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Mauro Sardela

Profile picture for Mauro Sardela

Contact Information

Materials Res Lab
370 Materials Res La
104 S Goodwin
M/C 230
Urbana, IL 61801
Director of Research Facilities, Materials Research Lab

Research Interests

  • General materials characterization and device processing.
  • Thin film growth. Nano and soft materials.
  • X-ray scattering methods.
  • Surface analysis.


Research Description

My research experience and interests cover several fields of materials fabrication and characterization. I have been involved in the growth and characterization of various thin film and multilayer systems including epitaxial heterostructures (III-V and group IV semiconductors, such as InGaAs, GaN, AlGaN, SiGe, SiSn, etc.), nitrides (TiN, CrN, etc.), oxides (SiOx, STO, LMO, etc.), and metals (Cr, Ni, Co and related silicides) by various growth techniques including MBE, PLD, ALD, sputtering, etc. I have also been involved in the fabrication of nanomaterials (nanoparticles such as Fe oxides and Au), soft materials and bio materials, including a recent project on microstructural changes of wood under fungi attack and deterioration. I have considerable hands-on experience on all x-ray analysis techniques with a focus on diffraction and scattering methods, applied to materials systems ranging from steel, metals, superlattices, superconducting structures, oxides, and nitrides, to soft/bio materials (polymers, lipids, proteins, etc.). I have also been involved in surface analytical methods including SIMS, XPS and Auger electron spectroscopy, spanning years of commercial analytical work in a corporate environment. I am particularly fascinated by multi-technique characterization methods and issues involving technique development and cross-technique comparison.


  • Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden Materials Science Ph.D. (1994)
  • Universidade de São Paulo, S. Paulo, Brazil Physics M.Sc. (1987)
  • Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil Physics B.Sc. (1985)


Awards and Honors

  • “Natural biocides and heat treatment on Brazilian tropical woods: changes in crystallinity after fungal decay” with Prof. Leal (UIUC MATSE) and Prof. Goncalves (USP, Brazil). (2015)
  • American Vacuum Society Award for Excellence in Leadership (2016)


Courses Taught

  • MSE 498 - Modern Methods in Mat'ls Chara


Additional Campus Affiliations

  • 1994 – 1996 Research Scientist, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 1996 – 1998 Principal Analyst, Charles Evans & Associates, Sunnyvale, CA
  • 1998 – 2012 Research Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2012 – 2015 Senior Research Scientist, Materials Research Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL
  • 2014 – present Affiliated, The Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL


Highlighted Publications

  • C.H. Jang, M.R. Sardela Jr., S.-H. Kim, Y.-J. Song and N.-E. Lee, “Strain relaxation of epitaxial SiGe layer and Ge diffusion during Ni silicidation on cap-Si/SiGe/Si(001)”, Applied Surface Science 252, 5326-5330 (2006).
  • B. Howe, J. Bareno, M. Sardela, J.G. Wen, J.E. Greene, L. Hultman, A.A. Voevodin, and I. Petrov , “Growth and physical properties of epitaxial metastable Hf1-xAlx N alloys deposited on MgO(001) by ultrahigh vacuum reactive magnetron sputtering”, Surface & Coating Technol. 202, 809-814 (2007).
  • C.H. Lei, J.G. Wen, M. Sardela, J. Bareno, I. Petrov, S.-H. Kang and D.P. Abraham, “Structural study of Li2MnO3 by electron microscopy”, Journal of Materials Sciences 44, 5579-5587 (2009).
  • I. Hussainova, I. Jasiuk, M. Sardela and M. Antonov , “Micromechanical properties and erosive wear performance of chromium carbide based cermets”, Wear 267, 152-159 (2009).
  • A.F. N. de Azeredo, A.M.P. Carneiro, G.A. de Azerêdo and M. Sardela, “Hardened Properties of Lime Based Mortars Produced from Kaolin Wastes”, Key Engineering Materials, 600, 282-296 (2014).