Menka Jain

Research Interests

My previous interdisciplinary research at Los Alamos National Lab (LANL) was funded by DOE and the distinguished Director’s Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship that has resulted in more than 20 publications (invited and contributed) in peer-reviewed journals, including Advanced MaterialPhysical Review LettersApplied Physics LettersJournal of the American Chemical Society, etc. as well as several presentations at international conferences.

My current research interests are in the science and engineering of various interesting functional metal-oxide materials (such as dielectric, ferroelectric, ferromagnetic, multiferroic, magnetoelectric, thermoelectric). Applications of these materials in a variety of devices require good understanding of the material and fine tuning of their specific properties required for a particular application. Generally, processing conditions, strain, composition, dopants, structure, microstructure, etc. affect the physical properties of these materials. Artificially engineered multilayered, nanocomposite, and heterostructured films of such materials are of great interest due to their novel properties. Other studies include the role of defects, grain boundaries, dopants, artificial multilayers, etc. on the electronic, magnetic and magnetotransport properties of the manganites, double perovskites, and cobaltites.

The group has a set up for synthesizing various metal-oxide thin films (single phase, composite, or heterostructures) and powders using chemical solution deposition technique. Thin films are also grown using pulsed laser deposition technique available in UConn. In order to characterize these materials we employ a wide range of techniques available at UConn (Physics Department and IMS) and in other facilities available in National Labs and other Universities. Various state-of-the-art techniques are available at UConn, such as, X-ray diffraction to examine the crystal structure; SQUID and VSM (attached with PPMS) to examine magnetic behavior (AC/DC susceptibility); AFM/SEM/TEM to examine the microstructure at the surface and interfaces; and electronic conductivity of samples with temperature (1.9-400K) and with applied magnetic field (up to 9T); AC transport measurements; and Hall coefficients measurements. We utilize clean room facility equipped with UV photolithography and sputter/evaporator systems to fabricate devices for the dielectric, ferroelectric, and electrical measurements.

I am looking for excellent students, who would like to work on functional materials and study their structure-property relations and the underlying science.

CV

Education

  • Ph.D., Chemical Physics, University of Puerto Rico, 2004
  • M.S., Physics, Shri Sahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur, India, 1998
  • B.S., Physics and Mathematics, Shri Sahu Ji Maharaj University, Kanpur, India, 1996

Experience

  • 2008-present: Associate Professor, Department of Physics Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut
  • 2005-2008: Postdoctoral Fellow, Materials Physics and Applications Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory
  • 1998-1999: Project associate, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur