study programme

Physical Engineering and Nanotechnology

Original title in Czech: Fyzikální inženýrství a nanotechnologieFaculty: FMEAbbreviation: D-FIN-PAcad. year: 2022/2023

Type of study programme: Doctoral

Study programme code: P0719D110004

Degree awarded: Ph.D.

Language of instruction: Czech

Accreditation: 24.9.2020 - 24.9.2030

Mode of study

Full-time study

Standard study length

4 years

Programme supervisor

Doctoral Board

Chairman :
prof. RNDr. Tomáš Šikola, CSc.
Councillor internal :
prof. RNDr. Petr Dub, CSc.
prof. RNDr. Radim Chmelík, Ph.D.
prof. Ing. Ivan Křupka, Ph.D.
prof. RNDr. Pavel Šandera, CSc.
Councillor external :
RNDr. Antonín Fejfar, CSc. (Fyzikální ústav AV ČR, v.v.i.)
prof. Mgr. Dominik Munzar, Dr. (Ústav kondenzovaných látek, PřF Masarykovy univerzity)
prof. RNDr. Pavel Zemánek, Ph.D. (Ústav přístrojové techniky AV ČR, v.v.i.)

Fields of education

Area Topic Share [%]
Physics Without thematic area 100

Study aims

The aim of the doctoral study in the proposed programme is to prepare highly educated experts in the field of physical engineering and nanotechnology with sufficient foreign experience, who will be able to perform independent creative, scientific and research activities in academia or applications in our country and abroad. The study is based on the doctoral students' own creative and research work at the level standardly required at foreign workplaces in the areas of research carried out at the training workplace and supported by national and international projects. These are the following areas of applied physics: physics of surfaces and nanostructures, light and particle optics and microscopy, construction of physical instruments and equipment, micromechanics of materials.

Graduate profile

The graduate has knowledge, skills and competencies for their own creative activities in some of the areas in which the research activities of the training workplace are carried out. These are applications of physics especially in the field of physics of surfaces and nanostructures, two-dimensional materials, nanoelectronics, nanophotonics, micromagnetism and spintronics, biophotonics, advanced light microscopy and spectroscopy, electron microscopy, laser nanometrology and spectroscopy, computer controlled X-ray micro and nanotomography, micro and development of technological and analytical equipment and methods for micro/nanotechnologies. The possibility of using the personnel and material background provided by the CEITEC research infrastructure as well as extensive cooperation with important foreign workplaces contributes to the high level of education. This guarantees that the graduate is able to present the results of their work orally and in writing and discuss them in English. Due to high professional competencies and flexibility, graduates find employment both in universities and other research institutions in our country and abroad, and in high-tech companies in the positions of researchers, developers, designers or team leaders.

Profession characteristics

Due to their high professional competencies and flexibility, graduates find employment in the field of basic and applied research at universities and other research institutions in our country and abroad, as well as in high-tech companies in the positions of researchers, developers, designers and team leaders.

Fulfilment criteria

See applicable regulations, DEAN’S GUIDELINE Rules for the organization of studies at FME (supplement to BUT Study and Examination Rules)

Study plan creation

The rules and conditions of study programmes are determined by:
STUDY AND EXAMINATION RULES of Brno University of Technology (USING "ECTS"),
DEAN’S GUIDELINE Rules for the organization of studies at FME (supplement to BUT Study and Examination Rules)
DEAN´S GUIDELINE Rules of Procedure of Doctoral Board of FME Study Programmes
Students in doctoral programmes do not follow the credit system. The grades “Passed” and “Failed” are used to grade examinations, doctoral state examination is graded “Passed” or “Failed”.

Availability for the disabled

Brno University of Technology acknowledges the need for equal access to higher education. There is no direct or indirect discrimination during the admission procedure or the study period. Students with specific educational needs (learning disabilities, physical and sensory handicap, chronic somatic diseases, autism spectrum disorders, impaired communication abilities, mental illness) can find help and counselling at Lifelong Learning Institute of Brno University of Technology. This issue is dealt with in detail in Rector's Guideline No. 11/2017 "Applicants and Students with Specific Needs at BUT". Furthermore, in Rector's Guideline No 71/2017 "Accommodation and Social Scholarship“ students can find information on a system of social scholarships.

What degree programme types may have preceded

The presented doctoral study programme represents the highest level of education in the field of physical engineering and nanotechnology. Follows the academic and bachelor's and subsequent master's degree programme of "Physical Engineering and Nanotechnology", which are carried out at FME BUT.

Issued topics of Doctoral Study Program

  1. Advanced imaging techniques in electron microscopy

    The aim of the dissertation thesis is instrumental and methodological development in the field of scanning electron microscopy (SEM), which will include mainly 4D-STEM imaging of beam sensitive samples using a 2D direct electron detector. Part of the work will be the development of a methodology for the preparation and imaging of samples sensitive to electron and ion beam irradiation. Designs of new procedures for the processing of measured 4D data will be created which will contribute to the development of modern diffractive techniques in electron microscopy. These methods will be applied primarily to biological samples and their combinations with nanoparticles, which play an important role in medicine, pharmacology etc. The project will take place at the Institute of Scientific Instruments (ISI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences with possibilities of a partial/full-time job. PhD student will participate in several TAČR and GAČR projects, which are currently being solved at ISI.

    Tutor: Krzyžánek Vladislav, Ing., Ph.D.

  2. 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]. References: [1] Dielectric Metamaterials: Fundamental, designs, and applications, ed. by I. Brener et al., Elseviere – Woodhead publishing series, 2020. [2] A. Christophi, …, A. B. Khanikaev, Opt. Lett. 43, 8, 2018. [3] I. Zubritskaya, …, A. Dmitriev, Nano Lett. 18, 302−307, 2018. [4] J. Babocký, V. Křápek, ..., T. Šikola, ACS Photonics 4, 1389, 2017. [5] P. Bouchal, P. Dvořák, F. Ligmajer, M. Hrtoň, V. Křápek, ..., T. Šikola, Nano Lett. 19, 1242, 2019. [6] P. Dvořák, ..., T. Šikola, Nano Lett. 13, 2558, 2013.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  3. Atomically-thin Metasurface Optics based on High Performance 2D materials

    The highly-engineerable scattering properties of metallic and high-index semiconductor/dielectric nanostructures currently underpin the operation of nowadays metasurfaces. They support geometrical plasmonic or Mie resonances that offer strong light-matter interaction and excellent control over the scattering phase and amplitude. Their optical responses tend to be of a simple, linear form and they are hard to modify with external stimuli. As a result, basic Maxwell equation solvers can be used to predict and optimize their behavior. In stark contrast, van der Waals (vdW) materials comprised of atomically-thin layers bonded by the vdW force exhibit a fascinating diversity of quantum, collective, topological, non-linear, and ultrafast behaviors. It is exciting to think how such materials may open up new functions for metasurfaces [1]. This PhD topic aims to start addressing that question by exploring the new fundamental physics that can emerge at the cross roads of the metasurface and vdW fields. We will start by exploring how the properties of two-dimensional (2D) vdW semiconductors materials, such as the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), can be modified by subwavelength patterning to form atomically-thin metasurfaces. Further, flat 2D-material based metasurface optical devices for dynamic wavefront control providing new functionalities not achievable by bulk optical elements or “classical” plasmonic or all-dielectric metasurfaces will be studied.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  4. BICs in photonic waveguides

    Bound states in the continuum (BICs) represent a theoretically interesting way of field localization, which contradicts the conventional wisdom of bound states with energies solely outside the continuum of free states. BICs offer several interesting applications; for example, in photonics, BICs enable development of sensitive nanostructures with significant reduction of radiation leakage [1,2]. Even though the first observation of photonic BIC was achieved in a system of coupled waveguides [3], the individual waveguides supported conventional modes outside the radiation continuum. Researchers have observed BICs in a single waveguide with a low-index core; however, effectively such a waveguide acts as a conventional quantum well (i.e., localization in the region with high effective refractive index). Therefore, the study will address this problem and focus on theoretical investigation of various possible alternative mechanisms that could enable BICs in waveguides. As a starting point anisotropy induced BICs in dielectric waveguides will be studied. Subsequently, more general class of waveguide structures will be considered; namely, we will assume nanophotonic waveguide structures and perform systematic parametric studies to explore the existence of new BICs. Finally, critical assessment of the benefits of the BICs in comparison with classical guided waves from the point of view of their potential integrated photonic applications will be carried out. [1] K. Koshelev, A. Bogdanov, and Y. Kivshar, “Engineering with Bound States in the Continuum,” Opt. Photonics News, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 38, 2020 [2] S. I. Azzam and A. V. Kildishev, “Photonic Bound States in the Continuum: From Basics to Applications,” Adv. Opt. Mater., vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 16–24, 2021 [3] Y. Plotnik et al., “Experimental observation of optical bound states in the continuum,” Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 107, no. 18, pp. 28–31, 2011 [4] Y. Yu, et al., “Ultralow-Loss Etchless Lithium Niobate Integrated Photonics at Near-Visible Wavelengths,” Adv. Opt. Mater., vol. 9, no. 19, pp. 1–8, 2021.

    Tutor: Petráček Jiří, prof. RNDr., Dr.

  5. Cutting-edge techniques for preparation of cross sections of advanced materials for SEM imaging

    Scanning electron microscopy observation of a specimen cross-section can provide important information for material research and development as well as failure analysis. Typically, a cross-section is prepared using mechanical means like conventional mechanical polishing methods or a microtome. Such methods can be lengthy procedures that require a great deal of skill and can introduce artifacts into soft materials, deform the material around voids, or compress layers of soft and hard materials in composite samples. A Focused Ion Beam (FIB) system is used when precise positioning of the cross-section is required, such as in the case of thin-film or micro area specimen preparation. However, the size of the resulting cross-section is limited, and the heavy gallium ions in the beam can damage the sample surface. A plasma FIB provides an effective solution to prepare large-area cross-sections but this technique is not suitable for sensitive materials. Modern Ar ion beam cross-section polisher simplifies the preparation of samples and makes it possible to prepare truly representative cross-sections of samples almost free of artifacts and distortion. The use of the broad Ar ion beam eliminates the problems associated with conventional polishing and allows for larger specimens to be prepared with precision. On the other hand, establishing the optimal process parameters for artifacts-free polishing is not trivial. Preparation of cross-sectional samples by an ultramicrotomy, laser beam, or water jet cutter is less known but can also provide interesting results. The thesis will provide a comprehensive review of standard and advanced cross-section methods. The goals of the thesis are the experimental comparison of the above-mentioned techniques for cross-sectional sample preparation, discuss their pros and cons, and elucidate the mechanism of sample damage using these techniques. The specimens will be characterized by advanced electron microscopy techniques, including a low voltage STEM with atomic resolution.

    Tutor: Mikmeková Šárka, Ing. Mgr., Ph.D.

  6. Design of electron gun for electron beam welder

    Classical tungsten cathodes used in low power electron beam welders suffer from low life-time. The aim of work will be the design of electron gun with planar cathode with extended life-time.

    Tutor: Zlámal Jakub, Ing., Ph.D.

  7. Dual-energy X-ray computed tomography

    Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) is a modality that was formerly used only at synchrotron-based facilities. Recently it has been used in medical sphere of computed tomography (CT) and nowadays potential of DECT has been tested on lab-based CT system with high resolution. This technique uses two energetically different X-ray spectra for examination and specific differentiation of individual sample components, in terms of materials or tissues, based on their attenuation properties. This differentiation is feasible even for materials which would be inseparable in CT data from standard CT measurement using only one beam energy. Therefore, an advantage of DECT is a possibility of precise material segmentation and classification. Furthermore, acquired information from DECT measurement can be utilized for creating pseudo-monochromatic CT images which results in specific reduction of tomographic artifacts e.g. beam hardening. Aim of this thesis will be study of DECT technique and testing its potential and utilization in sphere of laboratory CT system with submicron spatial resolution.

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

  8. 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.

    Tutor: Zlámal Jakub, Ing., Ph.D.

  9. 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.

    Tutor: Průša Stanislav, doc. Ing., Ph.D.

  10. 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).

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  11. 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]. References: [44] K. Zakeri, PHYSICA C 549, 164, 2018. [45] J. Guo, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 32, 185401, 2020. [41] K. Grishunin, ACS Photonics 5, 1375, 2018. [46] T. Sebastian, …, H. Schultheiss, Front. Phys. 3, 35, 2015. [47] K. Vogt, …, B. Hillebrands, Appl. Phys. Lett. 95, 182508, 2009. [38] L. Flajšman, …, M. Urbánek, Phys. Rev. B 101, 014436, 2020. [X] R. Freeman,,…., Phys. Rev. Research 2, 033427 (2020).

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  12. In-situ preparation and modification of nanostructures

    Revealing the growth mechanisms at nanoscale is particularly challenging from many reasons. The most prominent advances in physics of nanostructure growth were achieved utilizing real-time in-situ monitoring techniques (both microscopic and spectroscopic). In our group, we have a large expertise in real time electron microscopy and, this year, a new vacuum chamber dedicated to Fourier transform Infrared spectroscopy was installed to CEITEC Nano infractructure. The aim of this PhD dissertation is to work on revealing puzzling growth modes of twodimensional nanostructures of interest (silicene, phosphorene, transition metal selenides etc.) utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, as well as study of their interaction with electrons, and oxidation.

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

  13. 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.

    Tutor: Čechal Jan, prof. Ing., Ph.D.

  14. Localized plasmon-enhanced absorption upon strong coupling

    The PhD project is aimed at the study of strong coupling between the localized surface plasmons in antennas and phonons in resonantly absorbing non-metallic environments and, consequently, to exploitation of this knowledge for finding and utilizing general principles of spatially localized plasmon-enhanced absorption. The study will tackle this issue in the near IR and mid-IR range and verify it in new types of uncooled antenna-coupled microbolometers with improved sensitivity and spatial resolution response. Due to common characteristics of index of refraction at absorption peaks/bands of materials, the outcomes and conclusions can find direct applications in other spectral regions, regardless the physical origin of resonant absorption. It will make it possible to carry out research on challenging phenomena exploitable not only in the local heating of materials, but also in IR and light detection, energy harvesting, (bio)sensing, quantum technology, etc.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  15. 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).

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  16. Metal-insulator transition probed by analytical electron microscopy

    Metal-insulator transition (MIT) is a phase change between high-conductivity and low-conductivity state of matter, typically related to strong electron-electron correlation. Materials exhibiting MIT are promising candidates for applications in fast optical switching or novel optical elements. While the mechanism of MIT is satisfactorily understood in bulk materials, much less is known about the role of domain boundaries, atomic-scale defects, or interfaces in nanostructures. Ph.D. thesis shall focus on utilizing temperature-dependent analytical electron microscopy to gain a deep insight into the interplay between temperature, local crystal structure, and electronic structure for MIT in a specific material, possibly vanadium dioxide.

    Tutor: Křápek Vlastimil, doc. Mgr., Ph.D.

  17. Modeling of functional properties of nanostructures for plasmonics

    The topic includes the theoretical description of the optical response of metallic nanostructures and metasurfaces for applications in plasmonics and nanophotonics. Used calculation tools will be represented by both analytical methods (e.g. optical properties of layered systems illuminated by a monochromatic plane wave, decomposition of the optical response of nanoparticles into the normal or quasinormal modes, mathematics used in diffraction optics) and numerical methods by using available software packages (e.g. based on a finite-difference time-domain method, a finite-element frequency-domain method, rigorous coupled-wave analysis) or, possibly, by using home-made computational algorithms. The results will be used for the qualitative- and quantitative interpretation of experimental data.

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

  18. Numerical processing methods of experimental data for imaging spectroscopic reflectometry within the framework of the optical characterization of non-uniform thin solid films

    The content of the dissertation thesis is to find effective algorithms for numerical processing of big sets of experimental data obtained by means of imaging spectroscopic Reflectometer (built in The Coherence Optics Laboratory of IPE FME BUT) from non-uniform thin films for the determination of the optical parameters of these films. The goal is to realize aforementioned algorithms in the form of a software.

    Tutor: Ohlídal Miloslav, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  19. Optical levitation of nanoparticles in vacuum

    Tightly focused laser beams can act as optical "tweezers" to trap and manipulate tiny objects, from nanoparticles to living cells. The development of this method has earned Arthur Ashkin Nobel prize in physics. Most experiments thus far have been carried out in air or liquid. Due to an increasing interest of quantum technologies, employing the optical tweezers to trap objects in ultra-high vacuum (see the figure) became one of the interesting goals of scientists around the world. Such an isolated particle behaves as a very weakly damped mechanical oscillator whose energy can be easily removed and thus “cooled” eventually to the quantum ground state. Moreover, optically trapped objects exhibit, not only, unprecedented sensing performance (they can sense very weak gravity, electric and magnetic forces), but can also be used to study fundamental processes of nanoscopic heat engines, or quantum phenomena involving large masses. The main goal of the proposed PhD thesis will be to study optomechanics of single and multiple nano-particles optically trapped in vacuum, shaping the optical potential and employ such an isolated object to act as ultra-sensitive sensor at various scenarios. For instance, object optically levitated near a substrate surface can act as an atomic force microscope (AFM) but with extremely high sensitivity (pN vs zN). The PhD student is expected to perform the experiments, analyzed and interpret the results. The Institute of Scientific Instruments of the CAS ( will provide all material conditions for this work for 4 years, has 20 year history in optical micro-manipulation techniques, collaborates with a number of laboratories around the world and belongs to the leading world-wide players in the this area (

    Tutor: Brzobohatý Oto, Mgr., Ph.D.

  20. 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.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  21. Study of low-temperature plasmas under reduced pressure conditions for planetary research

    Instrumentation for Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) enables in-situ analysis of samples, i.e., outside of the laboratory. For its robustness and analytical performance, the LIBS method is used in various industrial and other applications. The geological survey of other planets and interstellar bodies (e.g. Mars or Moon) is of paramount interest. Obtained results depend on the quality of laser ablation of studied matter and parameters of related laser-induced plasma. Those are, among others, influenced by the surrounding atmosphere and its pressure. The main aim of this thesis is the design of experimental apparatus for analysis under various atmospheres (e.g., CO2) under reduced pressure conditions (below 1 mbar) and concurrently to investigate the parameters of laser-induced plasmas (e.g., temperature, density, speed of expansion).

    Tutor: Pořízka Pavel, doc. Ing., Ph.D.

  22. 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.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  23. 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.

    Tutor: Průša Stanislav, doc. Ing., Ph.D.

  24. Use of imaging spectroscopic reflectometry for determining the optical parameters of non-uniform thin films

    The content of the work is the use of imaging spectroscopic reflectometers (built in the Laboratory of Coherence Optics ÚFI FME BUT) to determine the optical parameters of thin films non-uniform in these parameters, using already developed numerical algorithms for processing experimental data obtained by these reflectometers. The aim is to establish a methodology for the above procedure.

    Tutor: Ohlídal Miloslav, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  25. Using hyperspectral camera for the detection of optical emission spectra of meterorites

    Eploration of space is currently on the rise of interest, what is reflected in the construction of various devices for interplanetary research and analyses. The goal of this dissertation thesis is optomechanical design of a compact hyperspectral camera as a payload within a standardized CubeSat. This includes testing on a simplified model and prliminary feasibility (technical) study of the analysis of characteristic data, spectra of selected elements.

    Tutor: Pořízka Pavel, doc. Ing., Ph.D.

  26. Utilization of angle resolved scattering of light from randomly rough surfaces to determine the topographic parameters of these surfaces

    The content of the work is the use of angle resolved scattering (ARS) of light to determine the spectral power density (PSD) and associated parameters of the randomly rough surface topography using a new-generation SM3 scatterometer (Built in the Laboratory of Coherence Optics, FME BUT). The aim is to determine the methodology of the above procedure and to study the possibilities of using known theories of light scattering for different ranges of roughness of randomly rough surfaces

    Tutor: Ohlídal Miloslav, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  27. 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.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  28. 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.

    Tutor: Šikola Tomáš, prof. RNDr., CSc.

  29. 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.

    Tutor: Průša Stanislav, doc. Ing., Ph.D.

Course structure diagram with ECTS credits

1. year of study, winter semester
AbbreviationTitleL.Cr.Com.Compl.Hr. rangeGr.Op.
9AIVAb initio Calculations in Material Sciencescs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9MAVMathematics of Wave Opticscs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9ANCMicroscopy and Analysis Using Charged Particlescs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9NTCNanotechnologycs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9ONAOrganic Nanostructures at Inorganic Surfacescs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9RPTX-Ray Computed Tomographycs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9STHStructure of Mattercs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9SLPIntroduction to Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopycs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9MMMMultilevel Modelling of Materialscs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9VKBConcepts of Biofotonicscs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9VKNConcepts of Nanophotonicscs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9TPLConcepts in Solid State Theorycs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9ZDNImaging and Diagnostics of Nanostructurescs0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
1. year of study, summer semester
AbbreviationTitleL.Cr.Com.Compl.Hr. rangeGr.Op.
9KTDThe Fourier Transform of Lattices and the Kinematical Theory of Difractioncs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9MPAMathematics for Applicationscs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9MIAAdvanced Light Microscopy - Imaging Theorycs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9PVPProgramming in Pythoncs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9RF1Equations of Mathematical Physics Ics, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
9MIKLight Microscopycs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes
1. year of study, both semester
AbbreviationTitleL.Cr.Com.Compl.Hr. rangeGr.Op.
9AJEnglish for Doctoral Degree Studyen0CompulsoryDrExCj - 60yes
9ESMModelling of Thermodynamic Stability and Phase Transformationscs, en0RecommendedDrExP - 20yes