Mary Elle Zvanut

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

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.

Education:

  • 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. 

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

  • 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).
  • W. R. Willoughby, 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, J.A. Freitas Jr., E.R. Glaser, J.H. Leach, K. Udwary, “Incorporation of Mg into thick free-standing HVPE GaN,” MRS Advances 1 (2016). doi:10.1557/adv.2016.102.
  • J. Dashdorj, M.E. Zvanut, M. Bockowski, “Determination of an acceptor level in bulk GaN grown by high nitrogen pressure solution method,” Physica Status Solidi B 1-5 (2015):923. DOI: 10.1002/pssb.201451567.
  • U.R. Sunay, M.E. Zvanut, A.A. Allerman, “The effects of Al on the neutral Mg acceptor impurity in AlxGa1-xN,” Physica Status Solidi C 12 (2015):357.
  • J. Dashdorj, W.R. Willoughby, M.E. Zvanut, M. Bockowski, “Electron paramagnetic resonance studies of bulk Mg-doped GaN grown by high nitrogen pressure solution method,” Physica Status Solidi C 12 (2015):338.
  • U.R. Sunay, M.E. Zvanut, A.A. Allerman, “The reduction in the number of Mg acceptors with Al concentration in AlxGa1-xN,” Journal of Electronic Materials, published on-line (2014). DOI 10.1007/s11664-014-3475-9.
  • V.V. Fedorov, T. Konak, J. Dashdorj, M.E. Zvanut, S.B. Mirov, “Optical and EPR spectroscopy of Zn:Cr:ZnSe and Zn:Fe:ZnSe crystals,” Optical Materials 37 (2014):262-66.
  • Ustun Sunay, J. Dashdorj, M.E. Zvanut, J.G. Harrison, J. H. Leach, K. Udwary, “Charge transfer in Fe-doped GaN: the role of the donor,” AIP Conference Proceedings 1583 (2014):297.
  • M.E. Zvanut, W.R. Willoughby, U.R. Sunay, D.D. Koleske, A.A. Allerman, Ke Wang, Tsutomu Araki, Yasushi Nanishi, “The effect of growth parameters on the Mg acceptor in InxGa1-xN:Mg and AlxGa1-xN:Mg,” Physica Satus Solidi C 3-4 (2014):594-97.

Academic Distinctions and Professional Societies

  • American Physical Society
  • Materials Research Society