Dr. Amber McCreary is a physicist in the Physical Measurement Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD.
She is a member of the Nanoscale Spectroscopy Group under Dr. Angela Hight Walker in the Nanoscale Device Characterization Division. Her research interests include utilizing Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopies to investigate the properties of a variety of 2D materials, including graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, transition metal phosphorus trisulfides, and transition metal halides. Currently, she is using the magneto-Raman spectroscopy setup unique to Dr. Hight Walker’s laboratory, which couples Raman spectroscopy to simultaneous magnetic field (up to 9 T), temperature (4K to 400 K), low frequency capabilities (down to 8 cm-1), tunable laser sources (VIS-NIR), device transport, and polarization tunability, to study magnetic phenomena in layered quantum materials. She is presently studying the Raman signatures of magnetic ordering in XPS3 (X=Mn, Ni, and Fe), including the appearance of new phonon modes below the Neel temperature in FePS3 due to zone folding, spin-phonon coupling, and the appearance of a magnon with unusual symmetry behaviors. In addition, she is also probing magnetic phenomena in a 2D ferromagnetic material, CrI3. The overall goal of her research is to develop methods to use Raman spectroscopy, which is non-destructive and extremely sensitive to minute changes in a material, to investigate magnetism in quantum materials, as well as facilitate their use in future generation electronics.
During her time at NIST, Amber has also worked closely with collaborators in the Material Measurement Laboratory to develop a method to use Raman spectroscopy and imaging to visualize agglomerates of graphene nanoflakes in fiber-reinforced polymer composites. She also is passionate about encouraging young women in STEM, and has participated in various outreach and volunteer programs.