Professor's work could help revolutionize your phone

UNI NEWS SERVICE – The University of Northern Iowa is pleased to announce that Pavel Lukashev, professor in the department of physics, has received a National Science Foundation Award grant totaling more than $236,000. 

The grant will support research in the emerging field of spintronics – a field that joins magnetism and electronics to expand the capacity of electronic devices, making them run faster and more efficiently.

Lukashev and his team will use the funding to continue their investigation of new materials that may possess the necessary magnetic and electronic properties for large scale development of new spintronic devices.

“In our research, we’re looking at material known as ‘half-metals’ that can be used in spintronic devices,” Lukashev said. “Some of the most common spintronic applications are things like hard drives and data storage in devices like computers and cell phones. New materials in this field are always in demand.”

The project is a collaborative work between UNI and South Dakota State University. Lukashev will act as the principal investigator in the research, alongside co-principal investigator Paul Shand, head of the department of physics at UNI. Several undergraduate physics students at UNI are involved in the ongoing research, as well.

“Researchers at South Dakota State will be doing mostly experimental work, while here at UNI we will perform both theoretical and experimental research,” he said. “Our students, who are heavily involved in the research, are working with various commercial software packages to run calculations on the properties of different materials. At the same time, Shand is working with some of the students to experiment with the materials, and to study their crystallographic and magnetic properties.”

Lukashev’s research has been underway for several years – with his team publishing more than a dozen scientific papers on the topic – but he says the grant dollars from the National Science Foundation will give the project a big boost.

“We’re very thankful for the grant,” he said. “We’re already planning to purchase different materials and supplies for the lab to support our work, and it’s been a great experience to be collaborating with the researchers at South Dakota State University. One of the best parts is being able to have students involved in this process, and we’re glad to be able to continue that.”

The grant is jointly funded by the Division of Materials Research and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. Both are National Science Foundation affiliated divisions.





Pavel Lukashev, department of physics,

Steve Schmadeke, public relations manager, 319-273-6120,