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Professor Chris Pakes Dean of Graduate Studies, Graduate Research School

Chris is the inaugural Dean of Graduate Studies, establishing the La Trobe Graduate Research School, and Professor of Physics. He has previously held the position of Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering at La Trobe.

Chris' research interests are in the area of experimental condensed matter physics, focusing particularly on nanoscale and low-dimensional systems. He leads the Diamond Research Group that is engaged in a program of research studying surface engineering and spin transport in diamond using a combination of synchrotron spectroscopy, scanning tunneling microscopy, device fabrication and magnetotransport.

Diamond Research Group members and current projects:

Dr Daniel Creedon: Quantum measurement of surface conducting diamond.
Golrokh Akhgar (PhD): Spin electronics in surface conducting diamond.
Michael Sear (PhD): Surface engineering of (100) diamond.
Steve Yianni (PhD): Spin transport in diamond - spin injection and detection.
Manjith Bose (Honours): Hybrid superconducting - 2D surface conducting diamond.
Kaijian Xing (PhD), Spin electronics in diamond surfaces doped with transition metal oxides

Atomlab Alumni:

Alex Schenk (PhD, moved to Justin Wells' group at NTNU, Norway)
Kevin Rietwyk (PhD, moved to Arie Zaban's group at Bar Ilan University, Israel and Marie Curie fellowship)
Giuseppe Tettamanzi (PhD, moved to Sven Rogge's group at Kavli Institute of Nanoscience TU Delft, then ARC DECRA fellowship at UNSW)
Mark Edmonds (PhD, moved to Michael Fuhrer's group at Monash University and ARC DECRA fellowship)
Yaou Smets (PhD, moved to a consultancy job at Capgemini Australia and then Capgemini in UK)
Christian Stark (PhD, moved to ICT consultancy role in Germany)
Fadhlia Zakaria (PhD, Postdoc position at UPNM, Malaysia)

Atomlab facilities and Instrumentation:

The group uses a combination of experimental techniques, predominantly synchrotron-based photoemission (soft X-ray spectroscopy at the Australian Synchrotron and AR-PES at BESSY), UHV scanning probe microscopy, surface and device transport measurements. The Atomlab houses and manages the following key facilities:

Createc cryogenic (6 Kelvin) UHV Scanning Tunnelling Microscope/qPlus Atomic Force Microscope with in-situ instrumentation for molecular dosing and passivation of surfaces and LEED.
SPECS Aarhus UHV Scanning Tunnelling Microscope with in-situ molecular dosing and LEED.
JEOL 4500 UHV scanning probe microscope with XPS, Auger, SEM and instrumentation for molecular dosing.
Cryomech helium liquifier. Microwave hydrogen plasma system for passivation of diamond surfaces.


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