My research interests are at the interface of physics, chemistry, and materials science and are focused on understanding and controlling the fabrication of metallic thin films and nanostructures. The various facets of this interdisciplinary research involve electrochemistry, scanning probe microscopy, and a variety of other analytical techniques.
A primary focus of my research group is to use electrodeposition to fabricate multi-component metallic thin films. These films are then subjected to electrochemical dealloying in order to selectively remove particular components, leaving behind a nanoporous material. Characterization of these materials is performed using a number of techniques, including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and electrochemical characterization.
These nanoporous alloy materials can potentially be used as catalysts for specific reactions, including hydrogen evolution and methanol oxidation, which are important for energy applications.
A second project involves the electrodeposition of single and multi-component thin films composed of magnetic and nonmagnetic materials. SEM, EDS, PIXE, and AFM are used to characterized the composition and structure of these materials. Multilayer materials fabricated using these techniques have application as magnetic read heads in computer hard drives.
The SEM, EDS, and AFM measurements use instruments in the Materials Characterization Laboratory in VanderWerf Hall. The PIXE measurements are in collaboration with the Hope College Nuclear Group using the accelerator at the Hope College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory.
Positions are available in the Surface Lab for interested students. Contact me for more information.
People in the Hampton Group
Publications from the Hampton Group (and my earlier research)
Past research from my undergraduate days until my postdoctoral position