Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Synthesis capabilities consist of four molecular beam epitaxy systems in four laboratories. One system is currently dedicated to developing ferroelectric monolayers and growing oxides on semiconductors. The other three systems are each research grade MBE systems. These systems consist of a loadlock and MBE chamber with thermal sources, RF plasma oxygen sources, and/or electron beam sources.  One of them is used as a teaching tool for undergraduates and features custom automation and interlocks. The MBE systems focus on the deposition of nickelates, titanates, manganites, selenides, and tellurides on up to 50 mm-diameter substrates. A fifth MBE system is attached to Altman’s scanning tunneling microscope for developing monolayer ferroelectrics. This system features reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED), a quartz crystal microbalance, and an electron beam evaporation source.

Rotating Anode X-Ray Source

The Rigaku rotating anode x-ray diffractometer (XRD) tool is now a workhorse for characterizing epitaxial thin films. The combination of large x-ray flux from a rotating anode and new, efficient x-ray optics make this tool ideal for characterizing oxide thin films with thicknesses as small as a few nanometers…more

Cryogen-free Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS - Dynacool)

Closed-cycle, cryogen-free Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS - Dynacool) enables low temperature and high magnetic field transport measurements without the need for liquid helium. The system is capable of measuring bulk and thin film samples in a temperature range of 1.8 to 400K up to fields of 9T and comes equipped with both DC and AC measurement capabilities. The cryogen-free temperature control eliminates the overhead associated with refilling the system, allows for continuous operation for indefinite periods of time, and leads to faster magnetic field control. This instrument is already being used by multiple groups to study a variety of materials including oxide thin films and semiconductor nanomaterials

Quantum Design MPMS Squid Magnetometer

The SQUID detects and measures magnetic moments, allowing the magnetization and magnetic susceptibility to be determined. Applications of the SQUID magnetometer include measurements of small quantities of paramagnetic ions, characterization of magnetic materials, and quantitative determination of the number of unpaired electrons in samples. The MPMS-XL provides solutions for a unique class of sensitive magnetic measurements in key areas such as high-temperature superconductivity, biochemistry, and magnetism. Fundamentals of Magnetism for MPMS provides an introduction to the background physics and the MPMS, and may be helpful to a beginning user.



The glovebox allows sensitive materials to be handled in an inert atmosphere. Preparation of highly reactive samples or source materials for use in deposition can be performed in the glovebox while avoiding contact with oxygen or moisture. This is especially important for molecular beam epitaxy where extremely pure source metals, which are often air sensitive, must be inserted into the ultrahigh vacuum environment with minimal contamination or degradation.

Polishing System

The polishing system is used to prepare thin TEM samples