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My long-term research centers very broadly
on the quantum transport of charge through interesting structures.
As an undergraduate, I learned about the intricate nature of
electron states in metals (specifically, Fermi surfaces) from
J. Trivisonno. For my graduate work, I studied quantum interference
of electron states in ultra-pure metals under the direction
of R. W. Stark who was the best experimentalist I’ve ever
come to know. In my PhD thesis, I studied the splitting, recombination,
and quantum interference of electron states in a metal at low
temperatures, drawing many analogies from the operation and
function of the familiar Michelson Interferometer for light.
I worked with M.J.G. Lee as a post-doc, learning the essentials
of field emission and UHV techniques.
My early career at Purdue was a natural extension
of my previous work. I studied quantum interference effects
in semiconductors, most notably the diluted magnetic semiconductors
that were under development at Purdue in the early 1980s. I
also continued with field emission experiments, building a small
group devoted to UHV surface physics.
In 1984, I first read reports of Binnig and
Rohrer’s remarkable experiments on controllable tunneling
gaps and scanning tunneling microscopes (STM). I was astounded
by Rohrer’s remarkable talk at the March Meeting of the
American Physical Society in 1985. After spending about 18 months
to find some funds, the design and construction of our first
STM instrument was completed roughly in August of 1986. The
first images were obtained in December, 1986.
Since then, my research interests have largely
centered on measuring the nanoscale properties of matter. We
have built numerous STMs and scanning force microscopes (SFMs)
to pursue this goal. We have studied current flow through small
metallic clusters, through molecules, and through carbon nanotubes.
Recently, we have been working with a number of biologists and
bio-chemists to learn what (if any) advantages the structures
that Nature self-assembles might offer for future nanoscale
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