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Mercy Mathews (promotion date: 22 November 2007)

Structural and magnetic properties of epitaxial LSMO thin films and nanostructures

Promotion date: 22 November 2007

The main subject of my thesis was to study and compare the structural and magnetic properties of thin films with the nanodots and nanowires that I subsequently made. Before these different nano structures are used in devices, their properties should be thoroughly analysed. We already know a lot about the properties of thin film, but as yet not so much about nanodots and nanowires.

Any conclusion? Are the nanodots and nanowires more promising for future devices?

Yes. When making nanodots and nanowires atleast down to 150nm dimension, you hardly lose anything of the magnetic properties. The nice properties are nearly all remaining and there are even some properties extra that aren’t there in thin films. So depending on the device you can choose between either thin film or nanowire . We mainly concentrated on nanowires. We have found very interesting properties of the nanowires which directly depends on the substrate on which they are fabricated. Of course my research is fundamental and was not aimed at a specific application. The comparison of properties of the thin film structures, nanodots and nanowires is quite new. It has not been done before in this way.

Did it lead to any publications?

Yes. One in Applied Physics Letters and few others are almost ready for Physical review B, Nanoletters and applied physics letters. I shall be writing more articles as well. Among the three job offers which I had, I chose to stay here as a postdoc in inorganic material science group in twente for another year and nine months. The other two offers, one from Max plank institute, Stuttgart, and another from industry in Eindhoven were too far from here. I will make nano oxide films and multi structures in my new job.

Were are you from?

I am from the South of India, Kerala. My parents are still there, but fortunately my husband (Mr. Shaji Jacob) and small child (Maria Shaji) are here in the Netherlands. We live close to the campus. My husband is an electrical engineer and works in Hengelo.

What did you enjoy most about your research?

I had very nice colleagues, and good contacts with people of all nationalities. I did the work in the clean room myself and enjoyed the technical support there and in the labs. And I had very good and supportive supervisors. I have been to several conferences which I liked.

But after my baby was born I preferred to stay at home.

What are your plans for the future?

I would like to stay two or three more years in Europe. After that I will decide. I haven’t made up my mind yet whether I want to send my daughter to school in India or here.

How did you come to study here?

After my Master’s I was working at a university as a researcher and my supervisor had been here at Twente University. He knew about the research that is going on and I was interested.

It helped that also one of my friends had just joined to do a PhD and her reports were all favourable. I also felt that I should go abroad to do a PhD, in order to get more facilities and scientific exposure. I preferred Europe to the US, because all my relatives that went to the US never returned. I don’t know what keeps them there because for scientists it is nothing but work over there. For me the happiness of my family will always be the most important thing in life.

For the summary of the thesis, click here