energy of X-ray radiation. These devices are moving from medical to industrial usage and new systems are developed at the moment. This system are used for penetrating very thick and/or high absorbing samples. With the development of this technology new research topics dealing with the implementation in material research and big data processing are opening.  

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Tomáš Zikmund, Ph.D.


The study of bioaccumulation of selected contaminants in plants using the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy method

Currently there is a big expansion in the development of nanomaterials that find their use in industry. As they become mass spread the risk of leaking into the environment increases and therefore it is necessary to monitor their influence on various ecosystems. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is an optical emission method suitable for elemental mapping of large sample surfaces. The information about biodistribution and bioaccumulation of material in the organism is crucial for correct evaluation of its toxic effect. The LIBS method can detect contaminants in plants with sufficient resolution. The goal of this work is to determine bioaccumulation and translocation of selected nanomaterials in plants.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: prof. Ing. Jozef Kaiser, Ph.D.

Supervisor specialist: Ing. Pavlína Modlitbová, Ph.D.


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.

Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor:  Montufar Jimenez Edgar Benjamin, Ing., Dr.


Mechanical properties and fracture mechaniss of biodegradable materials for bone repair

Biodegradable materials for bone repair offer safer and less expensive treatment of bone fractures and defects. In addition to be biocompatible, bone implants should fulfil several mechanical requirements to be functional. During the Ph.D. project a comprehensive mechanical characterization of biodegradable materials suitable for bone repair will be performed. The aim is to adopt the mechanical behaviour of such materials in order to design the next generation of temporal implants. The methodology includes standard and novel static and dynamic mechanical tests, as well as ex vivo mechanical studies. Note: Highly motivated and collaborative candidates with outstanding track records and with the ambition to learn are welcome to submit the application.

Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

SupervisorMontufar Jimenez Edgar Benjamin, Ing., Dr.


Controlling the crosstalk between immune and bone cells by biomaterials

The immune system and the skeletal system evolved together in vertebrates. Therefore there is a close and synergic relationship between them. The aim of the project is to study in vitro the crosstalk between immune and bone cells to learn how the physicochemical and structural properties of materials can control such interactions in order to develop new therapies for blood and skeletal diseases. Along the studies, the candidate will have the opportunity to learn and work from the synthesis of the materials to the biological characterization. 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.

Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: Montufar Jimenez Edgar Benjamin, Ing., Dr.


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 high-velocity oxyfuel spray and plasma spraying using feedstock powders with different size-distribution will be studied under high-temperature isothermal oxidation, thermal cycling, and room temperature mechanical loading.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor:  Slámečka Karel, Ing., Ph.D.


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 BaTiO3material 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.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisordoc. Ing. Vlasta Sedláková, Ph.D.



Magnitoelectric effect in room-temperature multiferroics 

Multiferroics are perspective materials for microelectronics, spintronics and sensory technology. Multiferroics combines advanced properties of minimum two types of materials as: ferromagnetics, ferroelectrics and ferroelastics. The work will be dedicated to the analysis of the mechanism of the magnetoelectric effect. The dissertation is supposed to include determination of the effect of electrical polarization and mechanical stresses on the magnetic structure.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

SupervisorMgr. Dinara Sobola, Ph.D.


Structural and magnetic properties of bismuth ferrite

Bismuth ferrite is characterized by presence of magnetoelectric effect.  Interaction between magnetization and electrical polarization is defined by crystal lattice. The goal of this work will be obtaining of homogeneous antiferromagnetic structure by selecting parameters for samples preparation.  Results of this field represent interest for design of memristors, sensor technologies, etc.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: Mgr. Dinara Sobola, Ph.D.


Analysis of a thin dielectric layer on the surface of cold field emission cathodes

The topic of the dissertation deals with the analysis of a thin dielectric layer on the surface of field emission cathodes operating at room temperature and serving as a source of free electrons for devices requiring high brightness and narrow energy spectrum of the beam. The thin dielectric layer forming the quantum barrier will be characterized using advanced spectral diagnostic methods. The results of these analyses will be correlated with the electrical parameters of the emitted beam under high and ultra-high vacuum conditions. The output of the work should be a significant improvement in the parameters of coated cathodes, which include, in particular, increasing the current stability and extending their life time.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: Mgr. Dinara Sobola, Ph.D.


Development, characterization and evaluation of optimally engineered nanocomposite PVD coatings for HSS end mill cutters

Cutting is an important process in the manufacturing industry. It is a process of machining of a workpiece, where a cutting tool is used to remove some material from a workpiece by means of shear deformation to produce a certain design. Cutting tool can be single point cutting tool, such as a turning tool, shaping tool and planer tool, or multiple point cutting tool such as milling cutter. Various types of materials can be used to make cutting tools in the industry today so long as they meet the characteristics for making cutting tools. These include high speed steel, diamond, or cemented tungsten carbide among others. This study focuses on the development, characterization, and evaluation of optimally engineered nanocomposite PVD coatings. 
The following necessary specific objectives need to be accomplished: 
1. Development of different types of nanocomposite PVD coatings based on their composition of the constituent materials and coating thickness. 
2. Characterization of the developed nanocomposite PVD coatings.
3. Study of performance based on associated various micro-mechanical characteristics such as hardness.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: Mgr. Dinara Sobola, Ph.D.


Functionalization of aerogels for environmental remediation applications

Aerogels are a unique class of highly porous, solid materials that are characterized by network-like, mesoporous, open-pore microstructure and have a complex of exceptional characteristics, such as extremely high surface area, low density, high catalytic activity, negligible heat conductivity, etc. 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 environmental applications, such as catalysts for the treatment of air and water pollutants. 
The present work 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, titania, etc.), while several other techniques (sol-gel synthesis, nanoparticle introduction, etc.) will be applied to modify the obtained templates to prepare catalytic systems, which will be used for air and water pollutant capturing and decomposition. 

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

SupervisorSerhii Tkachenko, Ph.D.


Thermal and Environmental Barrier Coatings for Advanced Turbine Engine Applications

The project concerns the development of advanced ceramic thermal and environmental barrier coatings (TEBCs) for applications in future high-performance gas turbine engines to protect engine hot-section components in the harsh combustion environments and extend component lifetimes. The design of new barrier coating systems will be performed in order to reach their improved temperature capability, environmental stability, and long-term fatigue-environment system durability in comparison with the existing counterparts. The methodology includes preparation of the barrier coatings by different thermal spray technologies and their testing using high pressure burner rig and furnace cyclic oxidation rig with the following overall microstructural analysis to evaluate the coating thermal stability, cyclic durability, and erosion resistance under simulated engine environments. Highly-motivated and collaborating applicants with the ambition to learn are welcome to enroll.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

SupervisorSerhii Tkachenko, Ph.D.


Research and development of multilayer systems for magnetoelectric effects

Research and development in processing and characterization of magneto-ionic and heterostructured multiferroics based on metal/oxide multilayers: (a) Ni/HfO2 for magneto-ionics and (b) Ni/BaTiO3 for artificial heterostructured multiferroic. The work will deal with optimization of magnetron sputtering conditions for dense Ni/HfO2 and Ni/BaTiO3 films; identification of thickness and geometrical effects on magneto-electric properties; structural and phase analysis of developed systems with the aim to achieve stable voltage-controlled effects for future magnetic devices.

 Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Ladislav Čelko, Ph.D.


New materials and manufacturing methods of resistant heater coating systems by means of thermal spray technologies

The doctoral thesis is focused on research and development of complex multilayer coating heating systems composed from insulating and electrical resistance materials and produced by means of thermal spray technologies. The changes in physical and materials properties of heating systems will be also studied in detail. The aim of this work is to design of multilayer heating coating system with focus on its manufacturing utilizing powder metallurgy and thermal spray technologies processes, including the study of physical properties of each layer, its structural stability and phase transformations, which can take place within long term isothermal or cyclic thermal exposure. Conventional methods used in the field of material and physical engineering, which are available, will be used to study and evaluate in the frame of this work produced heating systems.

► Materials Characterization and Advanced Coatings

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Ladislav Čelko, Ph.D.



RG 1-11 Multiscale Modelling and Measurements of Physical Properties                                   (Roman Gröger)



Nanometric prismatic dislocation loops in metals: experiment and modeling

Prismatic dislocation loops in metals are created by radiation damage or by severe plastic deformation. These loops are then obstacles for dislocations needed for plastic deformation and the material becomes brittle. The prismatic dislocation loops will be studied by molecular dynamic modeling and also by experiments using transmission electron microscopy.


► Multiscale Modelling and Measurements of Physical Properties

Supervisor: Mgr. Jan Fikar, Ph.D.


Inelastic deformation of nanocrystalline aluminum-based films

Aluminum films with various additives and with thickness of 20 – 100 nm will undergo heat treatments to optimize the grain size and stabilize the grain boundaries. The toughness of the samples will be tested by deformation at temperatures up to  400°C and their micro-structure will be studied using transmission electron microscopy. The obtained results will be simulated using molecular dynamics.

 Multiscale Modelling and Measurements of Physical Properties

Supervisor: Mgr. Jan Fikar, Ph.D.


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.

► Multiscale Modelling and Measurements of Physical Properties

Supervisor: RNDr. Naděžda Pizúrová, Ph.D.


Atomic arrangement effect on mechanical and magnetic properties of the superalloy materials

Superalloys are perspective materials formed with a specific composite microstructure. They are composed of two coherent phases (one of them has a reinforcing effect). The microstructure created in this way is beneficial from many points of view, especially higher strength, high-temperature stability, and intrinsic magnetic properties. The study of these materials has been a hot topic in recent years. However, several physical problems explaining their behavior remain unresolved. One of the most interesting physical issues is the study of intrinsic interfaces and atomic arrangement effect on the mechanical and magnetic properties, which is the topic of this proposed Ph.D. program. The proposed experimental study will be complementary and synergistically linked with theoretical research at the Institute of Physics of Materials of the ASCR, which is focused on the atomic structure and internal defect calculations of advanced materials. Doctorand will study these chosen materials with up-to-date experimental methods. He/she will acquire experience in electron microscopy methods (including high-resolution methods and electron holography). Received experimental data will be used for subsequent studies of these materials.

 Multiscale Modelling and Measurements of Physical Properties

Supervisor: RNDr. Naděžda Pizúrová, Ph.D.



RG 1-12 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy (Petr Neugebauer)



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.

 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


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 hyperpolarizationprocesses. 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-statesamples. The second part is devoted to experiments on the DNP enhanced NMR and improving the efficiency of hyperpolarizationprocesses.

► Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisordoc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


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.

 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisordoc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


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.

 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisordoc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


THz Frequency Rapid Scan Electron Spin Resonance Spectroscopy 

Dynamic Nuclear Polarization (DNP) is a phenomenon, that can enhance greatly the NMR sensitivity (several hundred times at least). There are several mechanisms of DNP, though all of them result from the transferring of electron spin polarization (from special polarizing agents) to nucleus. This process is strongly dependent on the electron spin relaxation of the polarizing agent. However, due to the instrument limitations, the spin dynamics of polarizing agents is studied very poorly at frequencies above 100 GHz, especially at frequencies of 263, 329 and 394 GHz, which correspond to NMR proton frequencies of 400, 500 and 600 MHz, respectively.
Usually, the spin relaxation properties are studied using the pulsed method. Unfortunately, the nowadays level of microwave sources at THz frequencies, mostly in terms of output power, does not allow the implementation of the pulsed technique in the wide frequency range. For this reason, the Rapid Scan Electron Spin Resonance (RS-EPR) spectroscopy is the only possible technique for the investigation of spin dynamics at THz frequencies. In this project, PhD student will (i) develop and implement a technique of fast frequency sweeps into the high field/high frequency EPR spectrometer (ii) investigate the spin relaxation processes in different DNP polarizing agents in the wide frequency and temperature ranges.

► Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


Spectroscopy of thin molecular films

Control over thin molecular films composed of single-molecule magnets or quantum bits is crucial in the development of novel electronic and magnetic devices. Their behaviour on surfaces is yet largely unexplored area. This PhD project will use the already existing high-vacuum chamber for thermal sublimation of thin films of coordination transition metal and lanthanide complexes. The student will work on the whole route from a bulk as-synthesised powder to a nanostructured thin film. The final goal is to be able to predict and evaluate the magnetic properties of such films by newly built high-frequency electron spin resonance spectrometer (HF-ESR). Additional surface-sensitive spectroscopic and microscopic methods such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) will be used to study prepared thin films. The student will communicate and perform tasks in international collaboration with research groups in the USA and Italy.

 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


Intercalation of magnetic systems between 2D materials

There is growing interest in understanding magnetism of materials combined with 2-dimensional materials such as graphene. In particular, the impact of magnetic materials intercalated between the 2D material and its supporting substrate has the potential for magnetic ordering and may lead to modification/control of magnetic properties. Additionally, a system of magnetic material + 2D material could potentially be monolithically integrated with other devices to create new, robust electronic functionalities. The objective of this project it to develop and carry out strategies of intercalating magnetic atoms and molecules using graphene or other 2D materials. The subsequent structures would then be characterized by a wide range of surface probes as well as high field and frequency electron spin spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance techniques. The knowledge gained will then be used to develop predictive models of magnetism for the intercalant + 2D material/substrate.  This work will be carried out in collaboration with the US Naval Research Laboratory and will have opportunities for on-site research.

► Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.


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 advanced organic and coordination synthesis of mononuclear and polynuclear complexes of transition metals and/or lanthanides. New-prepared compounds will be characterized by analytical and spectral methods and magnetic properties will be studied by means MPMS SQUID. 

 Magneto-Optical and THz Spectroscopy

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Petr Neugebauer, Ph.D.



RG 1-13  Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces (Jan Čechal)



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.

 Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Čechal, Ph.D.


Externally tunable magnetic coupling between 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

► Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Čechal, Ph.D.


Kinetics of growth and phase transformations in self-assembled molecular systems

Self-assembly is a promising route to fabricate nanostructures with atomic precision. Targeted design of molecular precursors allows to program nanostructures with desired functional properties. To implement these structures into functional devices it is necessary to understand the kinetics of the grow as it defines the fabrication procedures. However, only little is known about kinetics of the growth/transformation processes near thermodynamic limit. The goal of Ph.D. study is to study the growth kinetics and phase transformation in self-assembled molecular systems and formulate suitable model describing the surface processes. The experimental research within the PhD study aims at the understanding the kinetics deposition/self-assembly phenomena of organic molecular compounds on metallic surfaces. Low-Energy Electron Microscopy presents an ideal technique for monitoring real time evolution of surface growth in both real and reciprocal space. These data will be complemented with chemical composition by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and atomic level structure by scanning tunneling microscopy available within the UHV system. For detailed information, please, directly contact the Jan Čechal. 

► Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Čechal, Ph.D.


Antibacterial surfaces by patterning

The nanostructured surfaces show antibacterial properties. To harness these properties, it is necessary to develop a methodology for large-scale production of nanostructures on objects of various shapes, surfaces of which are far from ideal. Our preliminary data show that the electron beam can be used to grow polymeric nanostructure on surfaces of ceramics. To extend the basic knowledge to applications, it is necessary to describe and understand the role of growth parameters, quality of the substrate, chemistry of employed precursor, etc. In parallel, the properties of fabricated nanostructures should be assessed.
The goal of Ph.D. is to grow arrays of nanostructures and assess the role of the growth parameters on their morphology, mechanical, chemical, and antibacterial properties. 
Our vision is to develop a scalable methodology for nanostructured coatings of implants, which would prevent post-surgery inflammation and facilitate the healing process. (For detailed information, please, directly contact Jan Čechal or David Salamon)

 Molecular Nanostructures at Surfaces

Supervisor: doc. Ing. Jan Čechal, Ph.D.




RG 1-14  Nanomagnetism and spintronics - Vojtěch Uhlíř



Interactions in metamagnetic heterostructures

Direct magnetic coupling, such as the exchange bias, occurs at the interface of antiferromagnetic (AF) and ferromagnetic (FM) orders, which is commonly accomplished using a combination of AF and FM thin films. The character of the resulting interaction is strongly dependent on the specific magnetic texture of the films involved. The aim of the thesis is to elucidate the physical nature of exchange bias and use this interaction to control nanoscale AF configurations in different model systems.

 Nanomagnetism and spintronics

SupervisorIng. Vojtěch Uhlíř, Ph.D.


Ultrafast optical control of magnetic order

The thesis will focus on finding efficient routes to control magnetic configurations without applied magnetic fields using femtosecond laser stimuli. The physical phenomena involved are linked to ultrafast spin dynamics and the associated energy and angular momentum transfer between the spins, electrons, and lattice. The proposed experimental approach will exploit magnetic heterostructures to generate collective magnetic excitations. The project assumes previous experience with optical set-ups.

  Nanomagnetism and spintronics

SupervisorIng. Vojtěch Uhlíř, Ph.D.


High-resolution imaging of magnetic order

Properties of multifunctional magnetic materials are closely linked to the subtle interplay of different order parameters. In this context, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) is a unique technique to investigate the link between structure, chemical composition, and magnetism on a sub-nanometer scale. The thesis aims at exploring this relation in static conditions and under the action of external stimuli such as electric fields and currents. The project assumes previous practical experience with TEM imaging.

►  Nanomagnetism and spintronics

Supervisor: Ing. Vojtěch Uhlíř, Ph.D.


Optically configurable magnetic metamaterials

Magnetic materials constitute a highly tunable platform for the design of adaptive optical and magnonic elements. Moreover, coupled order parameters in complex magnetic phase-transition materials can be controlled using various driving forces such as temperature, magnetic and electric field, strain, spin-polarized currents and optical pulses. The Ph.D. candidate will explore the first-order metamagnetic phase transition in materials that have been subjected to strong spatial confinement and optical stimuli and design new functional systems by combining individual structures with well controlled properties into 2D and 3D arrays.

  Nanomagnetism and spintronics

Supervisor: Ing. Vojtěch Uhlíř, Ph.D.




RG 1-15 Functional Layers and Nanostructures (Hermann Detz)



Integration of Functional Plasmonic Waveguides with Mid-Infrared Sensors

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 metal-dielctric stacks for sensing applications at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths by UHV sputtering processes. Experimental work will include the optimization of the deposition processes, as well as lithographic structuring and device characterization. Previous experience with relevant equipment within the CEITEC Nano Facilities (UHV sputtering, 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 novel materials for sensing 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.

Integration of Functional Plasmonic Waveguides with Mid-Infrared Sensors

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 metal-dielctric stacks for sensing applications at near- and mid-infrared wavelengths by UHV sputtering processes. Experimental work will include the optimization of the deposition processes, as well as lithographic structuring and device characterization. Previous experience with relevant equipment within the CEITEC Nano Facilities (UHV sputtering, 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 novel materials for sensing 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.

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.

 Functional Layers and Nanostructures

SupervisorDetz Hermann, Dr.


Structural and Optical Characterization of Complex Oxide Heterostructures

Bandstructure engineering of semiconductor heterostructures enables optoelectronic devices with designed characteristics. The material parameters of conventional III-V semiconductors limit the wavelength range of such devices to infrared wavelengths. The scope of this thesis is to characterize and optimize oxide-heterostructures to apply established concepts like electro-optic modulation, non-linear wave-mixing or intersubband detection to shorter wavelengths in the visible or near-UV.Previous experience with measurement setups at CEITEC (SEM, TEM, AFM, XPS, 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 novel materials for sensing 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.

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. 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.

 Functional Layers and Nanostructures

SupervisorDetz Hermann, Dr.



RG 1-18 Future Energy and Innovation (Martin Pumera)




2D materials for water treatment

This thesis will focus on the fabrication of new 2D materials for water treatment and purification.

► Future Energy and Innovation

Supervisordoc. RNDr. Martin Pumera, Ph.D.


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.

 Future Energy and Innovation

Supervisordoc. RNDr. Martin Pumera, Ph.D.



3D printing for electrochemical energy storage

This thesis will focus on the research and development of new 3D printed materials for fabrication of supercapacitors.

 Future Energy and Innovation

Supervisordoc. RNDr. Martin Pumera, Ph.D.


Micromachines and Nanomachines for enviromental remediation

Candidate will construct microrobots powered by chemicals for enviromental remediation using polymer snd inorganic chemistry approach.

Micromachines and Nanomachines for environmental remediation

Candidate will construct microrobots powered by chemicals for environmental remediation using polymer and inorganic chemistry approach.

This thesis will focus on the detection of mycotoxins in the food using DNA and immunoassays modified 2D materials.

 Future Energy and Innovation

Supervisordoc. RNDr. Martin Pumera, Ph.D.



SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION FOR ADVANCED NANOTECHNOLOGIES AND MICROTECHNOLOGIES PROGRAM HERE