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Richard Mu, Ph.D.


Dr. Richard Mu is a professor of physics in Life and Physical Sciences Department at Fisk University. He also has adjoint appointments at Vanderbilt University in Physics, VINSE and IMP programs. He received his PhD in 1992, worked as a research assistant and associate professor at Center for Photonic Materials and Devices from 1994 to 2004. Dr. Mu became associate professor since 2004 and established Nanoscale Materials and Sensors Group. In 2008, he was promoted to full professor.

Professor Mu and his group have a broad research interests in multifunctional nanostructure and devices fabrications and characterizations through innovative physical processes. The nanomaterials and systems show the great potential for very high efficiency in energy harvesting, conversion, and transport. The examples include piezoelectric based regenerative energy harvesters, the 3rd generation nanostructured solar cells, high efficiency optical emitters and surface plasmon-based optically enhanced photonic devices and sensors. He has over 200 refereed scientific publications, 3 book chapters and 2 patent filing. His research has been supported by NSF, ONR, ARO, and DOE ranging from fundamental and applied sciences programs to educational and center based initiatives.

He has co-organized and chaired several conferences, workshops and served on number of technical and proposal reviewers and panel member for NSF, DOD and ARO. He is also a journal referee for number of journals, such as APL, PRB, JAP and AM. He is a member of APS, MRS, SPIE and ACS. He has also received awards for the best research professor and the best mentor at Fisk and NREL/DOE, and the best presenter award.


Current Research Interests
Fields: Nanoscience and nanotechnology for energy conversion, transport and storage.


Nanostructured Materials: Nanomaterials include: nanoparticles, nanowires, and nanolayered structures of metals, semiconductors, and polymers that have potential applications in solar and mechanical energy harvesting and conversion, electrical energy storage, and tailoring energy transfer processes and efficiency.

Fabrication and Functionalization Techniques: pulsed energy (electron-beam and laser) deposition (PED and PLD), glancing angle deposition (GLAD), thermal and sputtering depositions, and physical vapor growth and chemical vapor deposition.

Nanomaterial-based Applications: Nanostructured materials for photovoltaic, multilayered polymer systems for capacitors and mechanical energy harvesting and sensing devices.


Book Chapters:

1.    “Solar Cells Based on Semiconductor Quantum Dots” by R. Mu, M. Wu and A. Ueda, Organic Photovoltaics: Mechanisms, Materials and Devices, Eds. S. Sun and S. Sariciftci, Chap. 14, Series: Optical Engineering  Volume: 99, CRC Press (2005).  ISBN: 082475963X

2.    “Doping of Polymers with ZnO Nanostructures for Optoelectronic and Sensor Applications” By R. Aga and R. Mu, in Nanowires Science and Technology, Nicoleta Lupu (Ed.), Chap. 10, InTech (2010) ISBN: 978-953-7619-89-3

3.    Annealing Effects on the Particle Formation and the Optical Response, Ueda, A.; Collins, W. E., and R.R. Mu; Ion Implantation edited by Mark S. Goorsky, Chap. 15, InTech (2012) ISBN: 978-953-51-0634-0.

Patents/IP Disclosure:

  1. “Optical Cavity Enhanced Photovoltaic Device”, K. Singer, R. Mu Provisional Patent June, 2009
  2. “Room Temperature Deposition Processes Mediated By Ultrafast Photo-Excited Hot Electrons”, IP Disclosure, Feb, 2013.

Referred Journal Publications (Last 5 Years)

  1. “Investigation of Ferroelectric Properties and Structural Relaxation Dynamics of PVDF Thin Film via Second Harmonic Generation”, J. Jones, L. Zhu, N. Tolk, and R. Mu, APL (Submitted, 2013)
  2. “Surface-plasmon mediated photoluminescence from Ag-coated ZnO-MgO core-shell nanowires”, D. C. Mayo, C. E. Marvinneya, E. S. Bililignb, R. Mu, R. F. Haglund Jr. Thin Solid Films (Submitted, 2013)
  3. “Plasmonic Control of Near-Interface Exciton Dynamics in Defect-Rich ZnO Thin Films”,B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, R. F. Haglund, 8, 693-697 (2013)
  4. “Resonant infrared matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation of TiO2 nanoparticle films”, D. C. Mayo, O. Paul, I.J. Airuoyo, Z. Pan, K. E. Schriver, S.M. Avanesyan, H.K. Park, R. Mu, R.F. Haglund, Applied Physics A 110 (4), 923-928 (2013).
  5. “Selective Purcell enhancement of defect emission in ZnO thin films”, B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, and R. F. Haglund, Optics Lett 37(9) 1538 – 40 (2012).
  6. “Surface-plasmon-mediated emission from glancing-angle-deposition-functionalized ZnO nanowires”, D.C. Mayo, A. T. Mayo, A. Ueda, Z. Pan, H. Y. Xu, Y. C. Liu, R. Mu, SPIE NanoScience+ Engineering, 84560J-84560J-5 (2012)
  7. “Photoluminescence of Er-doped ZnO nanoparticle films via direct and indirect excitation”, Z. Pan, A. Ueda, S. Morgan and R. Mu, J. Nanophotonics 6, 063508 (2012).
  8. “SHG investigation of ferroelectricity, domain orientations, and phases of monolithic PVDF thin films”, J. Jones, L. Zhu, N. Tolk, and R. Mu, SPIE NanoScience+ Engineering, 84650S-84650S-7 (2012)
  9. “Exploring exciton-plasmon coupling in laser-and electron-beam-fabricated nanostructures”, B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, R.F. Haglund, SPIE LASE, 82450H-82450H-13 (2012)

10. “Metal Oxide Nanoparticle Film Deposition Using Resonant Infrared Matrix-Assisted Pulsed Laser Evaporation (RIR-MAPLE)”, D. Mayo, K. E. Shriver, S. M. Avanesyan, H. K. Park, R. Mu, R. F. Haglund, Appl Phys A (Accepted, 2012)

11. “Visible to near-infrared down-conversion luminescence in Tb3+ and Yb3+ co-doped lithium–lanthanum–aluminosilicate oxyfluoride glass and glass-ceramics” Z. Pan, G. Sekar, R. Akrobetu, R. Mu, S.H. Morgan, J. Non-Cryst. Solids (2012), doi:10.1016/j.jnoncrysol.2012.05.028

12. “Electrically pumped near-ultraviolet lasing from ZnO/MgO core/shell nanowires”, C. Y. Liu, H.Y. Xu, J.  Ma, X.H. Li, X.T. Zhang, Y.C. Liu and R. Mu, Appl Phys Lett 99, 063115 (2011)

13. “Substrate dependence of Purcell enhancement in ZnO-Ag multilayers” B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, and R.F. Haglund Jr., physica status solidi (c), 8, 159 – 162 (2011)

14. “Multilayered PVDF systems for enhanced energy harvesting and sensing”, J. Jones, R.S. Aga Jr, R. Mu, Materials Research Society Proc 1312, 45-49 (2011)

15. “Time-resolved optical writing on a photosensitive and fluorescent polymer film”, Z. Pan, R. Akrobetu, J. Lott, C. Ryan, A. Saini, J. Shan, R. Mu, K. D. Singer, C. Weder, S. H. Morgan, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8113, 811310 (2011).

16. “Cooperative infrared to visible upconversion and visible to near infrared quantum cutting in Tb and Yb co-doped glass containing Ag nanoparticles”, Z. Pan, G. Sekar, R. Akrobetu, R. Mu, and S. H. Morgan, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 8096, 809633 (2011).

17. “Ultrafast observation of weak coupling effects in ZnO-Ag heterostructures”, B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, and R. F. Haglund, Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (QELS) Nonlinear and Ultrafast Nanophotonics (QThH) 2011

18. “Coupling of photoluminescent centers in ZnO to localized and propagating surface plasmons”, R. F. Haglund, B.J. Lawire, and R. Mu, Thin Solid Films, 518, 4637 (2010)

19. “Formation of Ag nanoparticles and enhancement of Tb3+ luminescence in Tb and Ag codoped lithium-lanthanumaluminosilicate glass”, Patryk Piasecki, Ashley Piasecki, Zhengda Pan, Richard Mu and Steven H. Morgan, J. Nanophotonics, Vol. 4, 043522 (1 December 2010)

20. “Spectroscopic studies of Er3+ doped Ge-Ga-S glass containing silver nanoparticles”, Pan Z., Ueda A., Aga R., Burger A., Mu R., Morgan S. H., J. Non-Cryst Solids 356, 1097 (2010)

21. “Plasmon enhanced luminescence of Tb3+ doped Li2O-LaF3-Al2O3-SiO2 glass containing Ag nanoparticles”, P. Piasecki, A. Piasecki, Z. Pan, A. Ueda, R. Aga Jr, R. Mu, and S. H. Morgan, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 7757, 77572M-1 (2010)

22. “Study of Tb-doped Li2O-LaF3-Al2O3-SiO2 Glasses Containing Silver Nanoparticles”,  Z. Pan*, A. Crosby, O. Obadina, A. Ueda, R. Aga Jr, R. Mu, and S. H. Morgan, Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. Vol. 1208, 1208O09-16 (2010).

23. “Electrospun nanofibers of poly(acrylonitrile)/Eu3+ and their photoluminescence properties”, S. Tang, C. Shao, Y. Liu, R. Mu J Phys Chem. Solids, 71, 273 (2010)

24. “Plasmon Enhanced Luminescence of Tb3+ doped Li2O-LaF3-Al2O3-SiO2 glass containing Ag nanoparticles”, P. Piasecki, A. Piasecki, Zhengda Pan, Akira Ueda, R. Aga, Jr., Richard Mu, Steven H. Morgan. Plasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties VIII. SPIE Optics+Photonics Conference Proceedings 7757 DOI: 10.1117/12.863061 (2010).

25. “Enhancement of ZnO photoluminescence by localized and propagating surface plasmons”,B. J. Lawrie, R.F. Haglund, and R. Mu, Optics Express 17 2565-2572 (2009)

26. “Coupling dynamics between photoluminescence centers in ZnO and surface plasmons”, B. J. Lawrie, R. Mu, and R. F. Haglund, Plasmonics: Metallic Nanostructures and Their Optical Properties VII (Proceedings Volume) Proceedings of SPIE 7394 (2009)

27. “Hybrid Solar Cell Based on ZnO Nanowires Decorated with CdTe Quantum Dots”, R.S. Aga Jr, D. Gunther,A. Ueda, Z. Pan, W.E. Collins, R. Mu and K. Singer, Nanotechnology 20 465204 (2009).

28. “Photoconductivity of CdTe nanocrystal films in a simple multilayer device”, R.S. Aga Jr, D. Jowhar, M. Ewan, A. Steigerwald, A. Ueda, Z. Pan, W.E. Collins and R. Mu, J Phys. Condens Matter 20, 385206 (2008).

29. “Terbium-activated lithium–lanthanum–aluminosilicate oxyfluoride scintillating glass and glass-ceramic”

30. Z. Pan, K. James, Y. Cui, A. Burger, N. Cherepy, S.A. Payne, R. Mu, S.H. Morgan, NIM A, 594, 215 (2008)

31. “Stability of p-type Conductivity in Nitrogen-doped ZnO Thin Film”, Z. Y. Xiao, Y.C. Liu, R. Mu, D.X. Shao, J. Y. Zhang, Appl Phys Lett 92, 52106 (2008)

32. “Compositional analysis of lead telluride films deposited via pulsed electron-beam ablation” A. Steigerwald, R. Aga, W. E. Collins, R. Mu, and A. B. Hmelo. J. Vac. Sci. Technol. A 26, 513 (2008)

33. “Potential of pulsed electron-beam deposition for nanomaterial fabrication: Spatial distribution of deposited materials”, A. Steigerwald and R. Mu, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 26, 1001 (2008)

Richard Mu, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics

BS in Physics, Northeast Norman University, China
MS in Physics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIU-C)
PhD in Molecular Science and Condensed Matter Physics, (SIU-C)
Postdoctoral Research at NASA-Fisk Center for Photonic Materials and Devices,

203 DuBois Hall
1000 17th Ave. N.
Nashville, TN 37208