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Salamanca-Riba, Lourdes G.

Lourdes Salamanca-Riba
1244 Jeong H. Kim Engineering Building

News About This Professor


Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1985

Research Interests 

Nanocomposites of ferroelectric-/-magnetic oxides, solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), metals containing nano-carbon structures called Covetics; 4H SiC based MOSFETS for high temperature, high power applications, transmission electron microscopy of semiconductor nanowires, optical properties of materials, hybrid phtovoltaic nanocompostites.

Current Research Projects 

Dr. Salamanca-Riba's research is in the areas of self-assembly of semiconductor nanowires and liquid crystal nanocomposites for hybrid photovoltaic applications, DNA-based biosensors and radiation sensors on GaAs, and materials with high C content in the form of nanocarbon called “covetics,” wide band gap semiconductors (4H SiC) for high power, high temperature electronics.

Dr. Salamanca-Riba’s research involves the use of the transmission electron microscopes and the atomic force microscope at the Advanced Imaging and Microscopy  (AIM) Laboratory.  The project on covetics involves the understanding of the role of nanocarbon on the structure and properties of metals.  The incorporation of C enhances several properties of the host metal, such as, the thermal and electrical conductivity, the oxidation and corrosion resistance and the yield strength.  Covetics can be deposited as thin films and used as contacts in photovoltaics and other electronic applications.  This work is in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory and DGC Industries. 

In collaboration with the Army Research Laboratory, Auburn University and Rutgers University, Dr. Salamanca-Riba’s project on 4H SiC MOSFETs consists of the investigation and analysis of electron energy loss spectra (EELS) across the interface between the 4H SiC substrate and the SiO2 oxide layer for samples with different oxidation process and post oxidation treatments.  Analysis of the EELS spectrum imaging maps is carried out using principal component analysis.

Her project on DNA attached to GaAs aims at understanding the anchoring mechanism between thiolated DNA and GaAs that gives rise to arrays of single stranded DNA molecules oriented normal to the surface of GaAs. These structures could be used for the fabrication of biosensors and radiation sensors.

Dr. Salamanca-Riba’s has an additional project focusing on the growth and characterization of semiconductor nanowire arrays of ZnO for the fabrication of light emitting devices. The nanowires are combined with liquid crystals for applications as hybrid photovoltaics in which the liquid crystal is the whole conductor and the ZnO the electron conductor. These solar cells are expected to have higher efficiencies than all organic solar cells and be less expensive to produce than all inorganic solar cells.

Current students:

Xiaoxiao Ge

James Pattison (working at ARL)

Chris Klingshirn

Daniel Helbling (undergraduate student)

Recent graduates:

Haimei Zheng (UC Berkeley)

Randolph Jacobs (ARL)

Sung-Hwan Lim (Intel)

Jennifer Wolk (DOE)

Joon Hyuk Yang (LG)

Kim Tran (NSWC)

Romaine Antonio Isaacs (Tescan, Czech Republic)

Joshua Aaron Taillon (NIST, Gaithersburg)


Dr. Salamanca-Riba typically teaches the following courses:

ENMA 671: Defects in Materials
This course emphasizes fundamental aspects of zero-, one- and two-dimensional defects in materials. The thermodynamic equilibrium of point defects in different oxide materials and their effect on the physical properties of the material are discussed. Dislocation-dislocation and dislocation-point defect interactions, dislocations in different crystals and roles of dislocations in deformation, twinning, and phase transformation are also discussed. The effects of dislocations and other defects on the electrical, optical, thermal and mechanical properties of materials are discussed.

ENMA 680: Experimental Methods in Materials Science
This course covers the basic principles of electron microscopy theory, electron diffraction, and imaging theory. The electron beam sample interaction that gives rise to different signals is related to the structural and compositional information that is obtained from a sample using a TEM. The most common TEM techniques for structural characterization of a sample, namely, electron diffraction, bright/dark field imaging, and high resolution lattice imaging are discussed. Compositional information obtained from x-ray fluorescence and electron energy loss as well as the resolution of these techniques is also covered. A description of techniques used to study magnetic materials is also presented.

ENMA 683: Special Problems in Materials Science, Structural Determination Laboratory
This course covers the operation of an electron microscope. TEM techniques that are used to characterize the structure, defects, and composition of a sample are presented and used to study a variety of materials. These techniques are: electron diffraction patterns, bright/dark field imaging, high resolution lattice imaging and analytical microscopy techniques, such as, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy. This course also covers different sample preparation techniques for TEM. The goal of the course is that the students become independent users of the TEM. The main objective in this class is to become an independent user of the TEM. This is achieved by learning:

  • to align the beam in a transmission electron microscope
  • to operate the TEM by:
    • tilting the sample to the desired orientation
    • taking a diffraction pattern
    • taking bright/dark field images
    • how to analyze the images
    • to obtain energy dispersive X-ray spectra and maps in TEM and STEM modes.
    • to obtain high resolution lattice images
    • to obtain and analyze electron energy loss spectra and maps in TEM and STEM modes

Professional Memberships 

  • American Physical Society (APS)
  • Electron Microscopy Society of America
  • Materials Research Society (MRS)

Books and Chapters 

"Compound and Alloy Semiconductor Superlattices," L. Salamanca-Riba, Chapter F.6 in Handbook of Thin Semiconductor Films, 1997.

Selected Publications 

Recent publications:

“Characterization of carbon nanostructures in Al and Ag covetic alloys,” H.M. Iftekhar Jaim, Daniel P. Cole, and Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, Carbon 111. 309-321  (2017)

“Long-Term Cr Poisoning Effect on LSCF-GDC Composite Cathodes Sintered at Different Temperatures,” Chunyan Xiong, Joshua A. Taillon, Christopher Pellegrinelli, Yi-Lin Huang, Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, Bo Chi, Li Jian, Jian Pu, and Eric D. Wachsman, Journal of The Electrochemical Society, 163 (9) F1091-F1099 (2016).

“Sp2 Carbon Embedded in Al-6061 and Al-7075 Alloys in the Form of Crystalline Graphene Nanoribbons,” H. M. Iftekhar Jaim, Romaine A. Isaacs, Sergey N. Rashkeev, Maija Kuklja, Daniel P. Cole, Melburne C. LeMieux, I. Jasiuk, S. Nilufar, and Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, Carbon, 107, 56-66 (2016).

“Magnetization Reversal in Epitaxial Highly anisotropic CoFe2O4 Hetero-Structures,”  A. Lisfi, S. Pokharel, W. Morgan, L. Salamanca-Riba, and M. Wuttig, J. of Applied Physics 117, 17B727-1 -4 (2015).

“Synthetic Crystals of Silver with Carbon; 3-D Epitaxy of Carbon Nanostructures in the Silver Lattice,” Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, Romaine A. Isaacs, Melburne C. LeMieux, Jiayu Wan, Karen Gaskell, Yeping Jiang, Manfred Wuttig, Azzam N. Mansour, Sergey N. Rashkeev, Maija M. Kuklja, Peter Y. Zavalij, Jaime R. Santiago, and Liangbing Hu, Adv. Funct. Mater. 25, 4768–4777 (2015).

“Nanocarbon - Copper Thin Film as Transparent Electrode,” R.A. Isaacs, H. Zhu, Colin Preston, A. Mansour, M. LeMieux, P.Y. Zavalij, L. Hu,  and L.G. Salamanca-Riba, Appl. Phys. Lett. 106, 93108-1-5 (2015).

“Three Dimensional Microstructural Characterization of Cathode Degradation in SOFCs Using Focused Ion Beam and SEM,” J. Taillon, C. Pellegrinelli, Y. Huang, E. Wachsman, and L. Salamanca-Riba, ECS Transactions 61, 109 (2014).

“Physical and Mechanical Characterization of a Nanocarbon Infused Aluminum-Matrix Composite,” Lloyd Brown, Peter Joyce, David Forrest, and Lourdes Salamanca-Riba, Materials Performance and Characterization, 3, 65–80 (2014).
“In-situ Elevated Temperature Transmission Electron Microscopy of Sensitized Aluminum-Magnesium Alloy Treated by Ultrasonic Impact Treatment” Kim N. Tran, Wen-An Chiou, and Lourdes Salamanca-Riba, J. Mater. Res. 29, 1456-62 (2014).
“ZnO Nanorod-Smectic Liquid Crystal Composites: Role of ZnO Particle Size, Shape and Concentration on Liquid Crystal Order and Current – Voltage Properties,” J. Branch, R. Thompson, J. W Taylor, L. Salamanca-Riba and L. J. Martínez-Miranda, Appl. Phys. Lett. 115, 164313-1 -- 5 (2014).
“Microstructural Evolution of Severely Plastically Deformed Sensitized Aluminum 5456-H116 Treated by Ultrasonic Impact Treatment,” K. Tran and L. Salamanca-Riba, Adv. Eng. Materials, 15, 1105 -1110 (2013).
“Systematic structural and chemical characterization of the transition layer at the interface of NO-annealed 4H-SiC/SiO2 metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors,” Joshua A. Taillon,  Joon Hyuk Yang, Claude A. Ahyi,  John Rozen, John R. Williams, Leonard C. Feldman, Tsvetanka S. Zheleva, Aivars J. Lelis, and Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, J. Appl. Phys. 113, 044517-1 -6 (2013).

Selected Presentations 

"Metals Containing Carbon Nanostructures for Conductors and Transparent Electrodes and 4H-SiC/SiO2 MOSFETs for high power, high temperature electronics," KIST (Korean Institute of Standards and Technology) Seoul, Korea, August 26, 2016.

"Metals Containing Carbon Nanostructures for Conductors and Transparent Electrodes,"  Materials Science Department at Korea University,  Seoul, Korea, August 26, 2016.

"Metals Containing Carbon Nanostructures for Conductors and Transparent Electrodes," Korea University, Seoul, Korea, August 26, 2016.

"Metals Containing Carbon Nanostructures for Conductors and Transparent Electrodes," IWPMA  and ECDM workshop, Jeju Island, Korea, August 21-24, 2016.

“Formation of Graphene Nanoribbons and Sheets by Diffusion of Carbon in Liquid Metals Induced by Electrocharging Assisted Process,” DSL 2016, Split, Croatia, June 27-29, 2016.

“Properties and Structure of Covetics: Metals Containing Carbon Nanostructures,” Naval Surface Warfare Center Academic Outreach Event, NSWC, North Bethesda, MD, June 8, 2016.

“The Incorporation of Graphene and Other Carbon Nanostructures in Metals via Electrocharging Assisted Process,” Nanotech 2016, Baltimore, MD April 4-6, 2016.  

“Evolution of the EELS Spectra Across the Interface of 4H-/SiC/SiO2 Metal-Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors Processed by Different Methods,” Lourdes Salamanca-Riba, Key note Forum, Nanotech 2016, Baltimore, MD April 4-6, 2016.  

“Transmission Electron Microscopy Investigation of Advanced Materials,” Gifu University, January 18, 2016.

"Incorporation of Graphene-like nanostructures in bulk Ag, and Al alloys and bulk and film Cu," Lourdes G. Salamanca-Riba, Romaine A. Isaacs, HM Iftekar Jaim, Jiayu Wan, Melburne C. LeMieux, Manfred Wuttig, Sergey N. Rashkeev, Maija Kuklja, Peter Y. Zavalij, Azzam N. Mansour, Oded Rabin, and Liangbing Hu, 4th Nano-Carbon Enhanced Materials Consortium, Houston, TX, November 18, 2015.

Graphene-like Nanocarbon Structures in Metal Matrices: Structure, Processing, and Applications, 2015 SACNAS National Conference: The Diversity in STEM Conference, Washington, DC October 30, 2015.

Incorporation of sp2 Bonded Carbon Forming Graphene Nanostructures in the Matrix of Ag, Al and Cu, Physics Department Colloquium, University of Maryland Baltimore County, October 28, 2015.

3-D Epitaxy of Graphene nanostructures in the Matrix of Ag, Al and Cu, University of Delaware, Materials Workshop, August 25, 2015.

    3-D Epitaxy of Graphene nanostructures in the Matrix of Ag, Al and Cu, Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of New Hampshire, March 26, 2015.

Related News 

A Space Elevator: How Microscopic Materials Give Way to Big Ideas
MSE Professor Lourdes Salamanca-Riba offers an alternative to typical space transport. July 10, 2017

Covetics: Novel Carbon Nanostructure Embedded Class of Metals
MSE researchers explore full scale characterization in new hybrid material. January 30, 2017

Prof. Leite research featured on cover of Advanced Optical Materials
Prof. Leite research featured on cover of Advanced Optical Materials January 4, 2017

MSE Alumni Wins MRS Graduate Student Silver Award
Former MSE Student Josh Taillon was honored at the Fall 2016 Materials Research Society Meeting. January 3, 2017

Seminar on UMD's New FIB Instruments May 27
Twin Focused Ion Beam instruments will increase analysis allow for better analysis and sample prep May 20, 2015

Chang Wins Outstanding ASPIRE Research Award
MSE senior recognized for work toward improving efficiency and lowering the cost of solar cells. May 8, 2015

Workshop on Defects in Wide Band Gap Semiconductors Sept. 23
Abstracts due July 28 July 10, 2014

Over Half of Tenured MSE Professors Are UMD "Research Leaders"
Division of Research honors faculty for funded research. December 3, 2013

Nanowerk Spotlights Salamanca-Riba's Work with Rare New Material
Fused carbon-metal covetics exhibit high strength and polymer-like deformation. November 1, 2013

Taillon Wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Award supports study of silicon carbide for use in efficient, high-powered electronics. May 15, 2013

Liquid Crystal/Nanoparticle Mix Lays Groundwork for New Photovoltaics
Novel study demonstrates possibility of cheaper, flexible solar cells. March 31, 2011

Salamanca-Riba Silicon Carbide Research Highlighted by NIST
Project explores enhancements to materials used in communications devices. November 8, 2010

Wolk Wins Women Moving Forward Award
Naval award recognizes student’s work in alternative welding technologies.. August 12, 2009

Reducing Our Lead Footprint
Clark School engineers discover new material to reduce lead in electronics, landfills. November 18, 2008

Graduate Society Receives MRS Charter
Group recognized at Fall Meeting. December 6, 2007

MSE Faculty Continues to Produce "Research Leaders"
Professors honored for their efforts to bring sponsored research funds to campus. October 29, 2007

NSF Grant Enhances NISP Lab's Capabilities
$500k grant will benefit composition analysis and biological tissue characterization. August 29, 2006

MSE Faculty Pursues New Work In Bi-Fe-O Multiferroic Nanocomposite Thin Films
Top materials science journal Applied Physics Letters publishes paper. June 1, 2006