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Photo of Chang-Beom Eom.

Chang-Beom Eom
Materials Science and Engineering

An internationally recognized researcher, Materials Science and Engineering Professor Chang-Beom Eom has made exceptional contributions to the field of epitaxial complex oxide thin films.

To honor his skill at developing both methods and materials, Eom received the 2007 Byron Bird Award for a series of three publications that have become standards in the fields of thin-film deposition and electrical connections in oxide electronics. His innovation, insight and cheerful personality have earned respect from colleagues across the globe.

The first publication, his 1989 PhD paper, described a new deposition technique—90-degree off-axis sputtering—for high-temperature superconducting thin films. Before this revolutionary work, thin films were low-quality and plagued by defects. Today, off-axis sputtering is widely used to make high-quality complex oxide thin films from complex materials for both commercial and research purposes; Eom’s paper has been cited nearly 300 times.

The second and third papers detail a class of metallic oxide for electrical contacts that Eom developed using off-axis sputtering. The first of these two papers describes the general class of ruthenate-based materials and the second focuses on one compound in particular, SrRuO3, as an electrode for ferroelectric devices.

Until then, platinum electrodes often were used in ferroelectric devices, but the polarization decayed with cycling. Ferroelectrics grown on Eom’s material did not lose polarization, and SrRuO3 is still one of the best electrode materials for ferroelectric and oxide electronic devices.

The method and materials described in these papers enabled researchers to overcome some of the greatest problems in thin-film epitaxy and helped turn oxide thin-film research into the thriving field that it is today.

“These three publications describe truly pioneering research that is simultaneously remarkably mature, comprehensive and visionary,” says a colleague. “What these papers have in common is a focus on fundamental scientific questions that—through absolutely first-rate experiments—turn out to have great potential technological impact.

As you can see, Chang-Beom Eom truly does have a nose for great, impactful science!”