Undergraduate Research Symposium Presenters

Anna Costelle

Anna Costelle

Anna Costelle

Anna Costelle is a third-year undergraduate student from Louisville, Kentucky. In high school, she discovered her passion for physics and mathematics and decided to pursue degrees in both fields at Arizona State University. Anna got her start in undergraduate research with ASU’s cosmological instrumentation group, where she worked on wideband superconducting technology based on nonlinear kinetic inductance. Then, after attending the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics and participating in a summer internship with Lawrence Livermore National Lab in 2020, she began to acquire an interest in nuclear and particle physics, and she decided to change the direction of her undergraduate research. Thus, Anna began working with the ASU Meson Physics Group, where she is now constructing event generators for strangeness-containing final states. Following completion of her undergraduate degree, Anna hopes to pursue a PhD in physics, with a focus on nuclear/particle physics.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Michael Dugger, Dr. Barry Ritchie

Collaborators: ASU Meson Physics Group and CLAS Collaboration

Title: Construction of Event Generators for Strangeness-Containing Final States

Abstract: Detector simulations have proven to be fundamental to the success of particle physics experimentation. A key aspect of their role is determining detection efficiencies. As more complicated events with several decay products are encountered, event reconstruction becomes increasingly difficult. Simulating the events provides a means of determining the efficiency of the detections and identifying missing components of the reconstruction. The first step in the simulation is to outline the kinematic information for each particle in the event. Then, an event generator program uses Monte Carlo techniques to generate all of the events required as input for the detector-simulation stage, with a defined energy distribution. In the work described here, events whose final states contain strange particles have been studied. Specifically, we begin by constructing an event generator for the interaction of a photon and proton, to produce a proton and phi meson, where the phi meson decays into two kaons, which both have nonzero strangeness. Ultimately, we wish to simulate experiments with Jefferson Lab Hall-D and the GlueX detector, generating more complex events involving the Cascade baryons, which each have a strangeness of -2, and searching for excited Cascade states that have been predicted but have yet to be observed.

 

Chase Hanson

Chase Hanson

Chase Hanson 

Chase Hanson was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona and is graduating from Arizona State University in May, 2021. He is interested in pursuing a career in condensed matter theory and is fascinated by the role of electronic structure in the bizarre physical phenomena of certain materials.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Antia Botana

Collaborators: Betul Pamuk, Jyoti Krishna, Jesse Kapeghian, Harry LaBollita

Title: Electronic structure of higher-order Ruddlesden Popper nickelates

Abstract: Layered nickelates have long been considered close analogs to cuprate and have been intensively investigated for their potential for superconductivity. The realization of this promise came last year, as NdNiO2 was indeed shown to be superconducting upon hole doping. This material is obtained via topotactic reduction from its parent perovskite NdNiO3 phase and is simply the infinite layer member of a larger structural series. In this context, analyzing the electronic properties of the yet unexplored parent Ruddlesden-Popper nickelate phases Rn+1NinO3n+1 (n=4-6) becomes important. Our systematic first-principles calculations in these materials reveal similarities and differences with cuprates in terms of their electronic structure. For example, large hole dx2-y2 Fermi surfaces that closely resemble the fermiology of optimally hole-doped cuprates are found, but they are accompanied by non-cuprate-like extra bands of primarily dz2 character.

Edis Jakupovic

Edis Jakupovic

Edis Jakupovic 

Edis is a senior studying physics and biochemistry at Arizona State University. Edis started working with Dr. Beckstein's computational biophysics lab last summer with an REU project, and has continued working with his lab since then. Edis plans to continue working in the field of biophysics as a graduate student in ASU's Department of Physics PhD program. Other than staying busy with school work, Edis likes to play soccer, listen to audio books, and binge on physics/math related YouTube content.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Oliver Beckstein 

Title: MPI-parallel Molecular Dynamics Trajectory Analysis with the H5MD Format in the MDAnalysis Python Package

Abstract: MDAnalysis is a Python library for the analysis of molecular dynamics simulations. As datafiles are now typically terabytes in size, file I/O has become a bottleneck in the workflow of analyzing simulation trajectories. We have implemented an HDF5-based file format trajectory reader into MDAnalysis that can perform parallel MPI IO and benchmarked it on various national high-performance computing environments. Although speed-ups on the order of 20x for 48 cores are attainable, scaling up to achieve higher parallel data ingestion rates remains challenging. We developed several algorithmic optimizations in our analysis workflows that lead to improvements in IO times of up to 91x on 112 cores.

Emily LaMagna

Emily LaMagna

Emily LaMagna

Emily  is a 3rd year physics student. Emily is interested in particle physics, specifically experimental particle physics. She is fascinated by how particles interact and decay and how we use detectors to identify and confirm new particles. Emily started research this semester working with the ASU Physics Meson Group and she looks forward to continuing her research into her senior year.

Faculty Advisor(s): Dr. Barry Ritchie and Dr. Michael Dugger

Collaborators: ASU Meson Physics Group and CLAS Collaboration

Title: On the Road to Constructing Events that Decay φπ0 Using Electroproduction with a Proton Target

Abstract: Exotic mesons are mesons that differ in composition from a normal meson, and are signaled by having unusual spin-parity combinations.  The ASU Meson Physics Group and the CLAS Collaboration are interested in finding exotic mesons that decay into K- K+ π0. Since the phi meson decays K-K+, one path to studying the K- K+ π0 channel is through studying φπ0 final states. The φπ0 final state is mainly expected to serve as a background to other exotic K- K+ π0 final states. While φπ0  is a possible decay mode for an exotic meson, the decay to the φπ0  channel should be suppressed by more likely processes. By analyzing the reaction e p → e p φ π0, we will search to find exotic mesons and the vector meson C(1480), which has been reported to decay into φπ0 , but has not yet been confirmed.  I will report on the reaction e p → e p φ, which serves as an intermediate step towards the eventual analysis of the e p → e p φ π0 final state.

Rebecca Osar

Rebecca Osar

Rebecca Osar 

Rebecca Osar is a second-year Physics major participating in experimental particle physics research at Arizona State University. She has been with ASU’s Meson Physics Group for three semesters, studying hadrons containing one or more strange quarks. Her work has included building an event generator to model specific end states of particle interactions, searching for evidence of resonances in data, and working towards a cross section of KΛ(1520) final states. In high school, Rebecca participated in research at Fermilab in search of evidence of quark and lepton compositeness at high energies.
Rebecca is a National Merit Scholar, a Bidstrup Fellow, a FLAS Fellow, and a recipient of several awards, including the Department of Physics Scholarship. She is also a mentor of ASU's Sundial Project. After undergraduate, she plans to go to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in Physics and pursue a career in research. Rebecca is also minoring in Chinese and participates in ASU’s Chinese Flagship Program.

Research Advisor: Dr. Michael Dugger

Collaborators: ASU Meson Physics Group and CLAS collaboration

Title: Search for high-mass resonances decaying to K Lamda*

Abstract: In nuclear particle physics, there is a discrepancy between theory and experiment concerning the numbers of existing nucleon resonances. Current models of nucleon resonances predict far more states than have been observed. To investigate this problem, Λ(1520) baryons are reconstructed from a K- and a proton from the CLAS12 detector. Using the reaction ep→K+K-p with electrons of energy ~10 GeV, the invariant mass of the K+ Λ(1520) system is used to assist in uncovering the resonance spectrum. In this presentation, yields in terms of the center-of-mass energy W for the K+ Λ(1520) system in the range W = 2 to 5 GeV will be presented. Future work required for a cross section of the reaction ep→K+K- Λ(1520) will also be discussed.

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker

Patrick Walker is an undergraduate Barrett student in his senior year studying Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics.  Throughout his senior year, he has studied electron-proton events generated within the CLAS12 detector as a part of an honors thesis.  Mr. Walker plans to continue research after graduation due to a strong and growing interest in particle physics and looks forward to continuing his studies.  Patrick currently works as a microelectronics material handler with plans to work in an engineering field related to microelectronic development upon graduation.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Michael Dugger

Collaborators: ASU Meson Physics Group and CLAS Collaboration

Title: Search for new states that decay K*K

Abstract: In the quark model, meson states consisting of a quark/anti-quark pair must obey Poincaré symmetry. As a result of that symmetry, for meson total angular momentum J, parity P, and charge conjugation symmetry C, states with JPC= 0--, 0+-, 1-+, 2+-, 3-+, 4+-, … should not be observed. A meson observed experimentally with such quantum numbers would indicate a so-called “exotic” meson state.  Exotic mesons can be multi-quark states like tetraquarks, a combination of two or more gluons known as glueballs, or a hybrid meson (qqg).  Theories have suggested that three possible exotic meson states with the 1-+ quantum number: π1, η1, and η‘1,.  However, no conclusive evidence for the existence of these three exotic states has been observed.  This research will look for new states that decay to K* K final states with an emphasis on exotic mesons.  An analysis of K+ K- π0 final states will be presented, where a restriction on the K - π0 invariant mass yields an unexpected enhancement in the K+ K- π0 spectrum.

 

Abbie Elison

Abbie Elison

Abbie Elison

Abbie Elison is a graduating senior at BASIS Peoria High School. She has been conducting research with Professor Herbots' research team since Fall 2019, learning laboratory techniques such as clean-room methods and three liquid contact angle analysis. After the COVID-19 lockdown, Abbie focused her research effort on Nano-BondingTM (room temperature Direct Wafer Bonding) of Piezo-electrics On Silicon (PiezoOnSi). During the pandemic, she built her own clean room and laminar flow hood at home to continue experiments for surface energy analysis.

She presented her research progress in a poster at the virtual American Physical Society 4 Corners (APS-4C) Meeting in October 2020 and in an oral presentation at the virtual APS March 2021 Meeting. She won second place in Materials Science at the 2021 Arizona Science & Engineering Fair. She has an abstract accepted at the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Vacuum Society. Abbie is presently conducting her BASIS Peoria Senior Research Project and writing her first scholarly article on PiezoOnSi.
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots 
Collaborators: Mohammed Sahal, Shefali Prakash, Srivatsan Swaminathan, Riley Rane, Brian Baker, Saaketh R. Narayan, Jacob Kintz, Aliya Yano, Alex L. Brimhall, Lauren Puglisi, Robert J. Culbertson, Nicole Herbots
Title: Angular Dependence of Surface Energy with Crystal Directions of LiNbO3 (110) for Nano-Bonding to Si and α-quartz SiO2

Abstract: LiNbO3 is a piezo-electric that, when mono-lithically integrated to Si-based materials, yields voice activated chips.
Current bonding methods include hetero-epitaxy and Direct Wafer Bonding (DWB). However, hetero-epitaxy causes lattice strain, since the lattice constant of LiNbO3 is heavily mismatched with Si (100) and α-quartz SiO2 (100). Thermal expansion mismatch during DWB causes fractures of LiNbO3. Also, LiNbO3 decomposes into Li2O5 and Li+ at T > 493K. Instead, this work uses Nano-BondingTM, [1] (NB) and Surface Energy Engineering to modify surface energies into ‘far-from-equilibrium’ states so that when nano-contacted, a 2D-precursor phase forms to catalyze bonding.
Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA) can map different angular directions on 6” LiNbO3 (110), Si (100), and α-quartz SiO2 (100) wafers. Water contact angles are found to vary significantly, by 50%, from 41.8 ± 1.5° to 59.8 ± 1.5°, as a function of crystal direction. Correlation between surface structure and surface energies along different crystal directions will be discussed.
[1] Herbots et al. US Pat. 6613677 (2003), 7,851,365 (2010), 9,018,077 (2015), 9,589,801 (2017), pend. (2020)

 

Srivatsan Swaminathan

Srivatsan Swaminathan

Srivatsan Swaminathan

Srivatsan Swaminathan is a high school student at BASIS Ahwatukee High School in Phoenix. He has worked in Dr. Nicole Herbots's Lab at ASU for approximately 15 months, performing research on a potential new method for Alzheimer's Disease diagnosis. In his free time, he enjoys photography, swimming, and table tennis. In the future, he hopes to become a neurosurgeon.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots

Collaborators:  Shefali Prakash, Abbie Elison, Mohammed Sahal, Riley Rane, Lauren Puglisi,

 Eric Culbertson, Robert CulbertsonNicole Herbots

 

 

 

Title: Alz-BioSsTM (Alzheimer-BioSensor): A New, Small Blood Volume, Hand-Held Bio-Sensor using a New Bio-Marker for Alzheimer’s Disease, Methylglyoxal, in Human Blood Plasma

Abstract: Nearly 44 million worldwide suffer from Alzheimer's. Diagnosing Alzheimer's and monitoring progression is key to treatment.

Recently, blood Methyl-Glyoxal (MGO) levels were found to increase when patients develop Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's. Presently, no portable device measuring MGO exists. This work has designed a fast, accurate, hand-held colorimetric biosensor - akin to glucometers - called Alz-Bio-SsTM. 

The Alz-BioSsTM device consists of three components. First, a disposable collection micro-fluidic strip separates plasma from a drop of blood. Second, plasma MGO reacts with two reagents, o-phenylene-diamine and citrate-capped gold nanoparticles. Third, a handheld colorimeter detects and quantifies MGO concentrations via photo-absorption from 500-700 nm LED emission and photodiodes. Alz-Bio-SsTM can help diagnose AD quickly and cheaply, unlike current methods such as cerebrospinal fluid analysis and brain imaging methods. It can diagnose MCI, not just Alzheimer's, allowing for early intervention to slow and possibly halt disease progression into full-fledged Alzheimer's.

 

Thilina Balasooriya and Wesley Peng

Thilina Balasooriya and Wesley Peng

Thilina Balasooriya and Wesley Peng

Thilina Balasooriya and Wesley Peng are student researchers at Nicole Herbot's MEIS biosafety level 2 laboratory. These students perform cutting-edge medical biophysics research that is aimed at reducing the amount of blood volume needed for blood diagnostics by analyzing blood using solid-state techniques. Both students have a passion for physics and hope to pursue future careers in physics. During their free time, Thilina enjoys the violin, football, and basketballwhile Wesley enjoys swimming, hiking, and watching movies with friends.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots

Title: MicroFluidics & Algorithm for Comprehensive Small Volume Blood Diagnostics via Rapid Solidification of μLDrops into Homogeneous

Abstract: Conventional Blood Diagnostics (BD) uses 7- 10 mL of liquid blood and takes hours to days for results. Such blood volumes lead to a 74% rate of ‘Hospital Acquired Anemia’, a condition aggravating chronic illness in the elderly, infants, children, and the critically-ill.
Using microscopy, Ion Beam Analysis, and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), the present work studies blood drop microfluidics and rapid blood solidification. The hyper-hydrophilic coating, HemaDrop™, solidifies 10 µL-sized blood drops into Homogeneous Thin Solid Films (HTSFs). A new blood collection and solidification device, InnovaStrip™ [1], allows HTSFs to be analyzed via solid-state techniques for electrolytes and metals composition to ± 10%.
To address issues in XRF automated software, including background fit errors, Fast Accurate Blood Analysis (FABA), a new XRF algorithm specific to blood analysis, is implemented in a mobile app, Fast Hand-held Analysis for XRF. FABA makes BD portable when paired with Hand-Held XRF. It allows for data conversion from atomic % composition into mg/dL using built-in calibration HTSFs, integrated into the InnovaStrip™ design. FABA yields comprehensive BD using μLs of blood with accuracy and reproducibility to ± 10%.
[1] Herbots et al. Int. US. Pat. Pend (2020).

 

Pranav Penmatcha and Siddarth Jandhyala

Pranav Penmatcha and Siddarth Jandhyala

Pranav Penmatcha and Siddarth Jandhyala

Pranav Penmatcha has been working in Professor Herbots' lab. Specifically, he has worked on the GaAs project in order to create highly efficient tandem solar cells. Currently they are wroking on crossbonding GaAs with silicon in a ISO 5/Class 100 cleanroom located at Arizona State University. He has bee working on it since the summmer of 2020. His hobbies include basketball, chess, and drawing.
Siddarth Jandhyala has been working in Professor Herbots' lab. He is currently working on her Gallium Arsenide project, involving the creation of highly efficient tandem solar cells by bonding Gallium Arsenide to Silicon in an ISO 5/Class 100 cleanroom located at Arizona State University. He has been working on the project since the summer of 2020. His hobbies include playing sports, playing the violin, and science.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots 

Title: Creating More Efficient Solar Cells by Bonding GaAs to Silicon into Tandem Solar Cells using Nano-Bonding and SEE

Collaborators: S.Jandhyala,A.Gurijala,N.Suresh,A.Chow,S.Khanna,M.Sahal,S.Ram,T.Balasooriya,W.Peng,N.Herbots,R.Culbertson,K.Kavanagh 

Abstract: GaAs and Si semiconductors absorb different wavelengths of light and are used in solar cells. Cross-bonding the materials yields a tandem solar cell with revolutionarily high photovoltaic conversion efficiency (PVCE). However, two issues prevent the integration of the semiconductors and decrease PVCE: native oxides that nucleate wafer surfaces and high temperatures used in hetero-epitaxy wafer bonding. Our approach to these issues includes Nano-BondingTM (NB) and Surface Energy Engineering (SEE).
In SEE, Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA) calculates the total surface energies (γT) of the wafers, Ion Beam Analysis (IBA) measures O coverage, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analyzes the chemical composition of the wafers. In NB, Surface Acoustic Wave Microscopy (SAM) and Cross-section Transmission Electron Microcopy (TEM) image the GaAs-Si bonded interface and quantify the % of surface area bonded.
3LCAA reveals that GaAs(100) native oxides are originally hydrophobic while Si(100) native oxides are hydrophilic. After SEE, GaAs etched with NH4OH is highly hydrophilic, with a γT ~ 65.5 mJ/m2, and Si(100) etched with HF turns hydrophobic with γT~48.2 mJ/m2. IBA shows that O coverage decreases on GaAs from ~ 7.2 to ~3.6 O ML. XPS reveals that As2O5 decreases by 13.5% after SEE while As2O3 increases by a proportional amount.
SAM quantifies that ~98% of the GaAs wafer bonded to Si with 60 kpa of pressure and ~48% bonds without pressure at T<220° C. Constructed ball and stick models of the GaAs wafer show the success of the methodologies in overcoming the issues to integration discussed previously.

Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, Karishma Sivakumar

Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, Karishma Sivakumar

Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, Karishma Sivakumar

Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, and Karishma Sivakumar are student researchers in Professor Nicole Herbots's lab. Their project aims to develop a simple, inexpensive device that can detect pathogens from small microliter volumes of fluid via fluorescence. During her free time, Riley enjoys photography and listening to podcasts, Tanvi enjoys playing flute, policy debate, and sustainable development, while Karishma enjoys tutoring students, learning Indian classical dance, and volunteering around the community to promote COVID-19 safety.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots 

Collaborators: Riley Rane, Tanvi Sathish, Karishma Sivakumar, Mohammed Sahal, Lauren Puglisi, Eric Culbertson MD, Robert J. Culbertson, Nicole Herbots

Title: Proof-of-Concept for ‘InnovaBug:' a Small, Low-Cost, Fast, Medical Diagnostic Device to Detect Pathogens in Small Volumes of Fluid Using Yogurt Water as a Model System

 
Abstract: Since nearly one-third of positive blood cultures yield inaccurate results, the average hospital wastes over $1 million annually treating non-existent blood infections. With over six thousand hospitals in the US, nearly six billion dollars are wasted each year. Additionally, large blood volumes of 10-30 milliliters (mL) per blood culture are taken from patients. As cultures are often performed more than once, many patients are at a very high risk of Hospital-Acquired Anemia (HAA). In fact, a single mL of phlebotomy decreases the volume of hemoglobin by an average of 0.007 g/dL. Blood cultures decrease hemoglobin volume even more drastically, by an average of 0.14 g/dL. Needlessly drawing large blood volumes and taking multiple sets of blood cultures from patients at low risk for bacteremia increases their risk of contracting HAA. Our low-cost, handheld, and rapid InnovaBug prototype aims to address these issues: the billions of dollars hospitals waste on false-positive blood cultures and the large amounts of blood drawn from patients. By using yogurt water as a model system for blood, we developed our InnovaBug prototype to use only microliters – instead of the standard several mL – of fluid in order to detect pathogens via fluorescence.

Shefali Prakash

Shefali Prakash

Shefali Prakash

Shefali Prakash is a student researcher with a passion for engineering. She has been conducting research for the last few years, and is currently researching materials physics. Her specific research area is on piezoelectric semiconductor wafer bonding for various technological applications.

In her free time, Shefali enjoys playing with her puppy Coco, watching Netflix, and (safely!) hanging out with her friends.

 

 

 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Nicole Herbots 
Collaborators: Shefali Prakash, M. Sahal, A. Elison, S. Swaminathan, R. Rane, B. Baker, R.J. Culbertson, N. Herbots

Title: Characterizing Surface Energetics of Wafer Bonding of LiTaO3 to Si and SiO2 via Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA) and Gibbs Free Energy

Abstract: Monolithic integration of piezoelectrics is key in the Internet of Things.

This work investigates direct wafer bonding, or Nano-Bonding™ (NB), via Surface Energy Engineering (SEE) at RT to bond LiTaO3 to Si and SiO2, because the thermal expansion of LiTaO3(110), is mismatched to Si by a factor 8 to α-quartz SiO2 by 25. In addition, LiTaO3 decomposes into Ta2O5 and Li vapor at T ≥ 500K.
SEE modifies surface energies, SET, and hydro-affinities to far-from-equilibrium states, based on Three Liquid Contact Angle Analysis (3LCAA) measurements. The SET of as received 6” LiTaO3 averages 41.3 ± 2 mJ/m2, and its water contact angle, 45.3± 6°. This is much more variable than as received 4” B-doped p+ Si, with 53 ± 0.2 mJ/m2, and 38 ± 1°. After SEE, LiTaO3 becomes uniformly super-hydrophilic.
If contacted to within 60 seconds of SEE, LiTaO3 reverts in air to hydrophobic after minutes. Its water contact angle converges reproducibly to 66.3 ± 1°. At that point SET of LiTaO3 returns 40.6 ± 2 mJ/m2.
The dependence of contact angles with polar water and glycerin, and with the apolar alpha-bromo-naphthalene, as well the SET are mapped on 6” LiTaO3 wafers using sets of 10 drops for each liquid. Their correlation with crystal direction will be discussed.