Martin receives 2012 Career Award

Lane W. Martin, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his proposal, “Enhanced Pyroelectric and Electrocaloric Effects in Complex Oxide Thin Film Heterostructures.”

Assistant Prof. Lane Martin
Assistant Prof. Lane Martin

Advances in the development of functional complex oxide materials have enabled many of the devices that are utilized on a daily basis from memories to actuators and beyond," explained Martin, who is also affiliated with the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory at Illinois. “Fundamental research in these fields fosters innovation in the growing green economy and high-technology spaces.

"This project includes research on the creation of new and complex materials, computational and theoretical approaches to materials design and optimization, and advanced characterization of materials properties. We are developing a deeper understanding of electro-thermal responses of materials and finding routes to enhance those effects to enable advanced thermal imaging (e.g., night-vision systems), waste-heat energy conversion for energy efficiency, novel electron emission for high-tech applications, and low-power solid-state cooling for nanoelectronics,” Martin added.

“We are developing a design algorithm by which researchers can enhance the electric-field and temperature-dependent response of materials for such applications. Beyond these areas, the concepts are developed in this program could potentially impact a variety of applications from communications to data storage to logic to sensing devices."

The project also promotes discovery and understanding at the K-12/undergraduate/graduate education levels by introducing students to advanced functional materials and broadening the participation of underrepresented student groups in science and engineering careers.

Martin joined the Illinois faculty in August 2009. His research group focuses on the exploration of novel oxide material — both thin film heterostructures and nanostructures — in pursuit of two major research thrusts: multiferroic and multifunctional materials and devices, and solar and waste heat energy conversion.

Martin received his BS in materials science and engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and his MS and PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Following his PhD, Martin served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Quantum Materials Program, Materials Science Division, at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

The NSF's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) initiative selects the nation's best young university faculty in a highly competitive annual program. These teacher-scholars are recognized for their extraordinary promise to integrate research and education in the nation's universities and to make lifelong contributions to their disciplines.