Tobias Brown-Heft

Graduate Student Researcher
1237 Engineering II


  • B.S. Physics with Minor in Organic Chemistry, University of Oregon, 2013


Tobias began work in the Palmstrøm group in August, 2013 after earning his B.S. at UO, where he studied atom optics for several years as an undergraduate researcher in Daniel Steck's group. Dr. Steck studies the Casimir-Polder potential using magneto-optically trapped atoms as force probes. Tobias's projects included design and construction of UHV systems, Extended-Cavity Diode Laser construction and characterization, interferometry, and analog electronic circuit design and assembly.


My current project involves detailed study via MOKE, XPS and SQUID of the origin of Perpendicular Magnetic Anisotropy (PMA) of thin Fe grown on MgO substrates. This system has attracted the attention of computer memory manufacturers because of its potential as an inexpensive magnetic tunnel junction for use in magnetic RAM.
As of February 2014, I have not yet selected a permanent thesis project. Soon I hope to find a promising material system for various spintronic applications which can be grown via MBE and characterized by the many equipment options available on this campus. Due to my background in magneto-optic cold atom trapping, I will likely choose something with potential optical applications as well.

External Publications

High passive-stability diode-laser design for use in atomic-physics experiments