News: AEP

Selected news pieces highlighting accomplishments of the School of Applied and Engineering Physics faculty, students and alumni. 

depiction of energy band gap

Ultrawide bandgap gives material high-power potential

By: David Nutt

A Cornell collaboration has found a way to grow a single crystalline layer of alpha-aluminum gallium oxide that has the widest energy bandgap to date – a discovery that clears the way for new semiconductors that will handle higher voltages, higher power densities and higher frequencies than previously seen. The collaboration was led by co-senior authors Debdeep Jena and Huili Grace Xing, both professors in electrical and computer engineering and in materials science and engineering. The team also included David Muller, the Samuel B. Eckert Professor in Applied and Engineering Physics, who... Read more

fuchs and shan photos

Greg Fuchs and Jie Shan named 2020 Research Excellence Award Winners

Associate Professor Greg Fuchs and Professor Jie Shan were both awarded the 2020 Research Excellence Award from Cornell College of Engineering, given to faculty in recognition of research contributions and leadership. Nine awards were given to Cornell Engineering faculty this year. Research Excellence Awards were first established in 2015 to recognize the importance of leadership in innovative research. Past AEP faculty to receive the award include Professor David Muller (2018) and Professor Chris Xu (2017). Learn more about this year's awardees and past winners on the Research Excellence... Read more

two-dimensional semi-conductors, stacked

Researchers trap electrons to create elusive crystal

By: David Nutt

Like restless children posing for a family portrait, electrons won’t hold still long enough to stay in any kind of fixed arrangement. Now, a Cornell-led collaboration has developed a way to stack two-dimensional semiconductors and trap electrons in a repeating pattern that forms a specific and long-hypothesized crystal. The team’s paper, “Correlated Insulating States at Fractional Fillings of Moiré Superlattices,” published Nov. 11 in Nature. The paper’s lead author is postdoctoral researcher Yang Xu. The project grew out of the shared lab of Kin Fai Mak, associate professor of physics in the... Read more

Watt Webb pictured in lab

Watt Webb, biological imaging techniques pioneer, dies

By: Anne Ju Manning

Applied physicist Watt W. Webb, the S.B. Eckert Professor of Engineering Emeritus and a pioneer in methods for imaging living biological systems, died Oct. 29 in New York City. He was 93. Webb was best known as the biophysicist who co-invented fluorescence correlation spectroscopy and multiphoton microscopy – imaging techniques that have revolutionized how scientists observe biological dynamics and structures deep within living tissue. Read the full Cornell Chronicle article. Read more

CHESS beamline

CHESS receives $32.6M from NSF for new X-ray beamline

By: David Nutt

CHESS received $32.6M from NSF to build a High Magnetic Field beamline, which will allow researchers to conduct precision X-ray studies of materials in persistent magnetic fields. “This significant new infusion of NSF funding for Cornell’s CHESS lab will guarantee the preservation and expansion of its revolutionary scientific research in the heart of upstate New York,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. Read more

stem image of tooth

Smile: Atomic imaging finds root of tooth decay

By: David Nutt

A collaboration between researchers from Cornell, Northwestern University and University of Virgina combined complementary imaging techniques to explore the atomic structure of human enamel, exposing tiny chemical flaws in the fundamental building blocks of our teeth. The findings could help scientists prevent or possibly reverse tooth decay. Read the full Chronicle Article here. Read more

muller graphic of empad

Hardware to count every electron and software to make sure every electron counts

Regarding his team's new mixed-state electron ptychography method, Professor David Muller, Samuel B. Eckert Professor of Engineering, says it entails: “hardware to count every electron and software to make sure every electron counts.” Mixed-state electron ptychography uses complex algorithms to achieve faster, less destructive, more efficient imaging with picometer precision. Learn more: "When imaging atoms, blurrier is better". Read more

Professor Jie Shan and Associate Professor Kin Fai Mak

Researchers control elusive spin fluctuations in 2D magnets

Professor Jie Shan and Associate Professor Kin Fai Mak co-author recent paper on a new real-time imaging technique that is fast and sensitive enough to observe elusive critical fluctuations in two-dimensional magnets. This technique allows researchers to control the fluctuations and switch magnetism via a “passive” mechanism that could eventually lead to more energy-efficient magnetic storage devices. The team’s paper, “Imaging and Control of Critical Fluctuations in Two-Dimensional Magnets,” published June 8 in Nature Materials. Learn more in the Cornell Chronicle article here. Read more

image from Fuchs

Acoustics put a fresh spin on electron transitions

By: David Nutt

Fuchs’s group demonstrates spin resonance can be driven solely by acoustics. eliminates need for the magnetic antenna. The team’s paper, “Acoustically Driving the Single Quantum Spin Transition of Diamond Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers,” published May 27 in Physical Review Applied. Read more

etch a sketch

Rewritable magnetic patterning: think tiny Etch A Sketch

By: Syl Kacapyr

AEP Associate Professor Greg Fuchs among the multifaceted team that recently published “Local Photothermal Control of Phase Transitions for On-Demand Room-Temperature Rewritable Magnetic Patterning” in Advanced Materials. The study demonstrates a technique for writing, erasing and rewriting microscopic magnetic patterns onto a material and has applications for ultrafast computer memory. Read the Cornell Chronicle article: "Rewritable magnetic patterning: think tiny Etch A Sketch." Read more