Broadly, our research focuses on the epitaxial growth of complex oxide thin films and heterostructures in the pursuit to uncover, understand, and engineer new electronic phenomena and to push the frontier of technology with next generation devices based on these materials. The complex oxides offer an extremely wide range of properties not observed in conventional compound semiconductors and, thus, are an exciting playground for investigating or tailoring exotic phenomena and exploiting the unusual behavior in devices. Particular interest resides in interface, spin, structure, and charge effects that occur in layered structures with ferroic (and antiferroic) materials, such as (anti)ferromagnets, (anti)ferroelectrics, and multiferroics.
Some specific topics:
Next generation multiferroic hybrid devices
We have recently grown a composite multiferroic system that can efficiently switch a magnetization using a small electric field applied to the ferroelectric layer. We believe that this can be hybridized with spin-based phenomena observed in metal systems to enable ultra-low power dissipation in next generation memory and logic devices.
Entropy-stabilized oxide materials
Entropy-stabilized oxides emerge due to a large configurational entropy from multi-cation disorder as opposed to enthalpy of formation. As the cohesive energy normally imposes strict solubility limits, entropic stabilization enables the synthesis and exploration of oxide materials with compositions that have been considered to be unfeasible. We are examining the relationship between cationic and structural disorder and the electromagnetic properties of these materials, as the high degree of chemical and structural disorder can lead to large changes in functional phenomena.
Spin and Charge Transport in Antiferromagnetic Thin Films
Antiferromagnetic films are an attractive candidate for spin based nanoelectronics due to their zero fringing fields and efficient switching operation into the THz regime. We are investigating antiferromagnetic systems with strong spin orbit coupling and non-collinear spin order. These systems are capable of efficient spin current generation and have non-trivial transport physics due to their spin structure. We are developing thin film systems to explore their viability in magneto-electronic heterostructures and to investigate the limits of their physical understanding.
First-Principles Calculation of Point Defects
The functional properties of materials can be engineered by defects and impurities. First-principles calculations can serve as a powerful tool to predict properties of defects, e.g., atomic structure of defects, formation energy of defects, defect energy levels, diffusion mechanisms, and many other defect-related thermodynamic concepts. By using first-principles calculations, we are theoretically modelling point defects in solids, investigating their physical properties, and complementing experiments.