March 1, 2012
School of Arts and Sciences, Amritapuri
Mr. Sreekanth K.M., PhD student in the Department of Physics at the Amritapuri campus was offered an opportunity to go abroad to do part of his research work at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.
He left in August 2010. He was supposed to return to Amritapuri in June 2011, but his professors at KTH recommended that he stay longer.
Dr. K. V. Rao, Professor of Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, wrote to the Sreekanth’s teachers back in India.
“To put it simply, Sreekanth is definitely maturing as a researcher,” he said. “He is confident and can be relied upon for his capabilities with sputter deposition of thin films and characterizing them using XRD, SQUID, etc. for their structure and magnetic properties.”
He added, “His films have been tested by sophisticated techniques like Focused Ion Beam / high resolution SEM analyses and found to be of high quality. He is considered as an expert in establishing good contacts on oxide samples for resistivity measurements, which is not a trivial task.”
At the Swedish university, Sreekanth is part of the Material Sciences Department. He explained what his work entails.
“I am working on the fabrication of metal oxide thin films for device development in the field of spintronics. Spintronics simply refers to spin transport electronics wherein the intrinsic spin of the electron is an important concern in solid-state devices.”
“In the process, I am studying the magnetic, structural and transport properties of transition metals (Fe and Mn) doped ZnMgO and MgO thin films.”
Sreekanth’s work focuses on the miniaturizing of electronic devices. For example, two decades ago, even to save 1MB of data required several square inches of storage space. Today, thanks to research and development in room-temperature ferromagnetic materials, memory devices are available in miniature form.
Sreekanth is fortunate to be guided by Dr. Rao, who is considered a pioneer in this field. Dr. Rao has published numerous research articles based on this phenomenon.
Sreekanth works in Dr. Rao’s lab, which has the most modern fabricating instruments and characterization tools.
In addition to Dr. Rao, Sreekanth is also receiving guidance from Dr. Lyuba Belova at KTH, Dr. K.S Sreelatha and Dr. N. V. Unnikrishnan.
“I would like to thank all my mentors. Without their motivation, I would not have developed this interest towards my current field of research.”
“I hope that my work benefits people who use data storage devices and electronic equipment.”
The scholar will return to India in June 2013 after the completion of his research project.