David E. Venus
Professor & Chair
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Phone: (905) 525-9140 x23644 (office) x21233 (lab)
David Venus obtained his undergraduate degree from Queen's University, and did his graduate work in physics at the University of Toronto. He received is Ph.D. in 1985. He applied a wide variety of electron spectroscopies to the study of surfaces during his doctoral and postdoctoral work at FA Jülich (Germany), Indiana University and Université Laval. He joined the McMaster faculty in 1988.
Dr. Venus' research interests are surfaces, films of a few atomic layers in thickness, and the artificially structured materials that can be made by combinations of these. In all these systems, atoms at surfaces comprise a large fraction of the total number of atoms present, and can dramatically alter the electronic, mechanical and magnetic properties compared to bulk samples. Variations in the film fabrication and processing allow a degree of control of these properties. Research is currently focussed on novel magnetic properties which arise in layered magnetic structures. These studies address questions of basic magnetism which are relevant to applications in the magnetic recording/computer disk industry.
The experiments use specialized magnetic probes, such as the magneto-optic Kerr effect. Students also gain experience in ultrahigh vacuum technology, film deposition, and a variety of surface science techniques for determination of structure. Students are currently investigating magnetic phase transitions in thin films, magnetic domain wall formation and motion, and antiferromagnetic films and interfaces.