Driscoll Research Group
Device Materials Group
Trinity College Cambridge
Introduction to the Driscoll Research Group
The work of Professor Driscoll and her group focuses on functional oxide thin films for applications in energy and electronics. The various properties exhibited by oxides allow them to act as a wide range of devices, all the way from insulators to superconductors (with ferroelectrics, semiconductors, and magnetic materials, and a range of other functions in between). With this wide spread of functionalities, functional oxides possess an enormous potential to revolutionise the way we live. However, properties need to be carefully controlled, manipulated and understood, and structures and methods suitable for industrial application of the materials also need to be considered. There are several examples of Professor Driscoll’s discoveries/inventions, which have been adopted by industry. She works closely with industries in the UK and internationally to ensure that the science done in her lab benefits society.
Advanced materials science is essential to enhance the performance of electronic devices. The starting point for an electronic device is growth. Along with growth, is precision materials engineering, including characterisation and measurements. For complex oxides, achieving perfection at an atomic scale through controlled growth and precision engineering plays a critical role to the performance of a device. The techniques used within the group for fabricating high quality thin films include advanced pulsed laser deposition (PLD), atmospheric-pressure spatial atomic layer deposition (AP-SALD), as well as other chemical routes.
Schematic representation of an AP-SALD (left) and one of the advanced PLD systems (right) used in the Driscoll Research Group
In the energy area, within the University, Professor Driscoll serves on a number of committees including Energy@Cambridge, the Sir Henry Royce Institute and the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability. For more information click here.
What is Materials Science?
In case you are not sure what Materials Science is all about (in fact many people do not!), please see Professor Driscoll’s article in APL Materials (the journal of which she is Editor-in-Chief) on her definition of the rapidly evolving field of materials science.