Perovskite Metal Oxide Thin
Films and Nanostructures for Sensor Applications
Advisor: Dr. Kolagani
Dr. Kolagani's research
program concentrates on developing thin films of various
perovskite metal oxides of interest for sensor applications.
Metal oxide thin films offer a strong and versatile
materials base for the development of novel technologies
including nano-scale sensors. Examples include superconducting
electronics, microwave communications, ferroelectric
memories, infrared detectors, magnetic sensors, strain
gauges and gas sensors. The subtle interplay between
structure and physical properties makes these materials
strong candidates for fundamental materials research.
Specifically, current work focuses on the development
of uncooled and moderately cooled bolometric infrared
detectors based on colossal magnetoresistive (CMR) manganites.
Bolometric infrared detectors are of interest for night
vision cameras for defense applications as well as for
civilian applications such as automobiles, security
and surveillance and fire rescue among many others.
REU participants will have the opportunity to engage
in various aspects of this research which aims at engineering
the properties of manganite thin films to achieve state-
of-the-art sensor performance. This effort will involve
the following tasks at various stages in the course
of the project.
Fabrication of epitaxial
thin films by Pulsed Laser Deposition
by x-ray diffraction o Surface characterization using
scanning probe microscopy
Measurement of electrical
Measurement of radiation
induced resistivity changes
Fabrication and performance
evaluation of prototype bolometer devices
Thus, besides being introduced
to state-of-the-art IR detector technologies and the
fascinating field of the materials physics of perovskite
metal oxides, the students will gain hands-on experience
in the use above mentioned experimental techniques in
Another project that will
be available for REU participation will be the fabrication
of nanostructures in perovskite metal oxide thin films.
Fabrication of such nanoscale structures has tremendous
implications, given the multifunctional role of perovskite
metal oxides in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology.
Dr. Kolaganiand Dr. Schaefer have recently started a
collaborative effort to realize nanostructures in manganite
thin films using scanning probe microscopy. Students
working on this project will learn to do AFM lithography,
will study the effect of AFM induced material modification
on electrical and magneto- transport in thin films and
investigate the influence of humidity and the gaseous
ambient on the AFM lithography process.
Dr. Kolagani's work involves
collaborations with Dr. Smolyaninova in low temperature
transport, magnetic and optical measurements, with Dr.
Schaefer in the use of atomic force microscopy for surface
characterization and nanolithography, with Dr. Lev in
the chemical analysis of the films employing Inductively
Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry and X-Ray fluorescence
techniques, and with Dr. Loo and other faculty in the
chemistry department for the synthesis of bulk materials
and for spectroscopic studies.
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