Ultra high density 3D fluorescent optical memory

Find out about an opportunity for research into developing ultra-high-density three-dimensional fluorescent optical memory for long-term data storage.

Project description

A fully funded PhD scholarship in Physics is available for research into developing ultra-high-density three-dimensional fluorescent optical memory for long-term data storage and preservation at the world-leading Robinson Research Institute at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Lower Hutt, New Zealand.

This new approach to ultra-high-density memory involves defect- and band-engineering of wide band gap materials to create suitable carrier traps where the luminescence from trapped charge can be used to represent a stored bit.

Laser-induced spontaneous and stimulated emissions and a new super-resolution reading and writing method can potentially lead to bit dimensions less than 50 nm, resulting in storage capacities exceeding 2 PB.

Little is known about how the luminescent properties can be optimised via alternative synthesis routes, dopants, and using various optical stimulations. This research will greatly contribute to the understanding of luminescent materials and the development of proof-of-concept devices.

The candidate will undertake materials preparation using methods that include high-temperature melts and hydrothermal techniques. The materials will be characterised and studied by x-ray diffraction, SEM, TEM, optical absorption, and various luminescence techniques including photoluminescence and stimulated luminescence.

The candidate will also participate in the design, construction, and implementation of optical experiments involving laser stimulations. Access to additional resources is available through our affiliation with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.

There is also the opportunity for the candidate to travel abroad to attend international conferences and work with researchers from other parts of New Zealand. We will also consider an MSc project on the same proposed work for a suitable candidate.

This PhD project is part of a newly funded New Zealand MBIE research programme on ‘Three-dimensional fluorescent optical memory for long-term data storage and preservation’, which involves physicists, chemists, and engineers from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington.


Applicants should have a degree equivalent to the 4-year Physics (Honours) degree in New Zealand with 1st class Honours, or an MSc or postgraduate diploma with high grades.

We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record, a good understanding of physics, and the ability to work well in a team. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at this university. They should also ensure that they meet the University's English language requirements.

Funding information

The successful PhD applicant will receive a stipend of $33,000 per annum for three years, as well as payment of all university tuition fees.


Email Dr Joe Schuyt (joe.schuyt@vuw.ac.nz), Dr Shen Chong (shen.chong@vuw.ac.nz), and Prof Grant Williams (grant.williams@vuw.ac.nz) with “PhD scholarship in Ultra-High-Density 3D Fluorescent Optical Memory” in the subject line.

Include the following information:

  • a full curriculum vitae, including your university transcripts
  • a statement indicating why you are interested in this project
  • your expected starting date.