Our work is multidisciplinary. We employ concepts and tools from the fields of materials science, chemistry, physics and electrical engineering to develop new methods to investigate and engineer functional material properties for next generation technologies. We focus on the thin film synthesis, structural and electronic characterization, and device application of functional oxide thin films and heterostructures.
We use a state-of-the-art deposition system that combines pulsed laser deposition (PLD) and in-situ characterization techniques along with unprecedented device design and measurement to uncover hidden or emergent (and potentially useful) phenomena in these solid-state materials systems.
We are motivated by the growing need for nanoelectronics to incorporate beyond CMOS materials and devices to sustain the growing pervasiveness of electromagnetic technologies. The complex oxides offer an extremely wide range of properties not observed in conventional compound semiconductors. These include metallic, semiconducting and insulating behavior, half-metallic ferromagnetism, (anti)ferromagnetism, colossal magnetoresistance, superconductivity, ferroelectricity, high and low dielectric constant insulators and (predicted) topological insulator phases. In some cases, these properties can be found to coexist in these materials, an example being multiferroics (ferroelectric (anti)ferromagnets). Due to the correlated nature of this materials class, engineering through chemical substitution, strain, changes in coordination chemistry and interfaces between dissimilar materials can have pronounced effects on the material properties and even lead to the emergence of new phenomena (e.g. the 2D electron gas at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface). These properties make complex oxides an exciting playground for investigating or tailoring phenomena and exploiting the behavior in devices.
Major challenges in the field lie in new materials discovery via synthesis of “deeply” metastable phases, in-situ characterization of functional properties during epitaxial thin film growth and competitive device demonstration. Our interests include magnetic, ferroelectric and multiferroic materials and interfaces that are poised to impact next generation CMOS technology through unique intrinsic and extrinsic magnetoelectric effects which allow for ultra-low energy consumption and favorable device scaling.
We are located in the basement of the Gerstacker building located on north campus of the University of Michigan.