Current Students and Postdocs


Siyuan Ge

Magnetic characterization of Fe-Pt-Ni films.

Siyuan Ge
B.S. Materials Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, 2012
sg4zg@virginia.edu

Siyuan joined Dr. Zangari’s group to explore the electrodeposition of magnetic alloys and to tailor their magnetic properties for applications in magnetic storage and sensing. In her spare time, she likes movies, ball games and travelling.


Zachary Hoffman

Electrodeposited alloy film is de-alloyed to yield a nanoporous, high surface area surface.

Zachary Hoffman
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, 2012
zh5j@virginia.edu

Zach's research focuses on the use of alloy films for the electrochemical reduction of CO2. Cu has the ability to produce relatively large amounts of hydrocarbons during this process. However, CO2 reduction on Cu requires a large overpotential, resulting in low process efficiency. Au is able to reduce CO2 at lower overpotentials, but mainly produces CO. It is hypothesized that alloys of Au may allow for the multi-step reduction of CO2 to CO and CO to hydrocarbons via bimetallic effects. By controlling the morphology of the alloys through electrolyte chemistry and de-alloying we aim to optimize the reduction of CO2 on these alloys.

Outside of research, Zach enjoys playing basketball, hiking, traveling, watching movies, and exploring the Charlottesville nightlife.


Marcel Mibus

Electrowetting of dielectrics. Images from Shamai, R. Soft Matter 2008, 4, 38.

Marcel Mibus
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Virginia, 2010
M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia, 2013
mam3ha@virginia.edu

Marcel’s research focuses on studying low voltage electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) systems. EWOD consists in the change in apparent contact angle through the application of an external voltage, a phenomena which is at the basis of numerous microfluidic devices. Our efforts focus on understanding failure in thin high-k dielectrics biased in the solid state as well as in a metal/dielectric/electrolyte configuration, and on the fabrication of hydrophobic topcoats using fluoropolymers or self-assembled monolayers. The contact angle hysteresis and saturation of these layers in low voltage operation is studied both in a static and dynamic contact angle configuration; this allows to achieve a better understanding of the surface quality and to assess the performance of the interface under operation.



Lok-kun Tsui

TiO2 nanotubes formed by anodization.

Lok-kun Tsui
B.S. Physics, James Madison University, 2009
M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, University of Virginia, 2011
lt7ze@virginia.edu

Solar energy is one of the few renewable, carbon-free energy sources capable of meeting the world’s energy demands in the 21st century. However, one of the main challenges of solar energy is that demand continues throughout the night, when photovoltaic (PV) solar cells can only operate when the sun is shining. To complement solar PV, Lok-kun is developing photoelectrochemical solar cells which convert directly sunlight into hydrogen as a storable fuel using TiO2 nanotubes as photoanode materials. The high surface area, 1D charge transport, and resistance to corrosion in solution and under light make them attractive as a photoelectrochemical solar cell material. Our work focuses on nanotube modification to enhance electrical transport properties, widen the absorption spectrum, and facilitate the reaction of water oxidation. His interests outside of school includes game design, programming, and sky photography.


Begum Unveroglu

Chalcopyrite (CuInS2)

Begum Unveroglu
B.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Gebze Institute of Technology, 2010
M.S. Materials Science and Engineering, Gebze Institute of Technology, 2012
bu3ey@virginia.edu

Begum joined Dr. Zangari’s group in 2012. She is currently working on the electrodeposition of Cu-In thin films as precursors for the promising photovoltaic material CuInSa2. Electrodeposition is a relatively low-cost method for the synthesis of semiconductor absorber films, especially compared to vacuum system methods. Using underpotential electrodeposition, it is possible to synthesize CuIn films with uniform composition, facilitating homogeneous sulfurization and thus achieving the stoichiometry required for efficient and stable photovoltaic cells.

Outside of her academic endeavors, Begum is interested in Renaissance music and she likes to travel to archeological places.


Fu Zhao

Columnar structured Co-Ni-P films

Fu Zhao
Postdoc
Ph.D. Materials Engineering, Polytechnic University of Milan, 2014
fz3n@eservices.virginia.edu

Fu is a postdoc who is working on the practical, inexpensive process to coat a metallic rod with a ferromagnetic material that is capable of 1) storing information in the form of magnetization transitions; 2) maintaining the stored information during operation in the field; 3) providing good tribological performance. The main research activities involved in: study of cobalt nucleation and cellular growth mechanisms on various steel substrates; investigation of the relationship between crystallographic structure and magnetic properties of CoNiP coating; controlled growth of nanocolumnar CoNiP coating on various steel substrates; wear and friction tribology testing of coated components.

He also works on the electrodeposition of metallic thin film alloys for magnetic and thermoelectric properties, as well as the synthesis of solid-state solar cells based on organometal halide perovskites.