Research Experience for Faculty and Students at Undergraduate Institutions
Our enhanced Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program recruits two faculty/student pairs from regional four-year colleges and universities to engage in summer research with MRSEC faculty, with the goal of providing a research experience which benefit both the participants and the MRSEC projects. It is expected that the professor/student pairs continue to expand on MRSEC-related research at their home institutions during the academic year. A summer stipend for the professorial member will be provided for up to two full months of full-time commitment to the MRSEC project. The student will receive a weekly salary plus free room/board for up to 10 weeks of commitment to the project.
In summer 2013, the following faculty/student teams joined the MRSEC group:
"The NCAT-PST team is investigating the structural and magnetic properties of iron-tungsten alloy systems which are being synthesized using non-equilibrium methods such as high energy ball milling and pulsed laser deposition techniques. During their stay at UNL, Dr. Kumar and Mr. Thompson are interacting with students, post-doctoral fellows, and research scientists not only in Dr. Shields’ group but with many other students and faculty members in Engineering and Physics departments also. Professor Kumar is also exploring the possibility of joint proposals in the future and establishing a long term partnership between NCAT and UNL."
"We are interested in analyzing the TCNE and TCNQ functionalized p-benzoquinonemonoimine zwitterions because they can be paired with graphene to produce a useful chemical specific sensors and gated graphene devices. We modeled our functionalized zwitterions using semi-empirical calculations to find the HOMO-LUMO gap at different distances between the dipoles and different relative angles between them. We secured samples of TCNE, TCNQ, and a methoxy benzyl functionalized zwitterions and measure the HOMO-LUMO gap on all samples to compare."
"Austin Nelson from South Dakota State University is analyzing magnetic properties of Pt substituted Mn-based Heusler system with Professor Yung Huh. They try to develop novel Heusler compounds whose half-metallic ferromagnetism show potential for spintronic device applications, e. g., spin-transfer torque based magnetic random access memory and logic devices. Samples are prepared using arc-melter, melt-spinner, and subsequent heat treatment. Magnetic, structural, and electrical properties are investigated by SQUID (Superconducting Quantum Interface Device), PPMS (Physical Properties Measurement System), XRD (X-ray Diffractometer), SEM (Scanning Electron Microscopy), and TEM (Transmission Electron Microscopy)."
"Single Electron Charging and Magneto-Coulomb Blockade Effect: A New Technique to Fabricate Well-controlled Structures Functioning at Room Temperature
The main goal of this research is to fabricate single-electron-transistor-like nanostructures and to demonstrate precise control over the single electron charging properties of these deep-nanoscale devices. The research combines top-down lithography (electron beam lithography) with bottom-up nano-particles self-assembly (cluster/nanoparticle sputtering). A single metallic nanoparticle is sandwiched between two metallic electrodes but electrically isolated from each of them by an extremely thin (~1nm) aluminum oxide insulating barrier. Such nano-devices have typically been fabricated through either top-down lithography only or bottom-up lithography so far and suffer from the lack of reproducibility. We plan to build many identical devices in each run because the cluster sputtering chamber produces nano-particles with a very narrow size distribution. The resistance of these nanodevices can be changed over a huge range by an external magnetic field, when the electrodes are ferromagnetic, due to the magneto-crystalline anisotropy energy."