Steven May

Steven May

Department Head
Materials Science and Engineering

Steven May

Department Head
Materials Science and Engineering


Steve May, PhD is a professor of Materials Science and Engineering, having joined the department in 2009. He received a BS in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Penn State University and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University. Following his doctorate, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne National Laboratory from 2007-2009 in the Materials Science Division. He has received the NSF CAREER award, an ARO Young Investigator Award, the Ross Coffin Purdy Award from the American Ceramic Society, and the Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers from ASM International. His research focuses on synthesis and characterization of thin films and heterostructures, with an emphasis on magnetic, electronic, and optical properties and the use of scattering techniques to probe interfacial properties.

Degrees / Education

  • Postdoc, Magnetic Thin Films group, Argonne National Laboratory, 2007-2009
  • PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, 2007
  • BS, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Penn State University, 2002

Research Areas

Research Interests

Metal oxides, Electronic and magnetic materials, Interfaces and heterostructures, Materials synthesis

Areas of Study

Academic Distinctions

  • 2017 Provost’s Award for Outstanding Early Career Scholarly Productivity
  • 2015 Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers (ASM International)
  • 2014 Ross Coffin Purdy Award (American Ceramic Society)
  • 2012 ARO Young Investigator Award
  • 2012 NSF CAREER Award (DMR-Ceramics)

Select Publications

  • Y. Yang, K. Hantanasirisakul, N. Frey, B. Anasori, R. J. Green, P. C. Rogge, I. Waluyo, A. Hunt, P. Shafer, E. Arenholz, V. Shenoy, Y. Gogotsi, S. J. May, “Distinguishing electronic structure contributions of surface and sub-surface transition metal atoms in MXenes”, 2D Materials 7, 025015 (2020).
  • P. C. Rogge, P. Shafer, G. Fabbris, W. Hu, E. Arenholz, E. Karapetrova, M. P. M. Dean, R. J. Green, S. J. May, “Depth-resolved modulation of metal-oxygen hybridization and orbital polarization across correlated oxide interfaces”, Advanced Materials 31, 1902364 (2019).
  • B. M. Lefler, T. Duchoň, J. Wang, C. M. Schneider, S. J. May, “Lithographically-constrained topochemistry of oxide thin films to obtain reconfigurable lateral anionic heterostructures”, Physical Review Materials 3, 073802 (2019).
  • J. Wang, Y. Shin, N. Gauquelin, Y. Yang, C. Lee, D. Jannis, J. Verbeeck, J. M. Rondinelli, S. J. May, “Physical Properties of Epitaxial SrMnO2.5-dFg Oxyfluoride Films”, Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 31, 365602 (2019).
  • E. J. Moon, Q. He, S. Ghosh, B. J. Kirby, S. T. Pantelides, A. Y. Borisevich, S. J. May, “Structural “d Doping” to Control Local Magnetization in Isovalent Oxide Superlattices”, Physical Review Letters 119, 197204 (2017).
  • A. L. Krick and S. J. May, “Evidence for oxygen vacancy manipulation in La1/3Sr2/3FeO3-δ thin films via voltage controlled solid-state ionic gating”, APL Materials 5, 042504 (2017).
  • M. Brahlek, A. K. Choquette, C. R. Smith, R. Engel-Herbert, S. J. May, “Structural Refinement of Pbnm-type Perovskite Films from Analysis of Half-Order Diffraction Peaks”, Journal of Applied Physics 121, 045303 (2017).
  • J. Young, E. J. Moon, D. Mukherjee, G. Stone, V. Gopalan, N. Alem, S. J. May, J. M. Rondinelli, “Polar Oxides without Inversion Symmetry through Vacancy and Chemical Order”, Journal of the American Chemical Society 139, 2833 (2017).
  • A. Bhattacharya and S. J. May, “Magnetic oxide heterostructures”, Annual Review of Materials Research 44, 65 (2014).
  • J. M. Rondinelli, S. J. May, J. W. Freeland, “Control of octahedral connectivity in perovskite oxide heterostructures: An emerging route to multifunctional materials discovery”, MRS Bulletin 37, 261 (2012).

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