← Back to News List

Physics Graduate Students win prestigious NRC post-docs!

Dan Wines and Jon Gustafson, two of our Physics graduate students have been awarded NRC postdocs.

Dan who is advised by Prof. Ataca will work on “Many-body treatment of 2D materials using Quantum Monte Carlo methods for real device design” at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Gaithersburg, MD. To guide experimentalists in the process of materials discovery and design, accurate computational methodologies must be used. Currently, density functional theory (DFT) is the most widely used quantum mechanical method for such, due to its relative accuracy and efficiency. Despite this advantage, there are significant shortcomings of DFT that can be addressed by using more accurate many-body methodologies such as Quantum Monte Carlo (QMC). In this project we plan to use QMC to calculate accurate band gaps and spin-orbit splitting energies for pristine and “real” (doped/defective) two-dimensional (2D) quantum materials, focusing on those with a large mismatch between DFT and experimental results.

Jon who is advised by Prof. Hayden will work on “Spin Dynamics of Charge to Spin Conversion in Topological Insulators" at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington D.C. One of the key problems of modern magnetism is the ultrafast control of magnetic order. The objective of this research is to utilize current-driven spin-orbit torque originating from topological insulators to switch/manipulate the magnetization (Néel vector) of an antiferromagnetic material at near THz frequencies. To detect the Néel vector, we will employ terahertz spectroscopy, as well as make Hall resistivity measurements.

Congratulations to both!

Posted: September 30, 2021, 9:41 AM