Physics of Novel Materials

Research on the fundamental physics and device aspects of novel materials is conducted by several Applied Physics faculty, in collaboration with faculty from other SEAS and Yale departments. Much of that research is part of the NSF-funded Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena (CRISP), an interdisciplinary research program focused on the diverse behavior of functional complex oxide materials. This center aims to explore the opportunities created by atomic-scale transitions in bonding, chemistry and coordination at oxide interfaces. New types of chemical, electronic and magnetic properties emerge at such interfaces, allowing one to envisage applications in a range of fields, such as microelectronics, spintronics, optics, surface chemistry and catalysis. A key feature of our program involves understanding structure at the atomic scale using advanced spectroscopic techniques, in combination with insights provided by the results of first principles calculations.

Present research directions include integration of crystalline complex oxides with semiconductors and the determination of their detailed atomic interface structure; investigation of ferroelectric surfaces and interfaces for novel chemical sensor applications; determination of interfacial electronic structure of heterogeneous magnetic oxides for the development of highly spin polarized materials; and atomic-scale imaging with non-contact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM) for three-dimensional force field imaging.