Balandin Group Expertise NDL & POEM

The mission of the Nano-Device Laboratory (NDL) team is experimental and theoretical investigation of properties of nanostructures and low-dimensional materials with the goal of developing novel nanoscale devices for electronic, optical and energy conversion applications.

The mission of the Phonon Optimized Engineered Materials (POEM) Center is experimental and theoretical investigation of phonon properties of advanced materials and development of innovating methods for controlling phonon transport with applications in electronics, optoelectronics and direct energy conversion.

Balandin Group’s expertise covers a broad range of topics from solid-state physics to experimental investigation of advanced materials and devices with applications in nano-electronics and energy conversion. The synergy among different research directions is in the focus on spatial confinement induced effects in advanced materials, and on phonons – quanta of crystal lattice vibrations. The main areas of expertise include: (i) Raman and Brillouin – Mandelstam light scattering spectroscopy; (ii) nano-fabrication and testing of electronic devices with 2D and 1D materials; (iii) low-frequency electronic noise spectroscopy; (iv) thermal characterization of materials. A wide range of research topics, allowed each group member to find a project, which meets his/her educational background, research interests and career expectations.

Following the links below you can learn more about each area of expertise.

Raman spectroscopy is an inelastic light scattering technique, which provides information about elemental excitations, e.g. phonons and magnons, in solids and molecules. Raman spectroscopy became crucially important for determining materials’ and nanostructures’ composition, crystal structure, quality, mechanical stress and other characteristics. Professor Balandin and co-workers developed a Raman spectroscopy based method for measuring thermal conductivity of graphene and other 2D materials and thin films. A specially designed Raman Spectroscopy Laboratory – part of Professor Balandin’s Phonon Optimized Engineered Materials (POEM) Center features a unique micro-Raman spectrometer with the low wavenumber capability, several excitation lasers, including UV, and low and high temperature ranges for measurements. A combination of Raman and Brillouin-Mandelstam spectroscopy at POEM Center allows one to investigate phonons and magnons in the entire frequency range from acoustics to optics. Read more about our expertise in this area
Brillouin-Mandelstam light scattering (BMS) is the inelastic scattering of the light by thermally excited phonons (or magnons) which offers non-contact and high spatial resolution measurements. The BMS instrument can be used for studying acoustic phonons and magnon close to the Brillouin zone center. Both light scattering from the bulk, i.e. the volume of the sample, via the elasto-optic mechanism and from the surface of the sample, via the surface ripple mechanism can be detected with the BMS instrument. Read more about our expertise in this area
Professor Balandin’s Nano-Device Laboratory (NDL) is engaged in nanoscale device focused research, which involves preparation of two-dimensional materials, device fabrication in the UCR Nanofabrication Cleanroom Facility and device testing. The NDL facilities include a specialized 2D Transfer Laboratory and Low-Frequency Noise Laboratory. The UCR Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) operates two Nanofabrication Cleanroom facilities on the UCR campus. The first is located in the lower level of the B wing of Bourns Hall. It is a state-of-the-art Nanofabrication Research facility available 24/7 to qualified users. The facility is approximately 2,000 square feet and includes significant safety and operational monitoring capabilities. The second cleanroom is located in the Materials Science and Engineering building on the lower level. The class 100/1000 space occupies approximately 8,000 square feet. Read more about our expertise in this area
Low-frequency electronic noise with the spectral density inversely proportional to frequency is a ubiquitous phenomenon observed in a wide variety of electronic materials and devices. This type of noise, commonly referred to as 1/f noise, flicker or excess noise, dominates the spectrum at f< 100 kHz. The importance of 1/f noise for electronics motivated numerous studies of its physical mechanisms and methods for its reduction. A specially designed Noise Spectroscopy Laboratory – part of Professor Balandin’s Nano-Device Laboratory (NDL) - is fully equipped for investigation of low-frequency noise in nanoscale devices over a wide temperature range (Lake Shore). The devices can be tested using several probe-station or wire-bound. The Noise Spectroscopy Laboratory is isolated from low-frequency electronic and acoustic vibrations. Read more about our expertise in this area
The thermal characterization equipment available at the Phonon Optimized Engineered Materials (POEM) Center include several thermal conductivity measurement setups such as Netzsch “Nano Flash” LFA thermal diffusivity and conductivity measurement system operating in the temperature range from 80 K to 800 K; transient planar source “Hot-Disk” TPS system with the automatic hot-cold bath for temperature control; transient “Hot-Wire” TT-TC system; MMR Tech Seebeck-effect measurement system; Analysis Tech Thermal Interface Material Tester, which measures thermal conductivity in the thermal interface materials used in electronic packaging; separate tools for measuring specific heat of the materials. The POEM Center also features the original Raman optothermal technique developed by Professor Balandin and co-workers for measurements of the thermal conductivity of graphene and other 2D materials. Read more about our expertise in this area

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