Hashini Mohottala, PhD
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Hashini Mohottala, PhD

Associate Professor


Physics Department

Dana Hall 219

860.768.4519

mohottala@hartford.edu



PhD   University of Connecticut   |   MS   University of Connecticut  |   BA   University of Perdaeniya


Research interests:

I am an experimentalist in condensed matter physics. My main research interest is to study highly correlated electronic systems such as high temperature superconductors, ferroelectrics, magnets etc. We receive samples from University of Connecticut and Taiwan National Institute and study them using a wide range of experimental probes. Starting from La2-xSrxCuO4 as-grown samples, we produce superconductors in our laboratories using wet chemical techniques. The process involves intercalation of excess oxygen into LSCO samples. Once the samples are oxidized, we do characterization studies at other facilities using different probes. Preliminary studies on superconductivity and magnetism are done at UConn facilities using X-ray and Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID). In order to study the intrinsic magnetic properties we use Muon Spin Rotation (SR) probe and the samples are sent to Paul Scherer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland. Neutron scattering to measure the long-range magnetic properties and these are conducted at different locations (Denmark, Switzerland and USA). 

My secondary research interest is studying thin films using Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). We obtain our film samples from the University of New Haven. Currently we are studying nano particles using the AFM. In the recent years AFM has emerged as a perfect probe to study nanoscale properties in a wide range of systems. Currently our research focuses on nano particles that can be used in drug delivery.  We hope to expand our research and collaborate with bio-medical and biology researchers in the university.

Pedagogy:  

In addition to my scientific focus in research, I am also intersected in pedagogical research. When I was teaching introductory level physics courses I incorporated some of the pedagogical tools I developed in the recent years. Some of them are, Wikispaces (Wikis), Collaborative Group Problem Solving techniques (CGPS), the combination of Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) and   Wikispaces (Wikis). In these methods, the students are encouraged to think outside of what is taught in the classroom, while developing their own critical thinking abilities.

Related publications:

Scientific:

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, B. O. Wells, J. I. Budnick, W. A. Hines, Ch. Niedermayer,  Linda Udby, C. Bernhard, A. M. Moodenbaugh, F.C. Chou “Phase separation in super oxygenated La2-xSrxCuO4+y”  Nature  Materials 377-382 Vol. 5 No.5 May 2006.

  • Z. H. Han , Hashini E. Mohottala, J. I. Budnick, W. A. Hines, P.W. Klamut, B. Dabrowski, and M. Maxwell “Complex low-temperature magnetic behavior of the ordered double-perovskite Sr2RuGdO6 “ J.  Phys.  Condensed Matter 18, (2273-2283) (2006).

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, B. O. Wells, J. I. Budnick, W. A. Hines, Ch. Niedermayer,  C. Bernhard, A. M. Moodenbaugh, F.C. Chou “Electronic phase separation in super oxygenated La2-xSrxCuO4+y”  Physica B  374-375, 199-202  (2006).

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, B. O. Wells, J. I. Budnick, W. A. Hines “Flux pinning and phase separation in oxygen-rich La2−xSrxCuO4+y  “ Phys. Rev. B 78, 064504 (2008).

  • L. Udby,  N. H. Andersen,  F. C. Chou,  N. B. Christensen, S. B. Emery, K. Lefmann,  J. W. Lynn, H. E. Mohottala, Ch. Niedermayer, and B. O. Wells ”Magnetic ordering in electronically phase-separated La2−xSrxCuO4+y : Neutron diffraction experiments ” Phys. Rev. B, vol. 80 104505 (2009).

  • Hashini Mohottala, “Teaching and learning Physics using Wikis” Published in ICERI conference proceedings (ISBN:978-84-613-2955-7), ICERI, 16th-18th Nov (2009)

  • F. J. Rueckert, F. He, H. E. Mohottala, J. Budnick, W. A. Hines, B. Dabrowski, and B. O. Wells “Suppression of Magnetic Phase Separation in Epitaxial SrCoOx  Thin Films” Appl. Phys. Lett. 102, 152402 (2013)

  • L. Udby, J. Larsen, N. B. Christensen, M. Boehm, Ch. NiedermayerH. E. Mohottala, 
T. B. S. Jensen, R.    Toft-Pedersen,  F. C. Chou, N. H. Andersen, K. Lefmann, and B. O. Wells “Measurement of Unique Magnetic and Superconducting Phases in Oxygen-Doped High-Temperature Superconductors La2−xSrxCuO4+y Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 227001  (2013)

Pedagogic:

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, “Wikis as a Teaching Tool in Physics Classrooms” The Physics Teacher, Vol.49, Issue 6 , September (2011)

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, “Combined use of JiTT and Wikis in Physics classrooms” The Physics Teacher, January 2013, Vol. 51 (2013)

  • Hashini E. Mohottala, “Improving critical skills using WikiS and GPS in a Physics classroom”  The Physics Teacher, October, 2016 Vol. 54, Issue 7 (2016)