Department of Physics

Rich Louie

Professor of Physics, Department chair (2014-2015)

Rich Louie - Professor of Physics, Department chair (2014-2015)
9:00 am - 10:00 am
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
8:00 am - 9:00 am
  • Personal
  • Education


My research interests are plasma etching issues, carbon nanotubes and scanning probe microscopy. I have previously  worked at NASA and the University of Washington. I am also the lead faculty consultant (physics) with an educational software company, Kinetic Books/Perfection Learning.

My previous research includes the following projects:

  • NASA Langley Research Center: carbon nanotube conduction and their use in a magnetic tunnel junction.
  • NF3-etched GaAs using XPS (X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) in collaboration with Professor Fumio Ohuchi in the Department of Materials Science at the University of Washington.
  • Relating the electrical and structural damage in materials – such as silicon and gallium arsenide – to their Raman spectra, which are obtained by laser light scattering measurements. The Raman measurements tell us something about the mean free path for phonons (excitations in the lattice with quantized energies), which in turn tell us about the defect density.
  • Atomic force microscopy in collaboration with the late Professor Sam Fain in the Department of Physics at the University of Washington. Using PLU’s scanning electron microscope, I obtained a micrograph of an atomic force microscope tip to which I had attached a carbon nanotube. We successfully imaged a hard silicon grid with it, but it did not out-perform conventional tips in imaging DNA.


  • Ph.D., Applied and Engineering Physics; Dissertation title: "Point Contact Spectroscopy With Nanofabricated Junctions Of Spin And Energy-Dependent Transport In Heterogeneous Ferromagnetic Systems." Advisor: Professor R. A. Buhrman., Cornell University
  • M.S., Physics, Cornell University
  • A.B., magna cum laude, Physics, Harvard University
  • Secondary Education, Bronx High School of Science, Bronx, NYC, NY
  • Secondary Education, Hunter College High School, Manhattan, NYC, NY

Areas of Emphasis or Expertise

  • Thin film deposition
  • Nanofabrication
  • Vacuum techniques

Published Work