Nadia Stelmashenko

Dr Nadia Stelmashenko

BA MPhil PhD

Nadia is the Senior Technical Officer of the Device Materials Group in the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy. She enables collaborative research in several subjects including superconductivity, spintronics, magnetism and thin film growth.

Nadia Stelmashenko

Nadia received her BA and MPhil degrees from the Institute of Physics and Technology, Moscow, USSR. She joined Wolfson College in 1991 when she was awarded the Wolfson College Ribbands Studentship for her PhD studies in Physics of Deformation of Materials. She began her postdoctoral research in 1994 with a series of appointments in the Department of Engineering of Newcastle University, the Chemical Engineering Department, and then the Physics Department of the University of Cambridge. She was elected to the College Research Fellowship and finally became a College Fellow in 1999 when she joined the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy as a technical officer. She works as a Senior Technical Officer in the department.

Nadia manages experimental facilities for 80 people at the Centre of Materials Physics. She runs the Thin Film Growth laboratory with sputtering and electron beam depositions, laser ablation and atmospheric atomic layer deposition. Characterisation techniques under her umbrella include scanning electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, profilometry; she consults on aspects of X-ray diffraction techniques and traditional metallography.

Nadia combines the design and implementation of complex equipment with traditional work on giving lectures and supervising PhD and undergraduate students. She designs and supervises projects for undergraduate students in physical sciences. She enables collaborative research with several universities in the UK as well as with numerous institutions overseas.

Recognitions & achievements

  • Senior Treasurer of Cambridge University Bridge Club
  • Guardian of the College Silver

Research Interests

Nadia's major area of research is focused on fundamental aspects of materials for electronic devices, with thin films being a particular favourite.  The goal is to make a thin film heterostructure as a whole functional device by using advanced nanofabrication techniques. One of the most interesting research directions is a study of interaction of superconducting and ferromagnetic phenomena when the two are forced to co-exist in a single combined thin film. Previously it was thought that the two were mutually exclusive. 

Another area of studying the interplay of two different properties within one device includes the so called magnetoelectric composite devices. The principle is based on combination of ferromagnetic and piezoelectric materials in one nanocomposite: magnetostrictive ferromagnet changes its shape in a magnetic field, ‘pushes’ piezoelectric material which generates voltage.  Devices of this type can be used as sensors of magnetic fields.

Nadia collaborates on the variety of projects run in the group. These include creating and studying of novel oxide materials for unconventional superconductivity with increased critical temperature, magnetic oxides for new types of magneto- and ferroelectrics, oxides for energy harvesting.

One of the fast growing research areas in the Group is the development of polymer-based nanomaterials with piezoelectric, ferroelectric and magnetoelectric properties for energy harvesting and sensing technology. Ferroelectric polymers, like polyvinylidene fluoride, are biocompatible and as such are of a real importance for biological and medical applications.