Robert Devaty

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D., Cornell, 1983

Dr. Devaty's research focuses on the large bandgap semiconductors SiC, AlN, GaN and their alloys, heterostructures and superlattices. His interests include infrared reflectance, low temperature photoluminescence, magneto–optical spectroscopy, SiC Schottky barriers, carrier lifetime measurements, and shallow impurities and deep centers in SiC. In recent years porous SiC has been a topic of special interest. Potential applications include biosensors, bone tissue engineering, fuel cells, and substrates for defect reduction in epitaxial films. The group also participates in collaborations to investigate the oxide/SiC interface based on the large interfacial area of porous SiC and the propagation of bulk and surface acoustic waves in porous SiC.

We are primarily interested in the optical and electronic characterization of currently important large bandgap semiconductors such as AIN, GaN and SiC. Great emphasis in our research is placed on a close collaboration with the world`s most outstanding growers of single crystal boule material or single crystal epitaxial films. Most recently we have started to learn how to prepare and study single crystal porous SiC. Many new morphologies have been discovered in both n and p type SiC, and applications to medicine, gas sensing and fuel cells are being explored.

We study optical and electrical properties by a variety of techniques, and also put considerable effort into preparation of specialized samples. Regarding nanoscience and technology, examples of relevant work include the fabrication and investigation of porous SiC and investigations of polytype inclusions which behave as quantum wells.

We are also investigating SiC as a tool for nano-machining applications, as a substitute for diamond, towards applications for which diamond does not work well or at all.

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