MRS Bulletin

Technical Feature

Technical Feature

Continuous Phase Diagramming of Epitaxial Films

Young K. Yoo and Frank Tsui


High-throughput and systematic studies of complex materials systems using the approach of “continuous phase diagramming” (CPD) are described in this article. The discussions focus on the techniques of epitaxial film synthesis of CPD and mapping physical and structural properties, using two different material systems as examples: doped perovskite manganese oxides and magnetic alloys. In doped perovskite manganese oxides, a highly correlated system, mapping the optical, electrical, and magnetic properties, reveals surprising evidence of electronic phase transitions that correlate with the low-temperature magnetic order. In magnetic alloys, application of CPD, particularly using real-time characterization during epitaxial growth, makes it possible to examine structure–property relations systematically.


  • combinatorial methods;
  • continuous phase diagramming;
  • magnetic properties;
  • orbital ordering.

Young K. Yoo is the vice president of research and development at Intematix Corporation in Moraga, Calif. Using combinatorial materials synthesis tools and high-throughput screening techniques, his research has focused on continuous physical and structural phase mapping of complex oxide and metallic alloy systems. Since joining Intematix, he has overseen the design and development of new combinatorial thin-film deposition and screening tools as well as new materials discovery projects. His current research interests include dielectric materials, magnetic semiconductors, magnetic alloys, and high-temperature superconductors. He received a BA degree in physics with honors from the University of Chicago (1995) and a PhD degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000.

Yoo can be reached by e-mail at

Frank Tsui is an associate professor of physics and research and of applied and materials science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The focus of his research has been the atomic-scale synthesis and characterization of magnetic heterostruc-tures using molecular-beam epitaxy techniques. He received his BS degree in engineering physics from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984 and his MS (1987) and PhD (1992) degrees in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was a Margaret and Herman Sokol Postdoctoral Fellow in the sciences at the University of Michigan. He then joined the faculty at the University of North Carolina in 1995 as an assistant professor of physics. He has been honored with the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Award.

Tsui can be reached at the University of North Carolina, Department of Physics and Astronomy, CB #3255, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA, and by e-mail at ftsui@