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About Our Group

The Mesoscale Materials Lab explores how symmetry-breaking and structure drive the flow of energy in solids, including the interaction of light with matter. Welcome to our site.

It is well known how the properties of a solid arise from its symmetry, whether this is defined within the bulk interior, or by the presence of a surface or interface. We study how symmetry-breaking at different length scales alters how light and other electromagnetic radiation interacts and propagates in ferroelectric and related materials.

Project Highlights

Dielectric Meta-Materials

The domain-wall structure and dynamics are found to enhance, rather than inhibit, the high-frequency performance of an intrinsically tunable material, obtaining ultra-low loss and exceptional frequency selectivity. Illustration credit: Felice Macera. Relevant publication


Ballistic photoconduction and a mesoscopic electron free path can be attained at room temperature in a ferroelectric insulator.
Relevant Publication

"Hot" Electrons

Nanoscale electrodes and the bulk photovoltaic effect together permit high quantum yield.
Relevant Publication

Cooler Crystallization

Solid phase epitaxy of ferroelectric perovskite oxide films can occur from amorphous films produced by atomic layer deposition at temperatures much lower than the usual bulk crystallization temperatures.
Relevant Publication

Surface Triggered Subsurface UV Light

Chemisorption and desorption of water fragments permits reversible quantum well ultraviolet luminescence. Relevant publication

Recent News

Andrew Bennett-Jackson Receives PhD

Andrew Bennett-Jackson Receives PhD

July 20, 2022BY Lyn Lord

We celebrate the successful defense of Andrew Bennett-Jackson on June 15, 2022.  ABJ has now joined the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University as a postdoctoral scientist.  ABJ was

Aleksandr Plokhikh Accepts Position with Lam

Aleksandr Plokhikh Accepts Position with Lam

September 27, 2021BY Lyn Lord

Alexsandr Plokhikh has accepted a position with Lam Research Corporation in Fremont, CA, after successfully defending his PhD dissertation. Founded in 1980, Lam partners with researchers and companies

Not So Inseparable After All

Not So Inseparable After All

February 7, 2019BY Lyn Lord

The drift- and diffusion-governing behaviors of photo-generated oppositely-charged carriers near surfaces of and interfaces within semiconducting and insulating solids are ubiquitous in nature, and th