Department of Applied Physics

Doctor of Philosophy / Master of Philosophy

Sept 2021 Entry



The Department of Applied Physics (AP) focuses on five research areas: (1) Energy Materials and Devices, (2) Nanomaterials, (3) Photonics, Plasmonics and Optoelectronics – Materials and Devices, (4) Smart Materials and Devices, and (5) Theoretical and Computational Physics. 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


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.


The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2014 conducted by the University Grants Committee (UGC) found that AP produced the largest amount of world-leading (4*) research work in PolyU. AP ranks 1st in the Materials Science cost centre and comes in 2nd place among all Physics Departments in Hong Kong. 


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


Research Areas

Research Areas

Energy Materials and Devices

Materials and devices for various kinds of energy conversion and storage, including but not limited to:

  • Ferroelectric/dielectric materials for energy conversion and storage: colossal permittivity materials for energy storage, ferroelectric photovoltaics, electro-caloric cooling and ferro-catalysts
  • Light sources based on piezotronics and piezo-photonics; triboelectric nanogenerators
  • Materials for electrochemical energy conversion and storage: metal-ion batteries and supercapacitors
  • Organic photovoltaics; perovskite solar cells
  • Photocatalysts and electrocatalysts; Heterogeneous catalysis and CO2 utilisation

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


Various kinds of low dimensional materials for devices and advanced in-situ and operando characterisation techniques.

  • Advanced materials characterisation techniques at the atomic scale, in-situ, and real-time
  • Emerging memories for neuromorphic computing
  • Low dimensional materials: quantum dots, nanowires, nanotubes, and two-dimensional materials
  • Micro/nano electronic devices; carbon-based electronics
  • Nanomaterials for bioelectronics and flexible 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 and Optoelectronics - Materials and Devices

Processing and characterisations of photonic, plasmonic and optoelectronic materials and their applications in devices.

  • Design and fabrication of fibre lasers and white-light LEDs; Novel light-harvesting/emitting devices
  • Laser photonic devices
  • Nanomaterials and organic semiconductors for broadband photodetectors
  • Nanoplasmonics and metamaterials for sensing, imaging and energy applications
  • Plasmon-enhanced photocatalysis, optofluidics, artificial photosynthesis, micro-/nano-optics
  • Raman spectroscopy, optical characterisations, pulsed laser deposition
  • Ultrafast optical spectroscopy; linear/non-linear optical properties of semiconductor 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.

Smart Materials and Devices

Processing, characterisations and applications of various types of ferroic and multiferroic smart materials and composites.

  • Ferroelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric and multiferroic materials and devices
  • Microelectromechanical devices, gas sensors, thin films
  • Nanofabrication techniques, magnetic and spintronics materials
  • Semiconductor materials and devices
  • Smart materials and devices (piezoelectric transformers, actuators, transducers and sensors)

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

Theoretical and Computational Physics

Various kinds of computational calculations (including but not limited to first-principles DFT, effective medium theory, molecular dynamics, analytical modelling, and numerical simulations, etc.) to predict materials properties and structures, with an emphasis on the following topics.

  • First-principles DFT calculations and molecular dynamics studies on 2D materials, interface and heterostructures
  • 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.

Research Facilities

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

Other Information

Other Information

No information is available at present.

Supporting Documents

Supporting Documents

Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS);

Optional - For PolyU Research Postgraduate programmes

Curriculum Vitae


Personal Statement


Research Proposal

Optional - A standard form must be used for the submission of research proposal.  Please click here to download the form.

Transcript / Certificate