Research

Electronic and magnetic materials are the central focus of the Leighton Group's research. We study a wide variety of materials, such as nanostructures, thin films, heterostructures, bulk polycrystals, and single crystals. We focus on topics with a strong fundamental science component that are in close proximity to applications in technology, including data storage and processing and electronic devices. Projects in our group feature fabrication of films and crystals, detailed structural and chemical characterization, and in-depth measurement by numerous techniques, including transport, neutron scattering, magnetometry, and heat capacity. Our work is highly collaborative, and we are involved in two UMN centers: the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the DOE Center for Quantum Materials.

Current research projects include:

(i) Electrolyte gating of functional materials

(ii) Perovskite cobaltite films and heterostructures

(iii) Perovskite stannate films and heterostructures

(iv) SrTiO3

(v) Pyrite photovoltaics

(vi) Spin transport in metals and oxides

(vii) Conduction in organic semiconductors

(viii) Complex magnetic alloys

(ix) Metallic magnetic nanoparticles