PhD position, Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland


PhD position: Theory of non-radiative recombination processes in nitride-based nanostructures


Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork invites applications for a PhD position. The research is theory-driven, spanning basic science through to investigations of fundamental processes limiting present day devices, and including design and modeling of new and optimized devices.


The project aims to study non-radiative processes in nitride-based nanostructures for optoelectronic device applications. Here, nitride-based heterostructures, such as InGaN quantum wells, are of particular importance for energy efficient solid state lighting.


However the electronic and optical properties of these heterostructures are significantly affected by carrier localization effects originating from alloy fluctuations. These factors have to be included in a realistic treatment of the system, ideally on a microscopic, atomistic level. Combining first-principles, empirical atomistic and continuum-based calculations, the project targets a detailed understanding of how carrier localization effects and thus connected deviations from the usually assumed ideal structures impact non-radiative processes such as Auger recombination.


The project aims for a close linkage between theory and experiment, to elucidate how to manage non-radiative recombination effects in photonic materials and devices in general.


This project builds on first-principles, empirical atomistic and continuum-based investigations we have undertaken of nitride-based nanostructures, including strain and alloy effects. Here, development of atomistic and continuum simulation tools, including parameter and code development, is required to address the role of non-radiative recombination processes  in III-N heterostructures. Interaction with both internal and external partners from theory and experiment will be a central part of the project.


The successful candidate for the positions will have a very good undergraduate degree in physics, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, chemistry or materials science.

Informal enquiries concerning this studentship can be made to: Dr. Stefan Schulz (email

Please apply via, selecting reference number SS-2 and following the instructions to complete the associated application form, attaching your CV and motivation letter.