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Thin Films and Nanostructures

Complex oxide thin films and heterostructures are important for not only fundamental physics, but also a wide range of exciting opportunities in nanoelectronics and energy technologies. Our research in the Thin Films and Nanostructures Group focuses on the controlled synthesis of epitaxial thin films and nanostructures, including ferroelectrics, strongly correlated oxides, multiferroics, superconductors, thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, oxide catalysts, and electronic/ionic conductors, as well as on the characterization of their functional properties.


The emphasis of group’s research is discovering new functionally cross-coupled complex oxide thin films and nanostructures through understanding and controlling their strain, local symmetry, electronic structure, magnetic ordering, and chemistry; understanding cooperative phenomena that emerge at oxide surfaces and nanoscale interfaces; forming artificial and metastable oxides to tune the complex behaviors and to improve the physical properties; and studying the spatial confinement and proximity effects. Epitaxial complex oxide thin films are obtained using pulsed-laser epitaxy with atomic-scale control. In addition, a special effort is focused on the chemical vapor deposition of carbon-based materials and epitaxial diamond films.

A large part of our research is based on synergy from strong collaboration with world leading scientists for the use of state-of-the-art user facilities, such as APS, HFIR, SNS, and Nanocenters. Moreover, a close interaction for electron microscopy, optical spectroscopy, and theory plays a pivotal role for our materials design and understanding at the atomic scale.