Use femtosecond laser pulses to probe ultrafast phenomena. Investigate materials for energy applications. Study interactions between photons and matter in nanostructures and biological materials. Push the limits of nonlinear optics to make the internet faster. This is fundamental research with important applications.
Materials research in the Department has a strong emphasis on theinteraction between photons and matter. Faculty and students perform interdisciplinary research in the Department, the Materials Science Program, the Center for Materials Research, and the Institute for Shock Physics.
Dr. Gary Collins studies solids using a hyperfine method, perturbed angular correlation (PAC), that gives atom-scale resolution of lattice locations. It is used in fundamental studies of site preferences, point defects, and atom movement at high temperature. The photo at right shows a miniature arc furnace in the Collins lab. White hot!
Dr. Susan Dexheimer studies ultrafast phenomena that occur on femtosecond (10-15 s) time scales. Her research group probes dynamics in advanced electronic materials using state of the art techniques.
Dr. Tom Dickinson investigates the interaction of high-intensity lasers with crystal surfaces. His group is a leader in nanoscale and surface science research, with applications relevant to energy and the environment.
Dr. Mark Kuzyk’s group investigates novel optical fibers and pushes the limits of nonlinear optics to make the internet faster. The famous “Kuzyk gap” has pushed scientists around the world into new research directions.
Dr. Kelvin Lynn, Director of the Center for Materials Research, uses positron annihilation as a probe of defects in semiconductors and laser crystals. His group performs fundamental and applied research that involves physics, engineering, and materials science.