Announcing our Symposium winners!

Department of Physics Award for Undergraduate Research

Presolar Grain Isolation: A Novel Development Using Focused Ion Beam

Arizona State University 2020 Physics Undergraduate Research Symposium

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Maitrayee Bose

Abstract: We present a new methodology of isolating presolar grains by performing FIB milling in Acfer 094 meteorite. We want to develop a technique to isolate presolar grains in meteorites using focused ion beam (FIB) milling for future nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry (NanoSIMS) measurements. The NanoSIMS instrument uses a primary ion beam to blast a given sample surface, extracts secondary ions, and separates these ions into their mass/charge ratio, allowing isotopic measurements. We plan to use the O- ion beam on the NanoSIMS for isotopic measurements, which can be as small as ~100 nm. Presolar silicate grains are in the size range between ~90-300 nm and exist in the meteorite surrounded by meteoritic silicates. Isotopic measurements of the presolar grains will likely be a diluted because of the surrounding grains. We proved that the current FIB instrumentation cannot be used to prepare presolar grains for NanoSIMS analysis. In the future, we want to use the new instrumentation (Focused Ion Beam – Helios G4UX) with a superior Pt dispenser to be installed to try this technique.

Electronic properties of 2D van der Waals magnets

ASU Symposium - Chase Hanson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Antia Botana

Abstract: Based on first-principles calculations, the evolution of the electronic and magnetic properties of transition metal dihalides MX2 (M= V, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni; X, Y = Cl, Br, I) is analyzed from the bulk to the monolayer limit. A variety of magnetic ground states is obtained as a result of the competition between direct exchange and superexchange. We aim to show how structural symmetry-breaking plays a crucial role in the electronic properties of 2D magnetic materials with an analysis to Janus TM dihalides MXY.

Ethan Duncan

B.S. Student in Astrophysics and Physics at Arizona State University's Barrett, the Honors College and a member of the Center for Isotope Analysis Lab (CIA). Research experience with Focused Ion Beam (FIB), Nano-scale Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (NanoSIMS), Python, MATLAB, and Arduino design. NASA Space Grant Scholar 2019-2020.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Chase Hanson

Hi! My name is Chase Hanson, I'm a 3rd year physics and math student with an interest in theoretical condensed matter physics. I am fascinated by the fundamentals of strongly correlated systems as well as strange physical phases and phenomena- things like frustrated magnets (what I'm presenting on), superconductivity, spin liquids, and the quantum Hall effect. Other than research, I'm in the Society of Physics Students and Sundial. Other than school, my hobbies include computers, Reddit, Twitter (@fizsx), and everything Star Wars.

Women in Physics Award for Undergraduate Research

Properties of Chromatin Extracted by Salt Fractionation from a Cancerous and Non-cancerous Esophageal Cell Line

ASU 2020 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium - Emily Luffey

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Robert Ros

Abstract: The National Institute of Health estimates that approximately 38.4% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. While cancer is mostly viewed as a genetic disease characterized by genetic markers and expression of mutant proteins, there is considerable evidence that there is more to cancer than somatic mutations. For example, the first signature looked for by a pathologist is grossly aberrant cell nuclei. It has been shown that the more abnormal a particular cell nucleus is, the more aggressive a particular form of cancer is. A major variable in the overall nuclear structure is chromatin compaction and structure. We compared chromatin compaction and structure for two esophageal cell lines, EPC2 (non-cancerous) and CP-D (cancerous) by using a combination of salt fractionation and atomic force microscopy (AFM) and found significant differences in the chromatin morphology of cancerous and non-cancerous cell lines. We anticipate that our results will help to gain insight into the mechanisms of phenotypic change in cells from normal to cancerous.

Emily Luffey

My name is Emily Luffey and I am a junior in the Biophysics program at ASU. My passion for biophysics began while working in the landscape industry, where I was fascinated by plants. My passion and curiosity for understanding how nature works from macro to micro have been the driving force of motivation and perseverance in my academic projectile. My curiosity has evolved from a fascination with biology to a desire to unravel mysteries of biology by applying physics. I plan to continue research in a similar area in graduate school and to continually evolve and grow as a scientist. Beyond undergraduate research, I have taken every opportunity to become more involved in the physics department. I am the Treasurer for the Society of Physics Students(SPS), a mentor for the Sundial Program at ASU, and a Learning Assistant(LA) for classes in the Physics department at ASU.

John and Richard Jacob Award for Undergraduate Research

Van der Waals Interacting 2D Mo(Sx,Te1-x)2 Slab on Bulk Al2O3 Substrate

ASU Research Symposium - Syndey Olson

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Arunima Singh

Abstract: Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides such as MoS2 and MoTe2 find attractive applications in numerous fields such as nano-electronics, catalysis and sensing. Solid-solutions of 2D MoS2 and MoTe2 offer the possibility of a systematic design of the electronic structure as a function of the chalcogen percentage, x, in the solid solution.  In this work, we study the substrate-assisted stabilization of Mo(Sx,Te1-x)2 phases on Al-terminated sapphire. A cluster-expansion hamiltonian fit to first-principles simulations were used to find the ground state Mo(Sx,Te1-x)2 phases adsorbed on Al-terminated sapphire. We find that the nearest-neighbor distances of the surface sites of the Mo(Sx,Te1-x)2 phases to the sapphire substrate are larger than 2.5 Angstroms, indicating a weak van der Waals interaction between the substrate and the solid-solutions. To analyze the relationship between the ratios of S to Te in the solid-solution and binding strength to the substrate, we study the interface structure i.e. the near-interface atoms, their nearest neighbors and the distance between the nearest neighbors. We further develop heuristic measures for identifying chemisorption and physio-sorption at the interface for a particular 2D material and substrate interface.

Sydney Olson

Senior physics student at Arizona State University who is graduating in May and has been working with ASU Condensed Material Design Lab since May 2019