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Physics and Astronomy Local Optically Activated Phase Transition Kinetics in Two-Dimensional Materials

Theme: Photons in Applied Materials

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Example Project: Local Optically Activated Phase Transition Kinetics in Two-Dimensional Materials

Faculty Mentor: Yi Gu

Advances in microelectronics have been the driving force behind today’s technological innovations, including smart devices, internet of things, and artificial intelligence. While silicon has been the main material of choice for these applications, the recent emergence of novel materials, such as two-dimensional (2D) materials, provides opportunities to engineer and realize unique device functionalities. An important part of our experimental research program focuses on understanding fundamental processes in 2D materials, particularly phase transitions and carrier dynamics[1-5], which control the material behaviors, and exploring novel and scalable device manufacturing techniques.

The REU scholar will work closely with graduate students and the faculty mentor. A specific REU project is to study local photon-matter interactions and the resulting structural phase transition kinetics, as the basis for developing a scalable approach to manufacturing 2D reconfigurable microelectronics. This involves using a photoluminescence microscope to image, in real time, the growth kinetics of local nuclei as a function of the ambient temperature. The REU scholar will also participate in data analysis and present results/progress in group meetings.

Prof. Yi Gu has mentored several undergraduate students, including those (Shelby Taylor and Roldofo Lopez) from underrepresented groups.


[1] Tao, X.; Gu, Y., Crystalline-crystalline phase transformation in two-dimensional In2Se3 thin layers. Nano Lett. 13, 3501 (2013). DOI:10.1021/nl400888p

[2] Tao, X.; Mafi, E.; Gu, Y., Ultrafast carrier dynamics in single crystal In2Se3 thin layers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 103, 193115 (2013). DOI: 10.1063/1.4828558

[3] Tao, X.; Mafi, E.; Gu, Y., Synthesis and ultrafast carrier dynamics of single-crystal two-dimensional CuInSe2 nanosheets. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 5, 2857 (2014). DOI: 10.1021/jz501242m

[4] Wang, Q.; Yang, L.; Zhou, S.; Ye, X.; McCluskey, M.D.; Gu, Y., Phase-defined van der Waals Schottky junctions with greatly enhanced thermoelectric properties. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 8, 2887 (2017). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b01089

[5] Igo, J.; Zhou, S.; Yu, Z.-G.; Amnuayphol, O. P.; Zhao, F.; Gu, Y., Anharmonic phonon coupling in semiconducting and metal-like van der Waals In2Se3. J. Phys. Chem. C 122, 22849 (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.8b06247