pf17

Phillip First
Professor
Education

Ph.D., Illinois, 1988

Research Interests

Developing an understanding of solid-state systems at atomic length scales

A primary goal of Professor First's research is to develop an understanding of solid-state systems at atomic length scales. The main experimental tools in this pursuit are scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and related techniques such as ballistic electron emission microscopy (BEEM). These methods rely on the quantum-mechanical tunnel effect to obtain atomically-resolved maps of the electronic structure of surfaces, clusters, and buried layers.

Many phenomena in crystalline bulk solids can be explained using the electronic band structure of the periodic solid, or continuum models. However, in real materials, some of the most interesting and technologically important properties are due to defects, surfaces, and interfaces between materials. Examples in everyday technologies include the dependence of semiconductor conductivity on dopant impurities, rectification due to the interface between a metal and semiconductor (the Schottky diode), and the use of magnetic disk media based on small magnetic grains.

Current research in Professor First's lab addresses the fundamental physics of ballistic electron transmission through solid-state interfaces, the epitaxial growth of materials, the electronic properties of nanometer-scale atomic clusters, the development of magnetism in thin films, clusters and multilayer structures, and spin-dependent transport in such magnetic structures. Students in Professor First's lab gain valuable experience in a wide variety of techniques used in experimental physics. These include ultrahigh vacuum technology, cryogenics, surface science techniques (STM, Auger electron spectroscopy, electron diffraction,...), molecular beam epitaxy, statistical analysis, image processing, computer simulation and modeling, hardware interfacing, electronics, system design, etc. Former Ph.D. students now hold positions in industry, national labs, and academia.

Other Publications:
  1.  “The Brewster Angle with a Negative Index Material,” C. Fu, Z. M. Zhang, and P. N. First, Appl. Opt. 44, 3716 (2005).
  2. “Ultrathin Epitaxial Graphite: 2D Electron Gas Properties and a Route Toward Graphene-based Nanoelectronics”, C. Berger, Z. Song, T. Li, X. Li, A.Y. Ogbazghi, R. Feng, Z. Dai, A.N. Marchenkov, E.H. Conrad, P.N. First, and W.A. de Heer, J. Phys. Chem. B 108,19912 (2004).
  3. “Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Determination of Single Nanocrystal Core Sizes via Correlation with Mass Spectrometry”, T.P. Bigioni, T.G. Schaaf, R.B. Wyrwas, L.E. Harrell, R.L. Whetten, and P.N. First, J. Phys. Chem. B 108, 3772 (2004).
  4. L. E. Harrell, T. P. Bigioni, R. L. Whetten, D. K. Guthrie, W. G. Cullen, and P. N. First: Scanning tunneling microscopy of passivated Au nanocrystals immobilized on Au(111) surfaces, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B, 17, 2411 (1999).
  5. (Invited) D. K. Guthrie, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis, and R. E. Leibenguth: Measurement of quasibound states in semiconductor heterostructures using ballistic electron emission spectroscopy, Microelec. J. 30, 975 (1999).
  6. D. K. Guthrie, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, and E. N. Glytsis: Ballistic-electron-emission-spectroscopy detection of monolayer thickness fluctuations in a semiconductor heterostructure, Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 283 (1999).
  7. T. P. Bigioni, L. E. Harrell, D. K. Guthrie, W. G. Cullen, R. L. Whetten, and P. N. First: Imaging and tunneling spectroscopy of gold nanocrystals and nanocrystal arrays, European Physical Journal D 6, 355 (1999).
  8. W. G. Cullen and P. N. First: Island shapes and intermixing for submonolayer nickel on Au(111), Surf. Sci. 420/1, 53 (1999).
  9. L. E. Harrell and P. N. First: An ultrahigh vacuum cryogenic scanning tunneling microscope with tip and sample exchange, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 70, 125 (1999).
  10. D. K. Guthrie, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis,and R. E. Leibenguth: Measurement of the zero-bias electron transmittance as a function of energy for half- and quarter-electron-wavelength semiconductor quantum-interference filters, Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 374 (1998).
  11. D. K. Guthrie, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis,and R. E. Leibenguth: Electron-wave interference effects in a Ga1-xAlxAs single-barrier structure measured by ballistic electron emission spectroscopy, Appl. Phys. Lett. 71, 2292 (1997).
  12. T. G. Schaaff, M. N. Shafigullin, J. T. Khoury, I. Vezmar, R. L. Whetten, W. G. Cullen, P. N. First, C.Guti?rrez- Wing, J. Ascensio, and M. J. Yacam?n: Isolation of smaller nanocrystal-Au molecules: robust quantum effects in optical spectra, J. Phys. Chem. B 101, 7885 (1997).
  13. R. S. Ingram, M. J. Hostetler, R. W. Murray, T. G. Schaaf, J. T. Khoury, R. L. Whetten, T. P. Bigioni, D. K. Guthrie, and P. N. First: 28 kDa alkanethiolate-protected Au clusters give analogous solution electrochemistry and STM Coulomb staircases, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 119, 9279 (1997).
  14. P. N. First, J. A. Bonetti, D. K. Guthrie, L. E. Harrell, and S. S. P. Parkin: Ballistic Electron Emission Spectroscopy of Magnetic Multilayers (abstract), J. Appl. Phys. 81, 5533 (1997).
  15. D. K. Guthrie, L. E. Harrell, G. N. Henderson, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis, and R. E. Leibenguth: Ballistic Electron Emission Spectroscopy of Au/Si and Au/GaAs Interfaces: Low-Temperature Measurements and Ballistic Models, Phys. Rev. B 54, 16972 (1996).
  16. P. E. Quesenberry and P. N. First: Statistics of 3D Island Growth for a Reactive Interface: Ni/GaAs(110), Phys. Rev. B, 54 8218 (1996).
  17. (Invited) L. A. Bottomley, J. A. Coury, and P. N. First: Scanning Probe Microscopy, Anal. Chem. 68, 185R (1996).
  18. P. E. Quesenberry and P. N. First: Scaling of Cluster Size Distributions in the Growth of Ni on GaAs(110), Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 399, 59 (1996).
  19. G. N. Henderson, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis, B. J. Rice, P. L. Dantzscher, D. K. Guthrie, L. E. Harrell, and J. S. Cave: A Low-Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscope for Ballistic Electron Emission Microscopy and Spectroscopy, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 66, 91, (1995).
  20. G. N. Henderson, P. N. First, T. K. Gaylord, and E. N. Glytsis: Quantum Transmittance from Low-Temperature Ballistic Electron Emission Microscopy of Au/Si(100) Interfaces, Phys. Rev. Lett. 71, 2999 (1993).
  21. T. K. Gaylord, G. N. Henderson, E. N. Glytsis, D. W. Wilson, P. N. First, and D. B. Walker: Semiconductor Ballistic Electron Reflection, Refraction, Interference, and Diffraction Effects: Modeling and Quantum Device Applications, Integrated Photonics Research 10, 178 (1992).
  22. B. S. Kwak, P. N. First, A. Erbil, B. J. Wilkens, J. D. Budai, M. F. Chisolm, and L. A. Boatner: Study of Epitaxial Platinum Thin Films Grown by MOCVD, Journal of Applied Physics 72, 3735 (1992).
  23. J. A. Stroscio, D. T. Pierce, R. A. Dragoset, and P. N. First: Microscopic Aspects of the Growth of Metastable fcc Iron on the Au(111) Surface, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 10, 1981 (1992).
  24. G. N. Henderson, T. K. Gaylord, E. N. Glytsis, P. N. First, and W. J. Kaiser: Ballistic Electron Emission Testing of Semiconductor Heterostructures, Solid State Communications 80, 591 (1991).
  25. P. N. First, Joseph A. Stroscio, D. T. Pierce, R. A. Dragoset, and R. J. Celotta: A System for the Study of Magnetic Materials and Magnetic Imaging with the STM, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 9, 531 (1991).
  26. P. N. First and C. P. Flynn: Vacuum Ultraviolet Emission from Rare Gas Impurities in Alkali Metals, Phys. Rev. B. 42, 10990 (1990).
  27. Joseph A. Stroscio, P. N. First, R. A. Dragoset, L. J. Whitman, D. T. Pierce, and R. J. Celotta: Dispersion of Evanescent Band Gap States in Fe Clusters on GaAs(110), J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 8, 284 (1990).
  28. P. N. First, Joseph A. Stroscio, R. A. Dragoset, D. T. Pierce, and R. J. Celotta: Metallicity and Gap States in Tunneling to Fe Clusters on GaAs(110), Phys. Rev. Lett. 63, 1416 (1989).
  29. R. A. Dragoset, P. N. First, Joseph A. Stroscio, D. T. Pierce, and R. J. Celotta: Characterization of Epitaxial Fe on GaAs(110) by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 151, 193 (1989).
  30. P. N. First, R. A. Dragoset, Joseph A. Stroscio, R. J. Celotta, and R. M. Feenstra: Structure of Cs on GaAs(110) as Determined by Scanning Tunneling Microscopy, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 7, 2868 (1989).
  31. R. L. Fink, P. N. First, and C. P. Flynn: Outer-Core Emission Spectra of Heavy Alkali Metals, Phys. Rev. B 38, 5839 (1988).
  32. P. N. First: VUV Emission from the Heavy Alkali Metals and Rare Gas Impurities in Alkali Metals, Ph. D. Thesis, University of Illinois, January, 1988. Advisor: C. P. Flynn.
  33. P. N. First, R. L. Fink, and C. P. Flynn: Emission Spectra and Core-Hole Lifetimes from Anomalous X-Ray Edges in Alloys, Phys. Rev. Lett. 60, 952 (1988).
  34. P. N. First, R. L. Fink, and C. P. Flynn: Outer-Core Emission Spectra of the Heavy Alkali Metals, J. Phys. F 17, L29 (1987).