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Physics Colloquium - Graduate Student Presentations

This is a past event.

Thursday, January 12, 2023, 4 pm– 5 pm

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  • 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
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This is a past event.

Thursday, January 12th at 4 PM - Fisher Hall 139


Please join these in-person presentations.


Seth Nelson [Advisor: Miguel Levy]


Discretized Wavevectors in Bulk Magneto-Optics


Magneto-Optical materials are media in which the propagation of electromagnetic radiation is non-reciprocally modified by the presence of a magnetic field. Here we will show that the wavevectors of propagating optical beams undergo a natural discretization after internal reflection. This natural discretization results in a nonlocal complex amplitude superposition of polarization states, emulating quantum phenomena while maintaining a classical architecture. Our analysis reveals the emergence of a multiplicity of discretized modes within elliptical and linear polarization pairs. Previously we have experimentally verified the existence of these polarization pairs in the classical regime for visible and infrared wavelengths. Moreover, these phenomena are nonreciprocal, meaning that reversing the direction of propagation does not restore the original inputs. The mode multiplicity generated in the bulk magneto-optical materials is not due to confinement or resonance effects. Rather, it arises from the variance in the refractive index for different beam-propagation directions in the bulk material. Theoretical and numerical solutions leading to this result will be presented, together with computational verification of the theory applied to bismuth-substituted iron garnets. These results may lead to applications to quantum phenomena with single photons while maintaining a simpler classical architecture.




Jeff Kabel [Advisor: Yoke Khin Yap]


Synthesis and Characterization of Sustainable Quantum Dots for Clean Energy Production



Quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSSCs) have theoretical power conversion efficiencies that surpass the Shockley-Queisser limit; however, these devices often rely on expensive cadmium or lead-based materials which are carcinogenic and toxic. Sustainable, biologically compatible alternatives would be ideal for wide-adoption of QDSSCs. Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) quantum dots have been shown to have broad absorption bands and good biocompatibility, potentially making them useful for environmentally friendly QDSSCs. In this work, the synthesis and characterization of MoSquantum dots will be discussed, followed by the initial results of MoS­2-based QDSSCs. Additionally, the characterization of novel ultraviolet emitting quantum dots will be discussed.

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  • 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931
  • Alex Hirzel
  • Swafuva Varappillikudy Sulaiman

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