[Cymraeg]

Physics projects for Y3 and Y4 students


Project description

Optical properties of Boron Nitride

(supervisor: Rachel Cross)

Nature of project: experimental, data analysis

Available to students on full-time physics degree schemes or joint students.

Project description and methodology

Boron nitride is a wide-gap (6 eV) semiconductor that shares many of the desirable properties of diamond, offering an alternative material choice for applications such as UV photonics, high-temperature electronics and superhard abrasives. Its superior chemical properties make it the material of choice for the cutting of ferrous materials and it offers a wider parameter space than diamond to overcome that material's limitations in electronic and quantum applications.

This project will study industrially-manufactured boron nitride materials to investigate the optical properties using optical spectroscopy as the principal tool. There is the potential to extend the study from Raman, photoluminescence to X-ray luminescence using HeLIOS and in-situ luminescence in the ApREES vacuum system.

A successful project will develop beyond the above in one/some of the following directions:
There is the potential to extend the study from Raman, photoluminescence to X-ray luminescence using HeLIOS and in-situ luminescence in the ApREES vacuum system.

When considering where to take your project, please bear in mind the time available. It is preferable to do fewer things well than to try many and not get conclusive results on any of them. However, sometimes it is useful to have a couple of strands of investigation in parallel to work on in case delays occur.

Additional scope or challenge if taken as a Year-4 project: Investigation of BN composite materials, such as machining tooling material as a more complex system.

Please speak to Rachel Cross if you consider doing this project.

Initial literature for students:

  1. Liu, L., Feng, Y.P., Shen, Z.X., 2003. Structural and electronic properties of h -BN. Physical Review B 68, 104102. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.68.104102
  2. Werninghaus, T., Hahn, J., Richter, F., Zahn, D.R.T., 1997. Raman spectroscopy investigation of size effects in cubic boron nitride. Applied Physics Letters 70, 958–960. doi:10.1063/1.118452
  3. Silly, M.G., Jaffrennou, P., Barjon, J., Lauret, J., Ducastelle, F., Loiseau, A., Obraztsova, E., Rosencher, E., 2007. Luminescence properties of hexagonal boron nitride : Cathodoluminescence and photoluminescence spectroscopy measurements 1–5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.75.085205
  4. Sachdev, H., 2003. Influence of impurities on the morphology and Raman spectra of cubic boron nitride. Diamond and Related Materials 12, 1275–1286. doi:10.1016/S0925-9635(03)00072-4

Novelty, degree of difficulty and amount of assistance required

Moderate to high difficulty, involves the use of research equipment.

Project milestones and deliverables (including timescale)

milestoneto be completed by
Review and selection of samplesChristmas
Set up of equipment and first results on model materialsend of February
Data acquisition and first analysis on a range of industrial materialsmid-March
Main data analysis completedEaster

Students taking this project will have to submit a full risk assessment form