Regulating Phase Transitions and Formation Energetics in Metal Halide Perovskite-Based Optoelectronics

Project opportunity

This Earmarked Scholarship project is aligned with a recently awarded Category 1 research grant. It offers you the opportunity to work with leading researchers and contribute to large projects of national significance.

Solution-processed all-inorganic CsPbI3 perovskite semiconductors are increasingly being considered for applications well beyond photovoltaics, for example, as the active regions within thin film photonic devices like cameras and LEDs. The optoelectronic perovskite phase is, however, unstable at room temperature, with a relatively large research community (spanning several sub-disciples) looking for new and effective ways to engineer a stable CsPbI3 perovskite structure. Changing the phase energetics ultimately means moving away from an normal equilibrium crystal, whereby disorder in its different forms, i.e., strain, (stereo)chemical, defects and interfaces, etc., can be used to regulate phase formation energies and prototype functional photonic devices.

This project aims to develop deep structure-property relationships and materials engineering protocols to generate stable forms of the emerging inorganic halide perovskite semiconductors. The project expects to arrive at working light emitter and detector prototypes via a three-dimensional, multi-length scale strain engineering approach that utilises materials processing techniques already used in the semiconductor industry. The expected outcomes include the development of new stabilisation methods which will directly impact the success of future perovskite optoelectronic devices and technologies. All aspects of the work plan (materials synthesis and characterization, as well as device fabrication and testing) will be completed in a supportive environment designed to help the applicant learn and grow their research skills in a multidisciplinary environment.

Scholarship value

As a scholarship recipient, you'll receive: 

  • living stipend of $32,192 per annum tax free (2023 rate), indexed annually
  • tuition fees covered
  • single Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)


Dr Julian Steele

School of Mathematics & Physics


Preferred educational background

Your application will be assessed on a competitive basis.

We take into account your

  • previous academic record
  • publication record
  • honours and awards
  • employment history.

The applicant will demonstrate academic achievement in the field(s) of solid-state physics and the potential for scholastic success.

A background or knowledge of semiconductor physics is highly desirable.

Desirable research experience includes:

  • Crystallographic characterisation (X-ray or neutron scattering, quantitative structural refinement)
  • Ab initio materials modelling techniques, including MD and DFT.
  • Phase change materials
  • Synchrotron science
  • Routine characterization of optoelectronic/semiconductor materials; XRD, SEM, AFM, PL…
  • Clean room experience (highly desirable)
  • Photonic device fabrication and testing; i.e., LEDs, lasers, photodetectors… (highly desirable)
  • Solution processing of lead halide perovskite semiconductors
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English

Latest commencement date

If you are the successful candidate, you must commence by Research Quarter 2, 2024. You should apply at least 3 months prior to the research quarter commencement date.

If you are an international applicant, you may need to apply much earlier for visa requirements.

How to apply

You apply for this project as part of your PhD program application.

View application process