Reuben T. Collins - Research DirectionsTEM of silicon quantum dots

Throughout my career the new science that evolves from quantum confinement, nanoscale or nanostructured materials, and lower dimensional systems has been an underlying theme of my research.  The potential for umimagniable properties, new methods of tunability, and novel applications has also driven my reseach group's work.  In the past this pursuit has carried me from resonant tranmission, negative differential resistance in double barrier semiconductor heterostructures to new forms of scanning probe microscopy and fundamental studies of pair formation in layered perovskite high temperature superconductors. 

In recent years a major research focus has been the use of quantum size effects in solar energy harvesting including silicon quantum dot based photovoltaics (PV), organic bulk heterojunction PV systems, and near-field scanning optical microscopy for nano understanding of renewable energy materials.  Systems and interfaces that involve hybrid inorganic and organic/bio materials controlled at the nanoscale have also been explored. Another area of interest has been new optical properties evolving from surface plasmon/polaritons on nanostructured surfaces.  It's now possible to build 2d analogues of most 3d optical elements like lenses and waveplates through careful design of layered and nanopatterned hybrid metal/dielectric films.  I also maintain a healthy interest in synthesis, patterning, characterization, and device analysis using nanomaterials where these all become tools to uncover underlying science.