John Heron joins UM MSE as Assistant Professor

John Heron joins UM MSE as Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor John Heron

John Heron joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering as an Assistant Professor in Winter 2016.


John studied Physics as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His undergraduate research was performed under the mentorship of Professor David Awschalom. He used magnetotransport and magnetometry studies to investigate the evolution of magnetic properties of the magnetic semiconductor Ga1-xMnxAs as a function of Mn alloying.


As a graduate student he was awarded the NDSEG graduate fellowship and worked in the thin film complex oxide group of Professor Ramamoorthy Ramesh at the University of California, Berkeley. During this time his research focused on investigating magnetoelectric multiferroics for low-power switching of a magnetization at room temperature. A variety of deposition and measurement techniques and several device designs were employed to study the mechanisms of ferroelectric and magnetoelectric switching in the model multiferroic BiFeO3. Additionally, John has studied the interface coupling mechanisms in functional heterointerfaces between a multiferroic oxides and ferromagnetic metals. Some of this work is highlighted and summarized in [1] and [2]. In 2013 John was awarded Ross N. Tucker Memorial Award for superior work and scholarship in the characterization, development and/or use of semiconductor, magnetic, optical or electronic materials by a graduate student or students pursuing such areas of inquiry at the University of California, Berkeley. After earning his masters (2011) and doctoral (2013) degrees from the University of California Berkeley he began postdoctoral research at Cornell University under the co-mentorship of Professors Darrell Schlom and Dan Ralph. During this period, his research focused on the deposition and characterization of fully epitaxial composite multiferroics consisting of a large magnetostriction metals, galfenol (Fe1-xGax), or metamagnetic materials, (Fe1-xRhx), on ferroelectric thin films (BaTiO3) and substrates (PMN-PT). He then focused on the design and measurement of ferroic and magnetoelectric properties of these systems in prototype device architectures to push towards the goal of ultra-low energy consumption spintronics.  


At U-M, John will develop a research group that will explore the epitaxial deposition and properties of new oxide materials and heterostuctures in the pursuit of finding undiscovered material functionalities for hybrid magnetoelectrics-spintronics applications. Particular emphasis is placed in interface, spin, structure, and charge effects that occur in layered structures with ferroic (and anti-ferroic) materials, such as (anti)ferromagnets, (anti)ferroelectrics, and multiferroics.


More about John can be found at:


[1] M. Fiebig, “Zigzag polarization straightens magnetization out,” Physics 4, 95 (2011).

[2] K. Dörr, “Two steps for a magnetoelectric switch,” Nature 516, 337-338 (2014).