Condensed Matter :

The condensed matter research in the physics department currently is primarily focused on the experimental material-science research and has two active laboratories.  

Research in the Strongly Correlated Electron Laboratory is led by Dr. Ho, Pei-Chun. The main focus of her research is on advanced materials that can improve our future energy efficiency and conservation.  The study includes the investigation of unconventional superconductivity through the interplay between superconductivity and magnetism and quantum critical behavior.  A second project is focused on the effect of reduced dimensionality on magnetism of rare earth elemental nano-clusters.  Physical properties of these materials are characterized through high magnetic field and low temperature measurements such as electrical resistivity, ac magnetic susceptibility, specific heat, thermopower, and thermal conductivity at Dr. Ho’s lab. This group currently consists of 4 undergraduates.  Emphasis is on hands-on experience in designing and setting up instrumentation required for experiments, Computer interfacing and LabView programming, data analysis, and synthesis of bulk and nano-sized rare earth materials.

The nanotechnology research is conducted in Dr. Daqing Zhang’s laboratory.  The facilities include atomic layer deposition (ALD), plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD), and single-zone and three-zone tube furnaces. Other facilities can be accessed with such as TEM, SEM, XRD, and XRF. Dr. Zhang’s current research projects include synthesis of semiconducting nanowires, complex nanosprings, and oxide thin film and surface coatings; characterization of chemical, electrical, magnetic and optical properties of nanostructure materials; and fabrication of nano-devices for sensors of chemical, mechanical, and electrical purposes.