All Facilities Open for Users


2021 PARADIM REU Research Descriptions


In order to offer our applicants the best possible experience in our programs, we ask you to rate the following fields of research / project descriptions from #1 (most interested) to #8 (least interested).


The Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM) is a new national user facility at Cornell and Johns Hopkins University dedicated to the discovery and fabrication of materials with unprecedented properties that do not exist in nature. We are seeking REU interns interested in not only growing these new materials, but also in optimizing and improving the equipment used to grow and characterize them. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) and MOCVD (metal-organic chemical vapor deposition) are state-of-the-art thin film growth techniques with atomic precision, and we have unique systems with world class capability.. Laser Pedestal  and High Pressure Optical Floating Zone (FZ) are world leading bulk crystal growth capabilities.  PARADIM also houses the world's highest resolution electron microscope which allows your to probe materials atom-by-atom. Electronic and structural properties are characterized at PARADIM using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) and x-ray diffraction (XRD). Specifically, oxide and chalcogenide bulk crystalline and thin films for next generation electronics will be grown. PARADIM is also spearheading new data-rich Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning techniques to improve materials discovery.

PARADIM REU @ Cornell Project 1: A New Lens to Look at Electrons in Thin Films

The PARADIM laboratory where this project will take place houses both an MBE + ARPES system. Molecular Beam Expitaxy (MBE) is a technique used for fabricating materials atomic layer by atomic layer. Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES) is a technique used for measuring electronic structures.  The REU intern assigned to this project will likely be involved in the first data acquisitions with this new, world-leading thin film growth and characterization system that is a signature tool of the PARADIM labs. It is also probable that part of the project will involve some hardware mounting and modifications, which provides an opportunity to learn about designing and building ultra-high vacuum (UHV) equipment.

PARADIM REU @ Cornell Project 2: Understanding Materials Properties Using Quantum Mechanical Simulations

First principles methods, such as density functional theory (DFT), solve quantum mechanical systems at the level of electrons and atoms. DFT calculations provide information about ground state properties including atomic positions, lattice parameters, volume, bond lengths, electronic band structure, atomic forces, and phonon frequencies. Using the results of these calculations, it is possible to predict microscopic phenomena in a specific material. As an REU intern you will first learn how to use a DFT software package with your mentor. Once you have gained familiarity with the software and can run the simulations on your own, you will model the physical properties of a material of interest to a PARADIM project. Your theoretical predictions will be compared to experimental results and provide valuable input to PARADIM scientists.

PARADIM REU @ Cornell Project 3: Growing 2D Transition Metal Dichalogenide (2D-TMD) Materials for PARADIM Users

Monolayer two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides, 2D-TMDs, exhibit interesting and unusual electronic properties. For example, while bulk MoS2, MoSe2, WS2 and WSe2 are indirect semiconductors not suitable for photodetectors and electroluminescent devices, at a monolayer thick they are direct band gap materials very suitable for such applications. Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) is on the forefront in producing the monolayers needed to study the new physics and applications of low dimensional material interfaces. As an REU summer intern, you will learn to grow 2D-TMD materials by MOCVD for PARADIM users and learn to characterize them by scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. It is possible that you could be involved in the discovery of a new physical phenomenon or application!

PARADIM REU @ Cornell Project 4: Development of a Multipurpose Ultrahigh Vacuum System for Electrical and Optical Measurements of Surface-Modified Quantum Materials

The goal of The Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials (PARADIM) is to discover and characterize quantum materials, specifically superconductors. The challenge with synthesizing and characterizing most quantum material samples is that they are extremely air sensitive, meaning that exposure to atmospheric pressure will damage the sample making it unable to be characterized. At one atmospheric pressure, particulates in the air (dust) deposit onto the sample’s surface making it impossible for instruments to characterize the sample. To combat this challenge, samples are synthesized and characterized in ultra-high vacuum (UHV). UHV is defined as any pressure 10-9 torr. At low pressures, samples can be used for longer since they are not being ruined by air particulates. PARADIM has created a lab in 308 Duffield Hall at Cornell University that integrates and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) with material characterization instruments all connected in UHV, keeping the sample clean as they transport it from synthesis to characterization. During this summer, PARADIM was beginning to implement another UHV synthesis and characterization system at Cornell University. The goal of our project is to help coordinate the layout of chambers in the PARADIM lab, as well as design UHV chambers that would be used by PARADIM Researchers.

PARADIM REU @ Cornell Project 5: Probing Quantum Materials at the Atomic Scale.

Modern electron microscopes have enabled imaging of materials with exceptional detail.  Today, the structure, chemistry and bonding of crystalline materials such as those grown in PARADIM's thin film and bulk crystal growth facilities can be probed down to the atomic scale.  Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) in particular is a powerful technique to understand the role of interfaces, defects and picometer scale atomic lattice distortions in these systems.  In this project, you will be working with the world's highest resolution microscope to study new quantum materials grown at PARADIM.  You will also be using and developing Python based analysis code to extract key information from the large datasets generated during a typical STEM experiment.

PARADIM @Johns Hopkins Project 6:  Advancing Material Synthesis in a National User Facility

The successful applicant will utilize the world-unique floating zone and data capabilities of PARADIM to carry out discoveries of materials relevant to applicable quantum materials, particularly those materials necessary to build complex quantum fabrics exhibiting unparalleled electronic and magnetic behaviors.

PARADIM REU @ Johns Hopkins Project 7: Building the Materials Data Infrastructure

The successful applicant will further the design and implementation of a materials data infrastructure, to enable seamless collection and use of data from a range of experimental and theoretical techniques in materials synthesis to make data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR).

PARADIM REU @ Johns Hopkins Project 8: Development of New High Pressure Laser Pedestal Synthesis Capabilities

The successful applicant will further the design and implementation of a new high pressure, multi kilowatt laser pedestal growth furnace for quantum materials discovery.