Ultrafast Dynamics in Electronic and Magnetic Materials

Welcome to Kukreja Group!

March 2018, Front Row: Jianheng Li, Lacey Trinh, Roopali Kukreja, Back Row: Morris Yang, Chris Kohne, Ian Rippy, Kenneth Ainslie, Rahul Jangid (Left to Right)

Our group focuses on understanding ultrafast dynamics in electronic and magnetic materials. These materials form an active field of research due to their applications in non-volatile memory, data storage and sensors. We perform in-situ studies of electronic and magnetic materials to monitor the evolution of functional properties following application of voltage, temperature or laser. Specifically, laser excitation provides us with a unique way to manipulate physical properties at femtosecond-picosecond timescales. We are currently working on understanding ultrafast switching in magnetic multilayer systems, metal-insulator phase transitions in ferrites and nickelates, and ultrafast control of polarization in ferroelectric materials.

The main characterization tools utilized in our research group vary from in-lab capabilities such as Magnetic Property Measurement System and Versalab for characterizing electrical and magnetic properties of materials to X-ray studies performed at synchrotrons and x-ray lasers housed in National User Facilities. We utilize advanced characterization techniques such as scanning transmission x-ray microscopy (STXM), time-resolved x-ray diffraction, nano-diffraction and Ptychography, and x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy (XPCS) to investigate materials at nanometer lengthscales and femtosecond-nanosecond timescales. Thin film growth is done using reactive and magnetic sputtering and lithography patterning is used to fabricate nanometer scale structures.


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Left to Right: Ultrafast manipulation of magnetite via optical laser, spin injection from cobalt to copper layer in a spintronic device, speckle pattern obtained from orbital ordering in magnetite.