News

Luis Jauregui

Summer 2019. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a Master of Science in Physics in May 2019, Luis has joined the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. Luis was with the group for three years studying molecular ferroelectric crystals. He made outstanding contributions to the understanding of crystal morphology and the effects of deuteration on the ferroelectric-to-paraelectric phase transition. 

Andrew Fanning

Summer 2019. Andrew Fanning (2019 B.S. in Physics) graduated With Distinction from the University of Nebraska. Andy worked with the group for over three years, making outstanding contributions to the growth and characterization of molecular ferroelectric microcrystals, culminating in his 2019 Honors Thesis "Ordered Growth of Ferroelectric Diisopropylammonium-Bromide Microcrystals through Slotted-Jar Growth and Lithographically Controlled Wetting." Andy has enrolled in graduate school in Physics at Brown University as of Fall 2019.

Shashi Poddar

Spring 2019. Shashi has joined the research staff at Euclid TechLabs, LLC, a research and development company specializing in the area of conventional, dielectric and superconducting RF accelerators

Jingfeng Song

November 2018. Dr. Jingfeng Song (Ph.D. 2016) has moved to the University of Connecticut to join the research group of Prof. Brian D. Huey, head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 

Shashi Poddar Returns!

September 2018. After a productive period of research with  Prof. Alan Jonas in Brussels (see below), Shashi has returned to Lincoln to join Prof. Xiaoshan Xu's group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. 

Ben Sukup Graduates!

May 2017. Ben Sukup graduates from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. Ben works at Kawasaki in Lincoln.

Jingfeng Song

August 2016. Dr. Jingfeng Song (Ph.D. 2016) has joined the research group of Prof. Xia Hong in the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Building at Catholic University of Louvain

Shashi Poddar off to Belgium!

September 2016. Dr. Shashi Poddar (Ph.D. 2014) is off to the Catholic University of Louvain for a post-doctoral position with our friend and colleague Prof. Alan Jonas in the Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences (IMCN). So, Shashi, here are three things to remember. Do good science. Enjoy the food and drink. Learn about the people and country. 

Photograph of Tim Reece

Tim Reece Promoted

August 2016. Dr. Timothy Reece (Ph.D. 2007) was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in the Department of Physics and Physical Science at the University of Nebraska at Kearney

Song's Paper Featured in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C

Journal Cover showing the nanoimprint processJuly 2016. Jingfeng Songs latest paper will be featured on the back cover an upcoming issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry C. This work is the capstone of his Ph.D. Dissertation work, which was completed in May.

"Ferroelectric polymer nanopillars on flexible substrates by reverse nanoimprint lithography,” J. Mater. Chem. C. 4, 5914 (2016)

See also: 

"Fabrication of ferroelectric polymer nanostructures on flexible substrates by soft-mold reverse nanoimprint lithography," Nanotechnology 27, 015302 (2016)

"Polarization imaging in ferroelectric polymer thin film capacitors by pyroelectric scanning microscopy," Appl. Physics Letters 104, 192901 (2014)

Oral History Interview with Vladimir Fridkin

Photograph of Vladimir FridkinDecember 2015. Our friend and colleague Vladimir Fridkin was interviewed in his Moscow apartment for the Engineering and Technology History Wiki by Sydney Lang of Ben Gurion University of the Negev. Born in Moscow in 1929, Vladimir's life and career has spanned more than eight decades from Soviet times to modern Russia, from Moscow University to the Shubnikov Institute of Crystallography, to many visiting positions at Universities around the world, including UNL. Among his scientific and technological accomplishments during his long career are the independent invention of electrophotography (the technology behind photocopiers and laser printers), the bulk photovoltaic effect in ferroelectrics, and two-dimensional ferroelectricity. The author of seven technical books and over three hundred scientific papers, his literary work is perhaps more famous in Russia, where he is a well-known Pushkin Scholar and Short Story Writer and author of ten literary books. Vladimir lives in Moscow with his wife Ira, and both continue to work and to travel the world.

Summer Research in 2016

Photo of the Ducharme group, Summer 2016We are fortunate to have many outstanding young scientists joining us this summer to work on molecular ferroelectrics research. Regular group members Shashi Poddar, Jingfeng Song, Ross Kuchta, Ben Sukup, Andy Fanning, and Shuo Sun are joined by: Professor Tim Reece and student Evan Folk from the University of Nebraska at Kearny; science teachers Steve Wignall form Seward High School and Melissa Terry from Lincoln High School; Undergraduate student Cynthia Shrestha from the University of New Orleans; and student Felix Cui from Lincoln East High School and Cole Shank from Lincoln High School.   

New Group Members

Spring, 2016. Two researchers have recently joined the group. Ross Kuchta is a first-year UNL graduate student who has joined us to work on his Ph.D. in Physics. Ross received his Bachelor of Science in nearby Southwest Minnesota State University. Dr. Shuo Sun joins us as a visiting professor to work on projects of mutual interest involving ferroelectric polymers. Sun received his M.S. and Ph.D. from Lanzhou University is and is currently an Associate Professor in the National Laboratory for Infrared Physics, Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Jinfeng Song at Graduation, May 2016Jingfeng Song receives a Ph.D. in Physics

May 2016. Since Jingfeng joined the group in in 2010, he has made many important contributions, many of which are reported in his Dissertation, "Nanopatterning of Ferroelectric Polymer and High Resolution Pyroelectric Scanning Microscopy," for which he was awarded a Ph.D. from the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy in May 2016. His notable contributions to science include high-resolution polarization imaging with the paper "Polarization imaging in ferroelectric polymer thin film capacitors by pyroelectric scanning microscopy" (Applied Physics Letters), and low-pressure nanoimprintingin "Fabrication of ferroelectric polymer nanostructures on flexible substrates by soft-mold reverse nanoimprint lithography" (Nanotechnology) and "Ferroelectric polymer nanopillars on flexible substrates by reverse nanoimprint lithography" (Journal of Materials Chemistry C). He also played an important role in work reported by our collaborators: with Prof. Jinsong Huang in Mechanical and Materials Engineering, "Lateral-Structure Single-Crystal Hybrid Perovskite Solar Cells Via Piezoelectric Poling" (Advanced Materials); and with Prof. Yongfeng Lu in Electrical Engineering, "Multimodal Nonlinear Optical Imaging of MoS2 and MoS2-Based van der Waals Heterostructures" (ACS Nano). 

Jingfeng Song makes lots of ferroelectric nanopillars

Diagram of steps in production of ferroelectric nanopillarsA July 2016 paper in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C describes Jingfeng's uses soft-mold reverse nanoimprinting lithography to make arrays of nanopillars from ferroelectric polyvinylidene fluoride.

"Ferroelectric polymer nanopillars on flexible substrates by reverse nanoimprint lithography," by J. Song, H. Lu, S. Li, Li Tan, A. Gruverman, S. Ducharme, to appear in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C (2016). DOI: 10.1039/C6TC01848C

Shashi Poddar Flexes the Nanoscale

Nanoscale Flexoelectricity Paper FigureA January 2016 paper in Applied Physics Letters describes Shashi's study of the flexoelectric effect in ultrathin polymer films. His main finding was that the flexoelectric response increases by up to a factor of 70 as the film thickness decreases. The results suggest that this effect can be exploited in nanostructured high-performance electromechanical devices and energy harvesters. 

Jingfeng Song Improves NanoImprinting for Striped Ferroelectric Polymer

Nanoimprinting Figure A January 2016 paper in Nanotechnology describes Jingfeng's a low-cost method of nanoimprint lithography that uses commercial DVD-R disks as molds to print regular arrays of lines from ferroelectric polyvinylidene fluoride. "Fabrication of ferroelectric polymer nanostructures on flexible substrates by soft-mold reverse nanoimprint lithography," by J. Song, H. Lu, S. Li, L. Tan, A. Gruverman and S. Ducharme, Nanotechnology 27, 015301 (2016). DOI: 10.1088/0957-4484/27/1/015302

Mitchell Schmidt Graduates, heads for Medical School

Mitch graduated with a B.S. in Physics in May 2015 and will be studying medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

Shashi Poddar receives a Ph.D. in Physics

Since Shashi joined the group in in 2009, he has made many important contributions, many of which are reported in his Dissertation "Study of flexoelectric effect in VDF based polymers and synthesis of novel organic ferroelectrics," for which he was awarded a Ph.D. from the UNL Department of Physics and Astronomy in December 2014. Among Shashi's  notable contributions to science are his studies of the flexoelectric effect in polymers, which were reported in Applied Physics Letters and the Journal of Applied Physics. He was also a significant contributor to the Huang Group's studies ferroelectric-enhanced polymer photovoltaics, led by Prof. Jinsong Huang in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, as reported in Nature Materials, Advanced Materials, and in Energy & Environmental Science -- to study nanoscale polarization and domain studies of ferroelectric polymers and oligomers, as reported in one, two papers in the Journal of Applied Physics, and one, two, three papers in Applied Physics Letters. He continues with our group as a post-doc working with the UNL MRSEC on the Molecular Ferroelectrics Thrust

W. E. Moerner Shares the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry!

Photograph of W. E. MoernerBefore joining the faculty at UNL, Prof. Ducharme worked for two years as a visiting scientist at IBM under the mentorship of W. E. Moerner on a project to develop the first photorefractive polymers. Moerner, now the Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, was at the same time pioneering the technique of single-molecule spectroscopy that now enables super-resolution microscopy, so-called "Nanoscopy", which allows scientist to image molecules and biological structures with nanometer resolution using fluorescence and fluorescent microscopy to beat the conventional optical limit imposed by diffraction. This work earned him the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Erik Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Stefan Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry. UNL physics graduate Arosha Goonesekera (Ph.D. 1998), worked with W. E. at Stanford as a post-doc studying photorefractive polymers. Congratulations to W. E. and to the many students, post-docs, and associates who have worked with him on the now burgeoning field of Nanoscopy. 

Shashi Awarded CREST Fellowship!

Shashi Poddar was awarded the inaugural Teaching And Research Fellowship at the CREST Center for Advanced Functional Materials, California State University-San Bernardino. Shashi will work with CSUSB faculty to teach a course on nanoscience and conduct research on Molecular Ferroelectrics for the 2014 Fall Quarter. 

REU student Jennie Pirolo from CSUSB at the UNL Summer Research Symposium

JP On Twitter — UNLGradStudies (@UNLGradStudies), August 6, 2014

Jingfeng's Paper Published in APL

PSM apparatus "Polarization imaging in ferroelectric polymer thin film capacitors by pyroelectric scanning microscopy,"Jingfeng Song, Haidong Lu, Alexei Gruverman, and Stephen Ducharme Applied Physics Letters 104 (19), 192901 (2014).

Shashi's Talk Featured

January 28, 2014
Shashi Poddar's talk entitled Designing Novel Organic Ferroelectric Crystals was featured at the Workshop on Fundamental Physics of Ferroelectrics and Related Materials.

Cover of Ferroelectricity at the NanoscaleHot off the Press!

Ferroelectricity at the Nanoscale
Vladimir Fridkin and Stephen Ducharme
© 2014, Springer Nanoscience and Technology

Kristin earns a Ph.D. and a Faculty Position!

Kansas Wesleyan Campus BuildingFall 2013: Kristin Kraemer received a Ph.D. in Physics and started at her new job as Assistant Professor of Physics at Kansas Wesleyan University in Lawrence, KS.