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 2014, the following faculty/student teams joined the MRSEC group:
"Ms. Voeller and Dr. Patterson are working with Dr. Shield and graduate student Mr. Koten this summer. They are interested in gas phase aggregation of magnetic nanoclusters; in particular, how to control their properties during processing. Magnetic nanoclusters are useful in a number of applications from hard disk drive storage to targeted drug delivery. Ms. Voeller is trying to control the size distribution of iron nanoclusters by adjusting conditions in the processing chamber. Dr. Patterson continues previous work with this group to attain in situ ordering of magnetic nanoclusters by varying plasma properties during processing. Mr. Koten is a graduate of the faculty/student pair program from a 2010 project with Dr. Shield. Thanks to UNL MRSEC for this program; it has been greatly beneficial to our home regions of northwest WI and southern MN."
"The electronic structure of the p-benzoquinonemonoimine zwitterion molecular film has a definite, although small, density of states evident at the Fermi- level as well as a nonzero inner potential and thus is very different from a true insulator. Photoelectron emission spectroscopy studies of polymer blends of three types of p-benzoquinonemonoimine zwitterion and regio-regular poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT) thin-films provide evidence of changes in the molecular band structure due to interaction of such bands. Electric drain-source measurements done with these polymer blends show evidence of higher transport currents in comparison to P3HT polymer thin-films alone for one of the blends."
"Ryan Fulsby and Parashu Kharel from South Dakota State University are investigating the structural, magnetic and electron transport properties of the hexagonal Heusler alloys. They are investigating the effect of Fe, Co and Cr substitution on the magnetic properties of Mn2Sn compound. The main goal of this project is to develop ferrimagnetic Heusler compounds with high magnetic anisotropy and moderate magnetization. These materials which exhibit a high spin polarization at the Fermi level are useful for spintronic devices that use the spin-transfer torque effect. Samples in the form of ribbons are prepared using arc-melting and melt-spinning techniques. Structural, magnetic and electron transport properties of the rapidly quenched ribbon samples are investigated using XRD (X-ray Diffractometer), SQUID Magnetometer and PPMS (Physical Properties Measurement System), respectively."
"We performed an investigation of an oxide-induced, reorientation of the easy axis in Cobolt thin-films, by studying the First Order Reversal Curves (FORC) from an Alternating Gradient Magnetometer (AGM) and data from X-Ray Reflectivity (XRR). For this work, we implemented an enhanced variation of the FORC method, known as VariFORC. We evaporated several Co films and annealed these in accordance with published, temperature-dependent oxidation studies. This work was the foundation for a continuing collaboration in the pursuit of perpendicular anistotropy in the CoO system."