Condensed matter physics (CMP) focus areas are superconductivity, physical properties of nanostructured materials, nano-energy materials, wide band gap semiconductors, nanoscale device physics and superlattices, magnetism, and electronic phase transitions. The condensed matter research at the University of Idaho physics department is primarily in the experimental area with one theorist. The facilities in the condensed matter group include a low temperature SQUID magnetometer, a 300 mK cryostat, a state-of-the-art microprobe Raman spectrometer, an ellipsometer, an Auger electron spectroscometer, an X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, a magneto-optical Kerr Effect apparatus, and numerous deposition systems for growing oxides, nanostructured materials, wide band gap semiconductors, metal and magnetic thin films.
The Department of Physics also has access to a variety of other tools, (TEM, SEM, XRD, etc.) and is the sponsor of the Micro and Nano Technology Cleanroom which is equipped with electron-beam and optical ithogrpahy capabilities. The CMP group is also actively involved in research at the Synchrotron Radiation Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison along with on-going interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty in other sciences and colleges at the University of Idaho.
The condensed matter group is highly active in the training of undergraduate students in experimental research. Typically undergraduates are employed during the summer months to either work in the labs on site or to travel to the Synchrotron Radiation Center to perform photoemission experiments. The CMP group also promotes undergraduate interdisciplinary studies. The work in the Condensed Matter area is supported by external grants from NASA and the Office of Naval Research, NSF, the Keck Foundation, The Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Department of Energy.