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Materials and Devices

Transparent electronics in lab


The EECS Materials and Devices faculty at Oregon State collaborate extensively in multi-disciplinary research with a variety of colleagues in the Colleges of Engineering and Science as well as with industrial partners. Current research activities include amorphous oxide semiconductors, photovoltaics, advanced materials for CMOS, novel devices, thin films, nanomaterials & nanolaminates, applied magnetics (spintronics, biosensing and advanced magnetic materials), fiber sensors, pulsed diode lasers, and optical properties of materials.

Applications of this research include transparent electronics, low-cost electronics, energy harvesting, displays, sensors, communications devices, real time dosimeters, and LIDAR systems.

Research Thrusts

  • Advanced materials for CMOS, fiber Bragg gratings and strain sensor systems
  • Applied magnetics
  • Biosensing and advanced magnetic materials
  • Characterization
  • Low-cost electronics
  • MIM electronics
  • Modeling
  • Nanomaterials
  • Nanophotonic devices - photonic crystals and surface plasmonics
  • Nanostructures
  • Nanowire sensors & devices
  • Optical sensors
  • Photovoltaics
  • Semiconductor materials & device processing
  • Spintronics and advanced magnetic materials for nanotechnology applications
  • Thin films & nanolaminates
  • Thin film solar cells
  • Transparent & oxide electronics electronics

Related Courses

  • ECE 390: Electric and Magnetic Fields
  • ECE 411/599: Engineering Magnetics
  • ECE 413/599: Sensors
  • ECE 415/599: Material Science of Nanotechnology
  • ECE 416: Electronic Materials and Devices
  • ECE 417/517: Basic Semiconductor Devices
  • ECE 418/518: Semiconductor Processing
  • ECE 582: Optical Electronic Systems
  • ECE 611: Electronic Materials Processing
  • ECE 612: Process Integration
  • ECE 613: Electronic Materials and Characterization
  • ECE 614: Semiconductors
  • ECE 615: Semiconductor Devices I
  • ECE 616: Semiconductor Devices II


Larry Cheng

Larry Cheng
Micro- / nano-fluidics; biomedical devices; electronic devices; functional materials; nanofabrication

Pallavi Dhagat

Pallavi Dhagat
Magnetic logic devices; magnetic sensor applications; magnetic nanometrology; information storage

Tom Plant

Thomas K. Plant
Optoelectronic devices; fiber optic sensors; optical properties of materials; nanostructured thin-film optical materials and devices

Alan Wang

Alan Wang
Board level optical interconnects; micro- & nano-photonic devices; RF photonics; optical sensing technologies including IR spectroscopy & Raman scattering for biomedical research & environmental protection

John Conley

John F. Conley, Jr.
Thin film materials & devices; atomic layer deposition; coating, directed assembly, and device applications of nanomaterials; reliability, radiation effects, and structure of electrically active point defects

Albrecht Jander

Albrecht Jander
Magnetoresistive magnetic sensors and applications; semiconductor spintronics; magnetic resonance force microscopy; magnetic MEMS

John Wager

John F. Wager
Solid state materials and devices (thin film synthesis, device characterization, and modeling)


Research Facilities

Oregon State University Materials Innovation Center (OSMIC)

A College of Science / College of Engineering research thrust aimed at fostering academic collaboration and industrial partnership in the synthesis of novel inorganic materials for the creation of new thin-film devices, leading to innovative applications with disruptive market potential.

Clean Room (Owen Hall)

A shared use facility. The following is a partial list of tools available in the OSU Electrical Engineering fabrication facilities.

  • Tasker-Chiang DC/ RF magnetron sputtering system
  • AJA RF magnetron sputtering system
  • Electron beam evaporation system
  • CPA RF magnetron sputtering system
  • Glove box
  • Reactive ion etching (RIE) system
  • Plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD) system
  • Polaron thermal evaporation system
  • Rapid thermal anneal (RTA) system
  • Neytech furnace
  • Eurotherm 47900 box furnace
  • Eurotherm 62700 box furnace
  • Probestation and semiconductor parameter analyzer
  • Tencor AlphaStep 100 profilometer

Optoelectronics Lab (Dearborn Hall 222)

Extensive equipment for producing and analyzing optical signals: 6 floating optical benches, wide variety of laser sources [HeNe, semiconductor diodes, Nd:YAG(1x, 2x, 3x), fiber, N2, tunable dye], detectors for UV-IR range, fiber splicers, EDFA, OSA, spectrometers for UV-IR, optical chopper, lock-in amplifier, scopes to 500 MHz.

Magnetics Laboratory

The Kelley Engineering Center houses the Applied Magnetics Laboratory in a 600 ft2 space. The research is dedicated to the discovery, development and characterization of magnetic materials and devices. Facilities include:

  • B-H looper
  • Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM)
  • Hall probes and gaussmeters
  • Components for implementing Kerr microscopy, including a vibration-isolated optical bench.
  • Magnetic Shield from Amuneal Corp. to reduce DC magnetic fields to below 1 picotesla.

Novel Materials and Devices Group Laboratory

Installed August 2008: Picosun SUNALE R-150B 6" Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) reactor with 1 Picosolid Booster, 1 Picosolid, and 3 Picosolution precursor sources.

Research Partners

Applied Materials logo Army Research Laboratory logo ASU logo Boeing logo
CAMCOR/Materials Science Institute logo Center for Inverse Design logo Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry logo Columbia Gorge Research logo
Cornell University logo FlexTech Alliance logo Hewlett-Packard logo Inpria logo
Intel logo National Renewable Research Laboratory logo NVE Corporation logo ON Semiconductor logo
OregonBEST logo Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute logo Oregon Health & Science University logo Pacific Northwest National Laboratory logo
Penn State University logo Portland State University logo Technical University Kaiserlautern logo Umpqua Research Co logo
University of Oregon logo Washington University logo Xtreme Energetics logo  

Selected Projects

MIM Electronics
(Conley, Wager, Keszler)

  • Metal-insulator-metal (MIM) tunneling devices are potentially useful for a wide variety of applications, such as large-area information display backplanes, various types of hot electron transistor, ultra-high speed discrete or antenna-coupled detectors, and optical rectennas.
  • Exploring novel materials and processes aimed at propelling MIM electronics from an academic curiosity into a commercial reality.

Thin-Film Solar Cells
(Wager, Keszler)

  • The cost-reduction potential and flexible substrate compatibility of thin-films makes their use attractive for commercial solar cell applications.
  • Current thin-film solar cell technologies are sub-optimal, however, since they rely on the use of unstable, expensive, and/or toxic materials.
  • Investigating new materials and cell paradigms for next-generation thin-film solar cell deployment.

Transparent and Oxide Electronics
(Wager, Conley, Keszler)

  • OSU is a pioneer in transparent electronics and in the use of amorphous oxide semiconductors for transparent and oxide electronics.
  • Current work involves thin-film transistor (TFT) stability studies, device physics assessment, gate dielectrics, passivation, and circuits.

Nanowire Devices and Sensors
(Conley, Remcho, Cann, Gibbons)

  • Due to their unique morphology, inorganic nanowires offer great promise as sensors.
  • There are still no manufacturable methods for electrical integrating these quasi one dimensional nanowires into a CMOS process or for achieving highly specific / selective sensing.
  • Current work involves directed growth and simultaneous electrical integration of ZnO nanobridge devices, electrical characterization of nanowire devices and sensors, investigation of functionalized nanowires for specific sensing, and characterization of nanowire electrical properties via impedance spectroscopy.

Graphene Spin Transistors
(Jander, Conley, Solanki)

  • Demonstrate a graphene-based spin field-effect transistor (spinFET).
  • Spin-polarized current of electrons flowing through a graphene channel between two magnetic contacts is modulated by the electric or magnetic field of a gate.
  • Devices such as these may replace conventional "charge-based" field effect transistors in integrated circuits, offering higher speed and lower power operation at >nanoscale dimensions.

High Sensitivity Detection of Biomolecules Using Magnetic Nanobeads

  • Develop technologies for a portable microscale sensor for ultrasensitive detection of biological and chemical agents.
  • The sensor will use bio-functionalized magnetic nanobeads that bind selectively to the target molecule via highly specific biomolecular reactions.
  • The result would be a highly sensitive, inexpensive, portable and battery operated sensor for detection of biochemical toxins, pathogens and war agents is envisioned.

Field Programmable Magnetic Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Devices for Hybrid Sensor Networks

  • Develop novel magnetic sensors amenable to wireless interrogation in complex sensor networks.
  • Sensors are based on an acousto-electric effect where the propagation velocity of surface acoustic waves (SAW) in a piezoelectric substrate changes in response to the conductivity of an overlying magnetic film.
  • Key benefits realizable from the successful development of these devices include passive (no battery) operation; remote radio frequency (RF) interrogation; field programmable ID for sensor networks; rugged and inexpensive.

Surface Acoustic Wave Addressable Solid-State Magnetic Memory

  • Develop the basic technology and demonstrate the feasibility of a novel solid state magnetic memory in which the storage and retrieval of data is accomplished by surface acoustic waves.
  • Use a phased array of interdigitated transducers (IDTs) to excite, steer and focus the surface acoustic waves on a contiguous magnetostrictive thin film for reading or writing data.
  • ΔΕ and inverse magnetostrictive effects are exploited respectively for reading and writing.
  • Key advantages of the proposed memory device arise from its radiation hardness, mechanical robustness (no moving components) and likely lower cost than existing solid state memory technologies.

Integrated RF Inductors Using Nano-structured Soft Magnetic Materials
(Yokochi, Jander, Dhagat)

  • Developing new nanostructured metamaterials – combining the properties of two different materials in a nanostructured composite – which will have properties not possible in any known single-phase material.
  • The metamaterial will consist of nanoscale magnetic particles (to give it the desired magnetic properties) embedded in an insulating matrix (to achieve low losses by avoiding eddy currents).
  • These materials will be used to fabricate integrated inductors for high-efficiency, integrated dc-to-dc power converters.