Professor, Graduate Program Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Campbell Hall 384
(205) 934-6661

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Research and Teaching Interests: Defects in Materials Used in Electronic and Optical Devices

Office Hours: M/W 5:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.


  • B.S., M.S., and Ph.D., Lehigh University, Physics
  • Post Doctoral, University of North Carolina; the Naval Research Laboratory

Outside of the traditional work environment, my interests focus on recreational activities such as boating, hiking and camping — in general, nature and the environment. While the fun side of me emphasizes the organic world, my career interests have focused on the inorganic world — specifically materials used to develop modern electronic and optical components. These interests have led to numerous presentations at local, national, and international conferences, taking me to countries from Iceland to Hawaii. Teaching, another significant part of my professional life, spans individual student mentoring to instruction in large lecture classes. My favorite courses to teach are electricity and magnetism, quantum mechanics, and solid state physics. 

Dr. Zvanut invites new students to join her research projects, one of which is part of a consortium of universities focused on understanding fundamental phenomena in materials being developed for a resilient, smart electricity grid. For more information, visit the Ultra Energy Frontiers Research Center.

  • Research Interests

    My research interests began with the study of electronic devices — the fundamental operation of a transistor. Over the years this has transformed into the study of the basic physics of the materials that make the transistors work. Key to the successful operation of any computer chip or laser diode is material defects and impurities. My work centers on understanding the physical structure and chemistry of the impurities intentionally or unintentionally introduced during growth. My students and I develop models to describe how they make the material useful or how they might inhibit successful application of the material.

    Our research program is not an island unto itself — my group works with collaborators from small companies and national laboratories, as well as universities across the globe. Given the materials and device aspects of our fundamental studies, we necessarily have strong ties to electrical engineering and materials science, along with our fellow physicists in condensed matter theory and computational physics.

  • Recent Courses
    • Electricity and Magnetism
    • Introductory Physics
    • Solid State Physics
  • Select Publications
    • Suman Bhandari and M.E. Zvanut, “Charge trapping at Fe due to midgap levels in Ga2O3”, J. Appl. Phys. 129, 085703 (2021).
    • Suman Bhandari and M.E. Zvanut, “Optical transitions for impurities in Ga2O3 as determined by photo-induced electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy”, J. Appl. Phys. 127, 165704 (2020).
    • Suman Bhandari, M.E. Zvanut, and J. B. Varley, “Optical absorption of Fe in doped Ga2O3”, J. Appl. Phys. 126, 165703 (2019).
    • U.R. Sunay, M.E. Zvanut, J. Marbey, S.H. Hill, J.H. Leach, and K. Udwary, “Small Non-Uniform Basal Crystal Fields in HVPE Free-Standing GaN:Mg as Evidenced by Angular Dependent and Frequency-Dependent EPR”, J. Phys: Cond Matter 312, 345702 (2019).
    • W.R. Willoughby, M. E. Zvanut, Subash Paudel, M. Iwinska, T. Sochacki, and M. Bockowski, “Photo-EPR study of compensated defects in Be-doped GaN substrates”, J. Appl. Phys. 125, 075701 (2019).
    • M. E. Zvanut, Subash Paudel, E. R. Glaser, M. Iwinska, T. Sochacki, and M. Bockowski, “Incorporation of Carbon in Free-Standing HVPE-Grown GaN Substrates”, J. Electron. Mater. 48, 2226 (2019).
    • M. E. Zvanut, Subash Paudel, U. R. Sunay, W. R. Willoughby, M. Iwinska, T. Sochacki, and M. Bockowski, “Charge transfer process for carbon-related center in semi-insulating Carbon-doped GaN”, J. Appl. Phys. 124, 075701 (2018).
    • Willoughby, W. R., M. E. Zvanut, Subash Paudel, M. Iwinska, T. Sochacki, and M. Bockowski. "A compensating point defect in carbon-doped GaN substrates studied with electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy." J. Appl. Phys. 123, 161547 (2018).
    • M.E. Zvanut, J. Dashdorj, U.R. Sunay, J.H. Leach, and K. Udwary, “Effect of local fields on the Mg acceptor in GaN films and GaN substrates”, J. Appl. Phys. 120, 135702 (2016).
    • W.R. Willoughby, M.E. Zvanut, J. Dashdorj, and M. Bockowski, A Model for Be-related Photo-absorption in Compensated GaN:Be substrates”, J. Appl. Phys. 120, 115701 (2016). (DOI: 10.1063/1.4962460)
  • Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies
    • American Physical Society
    • Materials Research Society