Lena F. Kourkoutis
Kourkoutis received her undergradute degree in Physics from the University of Rostock, Germany in 2003, and then moved to Ithaca where she was awarded a Ph.D. in 2009. As a Humboldt Research Fellow, Kourkoutis spent 2011-2012 exploring cryo-electron microscopy in the Molecular Structural Biology Group at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany. She returned to Cornell as a Postdoctoral Associate in 2012 and joined the Applied and Engineering Faculty in 2013.
Research Interests: Complex Electronic Materials, Next Generation Energy Related Devices, Nanoscale Inhomogeneities in Correlated Electron Phases, 3D Organization and Function of Biological Molecules Inside Cells, Atomic-resolution Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy, Development of Cryo-Electron Microscopy Techniques.
The Kourkoutis electron microscopy group focuses on understanding and controlling nanostructured materials, from complex oxide heterostructures to materials for battery and photovoltaic applications, to biomaterials.
The presence of interfaces between different components is a key feature of all nanoscale materials and devices. Macroscopic properties of a system depend upon detailed atomic configurations, interfacial chemistry, and electronic coupling. We use aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy and spectroscopy to determine the atomic-scale structure, elemental distribution and electronic structure of individual nanostructures and their interfaces.
In order to explore a new range of phenomena and materials, we are developing low temperature high-resolution electron microscopy techniques. The topics we are pursuing include: novel phases that emerge at low temperatures at complex oxide interfaces; solid-liquid and hard-soft interfaces in next-generation energy-related devices such as photovoltaics, batteries and fuel cells, and organic/inorganic interfaces in biomaterials, and understanding the 3D organization and function of biological molecules in their native environments within the cell.
- I. El Baggari, B. H. Savitzky, A. S. Admasu, J. Kim, S.-W. Cheong, R. Hovden, L. F. Kourkoutis, 2018. Nature and evolution of incommensurate charge order in manganites visualized with cryogenic scanning transmission electron microscopy. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, 115:1445-1450.
- B. H. Savitzky*, I. El Baggari*, A. S. Admasu, J. Kim, S.-W. Cheong, R. Hovden, L. F. Kourkoutis, 2017. Bending and Breaking of Stripes in a Charge-Ordered Manganite. Nat. Commun., 8:1883.
- S. Choudhury, S. Wei, Y. Ozhabes, D. Gunceler, M. J. Zachman, Z. Tu, J.H. Shin, P. Nath, A. Agrawal, L. F. Kourkoutis, T. A. Arias, L. A. Archer, 2017. Designing solid-liquid interphases for sodium batteries. Nat. Commun., 8:898.
- B. H. Savitzky, R. Hovden, K. Whitham, J. Yang, F. Wise, T. Hanrath, L. F. Kourkoutis, 2016. Propagation of Structural Disorder in Epitaxially Connected Quantum Dot Solids from Atomic to Micron Scale. Nano Lett., 16:5714-5718.
- J. Mundy, Y. Hikita, T. Hidaka, T. Yajima, T. Higuchi, H. Y. Hwang, D. A. Muller, L. F. Kourkoutis, 2014. Visualizing the interfacial evolution from charge compensation to metallic screening across the manganite metal-insulator transition. Nat. Commun., 5:3464.
Selected Awards and Honors
- National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER), 2017
- Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), AFOSR, 2016
- National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow, 2016
- Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, 2014
- 2013 Albert Crewe Award (Microscopy Society of America), 2013
- Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan Sesquicentennial Faculty Fellow (Cornell University), 2012
- BS (Physics), University of Rostock, 2003
- MS (Applied and Engineering Physics), School of Applied and Engineering Physics, 2006
- Ph D (Applied and Engineering Physics), School of Applied and Engineering Physics, 2009