The surface and nanotechnology program is an experimental program with interests in the physics and materials properties of surfaces, interfaces, and adsorbed films.
Nanotechnology and surface physics are closely related; as the size of materials and devices get smaller, both surface and quantum mechanical effects become more important. The critical length scale for their onset is about 100 nm.
A wide range of semiconductor nanostructures and thin films are grown and characterized by the researchers in the USU Surface Physics Program, including elemental semiconductors (Si and Ge) and compound semiconductors (III-V), highly insulating materials, and metals on various substrates. Their structure, growth, dynamics, electronic properties, and optical properties are studied with a wide array of techniques using electron, ion, and photon spectroscopies.
The majority of the experiments and fabrication are done in labs at USU that contain numerous specialized ultrahigh-vacuum surface-analysis chambers and molecular beam epitaxy and chemical vapor deposition growth facilities.
(Faculty: Dennison,Shen, Riffe).