Welcome to the PAMS department seminars!

Attending seminars is a great way to expand ones knowledge in our areas of physics, astronomy, and materials science. Each semester, invited faculty from other universities and from MSU, PAMS alumni students, and our current graduate students give talks on their research or their work. Faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students of the PAMS department are highly encouraged to attend our seminars. The MSU community as a whole is also more than welcome to attend.

Seminars are in Kemper Hall #204 on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.​​​​​​​

(unless otherwise noted)

See the CNAS Events for other college seminars.
List of previous seminars.


Spring 2023 Seminar Schedule

Date Speaker Title
1/26 1st week of classes No seminar

Simon Batzner
Harvard University

Equivariant Interatomic Potentials

Abstract: Symmetry plays a central role in the representation of materials for the purpose of Machine Learning. In particular, all sensible representations must obey the symmetries of 3D space: translation, rotation, and inversion, in addition to permutation symmetry with respect to the labeling of atoms. Traditionally, representations have been constructed to possess invariance with respect to the above transformations. In this talk, I will discuss our efforts to generalize invariance to the broader class of equivariant representations and demonstrate how this leads to a large increase in generalization accuracy and sample-efficiency of the learned models. The talk will then discuss the recently introduced Neural Equivariant Interatomic Potential (NequIP) and Allegro potentials, two E(3)-equivariant Interatomic Potential that exhibit unprecedented accuracy and sample efficiency and outperform invariant potentials with up to 1000x fewer reference data. I will discuss applications to a diverse set of materials systems, including Li diffusion, amorphous structures, heterogeneous catalysis, and water.

2/9 Dr. Deepak Singh
University of Missouri
Designer Magnet with Fundamental and Practical Implications
Abstract: Magnetic honeycomb lattice is a highly intriguing physical system, which has drawn lot of attention in both the bulk and the two-dimensional nanostructured specimens. Study of the artificially designed nanoscopic honeycomb lattice, artificial honeycomb spin ice, is argued to unravel many novel facets of topological magnetic charge physics. In addition to the inherent geometrical frustration, the competing nature of exchange interactions (J1, J2 terms) in thermally tunable artificial magnetic honeycomb lattice renders a disorder-free environment for the exploration of new quantum mechanical phenomenon or gorund state. Our research has revealed the development of highly unexpected magnetic charge liquid state in the quasi-classical system. The magnetic charge liquid state is characterized by the massively degenerate ground state of magnetic charges that remain unperturbed to high magnetic field application, and a perpetual dynamic state in the absence of thermal fluctuation at low temperature. Typically, the dynamic process in a nanostructured magnet is mediated by the finite size domain wall motion, which requires magnetic field or electric current application. Contrary to this notion, the dynamic state in 2D magnetic honeycomb lattice is owed to the self-propelled magnetic charge kinetics with very fast relaxation rate, ~ 20 ps. Such relaxation rate is typically found in bulk material of atomistic origin. It leads us to argue that the magnetic charge is a quantum mechanical ‘macroscopic’ quasi-particle entity, which was never envisaged before. The new finding can have strong implication to the spintronics research, as evidenced from the recently demonstrated magnetic diode effect due to magnetic charge mediation in permalloy honeycomb lattice.
John Dagdelen
University of California, Berkeley
Natural Language Processing for Accelerating Scientific Breakthroughs
Abstract: The majority of all materials data is currently scattered across the text, tables, and figures of millions of scientific publications. In my talk, I will discuss the work of our team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory on the use of natural language processing (NLP) to extract and discover scientific knowledge through textual analysis of the abstracts of several million journal articles. With this data we are exploring new avenues for materials discovery and design such as how functional materials like thermoelectrics can be identified by using only unsupervised word embeddings for materials. To date, we have used advanced techniques for named entity recognition to extract more than 100 million mentions of materials, structures, properties, applications, synthesis methods, and characterization techniques from our database of over 3 million materials science abstracts. Our most recent work utilizes GPT-3, the same machine learning model behind OpenAI's ChatGPT, for joint named entity recognition and relation extraction to extract complex hierarchical information from research articles. Finally, I will also give an overview on how we are making all of this data freely available to the materials research community through our public-facing website and upcoming APIs.
3/2 Dr. Julia Medvedeva
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Fundamentals of Amorphous Oxide Semiconductors

Abstract: Amorphous oxide semiconductors (AOS)—ternary or quaternary oxides of post-transition metals—have attracted a lot of attention due to high carrier mobility which is an order of magnitude larger than that of amorphous silicon (a-Si:H). Unlike Si-based semiconductors, AOS exhibit optical, electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties that are comparable or even superior to those possessed by their crystalline counterparts. However, the properties of AOS are extremely sensitive to deposition conditions, oxygen stoichiometry, and metal composition, rendering the available research data inconsistent or hard to reproduce, thus, hampering further progress. Moreover, owing to the weak metal-oxygen bonding as well as many degrees of freedom in disordered materials, defects in AOS have the structural, thermal, and electronic characteristics that differ fundamentally from those in the crystalline transparent conducting oxides.

To navigate the large parameter space for AOS materials, computationally-intensive ab-initio Molecular Dynamics simulations combined with comprehensive structural analysis and accurate Density-Functional calculations, are performed for several AOS families. Integrated with systematic experimental measurements. The results provide microscopic understanding of complex relationships between the morphology, carrier generation, and electron transport across the crystalline-amorphous transition and help derive versatile design principles for next-generation transparent amorphous semiconductors with a combination of properties not achievable in Si-based architectures.

3/9 Isaac Laseter
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The JWST Advanced Deep Extragalactic Survey (JADES): The First Results from the Deepest Observations of the Universe to Date
Abstract: Although much insight has already been gained from early observations with JWST, most studies have been based on relatively shallow spectroscopy/imaging relative to the observations of the JADES Guaranteed Telescope Operations team. As Cycle 1 of JWST comes to a close, I will summarize results from JADES ranging from the first redshift z > 12 systems both discovered and spectroscopically confirmed by JWST,  peculiar emission line ratios and chemical abundances across multiple cosmic epochs, and curious ionization sources at z~11. 
3/16 Spring break No seminar
4/13 Dr. Sheng Ran
Washington University in St. Louis
Spin-triplet Superconducting State in the Nearly Ferromagnetic Compound UTe2
Abstract: Our recent discovery of the novel spin-triplet superconductivity in UTe2 has inspired a lot of interests in the community. Superconducting state of UTe2 closely resembles that of ferromagnetic superconductors, but the normal state is paramagnetic and shows no indication of magnetic ordering. UTe2 exhibits an extremely large, anisotropic upper critical field Hc2, temperature independent NMR Knight shift in the superconducting state, and a large residual normal electronic density of states. All these results strongly indicate that the superconductivity in UTe2 is carried by spin-triplet pairs. Even more striking, superconductivity reenters in the magnetic field of 45 tesla and persists up to 65 tesla, which is the upper limit of magnetic field in our current study. These extreme properties reflect a new kind of exotic superconductivity rooted in magnetic fluctuations and quantum dimensionality. Application of pressure reveals a two-fold enhancement of this unusual superconductivity, which is closely related to the suppression of Kondo coherence. In this talk, I will review our recent results on UTe2.
4/27 Dr. Yijia Gu
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Phase-field Modeling of Ferroelectrics: Polarization Rotation and Flexoelectricity

Abstract: Ferroelectric materials are a class of materials that exhibit spontaneous electric polarization that can be reversed by an external electric field. These materials have unique electrical, mechanical, and optical properties, making them useful in a wide range of applications such as memory devices, sensors, actuators, and energy harvesting. In this presentation, we will present the phase-field model of ferroelectric materials. In this first part, the domain structure evolution during cooling and heating will be modeled. The stabilization of the metastable monoclinic phase and the mechanism of enhanced piezoelectric response will be elucidated. The second part of this presentation will focus on the flexoelectric effect, which describes the linear coupling between strain gradient and electric polarization and between the polarization gradient and strain. The effect of flexoelectricity on mechanical domain switching and domain wall structures will be analyzed by phase-field simulations.

5/4 Dr. Bret Lehmer
University of Arkansas
An X-ray Perspective on the Evolution of Galaxies Throughout the Universe
Abstract: Multiwavelength studies of galaxies in the Universe, from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths, have been extremely effective at piecing together a basic picture of how populations of stars evolved throughout cosmic history.  At X-ray wavelengths, galaxy emission is dominated by hot gas and populations of X-ray binaries, the latter of which consist of black holes and neutron stars accreting material from stellar companions.  Using X-ray and multiwavelength observations of nearby and distant galaxies (e.g., from Chandra, GALEX, Hubble, NuSTAR, Spitzer, Herschel, and other observatories), we are developing an empirical framework detailing how X-ray binary populations and their host galaxies evolved together over the last 12 billion years (~90%) of cosmic history.  In this talk, I will describe some of the exciting new insights from our work, and I will highlight how new data sets, future observational facilities, and improved theoretical modeling will continue to improve our understanding of X-ray binaries, compact objects, and galaxies.
5/11 End of semester No seminar
5/18 Finals' week ​​​​​​​No seminar


Previous Seminars

Fall 2022
Date Speaker Title
8/25 Dr. Arthur Mar
University of Alberta

Materials Discovery through Machine Learning: Experimental Validation and Interpretable Models

9/15 Dr. Katharine Flores
​​​​​​​Washington University in St. Louis

High-throughput Investigations of Phase Formation and Mechanical Properties in Complex Metallic Alloys

9/29 Alex Miller
ThermAvant Technologies

2010 Alumni Update: Career Paths, Thermal Management R&D, and In-state Job Opportunities

Dr. Alice Bean
University of Kansas

Experimental Particle Physics and Tracking Detectors

11/3 Dr. Daniel Moreno
​​​​​​​Missouri State University
Exploring the Limits of Electrosorption-Based Electrodes for Capacitive Deionization Using Thermodynamic Principles
11/10 Dr. Manashi Nath
Missouri University of Science and Technology
The Story of Transition Metal Chalcogenides: Multifaceted Electrochemical Applications for Energy Conversion, Storage, Sensing & Catalysis
12/1 Dr. Ruma Dutta
Missouri State University
Multiple Attractor in Tumor Immune Dynamics
Spring 2022
Date Speaker Title

Christian Stepien (PAMS)

Analysis of Thorium Ions in Chloride Aqueous Solutions using Raman Spectroscopy
2/10 Devon Romine (PAMS) Modeling Atomic Layer Deposition of Alumina as an Ultra-Thin Tunnel Barrier Using Reactive Molecular Dynamics
Bandon Decker
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Stellar Mass Properties of Infrared-selected High-redshift Galaxy Clusters from MaDCoWS
2/17​​​​​ Emily Justus (PAMS) Applications of a Combined Approach of Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations and Machine Learning to Model Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of Metal Oxides
3/3 Dr. Mahmud Reaz
Microchip Technology Inc.
Reliability of Silicon Devices - Hot Electron Effects
3/10 ​​​​​​​Dr. Corrinne Mills
​​​​​​​University of Illinois-Chicago & Fermilab
Baryogenesis, Higgs Bosons, and What's Next


Dr. Guang Bian
​​​​​​​University of Missouri-Columbia
Cloning of Dirac Electrons in Graphene/SiC Heterostructure
3/29 Farhan Ishrak (PAMS) Investigations of Mn-Co-NiO Based Heterostructured Nanocrystals
Sharif Uddin (PAMS) A Study of Bimagnetic CoO/NiFe2O4 Heterostructured Nanoparticles
3/31 Dr. Soumitra SenGupta
Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science
Gravitational Wave: The Song of the Cosmos
4/7 Dr. Xiaobo Chen
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Chasing Clean Energy and Environment Dream with Nanoscience: Photocatalysis, Rechargeable Battery, Hydrogen Production & Others – A Brief Summary of Our Past Research
4/21 Ripon Saha
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Identifying Large-scale Structures Using Dust-obscured Galaxies (DOGs) as Signposts 9-10 Billion Light-years Away
4/28​​​​​ Dr. Tommy Sewell
University of Missouri-Columbia

Predicting Multiscale Responses of Organic High Explosives Subjected to Thermo-Mechanical Extremes

5/5 Dr. Xiangbo (Henry) Meng
​​​​​​​University of Arkansas
Atomic & Molecular Layer Deposition (ALD/MLD) for Emerging Research Studies
5/12 Dr. Hiro Nakamura
University of Arkansas
Angle-resolved Photoelectron Spectroscopy: 2D Materials and Heterostructures
Fall 2021
Date Speaker Title

Rifat Ara Shams (PAMS)

Study of Structural, Electrical and Optical Properties of Copper Oxide Phase Mixture Thin Films Grown by Pulsed Laser Deposition
9/9 Bishwajite Karmakar (PAMS) Study of Structural and Magnetic Properties of Ni-NiO Thin Films
9/16 Dr. Adam Brandt (alum)
Colorado State University & NIST
A Measurement of the 2S1/28D5/2 Transition in Hydrogen
Dr. Conal Murray
IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
Investigating Material Improvements in Superconducting Qubits
9/30 Dr. Shun Saito
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Cosmic Acceleration and the Role of Galaxy Surveys

Dr. Yicheng Guo
University of Missouri - Columbia

Dissecting Distant Galaxies: How Sub-structures Shed Light on Galaxy Formation and Evolution​​​​​​​


Dr. Maria Mills
University of Missouri - Columbia

Force-based Detection of Sub-millisecond Topo-isomerase IA Dynamics
Dr. Wai-Lun Chan
University of Kansas
Turning Light into Electricity – How Excitons Dissociate at van der Waals Interfaces
11/4 Emily Justus (PAMS) Applications of a Combined Approach of Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations and Machine Learning to Model Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) of Metal Oxides
11/11 Devon Romine (PAMS)

Modeling Atomic Layer Deposition of Alumina as an Ultra-thin Tunnel Barrier using Reactive Molecular Dynamics

Dr. Damena Agonafer
Washington University in St. Louis
Bioinspired Evaporative Cooling for High Heat Flux Applications
Dr. Rizal Hariadi
Arizona State University
Understanding Molecular Machines using Protein and DNA Origami Nanoarrays
Dr. Jingyi Chen
University of Arkansas
Controlling Three Dimensional Morphology of Nonprecious Metal-Based Nanostructures
Spring 2021
Date Speaker Title

Dr. Jason Jackiewicz
New Mexico State University

Seismology of Sun and Stars
1/28 Dr. Michael Gordon
Æsir Technologies
Nickel-Zinc Battery Research Opportunities
2/4 Kwabena Asante Boahen (PAMS) ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Modeling of Argon Bombardment and Densification of Low-temperature Organic Precursors using Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Machine Learning
2/11 Dr. Oliver C. Grant
Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, University of Georgia
Virus-Receptor Interactions of Glycosylated SARS-CoV-2 Spike and Human ACE2 Receptor
3/2 Bikash Timalsina (PAMS) Development of EAM and RF-MEAM Potential to Study Thermal Properties of Zirconium Diboride
Bishwajite Karmakar​​​​​​​ (PAMS) Tuning Physical Properties of ZnO for Optoelectronics Applications
2/25 Dr. Cathy Wong
University of Oregon
In Situ Transient Absorption Spectroscopy During Materials Formation
3/4 Dr. Robert Baker
National eXtreme Ultrafast Science (NeXUS), Ohio State University
Watching Electrons Move at Interfaces: Visualizing Charge and Spin Dynamics Using Ultrafast XUV Spectroscopy

Alin Niraula (PAMS)

Transport Properties of Binary and Doped Diborides
Abiodun Odusanya (PAMS) A Study of Laser-assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Technique to Grow Carbon-based Materials
3/25 Shannon Dulz (PhD student, alum)
University of Notre Dame
Cold Exoplanets: Ground-based Direct Imaging and Population Studies Planning for Future Space Missions
4/8 Dr. Vashti Sawtelle
Michigan State University
Research on Inclusive Practices: Supporting Two-Year College Transfer Students in the Physics Community
4/15 Dr. Ryan Behunin
​​​​​​​Northern Arizona University
Noise in Integrated Photonic Brillouin Lasers
4/22 Dr. Marilu Perez Garcia
Ames National Laboratory
Designing Ligands with Predetermined Metal Ion Selectivity using Electronic Structure Theory, Machine Learning, and Molecular Mechanics
4/23 Rifat Ara Shams (PAMS) Electrical and Optical Properties of CuO-Cu2O Phase Mixture for Solar Cell Application
4/29 Joshua Kern (PhD student, alum)
Clemson University
Using ro-vibrational Emission from Protoplanetary Disks in Order to Observe Accretion and Planet Formation in Action
4/30 Abu Zobair (PAMS) Effect of Pulsed Laser Annealing on the Optoelectronic Properties of ZnO Thin Films
Sajal Islam (PAMS) Simulation and Fabrication of All Oxide Based Glass/ITO/TiO2/CuO/Au Heterostructure for Solar Cell Application
Fall 2020
Date Speaker Title
9/3 David Magness (PAMS) Kinetic Monte Carlo Simulations of Atomic Layer Deposition
Tauhidul Islam (PAMS) Study of Size-controlled CoO@MnFe2O4 Core-shell Nanoparticle
9/10 Dr. Matthew Horton
​​​​​​​Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Democratizing Access to Materials Science with the Materials Project
9/17 Nadib Akram (PAMS) A Raman Study of Actinide Complex Species in Aqueous Chloride Solutions at High P-T Conditions
Sudha Krishnan (PAMS) Exploring Topological Weyl Semimetals Isostructural to YbMnBi2​​​​​​​ and Co2​​​​​​​MnGa
9/24 Dr. Andrew Mason
University of Central Arkansas
Do They Care, and Does It Matter? An Analysis of Learning Goals and Perceived Relevance of Introductory Physics to Life Science Majors
10/1 Dr. Jessica Krogstad
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Exploring the Potential of Concentrated Point Defects: Their Role in Mass Transport, Microstructural Evolution and Material Functionality

Dr. Paul Canfield
Ames National Laboratory &
​​​​​​​Iowa State University

Cooking, Fishing and Jogging through Phase Space: A Practical Guide to Discovering and Understanding New Materials
10/22 Dr. Dilpuneet Aidhy
University of Wyoming
Properties of Concentrated Alloys Predicted from Atomistic Calculations and Machine Learning
10/29 Abiodun Odusanya (PAMS)

A Study of Laser-assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) Technique to Grow Carbon-based Materials

Sajal Islam (PAMS) TiO2-CuO Heterostructure Solar Cell for Cost Effective and Better Optoelectronic Properties
11/5 Alin Niraula (PAMS) Predicting Thermal Conductivity of High Temperature Ceramics (Diborides)
Abu Zobair (PAMS) Effect of Pulsed Laser Annealing on ZnO Thin Films
11/12 Dr. Alannah Hallas
University of British Columbia
Competing Orders and Phases in Pyrochlore Magnets
11/19 Bikash Timalsina​​​​​​​ (PAMS) EAM and RF-MEAM Interatomic Potential Development to Study Thermal Properties of Zirconium Diboride
12/3 Dr. Catherine Espaillat
Boston University
A Panchromatic View of Variability in Protoplanetary Disks
Spring 2020
Date Speaker Title

Yuxuan Lu (PAMS)

Reactive MD Simulation on the Formation of Amorphous Sub-nano Alumina Layer 
Moudip Nandi (PAMS) Synthesis and Characterization of Barium Titanate and Carbon-based Core-Shell Nano Particles
1/30 Abdullah Shafe (PAMS) Magnetic Properties of NiO Based Magnetic Heterostructured Nano Crystals (MHNCs)
Joy Roy (PAMS) Fabrication of CFO@C Core/Shell Nanoparticles by Laser Ablation
2/6 Dr. Mallory Molina
Montana State University
Resolving Black Hole and Star-Formation Activity in Nearby Galaxies
2/7 Dr. Mallory Molina
Montana State University
Towards a More Inclusive Astronomy: Building Community for All in Academia
2/13 Christopher Robledo (PAMS) Heterostructure of 2D Materials
Shahidul Asif (PAMS) Study of ZnO for Thin Film Transistor
2/20 Dr. Bharat Ratra
Kansas State University
The Accelerating Expanding Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and Einstein's Cosmological Constant, or Why Jim Peebles was Awarded Half of the 2019 Physics Nobel Prize
2/27 Dr. Wouter Montfrooij
University of Missouri, Columbia
Does Spontaneous Fragmentation of a Magnetic Lattice Lead to Heavy Fermion Behavior?
3/5 Dr. Ariful Haque (alum)
North Carolina State University
Fabrication of Q-carbon and Diamond Films by Ultrafast Laser Processing and Deposition for Electron Field Emission and Electrocatalysis Applications


Fall 2019
Date Speaker Title

Rajan Khadka (PAMS)

Study of Amorphous Boron Carbide (a-BxC) Materials using Molecular Dynamics (MD) and Hybrid Reverse Monte Carlo (HRMC)
Muztoba Rabbani (PAMS) Development of Multicomponent EAM Potential for Ni Based SuperAlloy

Hayley Sohn (PhD student, alum)
University of Colorado Boulder

Active Liquid Crystal Skyrmions

9/12 Sabila Kader Pinky (PAMS) Molecular Dynamics (MD) Study of Creep Deformation in Ni-based Superalloy
9/19 Moudip Nandi (PAMS) Synthesis and Characterization of Oxide Carbide Core Shell Nano Particles
Joy Roy (PAMS) Fabrication of CFO@C Core/Shell Nanoparticles by Laser Ablation
9/26 Abdullah Shafe (PAMS) Structural and Magnetic Properties of NiO@MnxNi1-xO Core-Shell Nanoparticles Synthesized at Varying pH Values
Sinjan Majumder (PAMS) Development of a CVD Assisted PLD System for Growing Thin Films
10/3 Dr. Alexander Kozhanov
Georgia State University
Spin Waves in Structured Ferromagnetic Materials


Dr. Lloyd Lumata
University of Texas Dallas

Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance: Enhancing NMR and MRI Signals by >10,000-fold for Real-Time Metabolic Assessment of Cancer


Dr. Marco Cavaglià
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Unraveling the Universe's Deepest Mysteries with Gravitational Waves
10/31 Dr. Rao Khan
Washington University in St. Louis
Keeping Physics Relevant in Ever-changing Practice of Radiological Medicine
11/7 Dr. Yew San Hor
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Promising Candidates for Topological Superconductors

11/14 Christopher Robledo (PAMS) Heterostructure of 2D Materials
Shahidul Asif (PAMS) A Comparative Study of Characteristics of ZnO TFT for Various Substrate and Fabrication Parameters
12/5 Dr. Emmett Redd
Missouri State University
Mathematics and Physics: How to Make Artificial Intelligence More Like Biological Intelligence