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2021 Project Proposal

Ultrafast Laser Studies of Nanostructures

Brian Daly (Physics)

Project Type - B - Flexible:  It will be in-person if we are allowed to have URSI students on campus, but it will become a remote project if not.

Ultrafast lasers produce pulses of light that are less than 1 picosecond (A millionth of a millionth of a second) in duration.  These remarkable light sources allow for investigations of extremely short-lived phenomena in solid materials.  Of particular interest to my research group are the conduction of heat and the propagation of ultrasound in novel nanostructures. We have several goals this summer. First, we have an ongoing project to study very thin (in some cases a few atomic layers!) transition metal dichalcongenides which are materials that have interesting optical and electronic properties.  Second, in specially designed nanostructures we are generating and detecting surface acoustic waves at their highest possible frequencies-near 50 GHz.   Techniques will include laser experiments, the growth of thin metal films, and computational modeling of vibrational and electromagnetic waves.

Prerequisites: Required: 1 full year of physics and math at Vassar.   Recommended: PHYS 200, PHYS 202/203, MATH 220, MATH 228

How should students express interest in this project?  Aside from this application, you do not need to contact me in order to express your interest in the project. I will send out emails to contact you once I have read through all the applications.

This is an 8-week project running from June 7 – July 31