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 graduate students

Yuzhi Gao

Yuzhi GaoI am a first year graduate student in Materials Science and Engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas, under the supervision of Prof. Yves J. Chabal. I earned my bachelor degree in Behang University and received my master degree in University of Pennsylvania before I moved to Dallas. Before coming to UTD, I have done research on plasmonic materials synthesis and ceramics microstructure characterization. Currently, I am working on understanding the properties of nanoporous materials, such as Metal-organic Frameworks (MOFs), which are promising materials for gas storage and separation considering their high surface areas.

Natis Shafiq

Natis ShafiqI am a mechanical engineer by training. I joined Dr. Chabal's group on August 2011 after completing my MS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Oklahoma State University. Currently I am working in a project to design hybrid nanocrystal/Silicon architectures for photovoltaic applications. This research focuses to develop and study advanced hybrid nanostructures for thin film Si based photovoltaic cells based on the concept of non-radiative energy transfer (NRET). My focus lies in developing different 3D substrate geometries to enhance NRET and use graphene oxide/ graphene to develop novel functional hybrid materials to study the energy transfer (NRET/RET) dynamics. In this regard, we extensively use time resolved PL spectroscopy together with FTIR, XPS, SEM, AFM, Raman, UV-Vis-NIR spectroscopy. Previously, I studied the interaction of Graphene oxide intercalated with ionic liquids for ultracapacitor applications using FTIR, XRD and contact angle. Additionally, my research includes the study of reduction mechanism and chemical doping of graphene oxide. Also I am interested in studying the chemical properties of different 2D hybrid structures involving graphene or graphene like other carbon and chalcogenide materials together with different transition metal nanoparticles for enhanced chemical activities. Apart from the projects listed above, I have worked in collaboration with Essilor, a leadning ophthalmic lens manufacturer, to analyze some of their samples using spectroscopic ellipsometry. I enjoy reading books, listening to good music, watching movies and writing. I like to cook and find it rewarding to motivate people towards achieving their goals. I am culturally very enthusiastic and proud to be Bangladeshi by birth.

Aaron Dangerfield

Aaron Dangerfield I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana and am currently a second year graduate student in Dr. Yves Chabal's lab. My work mainly consists of characterizing thin film materials using in-situ Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) and X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS). Along with several coworkers and industrial partners, we are able to use FT-IR to evaluate and study precursor surface chemistry during the growth of various oxides and nitrides. I am also a member of the Oregon Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry, where the goal is to use green, aqueous solution based techniques to grow thin films for various applications (dielectrics, inorganic photoresists,etc..). In the Chabal lab, I am able to use FT-IR and XPS to study film formation and structural changes as a function of temperature and annealing environment.

Anna Rynder

Anna Rynder I am a doctoral candidate in Dr. Yves Chabal's laboratory. My PhD pursuit involves collaboration between UTD and Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) in Paris, France. I earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Physics and a Masters in Theoretical Physics from the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. During my academic work, I was also an engineer at the Institute of Physics (National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine).

My engineering work focused on surface enhanced spectroscopy of DNA molecules adsorbed on carbon nanomaterials such as graphene, graphene oxide, and single/multiwall carbon nanotubes using Raman and FTIR techniques. My current project focuses on modifying silicon surface using organic molecules for electronic device applications. Organic monolayers on silicon provide an efficient method to adjust the electrical properties of the semiconductor surfaces. Our grafting technique paves the way for new generations of single electron memories and single electron transistors. One such case is the use of amine-terminated short molecules grafted on oxide-free Si(111) as both a thin insulating layer (~1.5 nm) and an anchor for the adsorption of gold nanoparticles. Combining our proposed structure with STM/STS (scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy) allows us to observe Coulomb blockade which indicates the occurrence of single electron transport phenomena. Our mission is to develop prototypes of single electron transistor (SET) using silicon on insulator (SOI), grafted organic monolayer (GOM) and gold nanoparticles with the help of the STM/STS.

Luis Fabián Peña Orduña

Luis Fabián Peña Orduña My research focus is in Atomic layer deposition of thin films. I am part of the atomic layer deposition (ALD) team as a research assistant in the Laboratory for Surface and Nanostructure Modification under the guidance and mentorship of Dr. Yves J. Chabal.

I am responsible for overlooking and maintaining the working conditions of a home built 2nd generation ALD system with In situ Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) and Remote Plasma capability. This setup allows us to investigate precursor chemistry and reaction after each ALD half cycle.

My research consists of investigating the mechanistic growth of metal-oxides and metal-nitrides at low temperature (<300°C) using thermal and/or plasma enhanced ALD. We also explore the effects of various wet chemical pretreatments on the surface, growth dependence on temperature, and effects of various oxidizing ( e.g. O2, O3, H2O, and H2O2) and reducing agents (e.g. B2H6 and N2H4) on the growth.

Sean Dillon

Sean Dillon I began working under Dr. Yves Chabal as an R.E.U. fellow beginning summer of 2014. My project focused on self-assembled monolayer formation on Si (111) with a high-k dielectric capping layer for passivation. Upon completing the fellowship, I returned to Corpus Christi to finish my B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 2015.

I rejoined the Chabal group as an RA beginning summer of 2015 and am currently finishing my first year. My present project is focused on using manganese oxide derivatives for nitric oxide decomposition in diesel engine exhaust. I am responsible for characterizing the adsorption and desorption of NO gas from the manganese oxide surface using a combination of FT-IR and XPS. The project is a collaboration of Dr. Chabal's lab (characterization), Dr. K.J. Cho's lab (DFT Calculations) and Dr. Hsu's lab (MnxOy Synthesis).

Milana Thomas

Milana Thomas I received my bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2014. I joined Prof. Chabal's group in 2015. My research focuses on annealing studies of thin films for various semiconductor applications. The films are characterized using X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and in-situ Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy. The goal is to understand how the chemistry of the films evolve as a function of temperature. This work is a collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry.

Outside of the lab I enjoy traveling, cooking, spending time with my family, and visiting my hometown of Mansfield, Louisiana.

Yasiel Cabrera

Yasiel Cabrera I received my bachelor degree in physics from Lehigh University. After graduating in the spring of 2015, I joined Dr. Yves Chabal's group at The University of Texas at Dallas to pursue my PhD in Material Science and Engineering. During my first year of graduate school, I was involved in various projects on which I have acquired knowledge in the field of perovskite structure (for solar cell applications), as well as functionalizing silicon surface for the purpose of studying interfaces using surface recombination velocity and infrared spectroscopy. I also learned and used regularly multiple characterization techniques, such as XRD, AFM, SEM, Raman, and ellipsometry.

Outside of classes and lab work, I enjoy doing outdoor activities such as backpacking and fishing. I also enjoy dancing and speaking Spanish.

Rezwanur Rahman

Rezwanur Rahman I am doing my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in UTD from Fall 2015. I have got my Masters in Materials Science from Missouri State University and Bachelors in Materials and Metallurgical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

Currently I'm working on hybrid perovskite solar cell under supervision of Dr. Chabal and Dr Anton Malko.

I'm passionate about Music and Films.