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My primary research interests are concerned with how to improve the efficiency and functionality
of physical devices using new materials. During my research at the University of Chicago MRSEC REU, I
discovered infiltrated zinc oxide (ZnO) exhibited quantum confinement effects, and began to think – how
can I exploit this to create design rules for quantum confined electronic structures? These problems
fascinate me, and my curiosity with how to solve them has led to my passion for engineering physics.
Additionally, my research at NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) on radiation performance of memory
devices has led me to consider how spintronics can address material effects in magnetic logic devices such
as MRAMs. I am enthralled by these systems, not only in part to the unique science they generate, but also
for their influence on real-world problems, like Moore’s law.
This passion has driven me to purse a Ph.D in Electrical Engineering where I can address the
limitations of electronics. Following graduate school, I plan to pursue a career in academia, so that I may
make an impact through my research and teaching. My background in physics provides me with a firm
understanding of the science that governs these systems, while my research experiences highlight my ability
to exercise this education in an applied setting. What follows details my interests in pursing graduate school
at Yale, and how my research and personal experiences have prepared me to succeed.
The multidisciplinary environment at Yale is an ideal place for me to thrive. For example, the Yale
Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering hosts collaborative groups in materials, photonics,
nanoscience, and integrated devices, that not only consistently produce meaningfulresearch results, but also
emphasize their commitment to education. This academic setting has brought to my attention the work of
Jung Han and Tso-Ping Ma. Professor Han’s work on nanomembrane devices is inspiring, as it uses IIInitride
materials and innovative growth techniques to improve on the versatility of current electronics.
Professor Ma’s research is also of interest to me; his work memory devices and gate dielectrics also calls
on the fundamental physics and materials science necessary to improve electronics. I am open to many of
the diverse labs and research projects at Yale, and am excited for the opportunity to contribute to its success.
I was first exposed to hands-on nanoscale research at University of Chicago. I worked at Argonne
National Lab’s Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) and studied the growth of infiltrated ZnO in PS-bPMMA
block copolymers. After discovering blue-shifted photoemission indicative of confinement effects,
I used e-beam lithography to isolate these nanostructures, study the effects of annealing on oxygen defect
states, and test their viability as single-photon emitters. As I became comfortable operating tools, I started
to develop my own research questions. For instance, after taking AFM measurements I questioned, why
might a sample with three infiltration cycles of ZnO be higher than a sample with five cycles? I eventually
linked this to their photoluminescence, as samples with three cycles had the most intense ZnO emission,
while other samples were dominated by defect state emission. This suggests that there is an optimal number
of growth cycles of infiltrated ZnO nanostructures, after which they form bulk structures. I have verified
this with Raman spectroscopy by mapping optical phonons as a function of growth. This experience has
shown me how materials investigation is actively expanding the fundamental science of modern
technology. I want utilize this knowledge base to develop more efficient electronics.
As of September 2017, I have been working in the component engineering division at JPL
developing computer memories. I have tested these devices for radiation performance using C++, Verilog,
FPGAs, and a motherboard. I am constantly learning about memory units, computer architecture, and
device physics. My collaboration with interns, post-docs, and senior research scientists, continues to
develop my teamwork skills, while my exposure to new research topics further broadens my knowledge
base. This exposure to solid-state memories has engendered my curiosity for information storage and how
the use of spintronics can push the boundaries of current memory technologies.
At my home institution, I have worked in a nonequilibrium physics lab, under Professor Wylie
Ahmed. I am investigating the dynamics of active, self-propelled colloids. I have studied these colloids
using experimental and computational methods and approaches from statistical mechanics. My exploration
of this diffusive system has allowed me to utilize numerical problem-solving techniques, which I can apply to analytically study research problems such as noise in nanoscale devices and systems. This research gives
me a foundation for understanding fluctuating systems, as will be necessary to leverage quantum effects in
Aside from my research experiences, for two years I was also involved with a campus program
called supplemental instruction (SI). The program hires students, based on academic success, to TA classes
with high fail rates. I sat in on lower division physics courses and hosted independently composed lectures
based on the material from that course. Not only did this allow me to solidify my understanding of
fundamental physics, but it taught me how to effectively communicate basic science. I composed several
hundred of my own problems, which I used to further my students’ understanding of physics.
I have enjoyed applying what I have learned in my classes to my research. Additionally, I have
cultivated a love for both music and photography. Both my research and artistic endeavors emphasize the
persevering effort to create something new and better. This creative drive is what inspires me to pursue a
Ph.D and career in academia. I have a desire to push the bounds of electronics and contribute to longstanding
research goals like achieving optoelectronic logic. It is this determination, coupled with my
research and teaching experiences, that has prepared me to succeed in these competitive environments. I
strongly believe my research is making an impact in the academic community, and I am determined to
improve on this effort in graduate school.

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