Nathaniel Stern

Hertz Fellow: Nathaniel Stern

University of California, Santa Barbara

Area of Study


Fellowship Years

2003 - 2008

Nathaniel received his PhD in the Physics Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He works in the laboratory of Dr. David Awschalom where his research interests include semiconductor nanoscience and magnetism in condensed matter systems. In the lab, Nathaniel utilizes a variety of time-resolved optical and electrical techniques to study electron and nuclear spin dynamics in semiconductors with an eye toward spintronics applications. His most recent work has centered around the spin Hall effect, which is a spontaneous generation of spin polarization due to the flow of an electron current without the need for any magnetic materials or magnetic fields.  Amazingly, this ubiquitous effect occurs in a wide variety of everyday semiconductor devices, but has only been measured for the first time recently. Nathaniel's recent efforts have focused how to understand all-electrical generation of spin polarization in both III-V and II-VI semiconductors up to room temperature and in a variety of device geometries.

A Southern California native, Nathaniel received his BS in physics from Harvey Mudd College in May 2003 with Honors in Physics and the Humanities and Social Sciences.  His undergraduate research focused on magnetism in ultra-thin magnetic materials, leading to the LeRoy Apker Award of the American Physical Society in 2003.