I'm an experimentalist at heart, I love working with cutting edge technology to develop new ways to probe physical phenomena.My Current Research Interests:
Optoelectronic probes of atomically thin materials provide a fertile testing ground for quantum mechanics. For the first time we can build materials where key measurable properties are determined by quantum confinement, leading to a large variety of strange behavior that runs contrary to human intuition. Understanding the behavior of these systems is no small challenge. Quantum optics, however, provides a rich set of tools for interacting with quantum systems. Quantum optoelectronics sits on an exciting boundary between quantum mechanics, materials science and optics. Making illuminating measurements requires data acquisition, processing and analysis on a large scale not seen in traditional condensed matter research, providing us with an exciting new challenge in experimental technology.
I am interested in pushing the state of the art in quantum optoelectronic experiments in both hardware and software. Our group has become proficient at making high-quality samples of atomically thin materials. But, determining their properties is difficult due to their quantum mechanical nature. My experiments excite a sample with femtosecond laser pulses and measure its response while controlling a large number of experimental parameters such as magnetic field, temperature, and wavelength. Using custom data acquisition and control software we can perform these measurements to map out the response of the sample spatially and temporally. With many such scans for different experimental parameters, we can construct a dense data set characterizing the response of a given nanodevice to external excitation. Analysis of these data sets will reveal insights into the physical processes and charge carrier dynamics of nanoscale systems.
Former Research Interests:
Autocollimating optical angle sensors (Autocollimators) are a powerful tool for high sensitivity measurements of angles. I developed a new kind of Multi-Slit Autocollimator optimized for high dynamic range and low frequency stability (link to paper). Autocollimators based on my research are now in use at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and in high precision gravitational experiments at the Eot-Wash group at the University of Washington.