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Maria Tamargo

Maria Tamargo


Molecular Beam Epitaxy

85 St Nicholas Terrace

New York , NY 10027
Office Phone: (212) 650-6147


  1. B.S., University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras
  2. M.A., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University



Maria Tamargo conducts research on Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) growth and characterization of semiconductor materials for photonic and electronic applications. Using a dual chamber MBE system, her group investigates III-V and II-VI semiconductor materials and their nanostructures. More recently she also leads a program on a new class of materials known as topological insulators. Characterization methods include photoluminescence, Hall effect, capacitance-voltage (C-V) and current-voltage (I-V) measurements, single and double crystal x-ray diffraction, Nomarski microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Currently, the principal focus of the research is on wide bandgap II-VI compounds for visible light emitting devices and Topological Insulators for novel materials phyiscs.

Her group at City College is investigating the growth and properties of a new family of wide bandgap II-VI semiconductors, ZnCdMgSe, grown lattice-matched to InP substrates by MBE. By optimizing the growth conditions they have reduced defect densities to the level of other more well-known II-VI compounds grown on GaAs. These new alloys and their heterostructures possess properties (band structures, lattice constants, band offsets and doping) that are attractive and offer advantages for the design of improved visible semiconductor lasers and LEDs. These devices are of interest for optical recording, displays and communications applications. She also grows Bi2Se3 and other 3D topological insulators and investigates their unique transport properties.

Other areas of research include, saturable Bragg reflectors (SBR) made of III-V materials for laser mode locking, hexagonal II-VI structures for visible emitters, selective area epitaxy of CdTe detector array-like structures and hybrid semiconductor/molecular aggregates for photonic applications.

Professor Tamargo joined the Chemistry department at City College in 1993 and is a member of the CUNY doctoral faculty in both Chemistry and Physics, as well as Electrical Engineering. She had previously been a Member of Technical Staff at Bellcore in Red Bank, NJ where she led a program on II-VI materials growth by MBE. Before that, she was at AT&T Bell Labs in Reading, PA and in Murray Hill, NJ, where she worked on Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) of GaAlAs lasers and InGaAsP Avalanche Photodectors (APDs) for optical communications systems. She is the Director of the CREST Center for Interfacce design and Engineered Assembly of Low Dimensional Systems, or IDEALS. She is married to MacRae Maxfield, a Chemistry teacher at Brooklyn Technical High School and they have two children, Nicolas and Marcela.