Our faculty have many varied research programs which give our students many opportunities to get involved with hands-on work. Research in Physics and Astronomy at Rowan has been supported by the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the Research Corporation. The primary research groups in our department are:

Astronomy and Planetary Science

Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics

  • Michael Lim, Experimental Atomic and Plasma Physics
  • Hong LingTheoretical Cold Atomic, and Molecular Quantum Gasses

Biomedical Physics

Condensed Matter

  • Tabbetha Dobbins, Nanomaterials for Radiation Therapy & Neutron and X-ray Studies
  • Dongmei Dong, Thin Solid Films, Electrochromic, Electrochemical, Sensors
  • Jeff Hettinger, Experimental Solid State Physics
  • Sam Lofland, Experimental Solid State Physics

Particle Physics


  • Robert Chimenti, Optics and photonics, Laser spectroscopy, Education and workforce development

Physics Education


The Department of Physics and Astronomy is located on the first floor of Science Hall on the campus of Rowan University. The core of our facilities includes seven well-equipped teaching labs and eight state-of-the-art research labs. Astronomy education also relies upon the use of a rooftop observatory housing a 16" DFM telescope, and the Edelman Planetarium with a Digistar 6 full-dome projection system. General-purpose classrooms and many student-centered spaces including a large atrium and many comfortable student work spaces round out the space available for physics education in Science Hall.

We have eight active research facilities which foster student/faculty collaborative research including labs for Magnetics, Physical Properties, Thin Film Fabrication, Microscopy, Ultrafast Spectroscopy, Laser Cooling, Computational Physics, and Astronomy and Astrophysics. Each is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment. We have been fortunate to purchase several new pieces of equipment through a mixture of NSF equipment grants (DMR0216795 and DMR0114073), a major state grant from the Commission on Higher Education, a major grant from NASA, and additional internal funding. Below are links to sites containing information about each of the research programs and activities are undertaken within the facilities.

To gain card access to a lab you will need to fill out the Lab Room Card Access request form.  This will generate a request to the department chair that will, typically, be processed within 48 hours. 

Major Equipment Instrumentation

  • PSIA XE 100 large sample Scanning Probe Microscope
  • JEOL 5200 Scanning Probe Microscope with variable temperature stage and Hysitron Triboscope nanoindenter.
  • T-M Vacuum UHV sputtering system (5×10-9 torr base pressure) with 3-2" rf cathodes, 1000°C heater, rf-bias rotating sample stage, load-lock. Each cathode is shuttered individually and the sample has a single large shutter covering the 6" sample platform. The unit has three mass flow controllers for reactive processes.
  • LEO 1530VP Field Emission Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope with EDAX Electron Backscattering Diffraction, Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy, and Nabity E-beam Lithography.
  • Rigaku ZSX Primus II Sequential Wavelength-Dispersive XRF Spectrometer.
  • Two Quantum Design Physical Properties Measurement Systems (PPMS), 9 Tesla, 2-400 K, ac susceptibility, dc magnetization, vibrating sample magnetometer with 1000 K oven, torque magnetometry, ac/dc resistivity with rotator, heat capacity, Hall effect, thermal conductivity, Seebeck coefficient and He3 attachment for heat capacity and resistivity to 350 mK.
  • Coherent MBR-110 narrowband tunable high-power cw Ti:sapphire laser pumped by Coherent Verdi V-18 frequency-doubled Nd:YVO4 laser for near-infrared light applications.
  • Spectra-Physics Matisse-DX narrowband tunable high-power cw dye laser (shares V-18 pump light with MBR-110) and WaveTrain external frequency doubler for visible-light applications.
  • Coherent ScanMate Pro narrowband tunable pulsed dye laser pumped by Quantel Brilliant-B pulsed Nd:YAG laser for high energy visible-light application.
  • Coherent Mira femtosecond modelocked laser pumped by Coherent Verdi V-5 frequency-doubled Nd:YVO4 laser for time-resolved near-infrared light applications.
  • Custom-built four-cathode sputtering system with confocal orientation of cathodes capable of reaching 1000°C. Sequential substrate holder allows deposition of four samples without opening the system.
  • Ambios XP2 Profilometer for film thickness measurements.
  • Meiji Optical Microscope with a digital camera
  • Eco Chemie Autolab PGSTAT 302 Potentiometer/Galvanometric system for measuring oxidation resistance of materials. (Chemistry)
  • Jobin Yvon U1000 Raman spectrometer with confocal microscope and automated scanning, resolution 0.3 cm-1
  • Contact mask photolithography setup with MJB3 Mask aligner, spinner, furnaces, 1000W light source, and laminar flow hood.
  • Magneto-optic Kerr effect setup with photo-elastic modulator - resolution 0.0002°, 1.5 Tesla
  • Oxford Spectromag 8000 8-T optical cryostat
  • Pulser/receiver for time-of-flight measurements (Ritec, RAM 10000 Mark VI) used with 9 Tesla PPMS cryostat (4-350 K) for measuring elastic constants as a function of temperature and magnetic field.
  • Sample prep equipment for microscopy and nanomechanical testing (polisher/lapping machine, diamond wire saw, diamond wheel saw)
  • TM-Vacuum Vacuum/High-Pressure Furnace
  • Hitachi TEM (H-600AB) with LN2 cooled sample stage.
  • Oxford Reactive Ion Etcher(at Tech Park)
  • Agilent 8510 Network Analyzer
  • Scintag X-2 x-ray diffractometer with 2000 K furnace and Rietveld refinement software.
  • Panalytical/Bruker/Rigaku four-circle diffractometer. (Currently evaluating but we expect this to be on campus by November 2010)
  • Laser Doppler Vibrometer for measuring elastic properties of materials.
  • Rucker & Kolls 682A Probe Station
  • Lakeshore Vibrating Sample Magnetometer with 1.2T Electromagnet and 1000°C furnace.
  • Varian Electron Spin Resonance Spectrometer
  • Alcatel ASM 180T Helium Leak Detector