English Nederlands

Master/Bachelor Project catalogue

Back to Study

Welcome to the Project catalogue. This is where we maintain a list of all the research groups where you can do your bachelors or masters project. If you notice any mistakes or groups missing, please contact education@fmf.nl

Theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity

What is the topic of your research group?

Twofold: one research line focusses on modelling the Big Bang, and the other investigates general aspects of quantum field theories and gravitational theories.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

Literature study, analytical calculations, occasionally a numerical code.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

Models of inflation, models of gravity, quantum field theory.

What courses are related to your research field?

RQM, Symmetries in physics, Lie groups, General relativity, Quantum field theory.

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

Lots of beautiful theories and their interrelations.

Contact information

Diederik Roest: d.roest@rug.nl

Theoretical particle physics

What is the topic of your research group?

Tests of the Standard Model, in particular tests of symmetries; effective field theory; QCD and hadron/nuclear physics; applications in astrophysics; fundamental quantum mechanics.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

Theory development, using mathematical physics, quantum mechanics, or quantum field theory, and when required coding, e.g. in mathematica; the connection to current experiments.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

Violation of parity, time reversal, baryon & lepton number; baryo- & leptogenesis; quantum computing, ...

What courses are related to your research field?

Quantum field theory, advanced quantum mechanics, mathematical methods of physics, general relativity, ...

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

Cutting-edge particle physics and quantum mechanics; how to use their brain.

Contact information

Rob Timmermans: r.g.e.timmermans@rug.nl

Cold Molecules

What is the topic of your research group?

We build table-top experiments to explore the limits of our knowledge of the physical universe. We do this through very precise measurements. In these measurements we put small quantum systems like atoms and molecules in a carefully controlled state using lasers, electric and magnetic fields, and explore their quantum structure. When we compare these measurements with equally precise theory (usually provided by our theory-friends in the institute :-)) we learn about the fundamental interactions and symmetries that are at the basis of particle physics. Recently we have also started doing experiments with optically levitated nanospheres (about the size of the corona-virus) to explore gravity and to make novel sensors.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

We are an experimental group - so you can do experiments! We design, built and operate our own experimental setups, which can be rather large (our molecule decelerator is 4,5 meters long!) or rather small (the nanosphere optical levitation setup easily fits on a single table). Of course, for the design, operation and interpretation of those experiments we rely heavily on theory and various computer codes, such as python, but also CAD drawing programs. Some projects are more heavily focused on the technical aspects of our experiments, some more on the use of computer simulations to interpret our data, and others more an exploration of theory and literature that is needed to design and plan future experiments.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

Typically, students join a research team that works for example on the molecule decelerator, the electron-EDM project, the cryogenic source, the laser cooling of molecules, or the nano-particle project. Within that team (typically 1-2 PhD students, a bachelor student and a master student) they explore a current research topic in the research group, that fits with their interest and capabilities. Because of the broad range of possible projects, from technical to fundamental, we have had students from both applied physics and physics. We also regularly host foreign engineering students for a research project.

What courses are related to your research field?

Electricity and magnetism - Waves and optics - Atoms and molecules - Particle physics

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

You can learn what it is like to do research in a research group: that means working together in a diverse team with different backgrounds, points of view and nationalities. You will practice the communication of scientific results in oral presentations and a project report. You will learn how to search, read and interpret scientific literature (publications) in an efficient way. And you will discover the exciting details that are important when you try to use quantum objects and lasers in your research!

Contact information

Steven Hoekstra: s.hoekstra@rug.nl

Research group webpage

Computational spectroscopy

What is the topic of your research group?

We study quantum, structural and dynamical properties that can be studied by applying light pulses to the sample and how this information can be used for new applications. The quantum properties include delocalization over nanosize structures and quantum transport. The structural properties range from the structure of proteins to packing of molecules in photovoltaic devices and artificial light-harvesting antenna. The dynamical properties could be the rotation of organic molecules in perovskites, the fast transfer of electronic excitation through super efficient natural light-harvesting systems, or slow aggregation processes. Interesting applications include better solar cells, or new types of devices.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

Depending on the topic of the research the students may be exposed to one or more of the actions below.

  1. Writing their own computer code or contributing to one of the codes developed in the group
  2. Performing molecular dynamics simulations (gromacs) to investigate the structure and/or dynamics of a system
  3. Perform electronic structure calculations to learn about the vibrational or electronic states that one can excite with light
  4. Perform spectral simulations with code developed in the group to interpret and/or predict spectra of systems of interest

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

  1. Quantum Dynamics/Quantum Coherence/Quantum Delocalization
  2. Ultrafast Dynamics
  3. Light harvesting systems
  4. Protein structure and dynamics
  5. Solvation, noise, and disorder

What courses are related to your research field?

Ultrafast time-resolved spectroscopy, statistical mechanics, quantum mechanics

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

  1. Dynamics in open quantum systems
  2. Molecular Dynamics
  3. Programming (as python/c/MATLAB)
  4. Large scale computations on large computer clusters

Contact information

Research group webpage

Twitter

Bio-Inspired Circuits and Systems (BICS)

What is the topic of your research group?

We aim to identify the principles of neural computation and implement them in fully parallel and low-power neuromorphic systems that offer the opportunity to overcome the limitations of traditional digital architectures. Hereby we develop physical models of recurrent neural networks with learning synapses and biological inspired sensor systems, which allow us to validate current theories of learning and perception.

Two main streams can be identified in our research activities: (i) neuromorphic systems and theories for brain inspired computation (learning, cortical inspired neural architectures); (ii) neuromorphic sensing and actuating.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

The BICS group can offer a variety of different projects. In the neuromorphic systems and theories for brain inspired computation research stream students can investigate algorithms and hardware implementations of online learning as well as neural architectures. Students will carry out this research by means of classical neuromorphic approaches (e.g. design and simulation of novel circuits and architectures in integrated circuit (IC) design software), through the exploitation of material properties (e.g. simulation of novel nano-electronic “memristive” device models in IC design software) and through modeling and simulation of spiking neural networks. Within the neuromorphic sensing and actuating research stream students can develop spiking neural network models and neuromorphic electronic circuits to build compact autonomous sensory and sensory-motor systems specialized for interacting with the environment and solving specific real-world tasks.

The properties of new neural network models can be first evaluated in spiking neural network simulators (BRIAN2, Nengo, nest, neurorobotics-platform) with python front-end. After a first proof of concept the approach can be implemented on already existing neuromorphic hardware systems (Loihi, DYNAP-SE, SpiNNaker) and tested with real world input from event-based sensors (Dynamic Vision Sensor, Neuromorphic Auditory Sensor). A closed loop evaluation on a robotic platform can be performed for some projects to proof their real world applicability.

Summarizing, our research group can offer a variety of different projects from neural network model simulation to circuit design, system integration and experimental validation.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

  1. Learning
    • Learning in memristive systems
    • Recurrent competitive networks
    • Attractor networks
  2. Neuromorphic touch
    • Neural networks for encoding and decoding touch stimuli
    • Receptive fields optimization for tactile sensing
  3. Fly-inspired motion vision
    • Contrast normalization with the Time-Difference-Encoder
    • Collision avoidance on a robotic platform
  4. Neuromorphic acoustic perception
    • Keyword spotting on Loihi
    • Sound-source-localization with the Time-Difference-Encoder
    • Implementation of an auditory sensor model into the neurorobotics platform
  5. Interaction interface circuits (chip design)
    • Motor and actuator controllers for spiking systems (PWM/PFM)
    • SSpike conversion for interfacing to simple real world control and digital sensing (LEDs, switches)
    • Cell library design, RAM and CAM design for IC
    • Novel spiking neuronal network on the fly spike mapping
    • Spike filtering systems for neural networks

What courses are related to your research field?

Neuromorphic circuit design

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

  1. Analogue integrated circuit (IC) design with CADENCE
  2. Spiking neural network modelling in BRIAN2, nengo, nest
  3. Basic and advanced data analysis
  4. Neuromorphic Hardware: Loihi DYNAP-SE SpiNNaker
  5. Basics of asynchronous digital integrated circuit (IC) design

Contact information

Elisabetta Chicca: e.chicca@rug.nl

Surface Science

What is the topic of your research group?

Experimental investigation and controlled modification of the electronic properties of low-dimensional structures. The research is carried out with surface science tools, mainly scanning tunneling microscopy, atomic force microscopy, photoelectron spectroscopy. Subtopics are:

  1. The controlled tuning of the structural and electronic properties of conducting surfaces by patterning the surface with periodic molecular structures.
  2. Research into 2D materials and combining them with either another 2D material or molecules to tune their electronic properties.
  3. On-surface synthesis of 1D and 2D molecular nanostructures from small organic building blocks.
  4. Investigation of controlled switching of long range ordered molecular structures on surfaces by using the bias voltage.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

They will do experimental work, mainly using scannning tunneling or atomic force microscopy. They will prepare the samples and they will also carry out the measurements. An experienced PhD student will be their daily supervisor and with him/her they will learn how to set up and perform experiments and to do data analysis.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

The topics for Bachelor research will be mainly focused on topics 2 and 4 from above because these experiments can be carried out under ambient conditions. For Master research all topics listed above are possible. If students are interested in our research they should get in touch with me and arrange a (online) meeting to discuss the topics in more detail. Additionally, background information in the form of recent publications or Bachelor/Master theses will be given.

What courses are related to your research field?

On Bachelor level: nanophysics and -technology, nanoprobing and -fabrication, solid state physics. On Master level: surfaces and interfaces.

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

They will learn how to perform experimental work, they will learn about preparation of surfaces, performing scanning tunneling and/or atomic force microscopy, structural and electronic surface properties, 2D materials, graphene nanoribbons, data analysis with special software.

Contact information

Meike Stöhr: m.a.stohr@rug.nl

Theorethical Subatomic Physics

What is the topic of your research group?

My research is mainly focussed on particle collider phenomenology, which means trying to describe what happens in particle collisions and to see if there are any deviations from the expectations.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

First of all, I never suggest projects on my own research topic. I want to learn new things from the projects of bachelor and master students that go beyond my own expertise. The projects are always in theoretical or mathematical physics. The projects typically involve literature study and analytical calculations (reproducing or modifying calculations from the literature), but occasionally also numerical calculations (mostly in Mathematica, no long writing of code).

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

There is a broad range of topics to choose from. I have supervised projects on all kinds of aspects of symmetry and conservation laws, quantum mechanics, quantum field theory, finite temperature field theory, beyond the Standard Model physics, like Grand Unified Theories, and some more mathematical topics, such as exceptional points and semi-classical methods. Students are welcome to suggest a topic of their interest in theoretical or mathematical physics.

What courses are related to your research field?

Quantum Physics 2, Relativistic Quantum Mechancis, Symmetry in Physics, Lie Groups in physics, Quantum Field Theory, Elementary Particles

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

Fundamental aspects of physics, in particular in theoretical particle or high- energy physics and mathematical physics, but sometimes also in quantum optics or condensed matter physics.

Contact information

Daniël Boer: d.boer@rug.nl

Theoretical and Computational Chemistry

What is the topic of your research group?

In our group we develop and apply hybrid quantum/classical methods to study light-induced processes and quantum effects in biomolecules and novel materials.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

  • Perform calculations using Q-Chem, one of the world’s leading quantum chemistry software.
  • Perform simulations using Gromacs, one of the world’s leading molecular dynamics.
  • Work with various visualization and analyzes tools such as IQmol and VMD.
  • Write their own computer code and join the method development team.
  • Run simulations on large computer clusters.
  • Interpret and present their results.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

  • Photo-switchable molecular motors
  • Singlet fission in molecular solids
  • Intermolecular columbic decay
  • Proton-coupled electron transfer
  • Excited state processed at light-sensitive (bio)molecules
  • Basic machine learning and neural network algorithms
  • Method development for hybrid quantum/classical excited-state dynamics

What courses are related to your research field?

  • Molecular quantum mechanics II
  • Topics in Chemistry with Python
  • Molecular Dynamics

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

  • Gain knowledge on various electronic structure methods for ground and excited electronic states.
  • Gain knowledge on various photo-processes such as, excited-state electron or proton transfer, excitation energy transfer, photoionization and electron attachment processes.
  • Gain experience on quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics softwar.e
  • Gain experience on various visualization and analysis tools.
  • Gain basic programming and scripting skills.
  • Gain experience working with large scale computer facilities.

Contact information

Shirin Faraji: s.s.faraji@rug.nl

Photophysics & OptoElectronics

What is the topic of your research group?

In general our group researches novel materials for solar cells, photodetectors, thermoelectrics, light emitting diodes & neuromorphic microelectronics applications. The materials we work on have in common that they are solution processable. This property holds the promise of cheap production methods with a low energy demand.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

Perform experiments with state of the art equipment in our laboratories and/or cleanroom. Work on hot research topics in opto-electronics and materials physics.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

  • Metal halide perovskites (optical properties, solar cells and light emitting diodes)
  • Colloidal semiconducting quantum dots (solar cells and photodetectors)
  • Polymer-wrapped single walled carbon nanotubes (Neuromorphic electronics)
  • Organic semiconductors (solar cells, thermoelectrics)
  • Device modelling

What courses are related to your research field?

Nanophysics, Solid state physics, Preparations of Nanomaterials & Devices, (NS003: Fundamental and functional properties - for top masters), Device Physics.

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

How to operate equipment used in the manufacturing steps and testing of semiconducting materials (used for solar cells, photodetectors, transistors, etc) How to work in a small research team (supervised by a PhD student or Postdoc) How to solve technical and conceptual problems

Contact information

Maria Loi: m.a.loi@rug.nl

Optical Spectroscopy of Functional Nanosystems

What is the topic of your research group?

The research in our group focuses on optical spectroscopy and microscopy on organic functional materials that are relevant for nanophotonics and molecular (opto-)electronics applications. Such materials are for instance conjugated polymers and oligomers, small molecules, as well as supramolecular nanostructures based on those molecules. In general, we are interested in the optical and electronic properties of these materials. Specifically, we want to understand how energy flows through such systems, how light propagates within nanostructures, and how we can actively control and manipulate energy flow and / or light propagation. As experimental methods we employ a broad range of (time-resolved) optical spectroscopy and microscopy techniques down to the single-molecule (single-object) level. If required, we combine experiments with numerical modelling.

What can students expect to do when doing a project in your group?

The main task is to perform optical spectroscopy and microscopy experiments using home-built, state-of-the-art equipment. Others tasks are writing code to improve the experiments (e.g. allowing for faster data acquisition) and to optimise data analysis (e.g. fitting optical spectra). Depending on the specific interest, we also offer opportunities to perform numerical modelling of our experiments.

What would be topics of interest for students in which they can do a project?

On our group‘s website (see link below) we have a continuously updated section with potential student projects. Examples are time-resolved optical spectroscopy on single supramolecular nanostructures to resolve the dynamics of excitation energy, in-situ spectroscopy of the formation and disassembly of nanostructures using heating-stages, and Fourier-spectroscopy of nanostructures combining experiment and numerical simulations.

What courses are related to your research field?

Quantum mechanics, structure of matter, nanophysics and nanotechnology, physics of lasers

What can students learn when doing a project in your research group?

  • Teamwork
  • Operating state-of-the-art equipment for optical spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Writing code for controlling experiments and for data analysis
  • Numerical simulations

Contact information

Richard Hildner: r.m.hildner@rug.nl
Webpage