SFU Canada Research Chairs Seminar Series: "Fantastic voyage: To nano and back"

Thursday, September 30, 2010
11:30 - 12:30

Dr. Erol Girt
Canada Research Chair in Condensed Matter Physics, Department of Physics


In the last four decades interest in material research and industry has shifted from bulk materials to rapid quenched ribbons and thin films. Advances in lithography have enabled the fabrication of features several tens of nanometers in size. Progress in film growth has lead to formation of nano-sized dots with atomic scale composition control along the growth direction. Advances in scanning tunneling microscopy have even enabled the manipulation of single atoms and molecules. The trend of reducing material size has been driven by the search for novel physical properties on the nano and sub-nano scale and the need for smaller electronic devices. However, recently the emphasis has shifted toward renewable energy and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) where the critical dimensions are of the order of a micron. I am interested in both nano and micro science and technology. In the first part of my talk I will discuss the importance of reducing size in magnetic recording. At the nanometer scale both magnetic moment reversal, and the conductivity across the interface between a ferromagnet and metal (or oxide), have unique characteristics that have been used to increase recording media density almost one million times in last three decades. I will review recent developments in recording industry with emphasis on our current work and our future plans. In the second part of my talk I will discuss the importance of permanent magnets in MEMS and give a quick tour of the Surface Science Lab and the development of instruments for both MEMS and solar cell research.

About the Speaker

Erol Girt joined SFU as associate professor in the department of physics in 2009. Prior to joining SFU he was the head of research and one of the principal designers of the process of the fabrication of thin film solar cells at Applied Quantum Technology in Santa Clara, California. From 2000 to 2007 he worked at Seagate Technology, in Fremont, California, where he received an Outstanding Technical Contributions Award for his contributions in developing recording media. Erol Girt obtained his B.Sc and M.Sc. degrees in Physics from the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and his PhD in Physics from McGill University. He was also a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Material Science at Berkeley University and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.