PARADIM, the Platform for the Accelerated Realization, Analysis, and Discovery of Interface Materials, is a new national user facility at Cornell dedicated to the discovery and fabrication of materials with unprecedented properties that do not exist in nature. Each year we invite selected interns interested in not only growing new materials targeted by PARADIM users, but also in optimizing and improving the techniques used to grow, characterize, and provide theoretical guidance leading to their discovery and optimization. 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. Electronic and structural properties are characterized at PARADIM using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), x-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Specifically, PARADIM REU students will use first principles techniques to provide theoretical guidance in the design of oxides and chalcogenides, they will synthesize oxides and chalcogenides in thin film form using MBE and MOCVD, they will characterize them using ARPES and XRD, and they will improve PARADIM hardware and capabilities.
The PARADIM REU Program is designed to give undergraduate students an introductory research experience in the growth, structural/electrical characterization, or use of first-principles theory relevant to thin films of transition metal oxides or chalcogenides currently being researched as next generation electronic materials within PARADIM. These projects include improving the techniques available within PARADIM to grow and characterize materials. Students selected will work on an independent research project using the advanced resources available in PARADIM facility labs and the facilities of the Cornell Center for Materials Research (CCMR).
Projects are scaled to be challenging yet achievable within the program’s ten-week time frame.
The program runs early June through mid-August. This ten-week introduction to a scientific research career will culminate with a convocation held jointly with the REU students from the Cornell NanoScale Facility (CNF) where each intern will give a final presentation. Interns also write a two-page report, due on at the end of the program, that will be posted on the PARADIM website.
PARADIM REU interns receive a $5,000 stipend and housing, and up to $500 in qualified travel expenses. There are social gatherings and reasonably priced bus trips to NYS and Niagara Falls (optional/not a part of your financial package) designed to help you meet and make friends with the other ~100 REU students at Cornell. While we do not provide a meal plan, a great deal of free food is regularly available!
2019 REU Program Projects
Cornell Project 1 (1 student)
PARADIM REU Project Title: A New Lens to Look at Electrons in Thin Films
Project Description: The PARADIM laboratory where this project will take place houses both an MBE and an ARPES. 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. By this summer, the two setups will be connected and the combined system will be under commissioning. 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.
Cornell Project 2 (2 students)
PARADIM REU Project Title: Understanding materials properties using quantum mechanical simulations
Project Description: 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.
Cornell Project 3 (1 student)
PARADIM REU Project Title: Growing 2D Transition Metal Dichalogenide (2D-TMD) Materials for PARADIM Users
Project Description: 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!
Cornell Project 4 (1 student)
PARADIM REU Project Title: Synthesis of Atomically Thin Films of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs)
Project Description: Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), which form three-atom-thick monolayers, exhibit interesting and unique electronic properties including large excitonic effect, indirect-to-direct bandgap transition, piezoelectricity, and valleytronics. The direct band gap of monolayer TMDs makes them an ideal candidate for electronic and optoelectronic devices such as photodetectors and light emitting diodes. Metal-Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD) is on the forefront in producing high-quality TMDs for studying their new physics and applications of low dimensional material interfaces. As an REU summer intern, you will gain experience on both material synthesis and characterization: You will learn to grow 2D-TMD materials by MOCVD for PARADIM users and learn to characterize them by scanning electron microscopy, optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and atomic force microscopy.