Professor & Chair
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steven Buratto


Steven Buratto’s research is focused on applying near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) and near-field optical spectroscopy (NFOS) to the study of thin films and surfaces on a nanoscopic scale (10nm to 100nm), a regime where many interesting chemical and physical properties are defined. One application of this research involves conducting polymer films used for light emitting diodes (LEDs). Buratto uses NFOS to explore local order and disorder in the film and its effect on carrier generation, transport and lifetime. He also images working LEDs to provide insights into the spatial dependence of the emission. This type of data will have direct implication on the performance of the device. Another application of Buratto’s research involves semiconductor quantum structures (quantum wells, wires and dots) used for opto-electronics applications. Buratto uses NFOS to characterize individual wells, wires and dots through their excitation spectra and dynamics. From this data he can correlate the optical performance of the material with structural parameters. He also uses NSOM to image diodes, LED's and photodetectors made from these heterostructures, providing a very powerful diagnostic.


Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award
1995 NSF Early Career Development Award


B.S.: Chemistry and Mathematics, University of Puget Sound (1987)
Ph.D.: Chemical Physics, California Institute of Technology (1992)

IEE Research Areas