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Ph.D. Physical Sciences; Dublin City University, 2009
Stephen McDonnell’s current research focuses on understanding how 2D materials, such as the transition metal dichalcogenide family, interface with other materials in electronic devices. Interfaces play a critical role in the performance of electronic devices. As such, understanding the bonding in heterostructures is crucial to enabling the interface engineering required to integrate materials into nanoelectronic device architectures. In our lab, we have established a dedicated growth and characterization ultra-high vacuum system that allows us to, not only synthesize high purity 2D semiconductors, but also to investigate the structure, composition, and electronic properties of these materials prior to any atmospheric exposure. Without breaking vacuum we also deposit device relevant insulators and metals to enable a detailed understanding of how such structures impact the electronic properties of the semiconductor. In addition to our nanoelectronic focused work, we continue to explore the wider applications of transition metal dichalcogenides in optoelectronics and photocatalysis.