From August 2013 to December 2017, I studied physics at George Mason University. I was lucky enough to start doing research at Mason pretty early on in my undergraduate career. As a first semester sophomore, I began working for Dr. Patrick Vora in his experimental condensed matter and materials characterization lab.
From then until graduation, I continued to work with Dr. Vora on a wide range of projects. I primarily studied transition metal dichalcogenides, charge transfer crystals, and single-walled carbon nanotubes, using techniques like Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy to examine materials’ optoelectronic properties. (I also spent a lot of time custom-coding instrumentation programs, writing data analysis programs, and getting really familiar with computer programming in general).
I also learned about the wide-ranging applications of these materials, from bioelectronics and organic solar cells to neuromorphic chips and neurotransmitter sensors. Learning about the potential impacts of my research played a central role in shaping my path as an undergraduate scientist. I loved the idea that my work could one day improve human health and lead to new medical innovations.