Brian Schaefer

Brian Schaefer
Mentor: Dr. Amlan Biswas
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"Experimental work is crucial in broadening our knowledge of the universe, and allows us to develop new technologies through application of phenomena observed in the laboratory. The chance to become part of this advancing front of technological progress at the undergraduate level is a fantastic opportunity, and early involvement the first step in achieving the end goal of an experimental research career."


Materials Science and Engineering; Physics



Research Interests

  • Strongly Correlated Materials
  • Phase Separated Materials
  • Pulsed Laser Deposition

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • Anderson Scholar of High Distinction
  • Florida Bright Futures Academic Top Scholarp
  • Wentworth Travel Scholarship
  • Dean's List


  • Society of Physics Students
  • Clarinet Ensemble
  • Wind Symphony


  • Science Bowl
  • Chemistry Outreach

Hobbies and Interests

  • Music Performance/Arranging/Composition
  • Tutoring
  • Computer Programming
  • Science Outreach

Research Description

Growth and Characterization of Phase-separated mMnganite Thin Films
My research aims to characterize specific low-temperature electronic properties of materials involving rare-earth elements and manganese. Prior studies have shown that the capacitance (ability to store electrical charge) of (La1-yPry)0.67Ca0.33MnO3 (LPCMO) decreases to a minimum at a temperature of 100 K, but returns to its room temperature value when a magnetic field is applied. This phenomenon is known as colossal magnetocapacitance (CMC), in which a magnetic field can induce a change in capacitance of a material by several orders of magnitude. Study of colossal magnetocapacitive materials will aid the development of a new generation of electronic devices.Colossal magnetocapacitance arises in LPCMO due to the coexistence of ferromagnetic metal and charge-ordered insulator phases. Using pulsed laser deposition, I aim to fabricate µm-scale structures to isolate these two phases and directly measure CMC. The largest barrier to this measurement is the growth of high-quality films. Pulsed laser deposition is very sensitive to experimental conditions, including oxygen pressure, substrate type, and substrate annealing conditions, so my work will also involve optimization of these conditions to improve the quality of films.