Summer Research Experience for Teachers

In the summer of 2011, the following teachers joined the MRSEC team:

Pam Rasmussen, Raymond Central High School
worked with Jeff Shield, Mechanical Engineering.

"Researching SmCo, I always am intrigued by the chance of awesome magnetic properties and equally intrigued with anomalies that must verified/debunked. I know my students have a much more realistic view of research when I am able to share actual work results with them. I am also working on a demonstration for my classroom. We will be able to observe the crystallization behavior of water."

Nick 2011

Nicholas Reding, Papillion - La Vista High School
worked with Stephen Ducharme, Physics.

"This summer I am again studying the behavior of capacitors with different dielectrics. A dielectric of particular interest is made of oligomer-coated titanium dioxide nanoparticles. I am investigating the temperature dependence of these capacitors at a wide range of AC frequencies by making capacitance vs frequency (CF) measurements. The capacitance is measured at frequencies between 10 Hz and 10,000,000 Hz at 10 °C increments between 0°C and 80°C."

Matt 2011

Matthew Johnson, Gretna High School
worked with Axel Enders, Physics.

"During the summer of 2011, I worked with Dr. Axel Enders in the Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) laboratory. I have had the opportunity to work on two projects this summer. I continued computer modeling of surfaces using the Tersoff-Hamann approximation for Bardeen’s tunneling theory. Additionally, I worked on developing a resource collection of STM and related documents geared toward secondary educators, providing a overview of the operation and theory of the STM and applications of nanoscience/nanoengineering."

Steve 2011

Steven Wignall, Seward High School
worked with Steve Ducharme, Physics.

"This summer I continued the research project with Professor Ducharmes' group that involves creating polymer coated Barium Titanate nanoparticles. We have expanded this project to include different Carbon length chains of Phosphonic Acids and other Oligomers as the coating for the Barium Titanate. It is hoped that this process of treating the Barium Titanate will lead to higher Permittivity and Dielectric Strength.
Besides this, I continue to assistance in the educational outreach of Nanotechnology and MRSEC research to Nebraska Science Teachers. Examples this summer were a teacher workshop in cooperation with NCMN and also a Nanotechnology camp through Bright Lights for middle school students."

Eugene 2011

Eugene Kirianov, Lincoln Southwest High School
worked with Andrei Sokolov, Physics.

"In my research, I study magneto transport properties of engineered magnetoelectic thin films. During this summer I performed experiments and analyzed the experimental data for the following materials.
LSMO (Lanthanum Strontium Manganese Oxide – LaxSr1-xMnO3) represents a group of materials known as doped lanthanum manganites. Heterojunctions of doped lanthanum manganites with an auxiliary layer of ferroelectric material made of barium titanate - BTO (BaTiO3) are studied for their magnetic properties by controlling these properties with an external electric field. In these junctions, doped lanthanum manganites exhibit strong coupling properties between charge, spin and lattice effects. The layer of ferroelectric material (BTO) serves as a gate electrode, and it has a dual benefit: it offers the possibility to design a non-volatile data storage device and provides large charge density at the interface.
Thin films of Indium-based Heusler alloys - Ni50Mn35In14Al made by pulsed laser deposition on Si substrate were measured on their transport properties using four-probe measurement technique in the temperature intervals from 5 to 400K and magnetic field up to 2T. During the measurements a noticeable change in resistivity of about 100 times has been detected in vicinity of 275K, signifying the presence of first order of thermal phase transition in this material. In-based bulk Heusler alloys can exhibit a wide diversity in their magnetic properties, such as giant magnetocaloric effect and magnetoresistance, exchange bias (MR) and other phenomena important for potential applications. In out further research, the phase transition temperatures, magnetization, resistivity of these samples will be analyzed in respect to the thickness of the films."