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RAP opportunity at Air Force Science and Technology Fellowship Program     AF STFP

Crystal Growth and Characterization of Novel Functional Low Dimensional Materials for Optoelectronic, Nanoelectronic, and Magnetic Applications


Materials & Manufacturing, RX/Photonic Materials

opportunity location
13.25.03.C0604 Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 454337817


name email phone
Michael Adam Susner 937-255-9649


The Photonic Materials Branch of AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (RX) is interested in developing novel functional materials including those exhibiting non-linear optical properties, ferroelectricity, magnetism, and topological properties. This particular research focuses on crystal growth and characterization of a wide swath of novel materials. Materials synthesis, the optimization of crystal growth conditions, and detailed structural analysis (particularly with respect to associated ferroic transitions) would be the main focus of research efforts to further USAF dominance in communications, computing, sensing, and frequency conversion and limiting applications. Our long-term efforts also include a program of pairing our crystal growth efforts with machine learning to create closed-loop parameter optimization.


The successful applicant will have some knowledge of optical characterization so as to effectively work with collaborators for specialized measurements. The Air Force Crystal Growth Center serves as a synthesis center for not only the photonics branch of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate but also other research branches both within RX and in other directorates such as Sensors (RY) and Aerospace Systems (RQ) so the successful candidate will be able to interface with researchers in multiple technical areas and to meaningfully contribute to these different technical areas.


The apparatus on site for bulk crystal growth is centered on Czochralski, Bridgman, flux, and vapor transport. Two PPMS systems for thermal, electrical, and magnetic characterization are also available, as is an MPMS-SQUID system. AFRL also owns various XRD systems equipped with both low and high temperature stages as well as micro-Raman systems with low-temperature and high pressure accessories. AFRL has dedicated facilities for advanced optical characterization of materials at various energies and temperatures. AFRL facilities also include a fabrication cleanroom for nanoscale applications.  The successful candidate will be self-driven, have practical laboratory skills in both synthesis and characterization, and, ideally, some background in device fabrication and measurementThe Materials & Manufacturing Directorate hosts a suite of modern, state-of-the-art materials processing and characterization facilities, and working as a NRC Associate at AFRL is a unique opportunity to solve important challenges and guide research efforts in an environment that strongly encourages collaboration (government/academic/industry), publication in top journals, and conference attendance.


Recent Publications

[1]        M.A. Susner, M. Chyasnavichyus, M.A. McGuire, P. Ganesh, P. Maksymovych, Metal Thio- and Selenophosphates as Multifunctional van der Waals Layered Materials, Adv. Mater. 29 (2017) 1602852.

[2]        M.A. Susner, R. Rao, A.T. Pelton, M.V. McLeod, B. Maruyama, Temperature-dependent Raman scattering and x-ray diffraction study of phase transitions in layered multiferroic CuCr P 2 S 6, Phys. Rev. Mater. 4 (2020).

[3]        N. Balke, S.M. Neumayer, J.A. Brehm, M.A. Susner, B.J. Rodriguez, S. Jesse, S.V. Kalinin, S.T. Pantelides, M.A. McGuire, P. Maksymovych, Locally Controlled Cu-Ion Transport in Layered Ferroelectric CuInP2S6, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. 10 (2018) 27188–27194.

[4]        M.A. Susner, M. Chyasnavichyus, A.A. Puretzky, Q. He, B.S. Conner, Y. Ren, D.A. Cullen, P. Ganesh, D. Shin, H. Demir, J.W. McMurray, A.Y. Borisevich, P. Maksymovych, M.A. McGuire, Cation–Eutectic Transition via Sublattice Melting in CuInP2S6/In4/3P2S6 van der Waals Layered Crystals, ACS Nano. 11 (2017) 7060–7073.

key words
Crystal growth; Non-linear optical materials; electronic materials; low-dimensional materials; multiferroics; magnetic materials; ferroelectric materials; chalcogen-based materials;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral and Senior applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$95,000.00 $5,000.00

Experience Supplement:
Postdoctoral and Senior Associates will receive an appropriately higher stipend based on the number of years of experience past their PhD.

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