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Overview: Our research focuses on the exploration of novel oxide materials – both thin film heterostructures and nanostructures – in pursuit of three major research thrusts: 1) Magneto-Electro-Thermal Effects in Materials, 2) (Multi-)Functional Materials and Devices, and 3) Oxides for Solar Energy Conversion. The foundation of the research is based on the controlled growth of oxide thin-film heterostructures and nanostructures via pulsed-laser deposition and molecular beam epitaxy.  Aided by state-of-the-art in-situ characterization methods such as reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED) we can achieve atomic-scale control of these oxide materials. We augment these growth capabilities with detailed characterization (structural and physical) – including extensive utilization of scanning probe- and synchrotron-based experiments – while leveraging strong collaborations both at UIUC and around the world to gain fundamental insight and understanding of these materials.
Magneto-Electro-Thermal Effects in Materials: This area of research aims to illuminate one of the most underdeveloped realms of solid state materials science – the physics and control of thermal effects in materials with ferroic order. This work focuses on the development of materials and know-how to enable pyroelectric energy conversion of waste heat to electrical energy, electrocaloric solid state cooling, thermally driven electron emission and much more. Our comprehensive approach includes aspects of materials design, synthesis, device fabrication, and advanced characterization development and utilization.
(Multi-)Functional Materials and Devices:  Driven by recent advances in the production of high quality thin films of such complex oxide materials, great attention has been given to understand order, coupling, and possible applications of multiferroic materials that simultaneously possess multiple ferroic order parameters (i.e., ferroelectricity, ferromagnetism, and/or ferroelasticity). In this research thrust we are exploring single-phase and composite systems that have the potential for strong coupling between order parameters and the possibility for new functionalities that have implications for next generation of memory, sensing, and logic devices. As part of this we are explore the coupling of exotic electronic materials including carbon-based nanomaterials (i.e., graphene and CNTs), two-dimensional electron gases, and metal-insulator-transitino systems with functional complex oxides to enable new phenomena with potential for devices. Finally we are probing routes for self-assembly of photonic and metamaterials using non-equilibrium approaches to the synthesis of phase separating materials. We are exploring routes to include functional oxides that will potentially provide added tenability to these systems.

Oxides for Solar Energy Applications: Driven by the ever increasing need for alternative energy, our research group is working to answer the rising energy needs of the world by investigating a new set of materials – oxide materials – that are abundant, require little post-mining processing, and offer an exciting set of properties that make them interesting for further study in parallel with traditional semiconducting materials.  As part of this work, we are studying the creation of oxide-based photovoltaic and photocatalytic devices. Key to this work is being able to the tune properties (i.e., band gap, carrier mobility, and absorptivity), probe in detail the electronic structure of these materials, and utilize novel functionality in materials to achieve advances in energy applications.  Particular effort has been focuses on applying fundamental understanding of semiconductor physics in these materials to the design of photocatalytic systems. This work includes aspects of integrating functional complex oxides such as ferroelectrics which can drive enhanced light absorption and charge transport in these systems.
Funding and Research Support
Friends & Collaborators

Peter Abbamonte (Physics)
David Cahill (MatSE)
Shen Dillon (MatSE)
Andrew Gewirth (Chem)
Matthew Gilbert (ECE)
William King (MechSE)
Nadya Mason (Physics)
Angus Rockett (MatSE)
Moonsub Shim (MatSE)

Around the country and the world
Joel W. Ager, III, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Ying-Hao Chu, National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan)
Chang-Beom Eom, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Scott Chambers, PNNL
Long-Qing Chen, Penn State University
Claude Ederer, Trinity College Dublin
Craig Fennie, Cornell University
Mikel Holcomb, West Virginia University
Sergei Kalinin, CNMS/ORNL
Aaron Lindenberg, Stanford University
Jon-Paul Maria, North Carolina State University
Peter Maksymovych, ORNL
Steven May, Drexel University
Xiaoqing Pan, University of Michigan
R. Ramesh, University of California, Berkeley
Andrew Rappe, University of Pennsylvania
James Rondinelli, Drexel University
Darrell Schlom, Cornel University
Jonathan Spanier, Drexel University
Mitra Taheri, Drexel University
Nagarajan Valanoor, University of New South Wales (Australia)
Maitri Warusawithana, Florida State University
Junqiao Wu, University of California, Berkeley
Chan-Ho Yang, KAIST (Korea)http://physics.illinois.edu/people/profile.asp?abbamonthttp://www.matse.illinois.edu/faculty/cahill/profile.htmlhttp://www.matse.illinois.edu/faculty/cahill/profile.htmlhttp://www.matse.illinois.edu/faculty/dillon/profile.htmlhttp://chemistry.illinois.edu/faculty/agewirth.htmlhttp://www.ece.illinois.edu/directory/profile.asp?matthewghttp://mechse.illinois.edu/content/directory/faculty/profile.php?user_id=3257http://physics.illinois.edu/people/profile.asp?nadyahttp://www.matse.illinois.edu/faculty/rockett/profile.htmlhttp://www.matse.illinois.edu/faculty/shim/profile.htmlhttp://www.lbl.gov/msd/investigators/investigators_all/ager_investigator.htmlhttp://www.mse.nctu.edu.tw/en/YHChu.htmlhttp://oxide.cae.wisc.edu/http://www.pnl.gov/science/staff/staff_info.asp?staff_num=5554http://www.ems.psu.edu/%7Echen/http://www.tcd.ie/Physics/People/Claude.Ederer/http://fenniegroup.aep.cornell.edu/http://community.wvu.edu/~mbh039/http://www.ornl.gov/sci/csd/Staff%20CV/SKalinin.htmlhttp://stanford.edu/group/lindenberg/http://www.mse.ncsu.edu/jpmariagroup/pages/home%20page.htmlhttp://www.materials.drexel.edu/ofi/http://www.mse.engin.umich.edu/people/faculty/panhttp://rameshlab.berkeley.edu/http://www.sas.upenn.edu/rappegroup/http://mtdg.materials.drexel.edu/http://mse.cornell.edu/mse/research/resgroups/schlom/index.htmlhttp://www.materials.drexel.edu/mml/http://dcg.materials.drexel.edu/http://www2.materials.unsw.edu.au/profiles/acadstaff/nagy.htmlhttp://www.physics.fsu.edu/people/Personnel.asp?fn=Maitri&ln=Warusawithana&mnhttp://www.mse.berkeley.edu/~jwu/http://physics.kaist.ac.kr/xe/yang_chan_hoshapeimage_8_link_0shapeimage_8_link_1shapeimage_8_link_2shapeimage_8_link_3shapeimage_8_link_4shapeimage_8_link_5shapeimage_8_link_6shapeimage_8_link_7shapeimage_8_link_8shapeimage_8_link_9shapeimage_8_link_10shapeimage_8_link_11shapeimage_8_link_12shapeimage_8_link_13shapeimage_8_link_14shapeimage_8_link_15shapeimage_8_link_16shapeimage_8_link_17shapeimage_8_link_18shapeimage_8_link_19shapeimage_8_link_20shapeimage_8_link_21shapeimage_8_link_22shapeimage_8_link_23shapeimage_8_link_24shapeimage_8_link_25shapeimage_8_link_26shapeimage_8_link_27shapeimage_8_link_28shapeimage_8_link_29shapeimage_8_link_30shapeimage_8_link_31shapeimage_8_link_32