The Prometheus group focuses on the growth, characterization, and utilization of functional complex-oxide thin-film heterostructures and nanostructures. Such materials are candidates for a wide range of applications including logic, memory, sensing, energy conversion/transduction (e.g., heat, stress, light to electricity) and much more.


The foundations of the group are built on a multi-faceted, comprehensive approach to materials science and engineering. The group excels in:


  • Synthesis of materials – Highly-controlled deposition of complex-oxide heterostructures and nanostructures using pulsed-laser deposition and other techniques equipped with state-of-the-art in situ characterization methods which enable atomic-scale control of materials.
  • Characterization of materials – A combination of laboratory- and national facility-based approaches to study the structure, properties, and evolution of materials.
  • Utilization of materials – Leveraging novel materials phenomena and know-how to produce demonstration devices that highlight the potential function and impact of new materials.


The group stands at the cross-roads of modern science and engineering – combining aspects of physical sciences (such as chemistry and physics) and modern engineering (such as fabrication and processing of devices). As such the group serves as a gathering point for researchers from a range of disciplines and backgrounds.


The Mythology of Prometheus


In Greek mythology, Prometheus was a champion of human-kind known for his wily intelligence. As the story goes, Zeus, the ruler of Mount Olympus and the God of Sky and Thunder, had many plans for the reshaping of creation. After the fall of Kronos, Zeus took no interest in the mortal race of men on the bountiful Earth, he intended for them to live as primitives until they died off. Zeus said that knowledge and divine gifts would only bring misery to the mortals and he insisted that Prometheus not interfere with his plans.


Despite Zeus’ warning, Prometheus took pity on the mortals and he deceived Zeus. Prometheus gave the mortals all sorts of gifts: brickwork, woodworking, the ability to tell the seasons by the stars, numbers, the alphabet, yoked oxen, carriages, saddles, ships and sails, healing drugs, the mining of precious metals, art, and many others. But, alas, Prometheus was not finished and he stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals. The gift of divine fire unleashed a flood of inventiveness, productivity and, most of all, respect for the immortal gods in the rapidly developing mortals. Within no time, culture, art, and literacy permeated the land around Mount Olympus.


The goal of the Prometheus group is to work for the betterment of Mankind. By utilizing the gifts given on the bountiful Earth we aim to lead an age of inventiveness that will bring new gifts to society as we develop new science and understanding.