The materials science group engage in the development of advanced nanomaterials and applications of synchrotron X-ray techniques, involving X-ray scattering, multiple diffraction, high-resolution powder X-ray diffraction, temporally coherent X-ray diffraction, and 3D X-ray Laue nanodiffraction etc. Each member maintains his or her own research team focusing on their particular area of expertise. There are four overarching research themes prevalent in the group:
I. Growth mechanism of thin films
We study thin film growth mechanism and structural properties of ultra-thin epitaxial films and various nano-materials, in particular, on metal oxide/semiconductor based novel epitaxial structures. The correlation between the structural characteristics and the other physical properties is also investigated. We also explore the development of novel multiferroic superlattice structures and green energy materials by atomic layer deposition and magnetron sputtering.
II. Crystallography in materials science
In order to examine the correlation between structures and functions, we study the crystal structures at non-ambient condition by in situ and real time powder X-ray diffraction technique. The materials studied include bio-materials, energy materials, catalysts and inorganic solid compounds.
III. Structural characteristics and properties of soft materials
We explore the nanostructures and structure-performance relationship in soft materials, including polymer crystallization, self-assembly block copolymers, liquid crystals, crystal structures of conducting polymers and polymer fibers etc.
IV. Development and applications of nanomaterials
We investigate the structures and physical properties of multi-dimensional porous materials and nanomaterials using in situ X-ray scattering and in situ X-ray diffraction, complemented with in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy. To meet the demand of green energy, we utilize nanostructured architectures for the design of energy conversion and storage devices.