Robert J. Lad

Robert J. LadRobert Lad
Professor of Physics

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

Email Link: rjlad<at>maine<dot>edu

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

Robert J. Lad has been at the University of Maine since 1988, and is a member of the Frontier Institute for Research in Sensor Technologies (FIRST), an interdisciplinary research center at UMaine that focuses on surfaces, interfaces, thin films, micro-devices, and nanotechnology.  He has been the PI or Co-PI on more than 40 grants totaling over $36 million from agencies including NSF, ONR, DARPA, DOE, NASA, AFOSR, AFRL, ARO, and several industries, to support his research programs.  He and his students have authored more than 100 journal publications and given over 185 presentations at scientific meetings. He has advised individual research projects for 7 postdocs, 13 Ph.D., 6 M.S., and 55 undergraduate students.

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 performed photoemission studies of the electronic structure of oxide materials at the National Synchrotron Light Source. He was the Director of UMaine’s Laboratory for Surface Science & Technology (LASST, now FIRST) from 1996-2014, and he received the UMaine Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award in 2004, a UMaine System Trustee Professorship in 2006, and the Distinguished Maine Professor Award in 2013.

Web Link to FIRST home page: