PhD Proposal by Cooper A. Voigt

Event Details
  • Date/Time:
    • Friday October 2, 2020 - Saturday October 3, 2020
      3:00 pm - 4:59 pm
  • Location: REMOTE: BLUE JEANS
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Summary Sentence: "An Investigation of the Role of Defects in the Thin-Film Synthesis Mechanism and Functional Properties of α-In2Se3

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Under the provisions of the regulations for the degree


on Friday, October 2nd, 2020
3:00 PM




BlueJeans Video Conferencing

will be held the



Cooper A. Voigt

"An Investigation of the Role of Defects in the Thin-Film Synthesis Mechanism and Functional Properties of α-In2Se3"

Committee Members:

Prof. Eric M. Vogel, Advisor, MSE

Prof. Brent K. Wagner, GTRI

Prof. Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb, ME, MSE

Prof. Mark D. Losego, MSE

Prof. Asif I. Khan,  ECE



α-InSe3 is a semiconducting, two-dimensional van der Waals material that was discovered to be ferroelectric down to the monolayer thickness in 2017. This unique combination of properties makes this material promising for improving the performance of ferroelectric tunneling devices being considered for a beyond CMOS computing paradigm. Promising performance of α-InSe3-based devices has already been demonstrated in the literature; however, most of these studies have explored exfoliated α-InSe3 flakes and only a few have demonstrated thin-film synthesis of the ferroelectric phase. Furthermore, despite the fact that defects are ubiquitous in materials and often strongly coupled to a material’s properties, there are no reports on how defects affect the thin-film synthesis mechanism and the functional properties of α-In2Se3­. This proposal is organized into four main research aims designed to address these gaps in the literature.


The first aim of this proposal is to improve understanding of the thin-film synthesis mechanism of α-In2Se3 to gain control of the defect density of α-In2Se3 films. α-In2Se3 thin-films will be synthesized via molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). Substrates spanning a variety of defect densities and crystalline surface structures will be used as substrates. A metal-organic Se source to achieve a monatomic Se flux, and an effusion cell sublimation of polyatomic Se species will be used to compare the effect of different precursors. The morphology of the α-In2Se3 crystals will be characterized by SEM and AFM and the stoichiometry and crystalline phase will be characterized by XPS and Raman spectroscopy, respectively, to gain insight into the synthesis kinetics and thermodynamics.


The second aim of this proposal is to elucidate the surface electronic structure of α-In2Se3 and select heterostructures via combined X-ray/Ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS/UPS) and angle-resolved XPS. Defects can introduce additional electronic states in the bandgap of a material, modifying the space-charge layer and its coupling to the polarization and therefore are important to understand for engineering electronic devices. α-In2Se3 thin-films of varying defect density will be synthesized on vdW semiconductor, insulating and metallic substrates.


The third aim of this proposal is to understand how defects, screening and dimensionality affect the polarization domain dynamics in α-In2Se3 via piezoresponse force microscopy. Intrinsic dipole locking, free charge-carriers at room temperature and intercorrelated in- and out-of plane polarization make α-In2Se3 a unique platform for studying polarization domain dynamics. Defects are also well known to influence domain dynamics in other ferroelectric systems and therefore it is critical to understand their effect in α-In2Se3 to enable engineering of ferroelectric devices.


The fourth aim of this proposal is to correlate the synthesis parameters and measured materials properties to electrical characterization of α-In2Se3-based ferroelectric Schottky diodes. Each aim will deepen understanding of α-In2Se3 and together will enable engineering of ferroelectric devices with superlative performance.

Additional Information

In Campus Calendar

Graduate Studies

Invited Audience
Public, Graduate students
Phd proposal
  • Created By: Tatianna Richardson
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Sep 22, 2020 - 9:24am
  • Last Updated: Sep 24, 2020 - 12:38pm