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Joshua Zide - University of Delaware. Newark, DE, US

Joshua Zide

Professor and Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering | University of Delaware


Prof. Zide’s research interests focus primarily on the nanoscale engineering of novel semiconductor and composite electronic materials.





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Dr. Zide’s research interests focus primarily on the nanoscale engineering of novel semiconductor and composite electronic materials for energy conversion and (opto) electronic devices. More specifically, Dr. Zide’s work focuses on the epitaxial growth of semiconductors and metal/semiconductor nanocomposites by molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). These nanocomposites consist of conventional III V semiconductors with epitaxially-embedded nanoparticles. The resulting material can have electronic, optical, and thermal properties which are extremely different from the constituent materials. New semiconductors being explored include dilute bismuthides, in which the incorporation of small amounts of bismuth cause anamolously narrow bandgaps, making these materials useful for optoelectronics and thermoelectrics.

Dr. Zide’s focus is on using these unique abilities to tailor the properties of materials to improve the performance of a wide variety of devices and also enable the development of devices which would otherwise be infeasible to realize. Specific problems of interest include energy conversion (specifically, thermoelectric and photovoltaic), integrated optoelectronics, and ultrafast optical devices, but his interests are wide and his research is extremely interdisciplinary.

Industry Expertise (2)


Electrical/Electronic Manufacturing

Areas of Expertise (7)

Nanoscale Engineering



Epitaxial Growth

Nanocomposites, Surfaces

Composite Electronic Materials

Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE)

Media Appearances (5)

Advising and mentoring honors | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


“He said, ‘I’m Art Gossard and I work with Joshua,’” Zide recalled. “Not ‘I advise Joshua’ or ‘Joshua works for me.’ Art is a famous, well-respected scientist who has had an incredibly distinguished career, and that single comment made me realize that the framing really matters and that I was the owner of my effort. I knew that was the kind of adviser I wanted to be.”

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Quantum dots and classic rock | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


Ramesh does cutting-edge research in UD’s Nanofabrication Facility, which features a cleanroom environment where scientists can make tiny devices smaller than the width of a human hair. Ramesh is co-advised by Matt Doty, professor of materials science and engineering, physics, and electrical and computer engineering, and Joshua Zide, professor of materials science and engineering.

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UD makes material impact | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


“I am extremely pleased to see Professor Korley receive this well-deserved recognition, joining other Fellows within the department,” said Joshua Zide, professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. “Her work serves as an inspiration to her colleagues, and we are always happy to see others also recognize her impact in the world. Locally, we appreciate that she is also an outstanding citizen of the department, and the students appreciate her teaching and mentorship.”

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Bringing it down to earth | UDaily

University of Delaware  online


“Historically, this is something engineers and scientists are not too good at,” said Joshua Zide, professor of materials science and engineering and an expert in nanotechnology. “And when you’re bad at it, bad things happen.”

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Is This New Material a Game Changer for Thermoelectricity?

Smithsonian Magazine  online


“[Terbium] is, in fact, far more common than tellurium, which is commonly used in thermoelectric but is actually somewhat rare,” says Zide. “This has resulted in large price increases in recent years as demand has soared for both thermoelectric and CdTe solar [cadmium telluride photovoltaic solar cells—the second most common ones on the market].”

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Articles (5)

Giant spin Nernst effect in a two-dimensional antiferromagnet due to magnetoelastic coupling-induced gaps and interband transitions between magnon-like bands

arXiv preprint

2023 We analyze theoretically the origin of the spin Nernst and thermal Hall effects in FePS3 as a realization of two-dimensional antiferromagnet (2D AFM). We find that a strong magnetoelastic coupling, hybridizing magnetic excitation (magnon) and elastic excitation (phonon), combined with time-reversal-symmetry-breaking, results in a Berry curvature hotspots in the region of anticrossing between the two distinct hybridized bands. Furthermore, large spin Berry curvature emerges due to interband transitions between two magnon-like bands, where a small energy gap is induced by magnetoelastic coupling between such bands that are energetically distant from anticrossing of hybridized bands. These nonzero Berry curvatures generate topological transverse transport (i.e., the thermal Hall effect) of hybrid excitations, dubbed magnon-polaron, as well as of spin (i.e., the spin Nernst effect) carried by them, in response to applied longitudinal temperature gradient.

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Phonon-mediated strong coupling between a three-dimensional topological insulator and a two-dimensional antiferromagnetic material

Physical Review Materials

2023 We numerically study strong coupling between terahertz excitations in a hybrid material consisting of a three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI) and a quasi-two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals antiferromagnet. We find that the interaction between a surface Dirac plasmon polariton in the 3D TI and a magnon polariton in the 2D antiferromagnet is mediated by the phonon coupling in the 3D TI material and can result in emergence of a new hybridized mode, namely, a surface Dirac plasmon-phonon-magnon polariton. We numerically study the dependence of the strong coupling on a variety of structural parameters of the 3D-TI/2D-antiferromagnetic (AFM) hybrid material.

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Inverse Designed Couplers for Use in Gallium Arsenide Photonics

ACS Photonics

2023 Highly efficient photonic couplers are a necessary component of a scalable platform to couple quantum emitters into quantum fiber networks. We inverse-designed couplers for use in gallium arsenide membrane-based photonics that are compatible with indium arsenide quantum dots, one of the highest quality quantum light sources available. We fabricated and tested at least 4 instances of devices following 11 different designs. All inverse-designed structures outperformed the traditional grating outcoupler in a single-mode optical fiber optical setup. Using a novel sleeve and bulk fabrication method allowed for a smaller allowable minimum feature size constraint in the inverse design optimization protocol.

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Phonon-mediated strong coupling between a three-dimensional topological insulator and a two-dimensional antiferromagnetic material

arXiv e-prints

2022 Van der Waals antiferromagnetic and topological insulator materials provide powerful platforms for modern optical, electronic, and spintronic devices applications. The interaction between an antiferromagnet (AFM) and a topological insulator (TI), if sufficiently strong, could offer emergent hybrid material properties that enable new functionality exceeding what is possible in any individual material constituent. In this work, we study strong coupling between THz excitations in a three dimensional (3D) topological insulator and a quasi-two dimensional (2D) antiferromagnetic material resulting in a new hybridized mode, namely a surface Dirac plasmon-phonon-magnon polariton. We find that the interaction between a surface Dirac plasmon polariton in the 3D TI and a magnon polariton in the 2D AFM is mediated by the phonon coupling in the 3D TI material.

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A sleeve and bulk method for fabrication of photonic structures with features on multiple length scales


2022 Traditional photonic structures such as photonic crystals utilize (a) large arrays of small features with the same size and pitch and (b) a small number of larger features such as diffraction outcouplers. In conventional nanofabrication, separate lithography and etch steps are used for small and large features in order to employ process parameters that lead to optimal pattern transfer and side-wall profiles for each feature-size category, thereby overcoming challenges associated with reactive ion etching lag. This approach cannot be scaled to more complex photonic structures such as those emerging from inverse design protocols. Those structures include features with a large range of sizes such that no distinction between small and large can be made. We develop a sleeve and bulk etch protocol that can be employed to simultaneously pattern features over a wide range of sizes while preserving the desired pattern transfer fidelity and sidewall profiles.

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Accomplishments (5)

Fellow, AVS: Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing (professional)


Peter Mark Memorial Award, American Vacuum Society (professional)


Department of Energy Early Career Award (professional)


Young Investigator, North American Molecular Beam Epitaxy (professional)


Young Investigator, Office of Naval Research (professional)


Education (2)

Stanford University: BS, Materials Science and Engineering 2002

UC Santa Barbara: PhD, Materials 2007

Languages (1)

  • English

Event Appearances (4)

“Growth of new III-Bi-As materials for new devices.”

(2019) 10th International Workshop on Bismuth Containing Semiconductors  Toulouse, France

“New Semiconductors and Epitaxial Nanocomposites for Electronic and Optoelectronic Applications.”

(2017) Serbian Ceramic Society Conference – Advanced Ceramics and Applications VI  Belgrade, Serbia

“Band Engineering of Metal/Semiconductor Nanocomposites for Longer Wavelength High Performance Terahertz Photoconductive Switches.”

(2017) SPIE Optics and Photonics  San Diego, California

“Lanthanide monopnictide nanoparticles within III-V semiconductors for photoconductive switches and other terahertz devices.”

(2017) SPIE Commercial + Scientific Sensing and Imaging  Anaheim, California