Tiffany Paul

Tiffany Paul
Mentor: Dr. James Hamlin
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
 
"My plan to attain a doctorate and continue research in condensed matter physics is the result of a sustained curiosity, and I am working to achieve this goal by gathering the skills necessary for success in a research career."

Major

Physics

Minor

N/A

Research Interests

  • Condensed Matter Physics

Academic Awards

  • Anderson Scholar of Highest Distinction 2015
  • Undergraduate Research Fellow, Center of Condensed Matter Sciences 2015
  • Barry Goldwater Scholar 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016

Organizations

  • Society of Physics Students

Volunteer

Hobbies and Interests

  • Reading
  • Hiking
  • Painting
  • Cello

Research Description

High-Pressure Differential Conductance Measurements
In the world of computing, Moore’s law predicts that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits will double every year. In the past, this projection has held true, and Moore predicted that this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. However, to maintain the continued scaling that has proved so crucial for technological innovation, integrated circuits must evolve beyond silicon chips. One possible progression of integrated circuits is “spintronics”, which relies not just on the charge of electron but also on a quantum property called spin. Companies like Intel have already invested billions of dollars on existing manufacturing systems. For this reason, semiconductor-based spintronics are an attractive option, since the industrial process allows the use of similar equipment. Topological insulators are one such class of promising semiconductors that potentially provide a new, efficient, and inexpensive class of spintronic computer chips utilizing spin-based logic. To make advancements in spintronic devices, it is becoming increasingly important to understand the properties of topological insulators on a fundamental level. I am working to refine a soft point-contact spectroscopy (SPCS) technique in order to investigate novel materials with unique Landau level spectra at high magnetic fields using differential conductance measurements, probing both above and below a material’s Fermi level by tuning a bias voltage over the point-contact. Once this technique has been refined into a reliable method of observing Landau levels at high fields, it could then be adapted to observe the pressure dependence of these spectra in Dr. Hamlin’s high-pressure lab, with hopes of observing pressure-induced transitions between topological and trivial insulators.