Date of Award

Spring 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering - (Ph.D.)


Committee for the Interdisciplinary Program in Materials Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Tao Zhou

Second Advisor

S.-W. Cheong

Third Advisor

Andrei Sirenko

Fourth Advisor

Ken Keunhyuk Ahn

Fifth Advisor

Weida Wu


The La5/8-yPryCa3/8MnO3 with colossal magnetoresistance (CMR) effect has a rich phase diagram and is well studied for its electronic phase separation phenomenon, where the ferromagnetic (FM) metal order co-exists and competes with the charge-ordered (CO) insulator phase. High Pr doping will favor the CO order, leading a sharp FM to CO dominated phase transition around Pr concentration of 0.3 and above. Hydrostatic pressure favors FM metallic order without damaging the sample and can be tuned continuously. In this study, pressurized-magnetic and resistivity measurements was done on a La0.25Pr0.375Ca0.375MnO3 single crystal. The sample, at first sitting in CO dominated phase, changed into FM upon a small amount of pressure. This transition was verified both by magnetic and resistivity measurement results.

FeSe1-x is one of the newly discovered iron-based superconductors. As a binary transition metal compound, it is of great research interest due to the simple stacking 2d-layered structure. The itinerant or localized nature of the electrons in Fe2+ ion has been debated but not concluded. In this research, Raman scattering measurements on FeSe0.97 were applied within a temperature range from 5 K to 300 K. The excitation near 185 cm-1 was assigned to B1g phonon excitation. Broad and intensive excitation peaks were found in a wide region between 200 cm-1 and 700 cm-1, and they are classified as the Fe2+ crystal field excitations. These excitations suggest a low Hund coupling constant and thus support the itinerant nature of 3d electrons in Fe2+ ion indirectly.

Evanescent wave was discovered to be able to tunnel through a negative reflectance index material and gets strengthened inside an alternating metal-high K material 1d photonic crystal structure. Where the regular light eventually fails in sub-micron photolithography due to diffraction limit, evanescent wave can carry the information of small structure below diffraction limit. In our study, HfO2, a transitional metal oxide widely used in IC fabrication, was used as the high-K material to construct a sub-wavelength length imaging device for nano scale photolithography applications.