The Myers Group

Opto-electro-magneto-thermal-functional materials: epitaxial growth and charge-spin-heat transport

 

We design materials for converting different forms of energy (optical, electronic, thermal) into functions (sensing, energy harvesting, information technology). By using atomic layer-by-layer epitaxial synthesis (plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy) we can enginer the compositional profiles within heterstructures of different materials (wide band gap semiconductor alloys, magnetic superlattices) with exquisite crystalline quality. Using spatially-resolved optical spectroscopy, we measure the optical properties (photoluminescence, absorption) as a function of temperature (down to 5 K). Making use of ultrafast (~140 femto-second) laser pulses, we carry out pump-probe measurements with ~1 pico-second resolution to map out the time scale of electronic excitations, as well as magnetic and spin dynamics. We also use focused laser pulses to generate local hot-spots that induce temperature gradients leading to thermoelectric and thermo-spin transport phenomena, including the spin-Seebeck effect.

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