Imperial College London

Dr Shelly Michele Conroy

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

University Research Fellow







Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus




Funded PhD Positions

Funded by CDT in Advanced Characterisation of Materials

Exploring Novel Polar Topologies for Low Power Nano-electronics

Description: Devices based on nanoscale ferroelectric polarisation structures with unusual polar topologies overturn the classical idea that our electronic circuits need to consist of fixed hardware components. Ferroelectric domain walls, polar vortices and polar skyrmions can be easily created, destroyed and moved about simply by an applied stimulus, without harming the crystal structure, thus making them ideal for reconfigurable electronics. At the same time, their diverse physical properties, which are distinct from those of the host material, combined with their dynamic nature and low power requirements, bring new functionality to a range of devices, including transistors and capacitors for conventional logic and storage, and memristive elements for neuromorphic computing. However, to harness their true potential there is a great deal of fundamental physics yet to uncover. As domain walls are usually only a few atoms thick and highly dynamic, it is essential to characterise them at the relevant spatial and temporal scale.

Institution: University College London & Imperial College London, with a research placement at SuperSTEM
Supervisor(s): Dr Pavlo Zubko (UCL) & Dr Michele Conroy (IC)
Sponsor(s): EPSRC

Essential candidate background/skills: Candidates must have a First Class or Upper Second-Class honours degree in an appropriate field such as Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or a related subject.

Nationality restrictions: UK or Irish citizens, or EU student with settled or pre-settled status, who has resided in the UK for the past 3 years 
Suitable for part-time/flexible study: Yes

Example of research: Metal–ferroelectric supercrystals with periodically curved metallic layers