Thin Films and Nanostructures

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.


Chip Architectures: Multimodal Responses of Self-Organized Circuitry in Electronically Phase Separated Materials (Adv. Electron. Mater. 9/2016)

Confining an electronically phase-separated film to the scale of its coexisting self-organized metallic and insulating domains generates resistor-capacitor circuit-like behaviors, which delivers both...

Enhanced Bifunctional Oxygen Catalysis in Strained LaNiO3 Perovskites

Strain is known to greatly influence low-temperature oxygen electrocatalysis on noble metal films, leading to significant enhancements in bifunctional activity essential for fuel cells and metal-air...

Continuously Controlled Optical Band Gap in Oxide Semiconductor Thin Films

The optical band gap of the prototypical semiconducting oxide SnO2 is shown to be continuously controlled through single axis lattice expansion of nanometric films induced by low-energy helium...


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.


Ho Nyung Lee

Distinguished Scientist and Group Leader