Master of Philosophy/Doctor of Philosophy Degree Programmes

  1. Introduction
  2. M.Phil./Ph.D. Research Areas
    A. Theory and Computational Physics
    B. Spectroscopy and Imaging
    C. Atomic,Molecular, Optics, and Low-Dimensional Systems
    D. Soft Matter and Biophysics
    Appendix - Research Interests of Individual Staff Members
  3. Admission Requirements
  4. Mode and Period of Study
  5. Financial Support
  6. Admission Handbook


Since its inception in 1993, the Department has grown to a current size of 12 academic staff, approximately 50 post-graduate research students and 50 research and technical staff. The Department’s objectives are threefold: 1) to educate students via both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes to meet the demands for skilled professionals in Hong Kong and the Pan Pearl River Delta Region, 2) to conduct innovative research and development leading to the advancement of science and technology, and 3) to render professional services for the professional community in Hong Kong and the Pan Pearl River Delta region.

All academic staff of the Department have earned doctoral degrees from the world leading academic institutions and have many acquired international status and reputation. Most academic staff have substantial working experience in North America, Europe, Australia and China before joining the Department, therefore bringing with them invaluable knowledge and skills to be transferred to the students of the next generations.

In response to the rapid advancement of scientific knowledge and technologies, we maintain a high standard and dynamical research team encompassing both applied and basic research activities. The Department excels in research over a wide range of topics, maintaining sustained collaborations with scientific communities in China, USA, Japan, Australia and Europe. Research focus/expertise in the Department include: (1) Theory and Computational Physics: condensed matter theory to study quantum transport, correlated electrons, spintronics and optical processes, computational solid state physics to study structural, electronic, exciton, phonon and magnetic properties of novel systems such as topological and 2-dimensional systems, computational chemistry to develop and use quantum mechanical methods to calculate the structures and properties of molecules, computational biology physics to illuminate the structure and function of supramolecular systems in the living cell, quantum computation and information, quantum simulation with cold atoms; (2) Spectroscopy and Imaging: sophisticated experiments involving quantum beams such as synchrotron x-ray, neutron, electron, coherent light, and NMR to determine the structure and dynamics of materials, the structure and phase transition in glass and liquids, Boson peak and the dynamics of glass and liquids, quantum interactions such as spin-orbital coupling in multiferroics; (3) Atomic, Molecular, Optics, and Low-Dimensional Systems: mechanism of noise and decoherence, open quantum system and quantum entanglement, non-equilibrium physics in AMO system, topological quantum computing and Majorana fermions, Dirac and Weyl semimetals, topological and dynamical phenomena and Bose-Einstein condensation and spin-orbit coupling, quantum Hall Effect, transport phenomena, superconductivity, frustrated magnetism, topological superconductors, graphene, 2D materials beyond graphene, heterostructures and interfaces; and (4) Soft Matter and Biophysics: dynamics of protein and subcellular processes (DNA, RNA, membrane), emergent phenomena in live cells with single molecule sensitivity, non-equilibrium mechanisms in active living matter, biological networks, biological and clinical experiments, novel physics-based data acquisition protocol and instrumentation in biomedical imaging.

In the past five years, our research support totalled to about $150 million from external grants (including matching fund) in addition to $75 million from internal sources. Our academic staff have published approximately 1300 technical papers in internationally refereed journals and delivered approximately 500 invited talks and conference presentations during the same period. Several outstanding research awards and recognitions have been granted to our staff such as the Humboldt Research Award, election to membership of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hsun Lee Lecture Award, National Natural Science Award, Friedrich Wilhem Bessel Research Award, Croucher Foundation Senior Research Fellowship, Japanese Society for Promotion of Science Fellowship, Fellowship of the American Physical Society, ASM International, AVS, IEEE, HKIE and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Our academic staff are professionally active through editorships of more than ten international journals, organization of a number of international conferences or symposia, contributions to committee functions in a number of local and international organizations and societies.

The research degrees of MPhil and PhD consist of a combination of coursework and research leading to the submission of a thesis. Depending on the entry route for the MPhil/PhD, a candidate is normally required to take a certain amount of coursework in the form of taught modules. Coursework requirements may be determined on the basis of the specific needs of a research student.

Detailed Application Procedures can be obtained from the School of Graduate Studies. Please note that each applicant is advised to discuss his/her proposed research topic with one of the academic staff members. The applicant is also expected to obtain the consent of that staff member to be his/her supervisor before submitting the application.

For further information please contact:-

Department of Physics, City University of Hong Kong Tat Chee Avenue Kowloon Hong Kong Tel.: 34427831 Fax: 34420538 Email:

More detailed information about the Department can also be obtained via the World Wide Web.

Information regarding applications can be found on the homepage of the School of Graduate Studies

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