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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

PhD: “Next generation displays for augmented reality”

PH-13 PhD: “Next generation displays for augmented reality”. Supported by Meta

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The ability to form displays comprised of microscale light emitting diodes (LEDs), where the LED lateral dimensions are around 2um, is central to the realisation of Augmented Reality Head-Mounted Displays. Such head-mounted displays, which augment our surroundings, will open the door to a vast range of new applications in areas such as:  surgery, manufacturing, training, entertainment and education.

The current research challenge in terms of the practical realisation of such displays, is the properties of the semiconductor/oxide interface at, or near, the periphery of the light emitting diodes. The semiconductor materials which are used for light emission are called compound semiconductors and are typically comprised of two or three elements from groups III and V of the periodic table (e.g., GaAs, InGaP, GaN, InGaN). As the lateral dimensions of the LEDs drop below around 10um, which is required for a high-resolution display, crystalline defects at the periphery of the device, or within the surrounding passivation oxide, can play an increasing role, and act as non-radiative recombination centres, reducing the internal quantum efficiency. The problem is particularly challenging in the case of the red microLED, typically formed using the compound semiconductor InGaP. The ability to understand, control and passivate these non-radiative defects is at the heart of 4 PhD positions supported by Meta.

The 4 PhD positions will cover the following research areas:

  • Impedance spectroscopy of InGaP interfaces from 20 Hz to 1 GHz, to profile non-radiative recombination centres in energy and space.
  • The development impedance spectroscopy under illumination (1um to 400nm) to work on open scientific questions related to wide band gap semiconductor/oxide interfaces.
  • Rethinking how we approach the area of impedance spectroscopy of metal-oxide-semiconductor systems which avoids equivalent circuit models.
  • Development of new device structures combined with physics-based modelling of experimental electro-optic data to gain physical insight into the nature of non-radiative centres.

The PhD positions are fully supported by Meta and will help to inform Meta's interests in heterogeneous systems and improvement in the internal quantum efficiency of microLEDs.

Other responsibilities

  • Participate in Education and Public Engagement activities, as required.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the Tyndall Quality Management system.
  • Ensure all activities are compliant with the required Health and Safety standards.
  • Carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post

Essential criteria

  • Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in physics, electrical engineering or materials science. Or, BSc, BEng 1st class honours students.
  • Knowledge of semiconductor physics
  • Hands on and flexible attitude
  • High degree of responsibility and independence
  • Able to collaborate with team members and project partners in Meta.
  • Good presentation skills, excellent written and oral English level

Desirable criteria

  • Electrical characterisation techniques (I-V, C-V, Hall)
  • Semiconductor processing and characterisation (XRD, SEM,TEM, AFM)
  • TCAD Device simulator environment (Atlas, Sentaurus, Ginestra…)

For queries, please contact: Prof. Paul Hurley (

A generous annual student stipend applies for this successful candidate for this position.  Yearly University academic fees will paid by the Tyndall National Institute

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download the Application form and indicate the Job Reference PH-13

Step 2 - Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to

Please ensure that your motivation letter, CV and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations ( Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.