What is your thesis topic?
I am studying the effects of ambient aging and oxygen plasma processing on the electrical properties of thin film WSe2 and PdSe2.
How is materials processing involved in your research?
I use oxygen plasma processing to control the electrical properties of the thin film semiconductors I work with. High energy oxygen radicals oxidize the top layer of the semiconductor into a metal oxide, which significantly changes electrical behavior without structural damage. Through mask technology, I am able to precisely control where the plasma is exposed to the material, thus allowing the creation of complex devices with a single processing step.
Provide an example of where the material/process/properties you are studying might find an application.
The materials I work with are used in electronics. Due to their extremely small scale (a sample one nanometer thick is easily achievable), they have the potential to reduce electrical components to a fraction of their current size. This means faster, lighter, smaller devices (possibly even nanosized) with increased power. Possible applications include phones that have the processing power of desktop computers and gas sensors that ft on your fingertip.