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Program Highlights for year 2010

Synthesis and Characterization of Topological Insulator Materials

High-quality single crystals of Bi2Se3 grown via the Bridgeman technique.

Standing Plasmon Waves on Ag Grating Structures

Surface plasmons are light-energy propagating electromagnetic modes trapped at the interface between certain metals (notably gold and silver) and a dielectric. They are also of interest for optical processes enhanced by strong local electric fields.

Annual Middle School Student Science Conference (SSC)



May 2009 marked the University of Maryland MRSEC’s 12th Annual Middle School Student Science Conference, co-hosted by the American Institute of Physics.

Fabrication of a Non-volatile Multiferroic Memory Device

Micron-sized non-volatile magnetoresistance devices are being pursued using ferroelectric/magnetostrictive multilayers.

Antiferroelectric Phase in Sm Doped BiFeO3

We have identified a composition in Sm doped BiFeO3 which exhibits a complex mixture of ferroelectric phase and an antiferroelectric phase.

Poking Holes in Graphene Makes it Magnetic

Magnetism is typically associated with “transition metal” elements such as nickel or iron, from the middle of the periodic table. 

World Record Performance of Graphene Spin Valves

Graphene (two-dimensional carbon) is an attractive material for spintronics due to weak spin-orbit coupling for robust spin transport properties. This could lead to spin-based computers that integrate logic and memory for much greater computing power.

Materials for Room Temperature Spintronics

Ordered double perovskites, such as Sr2FeMoO6, are among the very few materials that allow electrons of one spin direction to move through them as though they were passing through a normal metal, while blocking electrons of the opposite spin.  Materials that behave this way at room temperature are even more exotic.

Teaching materials science using modern electronics

Modern electronics, e.g. a smart phone, relies heavily on science and engineering: semiconductors (diodes, transistors), magnetism (hard drives), photoelectric effect (digital camera), photon generation and lasers (LEDs, CD/DVD drives), light polarization (LCD), etc. The immediacy and applicability makes electronics a great tool for teaching science and technology.

CRISP Variable Temperature, Variable Magnetic Field Ultrahigh Vacuum Scanning Force Microscope

Part of the CRISP Shared Equipment is a unique variable temperature, variable magnetic field ultrahigh vacuum scanning force microscope for applications in magnetic, electrostatic, piezoelectric, and friction force microscopy.