Distinguished McKnight University Professor; Distinguished University Teaching Professor; Director, Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC),
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
B.Sc. Physics: University of Durham, England, 1994.
Ph.D. Physics (Condensed Matter): University of Durham, England, 1998
Research & Teaching
Electronic and magnetic materials are the central focus of the Leighton Group's research. We study a wide variety of materials, such as nanostructures, thin films, heterostructures, bulk polycrystals, and single crystals. We focus on topics with a strong fundamental science component that are in close proximity to applications in technology, including data storage and processing and electronic devices. Projects in our group feature fabrication of films and crystals, detailed structural and chemical characterization, and in-depth measurement by numerous techniques, including transport, neutron and X-ray scattering, magnetometry, and heat capacity. Our work is highly collaborative, and we are involved in two UMN centers: the NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and the DOE Center for Quantum Materials.
Current research projects include:
(i) Electrolyte gating of functional materials
(ii) Perovskite films and heterostructures, particularly cobaltites and stannates
University of Minnesota Academy of Distinguished Teachers, 2020
Morse - Alumni Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, 2020
Fellow of the Neutron Scattering Society of America, 2020
Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2020
Cozzarelli Prize (with F. Bates and S. Lee), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015
Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising, 2015
Distinguished McKnight University Professorship, 2014
George W. Taylor Distinguished Research Award, 2013
Fellow of the American Physical Society, 2012
UC Santa Barbara Emerging Leader Speaker, 2008
McKnight Presidential Fellowship Award, 2007
George W. Taylor Career Development Award, 2007
Institute of Technology Student Board Award, 2003
Russell Prize, University of Durham, UK, 1998
“Room temperature valence transition in a strain-tuned perovskite oxide”, V. Chaturvedi, S. Ghosh, D. Gautreau, P. Quarterman, P.P. Balakrishnan, B.J. Kirby, H. Zhou, H. Cheng, A. Huon, T. Charlton, M.R. Fitzsimmons, W.M. Postiglione, A. Jacobson, C. Korostynki, J.E. Dewey, J.G. Barriocanal, T. Birol, K.A. Mkhoyan and C. Leighton, in press, Nat. Commun. (2022).
“Voltage control of patterned metal/insulator properties in oxide/oxyflouride lateral perovskite heterostructures via ion gel gating”, B.M. Lefler, W.M. Postiglione, C. Leighton and S.J. May, Adv. Func. Mater. (2022).
“Thermal properties of the metallic delafossite PdCoO 2 : a combined experimental and first- principles study”, Y. Zhang, A. Saha, F. Tutt, V. Chaturvedi, B. Voigt, W. Moore, J. Garcia- Barriocanal, T. Birol and C. Leighton, Phys. Rev. Mater. 6, 115004 (2022).
“Electrolyte-gate-driven carrier density modulation and metal-insulator transition in semiconducting epitaxial CdO films”, H. Wang, W. Postiglione, V. Chaturvedi, E.L. Runnerstrom, J.-P. Maria, APL Mater. 10, 121106 (2022).
“Collective ferromagnetism of artificial square spin ice”, N. Bingham, X. Zhang, J. Ramberger, O. Heinonen, C. Leighton and P. Schiffer, Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 067201 (2022).
“P-type conductivity in Sn-doped Sb 2 Se 3 ”, T.D.C. Hobson, H. Shiel, C.N. Savory, J.E.N. Swallow, L.A.H. Jones, T.J. Featherstone, M.J. Smiles, P.K. Thakur, T.-L. Lee, B. Das, C. Leighton, G. Zoppi, V.R. Dhanak, D.O. Scanlon, K. Durose, J.D. Major and T.D. Veal, in press, J. Phys.: Energy 4, 045006 (2022).
“What controls electrostatic vs. electrochemical response in electrolyte-gated materials? A perspective on critical materials factors”, C. Leighton, T. Birol and J. Walter, APL Mater. 10, 040901 (2022).
“Finite-size effect in phonon-induced Elliott-Yafet spin relaxation in Al”, J.D. Watts, J.T. Batley, N.A. Rabideau, J.P. Hoch, L. O’Brien, P.A. Crowell and C. Leighton, Phys. Rev. Lett. 128, 207201 (2022). (Editor’s Suggestion).
“Electrochemical mechanism of ionic-liquid gating in antiferromagnetic Mott-insulating NiS 2 single crystals”, S. Hameed, B. Voigt, J. Dewey, W. Moore, D. Pelc, B. Das, S. El-Khatib, J. Garcia- Barriocanal, B. Luo, N. Seaton, C. Leighton and M. Greven, Phys. Rev. Mater. 6, 064601 (2022).
“Magnetic-field-dependent thermodynamic properties of square and quadrupolar artificial spin ice” M. Goryca, X. Zhang, J.D. Watts, C. Leighton, C. Nisoli, P. Schiffer and S.A. Crooker, Phys. Rev. B. 105, 094406 (2022).
“Chemically-induced magnetic dead shells in superparamagnetic Ni nanoparticles from polarized small-angle neutron scattering”, B. Das, J. Batley, C. Korostynski, M. Nguyen, I. Kamboj, K. Krycka, P. Quarterman, J. Borchers, E.S. Aydil and C. Leighton, ACS. Appl. Mater. Interf. 14, 33491 (2022).
“Entropy-driven order in an array of nanomagnets”, H. Saglam, A. Duzgun, A. Kargioti, N. Harle, X. Zhang, N.S. Bingham, Y. Lao, I. Gilbert, J. Sklenar, J.D. Watts, J. Ramberger, D. Bromley, R. Chopdekar, L. O’Brien, C. Leighton, C. Nisoli, and P. Schiffer, Nat. Phys. 18, 706 (2022).
226. “The essential role of magnetic frustration in the phase diagrams of doped cobaltites”, P.P. Orth, D. Phelan, J. Zhao, H. Zheng, J.F. Mitchell, C. Leighton and R.M. Fernandes, Phys. Rev. Mater. Letters 6, L071402 (2022).
“Enhanced superconductivity and ferroelectric quantum criticality in plastically deformed strontium titanate”, S. Hameed, D. Pelc, Z.W. Anderson, A. Klein, R.J. Spieker, L. Yue, B. Das, J. Ramberger, M. Lukas, Y. Liu, M.J. Krogstad, R. Osborn, Y. Li, C. Leighton, R.M. Fernandes and M. Greven, Nat. Mater. 21, 54 (2022).