Hope Physicists participate in the 2017 APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

Elizabeth Lindquist at CUWiP 2017
Elizabeth Lindquist, Anna Lunderberg, and Anna Wormmeester presented their research from the summer of 2016 at the Wayne State University CUWiP poster session.

Elizabeth Lindquist gave an oral presentation about her research in the Hope College Nuclear Group at the Wayne State University CUWiP.

 The Hope College contingent at the Wayne Sate University CUWiP. Dr. Jennifer Hampton, Anna Wormmeester, Britta Johnson, Anna Lunderberg, and Elizabeth Lindquist. The banquet on Saturday evening was held at the Michigan Science Center, just off the Wayne State campus.
When you let a bunch of physics students loose in a science museum, there is lots of fun in store!

Student Research Honored at National Engineering Conference

Rylan Prafke won an award and the 2016 Annual Meeting and National Student Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).  His presentation “Response of Surface Bound Hexacyanoferrate Films to Binary & Tertiary Metal Alloy Compositions” was co-authored with Dr. Jennifer Hampton, associate professor of physics.

Jacob Pledger also presented at the conference.  His work  “Crystalline Channeling of MeV Ion Beams,” which was co-authored with Dr. Stephen Remillard, associate professor of physics; and Dr. Paul A. DeYoung, who is the Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Physics.  It also appeared in the “Materials Engineering and Sciences 8” category.

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SPS Seminar – Summer research

SPS Seminar
Friday, October 14
3 pm
VW 104

Anna Lunderberg
Exploring the Effects of Copper on Composition and Charge Storage of Prussian Blue Analogue Pseudocapacitors

As energy usage has increased in recent years, there has been great demand for efficient, cost-effective, and earth-abundant materials to be used for energy storage. The ability to produce hexacyanoferrate (HCF) modified nickel film for use as a pseudocapacitor has already been demonstrated. This project focuses on the effects on the modification procedure and the resulting material of adding copper to the nickel metal film. A NiCu film was deposited onto a gold substrate with a controlled potential electrolysis experiment, then was modified and characterized with a cyclic voltammetry experiment. The composition was determined with a scanning electron microscope with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy before and after the modification process. Copper was selectively removed in some cases as a result of the modification. With increased levels of copper, the material can become structurally unsound and result in unintentional stripping of the material. Preliminary data suggests that as the pre-modification level of copper is increased, the resulting charge storage of the HCF film increases as well.

Alec Nelson
Scanning of the Intermodulation of Superconductor Resonators

At the resonant frequency, superconductor resonators produce intermodulation distortions, smaller signals near the resonant frequency. By inducing external microwave signals, it is possible to analyse the patterns of intermodulation distortions (IMD) in several different types of superconductor resonators. These measurements can be used to complement the main peak values like quality factor and frequency shift in order to understand nonlinearities present in the material of the superconductor. Once spatial distributions of IMD have been identified, they can be used to interpret IMD signals from unknown superconductors and identify various defects in the crystal structure. Using a probe outputting two combined tones into the resonator, it was possible to map the whole of a two-dimensional resonator, using the IMD as the z-direction. In order to best resolve the intermodulation distortions, two superconductors were imaged, a hairpin wide-line resonator and a thin, line resonator. A contour plot of the data was then generated, which displays the IMD of the given resonator.

Caleb Sword
Determining the Nuclear Structure of an Unstable 25O Isotope

One of the primary goals of nuclear physics research is to better understand the force that binds nucleons. This can be accomplished by studying the structure of neutron-rich isotopes. For this experiment, excited 25O nuclei were formed by a collision between a 101.3 MeV/u 27Ne ion beam and a liquid deuterium target at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. One resulting reaction involved two-proton removal from 27Ne particles, which created excited  25O nuclei that decayed into three neutrons and an 22O fragment. The four-vectors for the neutrons and 22O fragments were determined, allowing the calculation of the decay energy for this process on an event-by-event basis. However, another reaction would also take place, in which an alpha particle was stripped from the beam, creating 23O nuclei that decayed into an 22O fragment and a single neutron. In order to distinguish between 22O fragments and neutrons from both 25O and 23O isotopes, members of the MoNA collaboration are conducting GEANT4 simulations of each decay process in order to uncover their distinguishing characteristics. By successfully correlating simulated decay processes to experimental data, the relative cross sections of the two decay processes will be determined, and their decay energies will reveal more about their nuclear structures.

Rylan Prafke – 2016

Prafke_2Response of Surface Bound Hexacyanoferrate Films to Binary and Ternary Metal Alloys

Research Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hampton

Recently, there has been an increase in the use of intermittent renewable energy sources. By possessing a large volumetric charge density while maintaining rapid charging and discharging rates, electrochemical capacitors contribute to the diversity of energy storage materials that are needed to accommodate these new demands. In particular, hexacyanoferrate (HCF) films possess a crystal structure which remains physically unaltered during charge cycling, making it an ideal candidate for a durable pseudocapacitor. Transition metals were deposited onto a gold substrate from solution using an electrochemical cell to produce a NiCo or NiCoCu backbone for the thin films. These films are studied in a scanning electron microscope (SEM) with an energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) attachment to determine their structures and compositions. This particular study focuses on how the composition and processing of the metal layer affects the HCF film properties including charge storage, charge/discharge rates, and qualitative surface characteristics. Preliminary results suggest that the alloy processing contributes only slightly to variations in electrochemical properties.

This work was generously funded by the Hope College Dean for Natural & Applied Sciences Office, the Hope College Department of Physics, and the National Science Foundation under NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282+

Scott Joffre – 2016

Joffre_3Characterization of Cation Intercalation in Surface Bound Prussian Blue Analogues

Research Advisor: Dr. Jennifer Hampton

With the increasing popularity of handheld, rechargeable devices (such as smartphones) the demand for Lithium-ion batteries has also increased to fill this need. Alternative battery types provide an opportunity to lower costs by using more earth abundant elements. Prussian Blue Analogue (PBA) films are one alternative that have the benefit of admitting a more diverse range of ionic intercalants than lithium. This study focuses on the characterization of PBA films which are exposed to a variety of cations (Li+, Na+, K+) that differ from the initial solution in which they were created. We found that some films would exhibit enhanced features, such as, a larger charge capacity. Preliminary results demonstrate that some cation intercalants are more kinetically favorable, and out-compete each other for interstitial site occupation within the PBA lattice. Further research could look to the effect of using 2+ ions (Mg2+ and Ca2+) as the intercalant.

This material is based upon work supported by the Hope College Department of Physics, the Hope College Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences Office, and the National Science Foundation under NSF-MRI Grant No. CHE-0959282.