Materials Science and Engineering

Current Research Activities

Current research activities in the materials science and engineering program at Columbia focus on thin films and electronic materials that enable significant advances in information technologies. Specific topics under investigation include interfaces, stresses, and grain boundaries in thin films; lattice defects and electrical properties of semiconductors; laser processing and ultrarapid solidification of thin films; nucleation in condensed systems; optical and electrical properties of semiconductors and metals; synthesis of nanocrystals, carbon nanotubes, and nanotechnology-related materials; deposition, in-situ characterization, electronic testing, and ultrafast spectroscopy of magnetoelectronic ultrathin films and heterostructures. In addition, there is research in surface and colloid chemistry involving both inorganic and organic materials such as surfactants, polymers, and latexes, with emphasis on materials/environment interactions.

Laboratory Facilities

The department maintains a shared user and teaching facility for structural, microstructural and mechanical properties characterization of materials. 

Facilities and research opportunities also exist within the interdepartmental Columbia Nano Initiative (which includes MRSEC - Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids, NSEC - Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center,  EFRC - Energy Frontier Research Center, and the MURI Center. Modern clean room facilities with optical and e-beam lithography, thin film deposition, and surface analytical probes (STM, SPM, XPS) are available. More specialized equipment exists in individual research groups in solid state engineering and materials science and engineering. The research facilities in solid-state science and engineering are listed in the sections for each host department. Facilities, and research opportunities, also exist within the interdepartmental clean room, shared materials characterization laboratories, and electron microscopy facility (SEM, TEM).

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