Dr. Angus Rockett

Angus Rockett

Professor and Department Head, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

Angus’ group philosophy is to be a team researching basic science concepts in support of practical technologies of benefit to society globally. The approach is to combine experiments with theory and to focus on a combination of growth of materials and state-of-the-art characterization. We make extensive use of campus characterization facilities and over time we have used nearly every microchemical, microstructural, and optoelectronic characterization method to understand semiconductor behavors. Our work has covered topics from density-functional-theory studies of atomic dynamics on semiconductor surfaces to microelectromechanical systems. Current projects center primarily on photovoltaics (commonly called solar cells) especially in support of manufacturers. The research group consists of a mixture of graduate students and undergraduates but often has included post-doctoral researchers and international visitors. It has even included a high school student at one point.


  • PhD, Metallurgy, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
  • BS, Physics, Brown University

Professional Experience

  • Professor, Colorado School of Mines (August 2016-present)
  • Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (January 1987-August 2016)
  • Program Manager, Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences (2000)
  • Visiting Professor, Uppsala University, Sweden (January-August 1994)
  • Visiting Professor, University of Oregon (June-December 2011)
  • President, American Vacuum Society (2011)

Scientific and Professional Societies

  • American Vacuum Society
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society

Awards and Fellowships

  • Fellow, American Vacuum Society
  • Knight of St. Patrick, University of Illinois College of Engineering
  • Everett Teaching Award, University of Illinois College of Engineering
  • Stanley Pierce Award, University of Illinois College of Engineering

Relevant Other Activities

  • Assistant Dean, University of Illinois, College of Engineering (AY 1993-4)
  • General Chair, IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference, 2016
  • Editor, Journal of Photovoltaics
  • ABET Program Evaluator
  • Associate Head, Dept. of Materials Sci. & Engin., Univ. of Illinois (2005-2010)
  • Undergraduate Chief Adviser (1994-2005, 2010-2016)
  • Numerous organizational activities for AVS, MRS, IEEE, and others

Publications (Last Five Years)


  • Liu, Y.; Sun, Y.; Rockett, A; "A new simulation software of solar cells - WxAMPS", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 98, Pages 124-128 (March 2012).
  • Wang, D.; Jia, W.; Olsen, S.C.; Wuebbles, D.J.; Dubey, M.K.; and Rockett, A.A.; "Impact of a future H2-based road transportation sector on the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere ñ Part 1: Tropospheric composition and air quality", Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 12, 19371-19421, 2012.
  • Sezen, Hikmet; Rockett, Angus A.; Suzer, Sefik; "XPS investigation of a CdS-based photoresistor under working conditions: Operando-XPS", Analytical Chemistry, v 84, n 6, p 2990-2994, March 20, 2012.
  • Liu, Yiming; Sun, Yun; Rockett, Angus, "An improved algorithm for solving equations for intra-band tunneling current in heterojunction solar cells" Thin Solid Films, v 520, n 15, p 4947-4950, May 31, 2012
  • Chitambar, Michelle; Wang, Zhijie; Liu, Yiming; Rockett, Angus; Maldonado, Stephen; "Dye-sensitized photocathodes: Efficient light-stimulated hole injection into p-GaP under depletion conditions", Journal of the American Chemical Society, v 134, n 25, p 10670-10681, June 27, 2012
  • Martin, P.P.; Rockett, A.A.; Lyding, J., "Growth mechanism and surface atomic structure of AgInSe2", J. Vac. Sci. Techn. v. A30(4), p 04D115 (5 pp.), July 2012.
  • Rockett, A.; "Surface analysis of chalcopyrite materials for photovoltaics", Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, v 20, n 5, p 575-81, Aug. 2012


  • Ye, Wei; Min, Kyoungmin; Pe√±a Martin, Pamela; Rockett, Angus A.; Aluru, N.R.; Lyding, Joseph W., "Scanning tunneling spectroscopy and density functional calculation of silicon dangling bonds on the Si(100)-2 √ó 1:H surface", Surface Science, v 609, p 147-151, March 2013
  • Aquino, Angel; Rockett, Angus, "Chemical reactions at CdS heterojunctions with CuInSe2", J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 31(2), Mar 2013.
  • Wang, D.; Jia, W.; Olsen, S.C.; Wuebbles, D.J.; Dubey, M.K.; Rockett, A.A., "Impact of a future H2-based road transportation sector on the composition and chemistry of the atmosphere-Part 1: Tropospheric composition and air quality", Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, v 13, n 13, p 6117-6137, 2013
  • Hall, A.; Hebert, D.; Shah, A.B.; Bettge, M.; Rockett, A.A.; "Nanostructured light-absorbing crystalline CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 thin films grown through high flux, low energy ion irradiation", J. Appl. Phys. v. 114(15), 153505 (2013), DOI: 10.1063/1.4823987
  • Rockett, A.; van Duren, J.K.J.; Pudov, A.; Shafarman, W.N.; "First quadrant phototransistor behavior in CuInSe2 photovoltaics", Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells v. 118 pp 141-148 (2013), DOI: 10.1016/j.solmat.2013.07.032
  • Mei, A.B.; Rockett, A; Hultman, L; Petrov, I; Greene, JE; "Electron/phonon coupling in group-IV transition-metal and rare-earth nitrides", J. Appl. Phys. 114(19) (Nov 21, 2013) 193708. DOI: 10.1063/1.4832778
  • Mei, A.B.; Howe, B.M.; Zhang, C.; Sardela, M.; Eckstein, J.N.; Hultman, L.; Rockett, A.; Petrov, I.; Greene, J.E.; "Physical properties of epitaxial ZrN/MgO(001) layers grown by reactive magnetron sputtering", J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 31(6) (Nov-Dec 2013), 061516. DOI: 10.1116/1.4825349
  • Mohseni, P. K., Behnam, A., Wood, J. D., Zhao, X., Yu, K. J., Wang, N. C., Rockett, A., Rogers, J. A., Lyding, J. W., Pop, E. and Li, X. (2014), Monolithic III-V Nanowire Solar Cells on Graphene via Direct van der Waals Epitaxy. Adv. Mater.. doi: 10.1002/adma.201305909


  • Mei, AB; Wilson, RB; Li, D; Cahill, DG; Rockett, A; Birch, J; Hultman, L; Greene, JE; Petrov, I, "Elastic constants, Poisson ratios, and the elastic anisotropy of VN(001), (011), and (111) epitaxial layers grown by reactive magnetron sputter deposition" J. Appl. Phys. 115(21), 214908, DOI: 10.1063/1.4881817
  • House, SD; Liu, XF; Rockett, AA; Majzoub, EH; Robertson, IM , "Characterization of the Dehydrogenation Process of LiBH4 Confined in Nanoporous Carbon", J. Phys. Chem. 118(17), 8843-8851 (2014); DOI: 10.1021/jp4098205
  • Yakushev, M.V.; Rodina, A.V.; Shuchalin, G.M.; Seisian, R.P.; Abdullaev, M.A.; Rockett, A.; Zhivulko, V.D.; Mudryi, A.V.; Faugeras, C.; Martin, R.W., "Landau levels of the C-exciton in CuInSe2 studied by magneto-transmission", Appl Phys Lett, v 105, n 14, p 142103 (4 pp.), 6 Oct. 2014
  • Mei, A.B.; Hellman, O.; Wireklint, N.; Schlepu®tz, C.M.; Sangiovanni, D.G.; Alling, B.; Rockett, A.; Hultman, L.; Petrov, I.; Greene, J.E., "Dynamic and structural stability of cubic vanadium nitride", Phys Rev B, v 91, n 5, p 054101 (11 pp.), 2 Feb. 2015
  • Mohseni, P.K.; Behnam, A.; Wood, J.D.; Xiang Zhao; Ki Jun Yu; Wang, N.C.; Rockett, A.; Rogers, J.A.; Lyding, J.W.; Pop, E.; Xiuling Li, "Monolithic III-V Nanowire Solar Cells on Graphene via Direct van der Waals Epitaxy", Advanced Materials, v 26, n 22, p 3755-60, 11 June 2014.


  • He, X.Q.; Brown, G.; Demirkan, K.; Mackie, N.; Lordi, V.; Rockett, A., "Microstructural and Chemical Investigation of PVD-CdS/PVD-CuIn1-xGaxSe2 Heterojunctions: A Transmission Electron Microscopy Study", IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, v 4, n 6, p 1625-9, Nov. 2014.
  • Pena Martin, Pamela; Lyding, Joseph; Rockett, Angus, "Scanning tunneling spectroscopy of epitaxial silver indium diselenide", Surface Science, v 636, p 8-12, June 2015
  • House, Stephen D.; Vajo, John J.; Ren, Chai; Rockett, Angus A.; Robertson, Ian M., "Effect of ball-milling duration and dehydrogenation on the morphology, microstructure and catalyst dispersion in Ni-catalyzed MgH2 hydrogen storage materials", Acta Materialia, v 86, p 55-68, March 2015
  • Yakushev, MV; Mudryi, AV; Grossberg, M; Krustok, J; Beattie, NS; Moynihan, M; Rockett, A; Martin, RW, "Optical spectroscopy studies of Cu2ZnSnSe4 thin films", Thin Solid Films, v. 582, pp 154-157 (2015). DOI: 10.1016/j.tsf.2014.09.010
  • Mei, A.B.; Hellman, O.; Schleputz, C.M.; Rockett, A.; Chiang, T.-C.; Hultman, L.; Petrov, I.; Greene, J.E.; "Reflection thermal diffuse x-ray scattering for quantitative determination of phonon dispersion relations", Physical Review B, v 92, n 17, p 174301 (7 pp.), Nov. 2015
  • Chen, Zuhuang; Liu, Jian; Qi, Yajun; Chen, Deyang; Hsu, Shang-Lin; Damodaran, Anoop R.; He, Xiaoqing; N'Diaye, Alpha T.; Rockett, Angus; Martin, Lane W.; "180 Ferroelectric Stripe Nanodomains in BiFeO3Thin Films", Nano Letters, v 15, n 10, p 6506-6513, October 14, 2015
  • Tuteja, Mohit; Koirala, Prakash; Maclaren, Scott; Collins, Robert; Rockett, Angus; "Direct observation of electrical properties of grain boundaries in sputter-deposited CdTe using scan-probe microwave reflectivity based capacitance measurements", Applied Physics Letters, v 107, n 14, October 5, 2015
  • Te¥llez, H.; Druce, J.; Hall, A.; Ishihara, T.; Kilner, J.; Rockett, A.; "Low energy ion scattering: surface preparation and analysis of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 for photovoltaic applications"; Prog in Photovoltaics, v 23, n 10, p 1219-27, Oct. 2015


  • Tuteja, Mohit; Koirala, Prakash; Soares, Julio; Collins, Robert; Rockett, Angus, "Low temperature photoluminescence spectroscopy studies on sputter deposited CdS/CdTe junctions and solar cells", Journal of Materials Research, v 31, n 2, p 186-194, January 6, 2016.
  • Varley, J.B.; Lordi, V.; He, X.; Rockett, A.; "First principles calculations of point defect diffusion in CdS buffer layers: Implications for Cu(In,Ga)(Se,S)2and Cu2ZnSn(Se,S)4-based thin-film photovoltaics"; J. Appl. Phys., v 119, n 2, January 14, 2016
  • Kurtz, Sarah; Atwater, Harry; Rockett, Angus; Buonassisi, Tonio; Honsberg, Christiana; Benner, John; "Solar research not finished", Nature Photonics, v 10, n 3, p 141-142, February 26, 2016
  • Mei, A.B.; Tuteja, M.; Sangiovanni, D.G.; Haasch, R.T.; Rockett, A.; Hultman, L.; Petrov, I.; Greene, J.E., "Growth, nanostructure, and optical properties of epitaxial VNX/MgO(001) (0.80 ≤ x ≤ 1.00) layers deposited by reactive magnetron sputtering", Journal of Materials Chemistry C, v 4, n 34, p 7924-7938, 2016.
  • Wang, Lin-Lin; Herwadkar, Aditi; Reich, Jason M.; Johnson, Duane D.; House, Stephen D.; PeÒa-Martin, Pamela; Rockett, Angus A.; Robertson, Ian M.; Gupta, Shalabh; Pecharsky, Vitalij K., "Towards Direct Synthesis of Alane: A Predicted Defect-Mediated Pathway Confirmed Experimentally", ChemSusChem, v 9, n 17, p 2358-2364, 2016.
  • Johnson, Nicole; Aydogan, Pinar; Suzer, Sefik; Rockett, Angus, "Electrical properties from photoinduced charging on Cd-doped (100) surfaces of CuInSe2epitaxial thin films", Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films, v 34, n 3, May 1, 2016
  • Koirala, Prakash; Li, Jian; Yoon, Heayoung P.; Aryal, Puruswottam; Marsillac, Sylvain; Rockett, Angus A.; Podraza, Nikolas J.; Collins, Robert W."Through-the-glass spectroscopic ellipsometry for analysis of CdTe thin-film solar cells in the superstrate configuration", Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, v 24, n 8, p 1055-67, Aug. 2016.
  • Mohit Tuteja, Prakash Koirala, Vasilios Palekis, Scott MacLaren, Chris S. Ferekides, Robert W. Collins, and Angus A. Rockett; "Direct Observation of CdCl2 Treatment Induced Grain Boundary Carrier Depletion in CdTe Solar Cells Using Scanning Probe Microwave Reflectivity Based Capacitance Measurements", J. Phys. Chem. C 120(13), pp 7020-7024 (2016) DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b00874
  • Kearney, Kara L.; Rockett, Angus A.; "Simulation of Charge Transport and Recombination Across Functionalized Si(111) Photoelectrodes", J. Electrochem Soc., v. 163(7), H598-604 (2016)
  • Kim, Namhoon; Martin, Pamela Pena; Rockett, Angus A.; Ertekin, Elif; "Screened-exchange density functional theory description of the electronic structure and phase stability of the chalcopyrite materials AgInSe2 and AuInSe2", Phys. Rev. B, v. 93(16), 165202 (2016). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.165202
  • Kara L. Kearney, Hark Jin Kim, Luc H. Le, Zachary J. Haber, Angus A. Rockett, and Michael J. Rose, "Charge-Transfer through Ultrathin Film TiO2 on n-Si(111) Photoelectrodes: Experimental and Theoretical Investigation of Electric Field-Enhanced Transport with a Nonaqueous Redox Couple", J. Phys. Chem. C 120(45), pp 25697-25708 (2016). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.6b08096
  • Mohit Tuteja, Antonio B. Mei, Vasilios Palekis, Allen Hall, Scott MacLaren, Chris S. Ferekides, Angus A. Rockett; "CdCl2 Treatment-Induced Enhanced Conductivity in CdTe Solar Cells Observed Using Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy", J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 7(24), pp 4962-4967 (2016) DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b02399
  • He, XQ; Varley, J; Ercius, P; Erikson, T; Bailey, J; Zapalac, G; Poplavskyy, D; Mackie, N; Bayman, A Lordi, V; Rockett, A; "Intermixing and Formation of Cu-Rich Secondary Phases at Sputtered CdS/CuInGaSe2 Heterojunctions", IEEE JOURNAL OF PHOTOVOLTAICS 6(5) pp. 1308-1315 (SEP 2016)
  • He, Xiaoqing; Gu, Lin; Rockett, Angus; "Scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging of 180 degrees ferroelectric domains and application to Ca0.28Ba0.72Nb2O6 single crystals", APPLIED PHYSICS LETTERS 109(26) p. 262903 (DEC 2016)


  • Varley, JB; He, XQ; Rockett, A; Lordi, V; "Stability of Cd1-xZnxOyS1-y Quaternary Alloys Assessed with First-Principles Calculations", ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES 9(7) pp. 5673-5677 (FEB 2017)
  • Karki, S; Paul, PK; Rajan, G; Ashrafee, T; Aryal, K; Pradhan, P; Collins, RW; Rockett, A; Grassman, TJ; Ringel, SA; Arehart, AR; Marsillac, S; "In Situ and Ex Situ Investigations of KF Postdeposition Treatment" IEEE JOURNAL OF PHOTOVOLTAICS 7(2) pp. 665-669 (MAR 2017)
  • He, Xiaoqing; Paulauskas, Tadas; Ercius, Peter; Varley, Joel; Bailey, Jeff; Zapalac, Geordie; Poplayskyy, Dmitry; Mackie, Neil; Bayman, Atiye; Spaulding, David; Klie, Robert; Lordi, Vincenzo; Rockett, Angus; "Cd doping at PVD-CdS/CuInGaSe2 heterojunctions", SOLAR ENERGY MATERIALS AND SOLAR CELLS 164, 128-134 (May, 2017)
  • Kearney, K; Iyer, A; Rockett, A; Staykov, A; Ertekin, E; "Effect of Surface Coverage and Composition on the Stability and Interfacial Dipole of Functionalized Silicon", JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C 121(21) Pages: 11312-11318 (June 2017)

Research Interests

Photovoltaics, semiconductor materials science, renewable energy, thin film deposition, materials microstructure and microchemistry analysis, electronic structure calculations, Monte Carlo simulations, dislocation dynamics, electrochemical charge transfer, electronic device modeling code development, surface science, microelectronic device contacts and dielectrics, superconducting cavity resonators, combustion chemistry.