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Spatially and Dimensionally Confined Structures and Assembly

(Supported by DOE, NSF-MRSEC, AFOSR, NSF-DMR, ANL, Industry)


The natural evolution of functional materials’ architecture calls for their confinement in spatial and dimensional modes. Here, spatial confinement refers to inevitable attachment of materials to a substrate or an overlayer(s), for example. Dimensional constraint arises from the ubiquitous need for materials to be confined to zero (i.e., dots), one (lines) and two (i.e., films/membranes) dimensions to enhance aerial density and possible novel properties. Further, by juxtaposing two or more functional materials in close proximity, there are exciting new opportunities for synergistic coupling of disparate phenomena in hybrid confined materials systems.

Thus, our objectives span fundamental studies of spatial/dimensional confinement to harnessing their technological opportunities. We are particularly interested in functional oxides and emerging 2D layered materials. We are currently exploring new layered, 2D materials including the chalcogenides and oxides. Specifically, we look at new synthetic methods for direct monolayer growth and the integration of layers into heterostructures and multi-dimensional nanocomposites, as well as doped and alloyed versions. This is a multi/interdisciplinary effort done in collaboration with groups throughout NU Physics, EECS, Chemistry and Applied Physics.

Embedded in these initiatives are varied nanopatterning approaches, in-situ and ex-situ characterization of nanopatterns, using photon (light, synchrotron), ion, scanning probe and electron microscopy.

Representative Publications:


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