Faculty Researchers

Kurt Kolasinski (Professor, Chemistry)

Dr. Kolasinski concentrates on the study of dynamical processes at the surfaces of metals and semiconductors. In particular, the electrochemical and laser-assisted processes that form nanoscale and larger structures, including: Electroless and metal-assisted etching of silicon to form porous silicon, anodization to form nanotubes and porous oxides, and laser ablation of Si, Ti, Al, Zn and anything else we can stick in front of a laser.

Anil Kandalam (Associate Professor, Physics and Engineering)

Dr. Kandalam studies gas-phase and supported nanoclusters, nanoparticles, and surfaces using quantum mechanics based computational methods. The main focus of this research is to have a fundamental understanding of the electronic structure, reactivity, magnetic, and optical properties of the nanostructures. This research is carried out in collaboration with experimentalists at Johns Hopkins and Univ. of Konstanz (Germany).

Brandon Mitchell (Associate Professor, Physics and Engineering)

Dr. Mitchell is working on the growth, fabrication and analysis of novel semiconductor systems for photonics applications. His topics of interest include rare earth doped GaN-based light emitting devices, the manipulation of photon fields via photonic crystal and microcavity structures, and the synthesis of lead-based perovskite nanocrystals.

Lorenzo Cena (Associate Professor, Environmental Health)

Dr. Cena’s research addresses exposure and health effects during manufacturing, handling, disposal and inhalation of engineered nanoparticles and nanomaterials. 

Kevin Aptowicz (Professor, Physics and Engineering)

Dr. Aptowicz explores the use of angularly-resolved elastic light to identify, or at least characterize, individual aerosol particles. This work is being done in collaboration with scientists at the US Army Research Laboratory and Yale University.

Eric Sweet (Assistant Professor, Biology)

Dr. Sweet’s research is on electrophysiology and optogenetic manipulation of neural networks in the brain slices of mice.

Matthew M. Waite (Associate Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Dr. Waite’s research is on the growth and analysis of thin films, focusing on structural, electrical, optical, and magnetic properties.

William Sawyer (Assistant Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Dr. Sawyer analyzes the production of strong ferroelectric domains at the molecular interface between two lead-free non-ferroelectric metal oxides.

Jesse Placone (Assistant Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Dr. Placone’s research focuses on the development of 3-D printing protocols of biocompatible materials for medical use.

Zhongping Huang (Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Zhongping Huang will study freeze-drying nano-materials for application in the pharmaceutical industry.

Shawn Pfeil (Associate Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Dr. Pfeil develops and applies new experimental tools to understand the physics of biochemical systems. His research combines single-molecule fluorescence techniques, microfluidic mixing, and nano-fabricated structures. This work is done in collaboration with faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

John Pisciotta (Associate Professor, Biology)

Dr. Pisciotta’s research aims to develop microbial platforms for converting wastes and abundant natural energy, like sunlight, into useful fuels and additional products. The Pisciotta lab is additionally interested in pathogenic microbiology, drug discovery and developing improved diagnostic and industrial tools.

Tianran Chen (Associate Professor, Physics & Engineering)

Dr. Chen explores two novel nano materials: nanocrystal assemblies and three-dimensional topological insulators. The former have great promise for optoelectronic and photovoltaic devices, while the latter can be applied in spintronics and quantum computing. Our goals are to perform a detailed, theoretical analysis of the disorder effects on electronic transport properties of them.

Jingqiu Hu (Associate Professor, Chemistry)

Dr. Hu’s research focuses on fluorescence spectroscopy and biosensor design. In particular Dr. Hu works on the design of fluorescent biosensors for the detection and quantification of proteins and bacterial cells, the synthesis of fluorescent metal nanoparticles for bio-imaging and bio-labeling and investigates photo-induced electron transfer process that are essential for solar energy conversion.

Howell Bosbyshell (Associate Professor, Earth and Space Sciences)

Dr. Bosbyshell's research is concerned with the tectonic and thermal evolution of mountain belts, with an emphasis on developing a modern tectonic interpretation for the Central Appalachians. By combining detailed mapping with structural and petrographic analysis, he is developing an integrated thermal, baric, and kinematic record of orogenic evolution, building from the thin section through regional scales. An important component of this work is collaborative research to establish the absolute timing of deformation and metamorphism through in situ dating of monazite using the electron microprobe.

Back to top of page.