Research Interests

  • Nanomaterials Technology and Fabrication
  • Emerging Nanotechnology for Energy Applications
  • MEMS Technology
  • Laser and Plasma Assisted Processing, Characterization, and Device Technologies of Electronic, Ferroelectric, Magnetic, High-Tc and Polymeric Thin Films
  • Sensor Technology for Functional Applications
  • Structure-property Relationship (Electrical, Mechanical, Optical, Magnetic etc. ) in Thin Films
  • Analytical Characterization Techniques of Surfaces and Thin Films

Nano Materials Research Laboratory

The purpose of 'Nano Materials Research Laboratory' (NMRL) at the University of South Florida is to develop a multi-disciplinary research laboratory for excellence in advanced thin films/coatings for microelectronic and MEMS applications, superhard nanocrystalline coatings for mechanical and tribological applications, and specific coatings for biomedical applications. Specific objectives of the laboratory include:

  • Performance of research of direct benefit of producers, users, and equipment manufacturers of advanced coating and surface engineering systems. The evaluation of new advanced coatings, thin films, and engineered surfaces. Research related to the development of new advanced processes and equipment
  • Education and training of graduate students by involvement in research programs of practical and theoretical interest to producers, users, and equipment manufacturers of advanced coatings, thin films, engineered surfaces and semiconductor systems
  • Development of national and international forum for the products, users, and equipment manufacturers of advanced coating systems, together with government and academia, and to stimulate advances in the science and technology transfer of the processing, quality improvements, and applications of advanced coatings systems for multifunctional applications

Research Activities

The NMRL being a part of NREC uses all the resources and facilities of the parent research center. The research activities of NMRL are focused in the following areas:

  • Metrology of Interconnect Materials for Integrated Circuits:

    The goal of this research program is nano-mechanical characterization (using the nanoindentation, micro scratch testing and four point bend technique) and evaluation of tribological properties (using CMP tribometer) of novel Cu-ultra low k systems, new low dielectric constant materials and study of new Ta or W based diffusion barrier for Dual Damascene technique for fabricating of copper vias and lines in CMOS devices. The research is also involved in understanding the process of Chemical Mechanical Polishing (CMP) process which is at present widely used in the field of Integrated Circuit manufacturing.

  • Laser Processing of Advanced Materials:

    Novel super hard nano-structured coatings of diamond-like carbon, cubic boron nitride, and carbon nitride are being fabricated using Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) method, which has applications ranging from wear-resistant coatings for mechanical and optical coatings to substrate for electronic devices.

  • Nanocrystalline Diamond and Carbon nanotubes for MEMS and Multifunctional Applications:

    The overall objective of the research is to develop nanocrystalline diamond thin film coatings using the Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (MPCVD) system for electro-optical, mechanical and tribological applications.

  • Development of Smart Materials using Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD):

    The research will involve development of smart materials for sensor and actuator application, using Sputtering technique. The specific project will involve making gas sensing and bio sensing devices using the sputter deposited thin films.

  • Ferroelectric Thin Films for Memory Applications:

    The main thrust of this research program is to fabricate ferroelectric thin film based devices for applications in nonvolatile memories (NVM), dynamic random access memories (DRAMs), pyroelectric detectors, piezoelectric vibrators, and optical switches.

  • Specific Biomaterial Implant Coatings for Orthopedic and Dental Applications:

    Biomedical implants have a variety of applications including cardiovascular use, heart valves and peacemakers; orthopedic use, in the replacement of total knee, hip and shoulder joints; orthodontic use and a variety of dental implants. The focus of the research here would be to fabricate bio materials using both PVD ( Laser Ablation and Sputtering) and CVD techniques.