Faculty - Dowben

Peter Dowben, Charles Bessey Professor of Physics


Peter Dowben

Peter Dowben
Charles Bessey Professor of Physics

Physics & Astronomy
University of Nebraska–Lincoln
310L Jorgensen Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0299
Office: 402-472-9838

Research Interests

Peter Dowben’s research program concentrates on electronic band structure and the influence of electronics structure on various phase transitions. A large effort is directed toward the study of the electronic (bandstructure) mediated transitions in thin films and overlayers and relating these phase transitions to changes in metallicity, magnetic ordering, total magnetic moment and the electronic band structure. In particular, Peter Dowben's group is interested in the nature of the transition - the details of what drives the transition from the clearly nonmetallic to the clearly metallic phase in reduced dimensionality, the spin crossover transition. There is a transition region or a "gray region" between what is clearly nonmetallic and what is metallic or high spin and low spin. This transition region is a poorly understood aspect of many electronic state driven transitions.

Strong emphasis is placed on understanding surface and interface electronic structure and related magnetic and ferroelectric properties. The experimental emphasis is on electron spectroscopies including angle-resolved photoemission, angle-resolved inverse photoemission, spin polarized inverse photoemission and spin polarized electron energy loss spectroscopy. Other techniques include low energy electron diffraction, angle-resolved thermal desorption, angle-resolved X-ray photoemission, and light polarization dependent photo-assisted thermal desorption.

Both organic (molecular) and inorganic systems are under investigation, including a variety of ferromagnets and dielectric barrier layer materials.

The research program is funded by the NSF, SRC, DOE, and DTRA.

Selected References:

  • Ariana Nguyen, Pankaj Sharma, Thomas Scott, Edwin Preciado, Velveth Klee, Dezheng Sun, I-Hsi (Daniel) Lu, David Barroso, SukHyun Kim, Alexei Gruverman, Andrey R. Akhmatkhanov, V. Ya. Shur, Ludwig Bartels and Peter A. Dowben, “Towards Ferroelectric Control of Monolayer MoS2”, Nano Letters 15 (2015) 3364−3369; doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.5b00687
  • X. Zhang, T. Palamarciuc, J.-F. Létard, P. Rosa, E. Vega Lozada, F. Torres, L.G. Rosa, B. Doudin and P.A. Dowben, "Spin State of a Molecular Adsorbate Driven by the Ferroelectric Substrate Polarization", ChemComm. 50 (2014) 2255
  • Shi Cao, Xin Zhang, Ning Wu, A. T. N'Diaye, G. Chen, A. K. Schmid, Xumin Chen, W. Echtenkamp, A. Enders, Ch. Binek, P. A. Dowben, "Spin Polarization Asymmetry at the Surface of Chromia", New Journal of Physics 16 (2014) 073021
  • M. Street, Will Echtenkamp, Takashi Komesu, Shi Cao, P. A. Dowben, and Ch. Binek, “Increasing the Néel Temperature of Magnetoelectric Chromia for Voltage-Controlled Spintronics”, Applied Physics Letters 104 (2014) 222402
  • Freddy Wong, Godohaldo Perez, Manuel Bonilla, Juan A. Colón Santana, Xin Zhang, Pankaj Sharma, Alexei Gruverman, Peter A. Dowben and Luis G. Rosa, "Changing Molecular Band Offsets in Polymer Blends of (P3HT/P(VDF-TrFE)) Poly(3-hexylthiophene) and Poly(vinylidene fluoride with trifluoroethylene) due to Ferroelectric Poling", RSC Advances 4 (2014) 3020–3027; DOI: 10.1039/c3ra43993c
  • Jeffery Carvell, Ruihua Cheng, P.A. Dowben and Q. Yang “Induced Magneto-electric Coupling at Ferroelectric/Ferromagnetic Interface”, Applied Physics Letter 103 (2013) 072902; DOI: 10.1063/1.4818455
  • Ralph Skomski, and P. A. Dowben, M. Sky Driver, Jeffry A. Kelber, “Sublattice-Induced Symmetry Breaking and Band-Gap Formation in Graphene”, Materials Horizons 1 (2014) 563 - 571; doi: 10.1039/c4mh00124a
  • Takashi Komesu, Duy Le, Xin Zhang, Quan Ma, Eike F. Schwier, Yohei Kojima, Mingtian Zheng, Hideaki Iwasawa, Kenya Shimada, Masaki Taniguchi, Ludwig Bartels, Talat S. Rahman and P. A. Dowben, “Occupied and Unoccupied Electronic Structure of Na doped MoS2(0001)”, Applied Physics Letters 105 (2014) 241602; doi: 10.1063/1.4903824

Patents (17 total issued):

  • Christian Binek, Peter A. Dowben, Kirill Belashchenko and Jeffry Kelber, “Magneto-electric voltage controlled spin transistors”, U.S. Patent Application Serial No.: 61766025, patent pending
  • Anthony N. Caruso, Jennifer I. Brand, Peter A. Dowben, "Boron carbide particle detectors", United States Patent 7,368,794, issued May 6, 2008

Doctoral students (33 total):

ZhengZheng Zhang, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2011
Thesis: “The interplay between symmetry and static dipoles with adsorption on molecular substrates”
Now: journalism student at the U. of Missouri - Columbia
Student prizes: University of Nebraska Outstanding Graduate Student award, honorable mention (2011)

Jing Liu, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2011
Thesis: “Photofragmentation Processes of the closo-Carboranes and the Local Structure of TransitionMetal Doped Semiconducting Boron Carbide Thin Films”
Now: staff, Center for Advanced Materials and Devices, Louisiana State University
Student prizes: Chinese National Award for Outstanding Students Studying Abroad (2011)

Ning Wu, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2009
Now: post-doctoral associate with the University of Nebraska

Jie Xiao, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2009
Now: post-doctoral associate with the University of Erlangen with Hans-Peter Steinrück

David Wisbey,Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2008
Now: assist. Professor, St. Louis University

Carolina Ilie, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2008
Now: assistant Professor of Physics, State University of New York at Oswego

Danqin Feng, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2007
Now: post-doctoral associate, Department of Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara, with Alan Heeger

Snjezana (Snow) Balaz, Ph.D.
College of Engineering, University of Nebraska, 2007 (with Prof. Jennifer Brand); M. Sc. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska
Now post-doctoral associate, Department of Electrical Engineering, Ohio State University

Luis Rosa, Ph.D.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2005
Now: assistant Professor of Physics, University of Puerto Rico-Humacao

Anthony Caruso, Ph.D., Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Nebraska, 2004
Now: associate Professor of Physics, University of Missouri - Kansas City, and visiting scientific staff at North Dakota State University Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering

Hae-Kyung Jeong, Ph.D. 2003, Now Research Assistant Professor, Sung Kyung Kwan University.

Rui-Hua Cheng, Ph.D. 2002, Now Assistant Professor of Physics at Purdue University - Indianapolis.

Takashi Komesu, Ph.D. 2002, Now staff at Spring–8.

Bo Xu, Ph.D. 2002, Now Assistant Professor at the Department of Physics, Yanjing University.

Camelia Borca, Ph.D. 2001, Now a staff member at the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland.

Dr. Dowben's Research