The department is involved in a variety of materials physics research areas including:
- Molecular Beam Epitaxy
- Optoelectronic Devices
- Modern Microscopy
- Epitaxial growth modeling
- Correlated Electrons
- Computational DMFT/DFT
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The Microphysics Laboratory (MPL) at the University of Illinois at Chicago is currently the only university laboratory in the U.S. performing fundamental research on HgCdTe (also known as MCT) by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) since its inception in early 1980s. It is a center for basic and applied physics research with an emphasis on II-VI materials and devices for infrared sensing and imaging and photovoltaic cells. Dr. Siva Sivananthan is the director of MPL since 1994 and has worked on semiconductors and infrared and night vision detector technology, helping to pioneer the synthesis of the now-dominant high-end infrared detecting/ night vision semiconductor material, MCT.
Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope
The aberration corrected STEM was the first instrument in the United States with such a high level of capability. Prof. Klie, the man responsible for securing the $2 million National Science Foundation grant that brought the STEM to the UIC Research Resources Center, said, “Things that were previously predicted by condensed-matter physics of chemistry theory can now actually be visualized, probed and tested, allowing us to further improve the theoretical models. Such improved theories will ultimately lead to better, more efficient or environmentally-friendly materials.
National Renewable Energy Lab
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. It develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and transfer knowledge and innovations to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. Two senior NREL researchers and one NREL Research Fellow Emeritus have adjunct appointments with the Department of Physics at UIC and work closely with the student and research staff of the Microphysics Laboratory (MPL).