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

Photoelectrochemical response of CZTS

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 | LinkedIn

Photovoltaic solar cells are among the fastest growing alternative energy technology with a capacity to generate 10% of the global power requirement. A significant expansion of the PV market will be possible by using manufacturing processes with earth abundant, environmentally friendly and low cost semiconductor based solar cells like the Cu2ZnSnS4 (CZTS) compound. Begum is currently working on synthesizing CZTS semiconductor compounds by use of simple and low cost electrodeposition and sulfurization methods. Our work focuses on the composition and morphology control as a function of applied potential and by using different electrolyte types to eliminate secondary phase formation to grow increase the phase purity. We are also interested in low temperature heat applications improve the order of the sulfurized layers to enhance the photoelectrochemical response of CZTS layers.

Outside of her academic endeavours, Begum is interested in Renaissance music, philosophy and she likes to travel to archaeological places.

Yin Xu

TiO2 Nanotubes for photoelectrochemical water-splitting

Yin Xu
Graduate Student
B.S. Wuhan University, Environmental Engineering, 2008
M.S. Wuhan University, Environmental Engineering, 2012
yx2we@eservices.virginia.edu

Coming Soon..


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.