Thin film epitaxy- functional property relationships for ferroelectrics, dielectrics and multiferroic nanomaterials, thin-film oxide epitaxy, scanned probe microscopy of functional materials, Landau-Ginzburg modelling of phase-transitions.
Field of Research (FoR)
My research focuses on a class of materials called ferroics. Ferroics are so-called “functional materials” used for applications such as computer memory, sensors and medical imaging etc. Our group spends hours trying make these ferroics at very tiny dimensions and to see what happens when ferroics are scaled down to the size of a few nanometers. The challenge is not only in making them but also seeing these...view more
My research focuses on a class of materials called ferroics. Ferroics are so-called “functional materials” used for applications such as computer memory, sensors and medical imaging etc. Our group spends hours trying make these ferroics at very tiny dimensions and to see what happens when ferroics are scaled down to the size of a few nanometers. The challenge is not only in making them but also seeing these nanostructures and measuring their properties. At such length scales, the background noise often overrides the signal of interest. In materials science lingo we call this the synthesis-processing-characterization triangle…
- PhD in Materials Science and Engineering (University of Maryland, 2001)
- Bach. Engg in Metallurgy, 1997 (University of Pune)
My Research Goals
- Ultra-thin ferroics
- Interface effects in metal oxide nanostructures
- Thin film epitaxy
- Scanning probe microscopy of functional materials
My Research in Detail
In our group we are interested in the properties of a material at an interface. In fact often the system of interest is so small that the surface area dominates over the volume – we called this surface and interface mediated phenomena. We study interface morphology, chemistry and structure and its effect ultimately on the properties.
Current Student Projects (PhD and Honours)
1. Interface effects in ferroelectric/multiferroic thin films
2. Oxide nanocrystals for chemical sensing and resistive switching applications
3. Solid state dewetting of metallic thin films
I am always looking for prospective students interested in nanomaterials and interface/surface phenomena. For projects please write to me. I do read and reply to emails from students….
Advice for prospective students
Our lab thrives on research excellence. This means there is always high pressure to publish in leading journals. All students thus have to develop a sense of humour and a thick skin to survive the lab. In depth knowledge of Monty Python and other classic comedy is an added advantage. Of course we get to do visit international labs, conferences and workshops. Our international collaborators come from leading labs in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific region, and often students combine visits to collaborator labs with a conference.
TEACHING & OUTREACH
Courses I teach
Professional affiliations and service positions
Research director , School of Materials Science and Engineering
Talented Students Program coordinator for Materials Science and Engineering
Ferrocom member, IEEEE Ferroelectrics Committee
Member on the advisory board of the Piezoresponse Force Microscopy workshops.
I am also active in all postgraduate events and believe that the students are the soul of the school.
I am a principal editor for MRS Communications. In the past I was associate editor for the IEEE transactions of the Utrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control (UFFC) journal. I have been a guest editor for special issues with the Journal of Applied Physics and the Journal of Materials Science.
AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS
2014 IEEE Ferroelectrics Young Investigator award
2013 PGC Supervisor Award Finalist
2012 Vice Chancellors Award for Postgraduate Supervision
2012 Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching and Research Award
2010 Young investigator award, International Symposium on Integrated Functionalities
2009 Edgeworth David Medal
2006 – present Australian Research Council Fellow,