Feasibility Study of Organic Semiconducting crystals for dosimetry in Radiotherapy and radioprotection applications. Surrey/Wollongong Dual PhD project.

This joint UK-Australia project will develop new radiation sensors using novel organic single crystals. Students will spend half their time at the University of Surrey in the UK, and half their time in Australia at the University of Wollongong, close to Sydney.

Start date

1 June 2020


3 years

Application deadline

Funding source

University of Surrey and University of Wollongong.

Funding information

This studentship will be funded through the University of Surrey and University of Wollongong joint degree scheme. This joint degree scheme has numerous benefits:

  • A sandwich structure enabling PhD students to spend time at Surrey and Wollongong
  • Supervisory teams bringing together experts from Surrey and Wollongong
  • A financial package covering fees and stipend
  • Access to facilities and expertise from both institutions


Recently feasibility studies of novel organic semiconducting crystals for implementation as radiation detectors has been conducted successfully by several groups [1-2]. In this project we focus on the characterisation of the radiation response of organic crystals in terms of mobility, charge collection efficiency as a function of bias, and their dose response to radiation.

The proposed HDR research aims to build on the existing expertise in organic radiation sensors at both UoW and Surrey, and to investigate the performance of these innovative materials for dosimetry in photon and hadron therapy applications. The assessment of such materials throughout this project will allow the potential development of a new class of dosimeter devices with the advantage to require no correction factors for energy corrections for dose in water.

This project will aim to complete the following key objectives:

  1. Simulation study to optimize semiconductor geometries in Geant4 for implementation in dosimetry devices;
  2. Evaluation of the tissue equivalency of the materials for different particle species such as electrons, photons, heavy ions and protons.
  3. Investigation of the potential applications of preliminary devices in areas such as Heavy-Ion therapy and Space Radiation Protection;
  4. Fabrication of prototype devices and optimisation of contact type and structure;
  5. Experimental measurements of charge collection capabilities and radiation hardness.

Finally, all key findings throughout the project will be culminated into a final thesis to be presented at the conclusion of the PhD degree.


The outcomes of this study have the potential to impact the medical physics community by providing new and innovative alternatives for radiation dosimetry and its many applications.  Upon successful application for real-world radioprotective applications in areas such as Space Radiation Protection, Particle and Heavy Ion Therapies, and external beam radiotherapy methods of cancer treatment.

Areas to investigate:

The project objectives will be delivered using the following main areas of investigation:

  1. Use of Geant4 radiation transport Monte Carlo software; to model radiation interactions with organic materials and optimisation of device geometries;
  2. Simulated irradiation of semiconductor materials and microdosimeter devices within Geant4 for initial tissue equivalence and device feasibility studies. This will be performed in a variety of simulated radiation environments tailored to the intended applications of the devices being investigated at the time;
  3. Synthesis and deposition of organic crystals and thick films to realise prototype radiation sensors;
  4. Laboratory characterisation of the electric performance, charge transport, and radiation response of prototype devices;
  5. Experimental testing of successful devices in high energy beamlines available domestically and internationally.


This dual award degree program is jointly supervised by University of Wollongong, Australia, and by University of Surrey, UK. Please contact either of the supervisors to discuss your interest in this project before submitting a formal application:

Associate Professor Marco Petasecca (Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong)

Related links

Centre for Medical and Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong Radiation and Medical Physics research group, Department of Physics, University…

The student will be funded through the Surrey/Wollongong joint-dual degree scheme, which has numerous benefits:

  • A sandwich structure enabling PhD students to spend time at Surrey and Wollongong
  • Supervisory teams bringing together experts from Surrey and Wollongong
  • A financial package covering fees and stipend
  • Access to facilities and expertise from both institutions

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must have a:

  •  BSc/MPhys in Physics, 2.1 or higher.
  •  Masters in Physics

UK, EU and Overseas students are eligible.

English language requirements: IELTS overall score of 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in each component (or equivalent).

How to apply

If you are interested in applying, you will need to submit three applications to be considered for funding under the UGPN joint-dual degree scheme between the University of Surrey and the University of Wollongong: an online application for a place on both a Surrey and Wollongong PhD course and a funding application form.

Please follow the three-stage process below to help you prepare and submit your application.

Identify and speak to a supervisor

Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Associate Professor Marco Petasecca and Professor Paul Sellin.

Apply for a place on a PhD course

You will need to complete an online application for a place on both Surrey and Wollongong PhD courses. 

Please make sure you indicate on your application that you are applying for the Young people’s lives in the #MeToo era: Sexual relationships, violence and harm studentship

Complete a funding application form

In addition to applying for a place on a postgraduate research course, you will also need to complete an application form (docx). The application form should be completed by the applicant in conjunction with their proposed supervisors. Please also refer to the guidance notes (docx) which will assist you in filling in the application form.

Application forms will need to be sent to phdstudentships@surrey.ac.uk by 11:59pm GMT on 3 April 2020. Late applications will not be accepted.


Your application for a postgraduate research course, both at Surrey and Wollongong, and your studentship application must be submitted by 11:59pm GMT 3 April 2020.


Application deadline

03 April 2020

Application deadline

Contact details

Associate Professor Marco Petasecca

Centre for Medical Radiation Physics

University of Wollongong

Email: marcop@uow.edu.au

Paul Sellin
08 BC 04
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 682747
E-mail: p.sellin@surrey.ac.uk

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