Mentor: Dr. Jacob Jones
College of Engineering
"I applied to the University Scholars program in the hopes of developing both my lab-technique and interpersonal skills in a laboratory setting. I also wanted to gain insight into the work that graduate students do because I was unsure as to whether graduate school or industry work was the right choice for me after completing my undergraduate degree. This year, I hope to be accepted into graduate school and present my research at a national conference."
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Intramural Award,
Florida Opportunity Scholars Award
Freshmen Wentworth Scholarship
University Honors Program
American Chemical Society.
Hobbies and Interests
Domain wall contributions and the high piezoelectric response in donor-modified PZT
Piezoelectric ceramics develop a spontaneous polarization when subjected to mechanical stress and conversely strain when an electric field is applied. These materials have many applications in industry in areas such as power sources, sensors, and actuators, and are of great importance within the materials science community. Currently the most viable piezoelectric material for industrial applications is lead zirconate titanate (PZT) due to its high d33, which is the extent to which a material show the piezoelectric effect. Understanding the link between microscopic structure and macroscopic properties of PZT is essential to designing more efficient and commercially applicable materials. A particularly important aspect of property manipulation is doping, or chemical modification. It has been shown that motion of piezoelectric domain walls within the crystal contributes significantly to observed d33, in some cases attributing to up to 50% of the property. Domain walls are known to be controlled by point defects and defect dipoles, which are created through doping. There has not yet been a systematic investigation of how different types and concentrations of dopants affect domain wall contributions. This project will determine the contribution of domain wall motion in a variety of compositions with varying doping. The field-amplitude dependence of d33 will be studied over a wide range of compositions and dopant concentrations. These experiments will measure d33 as a function of applied electric field and as a function of frequency; the slope is directly related to d33 and can be related to domain wall motion. The proposed studies will lead to a better insight into the relationship between doping and domain wall motion attributed d33, and understanding this connection is vital to creating more useful materials.