May 2025 Entry

Full-time, Part-time
Application Deadline
PhD & MPhil
About Programme
How to Apply

The Department of Applied Physics (AP) focuses on five research areas: (1) Green Energy & Carbon Neutrality, (2) Machine Learning & Computational Physics, (3) Nanomaterials & Micro/Nanoelectronics, (4) Photonics, Plasmonics & Optoelectronics, and (5) Quantum Physics & Devices. Through our long term drive for academic excellence, AP has achieved outstanding results, including publications in internationally renowned journals, awards by local and international institutes, patents, elected fellowships in well-recognised international academic societies, and grants from government and industrial bodies. For more information, please visit our departmental website at https://www.polyu.edu.hk/ap/.


Strengths of the Department


AP treasures our tradition of maintaining strong links with local industries and offering application-oriented curricula. Our active engagement in research and consultancy work has been recognised by both academia and industry. The research quality of our staff members and postgraduate students has also received recognition through research awards, grants, fellowships and scholarships.


AP achieved outstanding performance in the latest Research Assessment Exercise 2020 (RAE 2020) of the University Grants Committee (UGC). Among our submitted research outputs, impact cases and research environment statement, 98% were rated “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” - a remarkable improvement from our performance in RAE 2014. AP has attained the highest percentage of “world-leading” research work in the Category “Materials Science & Materials Technology”. We also ranked first amongst all physics departments in local universities, with the highest percentage of “world-leading” research work.


Outcome-based Research Postgraduate Programmes for PhD and MPhil Studies Programme
Programme Leader: Prof. HUANG Haitao


Research Area

Green Energy & Carbon Neutrality

Green energy investigate various kinds of energy conversion and storage technologies and devices. It covers batteries, ferroelectric/dielectric materials for energy applications, down- and up-conversion phosphors for photovoltaics and lighting, triboelectric nanogenerators, metal-ion batteries and supercapacitors, organic photovoltaics, and perovskite solar cells. 


Carbon neutrality research develops new materials and processes that reduce CO2 into energy-rich chemicals for practical uses. It includes electrochemical CO2 conversion, electrocatalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, CO2 capture, and utilization.

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Machine Learning & Computational Physics

Machine learning builds models based on available sample data to make predictions and decisions on unexplored regions. In material science, machine learning has proved to have unprecedented abilities to find new stable materials, calculate numerous material properties, and speed up first-principle calculations. Our machine learning focuses on material component/structure discovery, material properties’ prediction, and physics-informed machine learning.

Computational physics studies various kinds of computational calculations, including:

  • First-principles DFT, effective medium theory, molecular dynamics, analytical modeling, and numerical simulations; 

  • To predict materials properties and structures for 2D materials, interfaces and heterostructures;

  • Glass transition, flow of glassy polymer nanofilms; electron transport in solid-state quantum devices; formation of nanostructures in strained thin films;

  • Machine learning and high-throughput calculations; photonic crystals, topological photonics, plasmonic nanostructures, metamaterials, transformation optics, optomechanics of structured nanomaterials, and phononic crystals.

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Nanomaterials & Micro/Nanoelectronics

Nanomaterials studies various kinds of low-dimensional materials for devices. The key focus of this area includes:

  • Advanced materials synthesis

  • Characterization techniques at the atomic scale, in-situ, and operando;

  • Emerging devices such as memories for neuromorphic computing;

  • Low-dimensional materials: quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes, and two-dimensional materials;

  • Micro/nanoelectronic devices; carbon-based electronics; nanomaterials for bioelectronics and flexible electronics.

Micro/Nanoelectronics research aims at advanced electronic devices whose functions rely on the structures and phenomena at the microscale and nanoscale. The focused areas include memristors, lasers, phototransistors, imaging devices, bioelectronic sensors, neuromorphic microelectronics, and 2D heterogeneous electronics.

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Photonics, Plasmonics & Optoelectronics

This research theme studies cutting-edge materials and advanced devices that rely on photons, electrons, and their strong interaction with matter. It covers high-power mid-infrared lasers and white-light LEDs, photodetectors, biomimetic optical imaging, plasmonic nanostructures, plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis, optofluidics, artificial photosynthesis, micro-/nano-optics, biophotonics, ultrafast optical spectroscopy, linear/non-linear optical properties of semiconducting materials and devices. 

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Quantum Physics & Devices

This research theme studies exceptional quantum properties of 2D materials and related van-der-Waals heterostructures and their applications. It focuses on quantum nanostructures, spintronics, magnetic semiconductor heterostructures, 2D electron gases, non-linear Hall effect, and 2D ferroelectrics. 

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Research Facilities

Biosensors Laboratory

Centre for Electron Microscopy

Chemical Vapour Deposition Laboratory

Field Emission Electron Microscopy

Laser-MBE Laboratory

Magnetoelectric Laboratory

Material Processing Laboratory

Materials Research Centre

Metamaterials Laboratory

Micro/Nano Device Fabrication and Sensing Technologies

Microfluidics Laboratory

Multimedia Physics Laboratory

Optoelectronics Laboratory

Organic Electronic Laboratory

Pulsed Laser Deposition Laboratory

Raman Spectroscopy Laboratory

Sensor and Transducer Laboratory

Spectroscopy Laboratory

Thin Film Fabrication Laboratory

UMF Clean Room

VSM Laboratory

Supporting Documents
Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required for the PhD programme.


Optional - For the MPhil programme

Curriculum Vitae


Personal Statement


Research Proposal

Compulsory - A Research Proposal is required for the PhD programme.  A standard form must be used for the submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.


Optional - For the MPhil programme

Transcript / Certificate

Compulsory - The final official transcript with explanatory notes of the grading systems (i.e. which clearly indicating the maximum grade point of GPA, with University letterhead or official University stamp) is required.