UCSB Engineering

Christopher Palmstrom


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Christopher Palmstrom


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA 93106

tel: (805) 893-3618

Personal web site

Research Description

General research interests of our group are on the heteroepitaxial growth of novel materials and structures to form the basis for making new electronic, optoelectronic, magnetic and micromechanical devices. Critical to the advancement of materials and structures is the fundamental understanding of growth. A key to developing structures with novel properties is the ability to control, at the atomic level, the interface structure and chemistry. Our program has a strong emphasis on heteroepitaxial growth of dissimilar materials. These include materials with different crystal structure, bonding, electronic, optical and magnetic properties.

Our unique ultrahigh vacuum interconnected deposition and analysis facility allows for the growth of epitaxial metallic compounds and semiconductors by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and chemical beam epitaxy (CBE) techniques and characterization in-situ with variable temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (VTSTM), reflection high energy electron diffraction (RHEED), low energy electron diffraction (LEED), Auger electron spectroscopy (AES) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). Other analysis techniques such as Rutherford backscattering (RBS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X-ray diffraction are used to study the grown structures.


Professor Chris Palmstrom, one of the world's leading researchers of electronic materials, joined the ECE faculty at UCSB in the Fall of '07. Born in Norway, Palmstrom received his PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Leeds (England) in 1979. After five years of research on semiconductor materials and contact techonologies at Cornell, he joined Bellcore in 1985. There, he did groundbreaking research on semiconductor surfaces, semiconductor doping, polymer/polymer diffusion and the molecular beam epitaxial growth of metal/semiconductor heterostructures. In 1994, Dr.Palmstrom went to the University of Minnesota, where he soon became a leading researcher in several fields, including new spintronic materials that combine the functions of electronic and magnetic manipulation and storage on information. Professor Palmstrom fits well into UCSB's research programs where he already has significant collaborations with Professors Gossard, Brown, Rodwell, Stemmer, and Van der Walle. With the addition of Palmstrom, UCSB can ensure the continued success of our strong activities related to molecular beam epitaxy development of new nanoscopically controlled materials for future electronic and optical devices and systems.

Selected Publications

  • Electrical Detection of Spin Accumulation at a Ferromagnet-Semiconductor Interface, Phys. Rev. Lett., Submitted, 2006, Lou, X., et al.
  • Embedded growth mode of thermodynamically stable metallic nanoparticles on III-V semiconductors, Appl Phys. Lett., Submitted, 2006, Schultz, B.D. and C.J. Palmstrøm.
  • Nonequilibrium Phases in Epitaxial Mn/GaAs Interfacial Reactions, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., B, 2006, Farrell, H.H., et al.
  • The influence of growth temperature and annealing on the depth profiles of magnetization across ferromagnetic/semiconductor interfaces, Phys. Rev. B, Submitted, 2006, Park, S., et al.
  • Effects of growth temperature on the structural and magnetic properties of epitaxial Ni2MnIn thin films on InAs (001), J. Appl. Phys., 97, 2005, p. 073901-1-7, Xie, J.Q., et al.
  • Electron spin dynamics and hyperfine interactions in Fe/Al0.1Ga0.9As/GaAs spin injection heterostructures, Phys. Rev., B 72, 2005, 155308/1-17, Strand, J., X. Lou, et al.
  • Exchange Biasing of the Ferromagnetic Semiconductor (Ga,Mn)As by MnO, J. Appl. Phys., 97, 2005, 10D304-1-6., Eid, K. F., M. B. Stone, et al.
  • Phase behavior of thin film Mn/GaAs interfacial reactions, J. Vac. Sci. Technol., B 23, 2005, 1752-1758, Hilton, J. L., B. D. Schultz, et al.
  • Remarkable strain-induced magnetic anisotropy in epitaxial Co2MnGa (001) films, J. Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 286, 2005, 340-345, Pechan, M. J., C. Yu, et al.
  • Spin injection from the Heusler alloy Co[sub 2]MnGe into Al[sub 0.1]Ga[sub 0.9]As/GaAs heterostructures, Applied Physics Letters, 86(10), 2005, 102107-3, Dong, X. Y., C. Adelmann, et al.