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UNF’s Materials Theory Lab awarded Institute for Materials Science funding for undergraduate research

March 29, 2021

Two students standing outside the Los Alamos National Laboratory during a trip to Los Alamos, New Mexico. Dr. Jason T. Haraldsen, UNF associate professor in theoretical condensed matter physics, has been awarded $195,000 in funding by the Institute for Materials Science (IMS) at Los Alamos National Laboratory to use for his project “Undergraduate Research Education Program in Materials at UNF: Theoretical and Computational Investigations of Correlated Electron Materials.”

 

In Haraldsen’s Materials Theory Lab at UNF, he and his undergraduate research team characterize and analyze the electronic and magnetic properties of materials through simulation and modeling, where the team provides critical input into which materials have the best potential for experimental success and technological application. This work is highly valuable to the materials community as experimental investigations can be very time-consuming and expensive.

 

Haraldsen and his team of undergraduate researchers have been working with the IMS for the past five years and previously received $260,000 in IMS funding for a project that investigated the electronic and magnetic properties of 2D materials and structures. This work has resulted in 16 publications, with most having undergraduate students as the primary author.

 

The collaboration between UNF and the IMS also provides UNF physics students with summer research stipends and travel funding to present their research at a conference as well as collaborate with physicists at Los Alamos National Laboratory during a week-long annual visit to Los Alamos, New Mexico.

 

Through this collaboration, two UNF undergraduate physics researchers have been offered internships at the Los Alamos National Laboratory this summer. Alexandria Alcantara will work in the Theoretical Division along Abigail Coker who will also work in the Center for Nonlinear Studies. After their internships, Alcantara is planning on joining UNF’s new materials science master’s program and Coker will attend the University of Utah for graduate school in physics.

 

“The Institute for Materials Science’s continued support of our undergraduate research efforts at UNF is greatly appreciated and is making an incredible impact on our students’ academic careers,” said Haraldsen.