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Faculty - Robert J. Lad

Robert Lad photoRobert J. Lad
Professor of Physics

  • 1980  B.S., Northwestern University
  • 1986  Ph.D., Cornell University

Office: 265 ESRB (Barrows Hall)

Phone #: (207)581-2257

EMail Link:

Research Interests:

  • Surface and Interface Properties of Materials
  • Synthesis and Processing of Ceramic and Semiconducting Thin Films
  • Electronic Properties of Materials;
  • Thin Film Sensor Materials
  • Metal-Ceramic and Ceramic-Ceramic Interfaces
  • Defect Microstructure of Materials
  • Scanning Probe Microscopy
  • X-ray Diffraction
  • Tribology of Hard Coatings
  • Reactivity and Degradation of Ceramic Surfaces and Films
  • Chemical Gas Sensors
  • High Temperature Materials
  • MEMS/Microsystems

Robert J. Lad has been at the University of Maine since 1988, and is a Professor of Physics and just recently retired as Director of the Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology, an interdisciplinary research center that focuses on nanotechnology and sensor technology.  His research expertise covers areas related to surfaces, interfaces, thin film materials, and sensors.  He has received more than 40 grants totaling over $30 million from agencies, including NSF, ONR, DARPA, DOE, NASA, AFOSR, AFRL, ARO, and several industries, to support his research programs.  He has more than 80 journal publications and 130 presentations at scientific meetings, and has advised individual research projects for 13 PhD, 6 MS, and 51 undergraduate students.

His laboratory contains a versatile Thin Film Synthesis, Processing & Characterization facility that is equipped with instrumentation including several different thin film deposition techniques, x-ray and uv photoelectron spectroscopies, electron and x-ray diffraction, scanned probe microscopies, and conductivity/Hall effect measurements of sensor devices.

Prof. Lad obtained a B.S. in Materials Engineering from Northwestern University in 1980, and Ph.D. in Materials Science from Cornell University in 1986 working on high temperature gaseous corrosion of metallic alloys.  Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Maine, he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Applied Physics at Yale University, where he studied the surface science of metal oxides, and at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory where he performed photoemission studies of the electronic structure of oxide materials.

Recent Publications:

“Determination of Crystal Miscut by X-ray Diffraction Rocking Curve Methods,” L.D. Doucette, M. P. da Cunha, R.J. Lad, Reviews of Scientific Instruments  76, 036106 (2005).

“CrO2 (100) and TiO2 (200) Film Heteroepitaxy on a BaF2(111) / Si(100) Substrate,” L.D. Doucette, T.M. Christensen, W.J. DeSisto, R.J. Lad, Journal of Crystal Growth 290, 653 (2006).

“Structure, Conductivity, and Optical Absorption of Ag2-xO Films,” S.B. Rivers, G. Bernhardt, M.W. Wright, D.J. Frankel, M.M. Steeves, R.J. Lad, Thin Solid Films 515, 8684 (2007).

“Stable Electrodes and Ultrathin Passivation Coatings for High Temperature Sensors in Harsh Environments,” D.J. Frankel, G. Bernhardt, B. Sturtevant, T. Moonlight, M. Pereira da Cunha, R.J. Lad,  Proc. IEEE Sensors  26-29, 82 (2008).

“High Temperature Sensing Technology for Applications Up To 1000°C,” M. Pereira da Cunha, T. Moonlight, R. Lad, D. Frankel, G. Bernhardt ,  Proc. IEEE Sensors 26-29, 752  (2008).

“Structure and Optical Properties of Zr1-xSixN Thin Films on Sapphire,”  X. Zhang, M.Byrne, R.J. Lad, Thin Solid Films, in press (2009).

“Nanostructured Tungsten and Tungsten Trioxide Films Prepared by Glancing Angle Deposition,”  D. Deniz, D.J. Frankel, R.J. Lad, Thin Solid Films, in press (2009).

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