Ferroelectrics expert keynote speaker at Taylor lecture

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Purnendu Chatterjee Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, will discuss “Electric Field Control of Magnetism” during the 2018 Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series in Materials Science and Engineering, held on Thursday, April 5.

Ramesh, who is an expert in complex oxides, multiferroics and ferroelectrics, will speak at 11:15 a.m. in the John Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center.

In a landmark discovery that solved a problem that stumped researchers for more than 30 years, Ramesh found that conducting oxide electrodes are the solution to the problem of polarization fatigue. This research on ferroelectric materials is geared toward improving electronic data storage.

Ramesh’s talk will focus on the past, present and future of complex perovskite oxides, which can display a rich spectrum of functional responses including magnetism, ferroelectricity, electron behavior and superconductivity.

“The basic physics of such materials provide the ideal playground for interdisciplinary scientific exploration with an eye towards real applications,” Ramesh said. “Among the large number of materials systems, there is a small set of materials that have multiple order parameters. These are known as multiferroics.”

Ramesh is also an associate laboratory director for energy technologies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at Berkeley.

The lecture, sponsored by College of Earth and Mineral Sciences’ (EMS) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE), also includes three talks by Penn State faculty from the Eberly College of Science and MatSE. All talks are free and open to the public and held in the John Freeman Auditorium in the HUB-Robeson Center.

— Shashank Priya, associate vice president for research and professor of materials science and engineering, will discuss “Energy Harvesting Materials and Systems” at 8:55 a.m.

— Suzanne Mohney, professor of materials science and engineering, will discuss “Design of Contacts for Semiconductor Devices” at 9:40 a.m.

— Jun Zhu, professor of physics, will discuss “Quantum Valley Hall Effect and Valleytronics in Bilayer Graphene” at 10:25 a.m.

The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series in Materials Science and Engineering honors the memory of Nelson W. Taylor (1869-1965) who was head of Penn State’s Department of Ceramics, now MatSE, from 1933-1943. During his tenure as department head, Taylor refined the ceramics undergraduate curriculum, strengthened the graduate program, expanded ties with industry and was able to attract important scientists to the faculty. He is recognized as the individual most responsible for establishing EMS as a major center for ceramics research. The Nelson W. Taylor Lecture Series was established in 1969 and has attracted scientists of international prominence.

For more information about the Nelson W. Taylor Lecture in Materials, please visit the MatSE website.

Last Updated March 28, 2018