John H. Weaver

Professor of Materials Science and Eng.


John H. Weaver

Primary Research Area

  • Condensed Matter Physics
262 Seitz Materials Research Lab


Professor Weaver received his B.S. degree in Physics from the University of Missouri in 1967 and his Ph.D. in Solid State Physics from Iowa State University/Ames Laboratory USDOE in 1972. He was on the staff of the Synchrotron Radiation Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison until 1982 when he moved to the University of Minnesota. He joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 2000, and served as head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering until 2003.

Weaver is a Fellow of the APS, the AVS and the AAAS. In 1994-95 he held the Amundson Professorship at Minnesota and an Alexander von Humboldt Senior Distinguished U.S. Scientist Award to work at the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin. He was also a University Professor at Tohoku University. In 1995 he was awarded the Royal Society Kan Tong Po Professorship at the University of Hong Kong. Research & Development Magazine named him their Scientist of the Year in 1997, and Iowa State University recognized him with its Distinguished Achievement Citation in 1998. In 1999, he was Chief Judge for Singapore's National Science Talent Search, and he received the Medard W. Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society ["for his seminal contributions to the atomic-level understanding of thin-film growth, interfacial interactions and etching"]. He gave the Peter Winchell Lecture at Purdue University in 2000 and the Kodak Distinguished Lecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003. He was named the Donald B. Willett Professor at the University of Illinois in 2003.

Weaver's research activities focus on the physics and chemistry of surfaces, interfaces, and nanostructures. He is the author of ~475 refereed papers, including 21 chapters and monographs on valence state photoemission, metal/semiconductor interfaces, high temperature superconductors, fullerenes, semiconductor etching, nanostructured materials and buffer-layer-assisted growth.

Research Statement

Research in WeaverLabs focuses on the properties of surfaces, interfaces and nanostructured materials. The atoms in these systems can be arranged differently from those of bulk materials, and there are unique chemical and physical properties because of their reduced dimensionality. We are interested in the implications of those atomic arrangements.

With high resolution scanning tunneling microscopy, we can visualize (and then develop an understanding of) surfaces and nanostructures in real space, often as they evolve dynamically at elevated temperature or are immobilized at very low temperature.

Using a novel growth technique that we developed, buffer-layer-assisted growth or BLAG, we produce nanostructures of a wide range of materials and explore their interactions when they come into contact, coalesce and are encorporated in composite structures. Electron microscopy plays an important role in these studies.