Hengming Li, a Master's student working with Dr. Amet, has had two recent publications on the study of electronic and thermal properties of materials at the nanoscale level. The work focused on using nanofabrication techniques to design electronic devices with tailored electronic properties. Near absolute zero, Hengming and his fellow researchers can explore novel phenomena due to quantum mechanics. Read below to hear more about about Hengming's research with Dr. Amet and the impact it has had on him both personally and academically. Congratulations to Hengming Li and his fellow researchers!
Q: What research do you conduct with Dr. Amet?
A: Currently, I am involved in the entire fabrication process of such devices, which is my contribution to the recent two publications. This involves using micro-manipulators to encapsulate graphene in between two hexagonal boron nitride flakes through a crystal stacking process. By using atomic force microscopy to analyze and select a clean region, I then perform electron beam lithography and magnetron sputtering to deposit electrodes to complete the fabrication. I also previously worked on the fabrication and design of our 4K cryocooler. After countless hours of redesigning and soldering at awkward positions, we recently just observed superconductivity here at Appalachian for the first time.
Q: How has working in Dr. Amet's lab impacted you academically?
A: Doing research with Dr. Amet is undoubtedly the most valuable and impactful experience that I had at Appalachian. I started off with zero knowledge of what doing research is like and had no applicable skills. After a few months of training, I was able to operate various complicated equipment, as well as slowly develop the mindset of a researcher and grasp the complex physics behind the research. This research experience helped me develop the professionalism, persistence, and commitment that are required for scientific research. Understanding these aspects prepares me for many real-world projects and for future opportunities.
Q: How does it feel to have your work published?
A: Having our work published is one of the greatest rewards for all of our hard work in the lab. It is the moment when you know all of the efforts that you spent struggling on an issue finally paid off. I am planning to pursue a Ph.D. in quantum information. My research experiences and publications can not only help me with my application process, but I also get to taste a small bite of what being a Ph.D. student is like.