2015 Summer REU

Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates

2015 Summer REU Student Information & Research Abstracts
Name: Matthew Barone
Undergraduate Institution: University  of Virginia
Major: Engineering Science and Physics            
REU Advisor: Dr. Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin
Project Title: Chemical vapor deposition of VS2, a ferromagnetic 2D material 
The initial goal of this study was to synthesize 2D vanadium disulfide via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The CVD technique used in this study was sulfurization of a solid metal precursor. In conjunction, the CVD growth of MoS2 was conducted, as this growth has already been widely studied and thus, has provided insight into the growth process. Based upon Raman spectroscopy, it remains unclear whether VS2 was synthesized or V2O3 formed in the experiment. However, it is clear that, after a single trial, MoS2 was synthesized. However, as would be anticipated for a growth that has not been optimized, crystals appear to be of low quality.


Name: Amanda Belding
Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University  
Major: Engineering Physics            
REU Advisor: Dr. Chris Hammel
Project Title: Membrane project: Direct detection of magnetic resonance
The goal is to create a Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) probe that mechanically detects the resonance of different solid samples.  Since quality membranes are noise sensitive, the setup will optimize the new probe and character experimental parameters.  
Name: Paul Christodoulou
Undergraduate Institution: The Ohio State University  
Major: Material Science and Engineering             
REU Advisor: Dr. Peter Anderson
Project Title: Variation of critical resolved shear stress on finite element modeling of nanocrystalline Ni
The purpose of this study is to explore the temporal variation of critical resolved shear stress, , within a finite element model (FEM) of nano-crystalline (NC) Ni. The model is based of a previous model, however, was monotonically increased, decreased, or randomly changed after a slip event, in order to view the effect on the stress/strain behavior simulated, and predict if the trends indicated overall strain hardening, softening, or both.
Name: Michael Dominguez
Undergraduate Institution: University of Iowa 
Major: Engineering Physics     
REU Advisor: Dr. Roberto Myers


Project Title: Nernst-Ettinghausen effect measurements of nickel in a coil geometry

The Nernst effect can be used to generate an electric field from a heat gradient and magnetization. Bismuth has an unusually high Nernst coefficient from its spin-orbit coupling and so by taking advantage of the radial geometry of a coil, we have optimized the voltage produced by Nernst effect from Bismuth. This has applications with efficiently capturing voltage from residual heat from pipes, to quickly testing Nernst properties in selected materials. 
Name: Cooper Gates
Undergraduate Institution: Oregon State University  
Major: Chemistry           
REU Advisor: Dr. Pat Woodward


Project Title: In pursuit of a new perovskite-type phase resonance

Abstract:The ultimate goal of this research was to create and investigate the properties of a substituted Ruddlesden-Popper Perovskite phase, K2RbMn2Cl7. The pure rubidium and potassium forms of this material have already been synthesized and documented. The substituted compound should have distortions in its crystal structure that may enable it to respond in unusual ways to external electric and/or magnetic fields. Most of the pure Ruddlesden-Popper forms are antiferromagnetic. 
Name: Kimberly Holmes
Undergraduate Institution: Muskingum University
Major: Chemistry/Business Management, Marketing          
REU Advisor: Dr. David McComb
Project Title: Nano-indentation: Composition of new bone versus old bone
The growing population is beginning to live longer. However, age and tooth loss are directly correlated. As the population begins to loose teeth, the most beneficial solution is the dental implant. This implant is directly drilled into the bone and, eventually, fusses with the bone. In order to improve the success rate of these dental implants, the various properties of the bone must be identified. Through previous testing, it is found that the old bone is more dense and harder than the new bone. It is hypothesized that the difference in hardness is due to the calcium and phosphorus levels in the bone. Using TEM and EDS technology, the chemical composition of the new bone and old bone.
Name: Nelson Moreno
Undergraduate Institution: University of California
Major: Physics and Japanese            
REU Advisor: Dr. Rolando Valdés Aguilar
Project Title: Electrical characterization of graphene using terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (TTDS)
Graphene is a 2D material of interest made up of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice due to its electronic properties.  Typical methods of characterization require adding contacts on graphene which can alter the properties and even be destructive.  However, Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy (TTDS) can be used to determine the conductivity, non-destructively, by measuring the transmission spectra.  We determine the Fermi energy and mobility of high quality graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition.  
Name: Merna Philip
Undergraduate Institution: Columbus State Community College
Major: Undeclared Associate of Science       
REU Advisor: Dr. Josh Goldberger
Project Title: Exfoliation of single-layer and multilayer GeH nanosheets

Graphene in single-atom thick sheets is used in studying electrons transferring because of its superconductivity and high mobility. Graphene does not have band gap which can help in switch ON/OFF ratio in transistors when electrons move through its material. GeH and NaSn2As2 are new materials that have been studied in order to know their physical probabilities, and how they can make the heat and the electrons transfer through their materials. The bulk material of GeH is used in building transistors because it has an indirect band gap. GeH and NaSn2As2 which have van der Waals interactions among their bounds are crystal material can be exfoliated to single layer and multilayers nanosheets of layers by using PDMs method of exfoliation. Mechanically exfoliation GeH and NaSn2As2 crystal materials in single layers or few multilayers of nanosheets can give clean, flate, and high-quality flakes. Therefore, after exfoliation to nanosheets layers, we put them on Si/SiO2 to distinguish between single layers and multilayers under the electronic microscope. Exfoliation of GeH to single layer or multilayer nanosheets helps in studying the directed band gap, electrons mobilities, vibration models, and fabrication. NaSn2As2 can also be exfoliated to single layers or few multilayers nanosheets which can help in studying their physical probabilities and the pattern chemical on their surface.

Name: Amy Rice
Undergraduate Institution: Columbus State Community College
Major: Biology            
REU Advisor: Dr. Jessica Winter
Project Title: Optimization of quantum dots shell growth for DNA embedding

Here we are interest in a photo-switchable quantum dot system that employs photosensitive DNA and gold nanoparticles to switch between light and dark states via forster resonance energy transfer (FRET).  To improve the application of this concept, the specific process for binding DNA to QDs is being investigated.  Rather than attach the DNA to the QD surface, this concept deals with embedding the DNA into the QD ligand during shell growth in order to improve stability and conjugation ratios.  This project describes an optimized procedure for quantum dot shell growth that was developed using methodology based on the work of Zhengtao et. all, 20125.1 It was found that after increasing MPA and DNA concentrations to 4 times the original amount, the fluorescence of the resulting samples was indicative of a more stable particle, however further study should be done to achieve reproducibility for this concept.



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Center for Emergent Materials awarded $18 Million NSF Grant to Support High-Impact, Cutting-Edge Science

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced that the Center for Emergent Materials (CEM) at The Ohio State University has been awarded Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funding for the third time since 2008. This $18 million, six-year grant will fund transformative science and complex materials discovery by two multidisciplinary, collaborative groups of researchers and includes funding to help ease entry into science from underrepresented groups.

“We are excited to have won this highly prized funding because it enables scientists to undertake complex and transformative projects at the scientific frontiers, and provides sustained support for diverse teams to collaboratively synthesize new understanding and open new research topics,” said P. Chris Hammel, Ohio Eminent Scholar, physics professor and director of the Center for Emergent Materials.

After an intense and highly competitive process, 11 MRSECs were funded for this cycle, bringing the nationwide total to 19. A flagship initiative for NSF, the MRSEC program funds research at the cutting-edge of scientific discovery by enabling teams of researchers to tackle scientific problems that are too large and complex for one person or one group to make an impact. These teams, called Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs), are made up of a diverse group of faculty, their students and postdoctoral researchers.

This funding will allow CEM to continue its history of excellence with two new IRGs, which aim to develop materials that grant improved control over magnetic properties, generating new paradigms in computing and information storage.

IRG-1: Creation and Control of Metal/Magnetic-Insulator Interfaces is co-led by Jinwoo Hwang, associate professor of materials science engineering, and Fengyuan Yang, professor of physics. This group will focus on magnetic interactions at interfaces between metals and magnets. The team includes faculty in the fields of chemistry and biochemistry, materials science engineering and physics at Ohio State and Carnegie Mellon University.

IRG-2: Topology and Fractionalization in Magnetic Materials is co-led by Joseph Heremans, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and physics, and Yuan-Ming Lu, associate professor of physics. Group members will focus on control of configurations and interrelationships between magnetic interactions that protect magnetic states against omnipresent disruptive forces. The team is made up of faculty in chemistry and biochemistry, materials science engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering and physics at Ohio State and Colorado State University.

“An important benefit of this funding is its support for a seed program that nurtures new science and prepares young scientists to be leaders,” explained Hammel. “For example, IRG-1 grew out of a project initiated by Prof. Jinwoo Hwang with seed funding support.”

Both of the IRGs were nucleated in the Ohio State’s Materials Research Seed Grant Program, an enterprising Ohio State program run by the CEM, the Center for Exploration of Novel Complex Materials (ENCOMM), and the Institute for Materials Research (IMR) that supports new developments in materials research.

A robust education, human resources and development (EHRD) program aimed at increasing scientific literacy and diversity from elementary school students through the faculty ranks rounds out the new initiatives this award will enable. CEM will continue to provide mentorship for high-needs K-12 students through outreach and tutoring programs. The externally funded Masters-to-Ph.D. minority Bridge Program, which increases the pool of faculty candidates from underrepresented backgrounds continues to be essential to CEM’s EHRD efforts.

“Center faculty and current bridge students are vital participants that provide research and academic mentorship and support to incoming bridge students,” said Michelle McCombs, CEM’s outreach and inclusion director. “Connecting new students to a network of Bridge peers eases the transition to graduate school life and provides a direct link to older students who are invaluable sources of advice.”

Additionally, CEM’s new Diversity Action Plan, founded on proven strategies employing concrete, measureable steps, is focused on improving faculty and post-secondary diversity.

“Through implementation of the additional strategies, we will have the opportunity to further expand prior efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion of the CEM in more meaningful and sustainable ways,” said La’Tonia Stiner-Jones, assistant dean of graduate programs in graduate education, assistant professor of practice in biomedical engineering and CEM’s senior advisor for diversity and inclusion.

  1. Two CEM Faculty Receive Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award Comments Off on Two CEM Faculty Receive Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award
  2. Robert Baker Wins Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award Comments Off on Robert Baker Wins Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  3. Tiny magnetic particles enable new material to bend, twist and grab Comments Off on Tiny magnetic particles enable new material to bend, twist and grab
  4. Cross-IRG Research Published in Physical Review Letters Comments Off on Cross-IRG Research Published in Physical Review Letters