University College London
Research Project: Polarisation patterns in nanoscale ferroelectrics for low-power nano-electronics.
Supervisors: Prof. Pavlo Zubko (UCL), Dr. Michele Conroy (ICL)
Sophia completed her Master in Science in Physics at University College London. Her research interests revolve around functional materials, and in particular, the extraordinary properties that arise when these materials are fabricated with nanoscale dimensions, for example, as thin films. Her Master’s project investigated the effect of strain anisotropy on the metal-insulator transition in rare-earth nickelate thin films.
Sophia’s doctoral research focuses on ferroelectric materials- materials with a spontaneous polarisation that can be switched by an applied electric field. Ferroelectric materials are one of the leading candidates for non-volatile memory technology in neuromorphic computing applications. These applications require these materials to have nanoscale dimensions, where their properties are dramatically different to that of their bulk counterparts. Sophia’s project aims to study the physics of complex nanoscale polarisation patterns that arise in ferroelectric thin films and superlattices. The domain structures and in particular, domain walls, exhibit enhanced properties that are sensitive to external stimuli, such as electric fields. She hopes to contribute to the understanding of these materials by studying their structure, response to applied stimuli and their effect on the functional properties of these materials.
What differentiates the CDT ACM is the increased familiarity with facilities, techniques, and academic groups gained from working between the two partner universities.