I have been fascinated by the combination of materials and physics since I learned how graphene was discoveredby the seemingly simplest but revolutionary experiment. However, this is just the start of low-dimensionalmaterials, and I believe we have only begun to shed light onto the physical essence of the nano-world.Impassioned, I majored in condensed-matter physics and profoundly explored the mysteries of materials.Currently, I am fully prepared to pursue a Ph.D. in this intriguing field with the intention of addressing the mostformidable challenges at the frontier.
To gain comprehensive knowledge regarding the nano-world, I dedicatedly distinguished myself in academics atUniversity of Science and Technology of China (USTC). Due to my diligence, I obtained an excellent GPA,ranking 3rd out of 330 in the School of Physics, as well as many scholarships, such as the Zhang Zongzhi SciTechScholarship (top 5%) and the National Scholarship-the highest scholarship for Chinese undergraduatesgranted by China’s Ministry of Education. My excellent academic work provided me with a strong foundation formy studies in materials physics and allowed me to master the tools and skills that make a successful materialsscientist. However, my passion for materials science was not limited to the classrooms. In the summer of mysophomore year, I joined Professor Hongbin Yao’s group in the Chemistry and Materials Department. Under theguidance of a Ph.D. researcher, I learned the necessary experimental skills required in chemistry.
We aimed toimprove the quality and productivity of ZnS nano-scale materials by changing the reaction conditions. Toovercome the drawbacks of hydrothermal reactions, we developed an amine molecule-assisted refluxing methodto synthesize highly uniform ZnS(DETA)0.5 hybrid nanosheets and nanobelts on a large scale. As Co-Author, Ipublished a VIP paper on the Angew.
Chem.Int.Ed and applied for a Chinese patent for our synthesis method.This research allowed me to experience the magic of materials science, making me truly excited about creatingnovel materials, especially those with promising industrial and commercial applications.To explore the frontier of materials science and understand their practical applications, under the guidance ofProfessor Yao, I researched the synthesis of the electrode materials. To synthesize excellent anodes with highcapacity, I collaborated with a PhD mentor and assembled an experimental platform to produce graphene oxidewires.
After obtaining carbon nanotubes through reduction reactions in the oven, I placed these nanotubes in themolten lithium to take advantage of capillary effect and saturate the nanotubes with lithium. To synthesize cathodematerial, I mixed sulfur nano-particles with graphene oxide and sealed this mixture in a glass tube for the latercalcine treatment. In this way, we assembled a linear lithium-sulfur battery that exhibited high pliability and mayhave great potential in the wearable devices in the future. Presently, we are summarizing our work in a paper.In addition to gaining experimental skills, I wished to become adept at theoretical calculation and simulation andgain unique insight into materials science, so this summer, I joined Professor Hong Tang’s laboratory in theDepartment of Electrical Engineering at Yale University as a visiting scholar. In these two months, I designed a superconducting electro-optical modulator, with electrode materials NbTiN and optical waveguide material AlN,using COMSOL modern physics and Sonnet. To calculate the essential parameters of a transmission line, Ideveloped a code to calculate the capacitance and inductance of a transmission line’s arbitrary geometricconfiguration.
Furthermore, to improve modulation, I designed a Klopfenstein taper in Sonnet, a software thatcan simulate the superconducting transmission line. To make the phase velocities of optical waves andmicrowaves match each other, I designed a splitter-shape circuit, that allowed the optical wave to meander alongthe transmission line. At the final presentation, Professor Hong evaluated my work as excellent and impressive.This precious experience equipped me with useful, expert simulation skills, which will assist me along my journeyas a materials physicist.Along with excelling academically and conducting research, I enjoy both working in a team and competing withothers. In USTC’s 2016 Physics Research Experiment Contest, I collaborated with three other classmates andwon the special prize with the report, “Synthesis of Novel 2-Dimensional Materials”. Under Professor XiaoliangXu’s guidance, we learned how to deposited monolayer MoS2 on monolayer graphene using Chemical VaporDeposit.
During this process, we made numerous attempts to determine the most suitable reaction conditions.Moreover, we utilized the Raman and PL spectrum to analyze our synthesized material, which exhibited excellentelectron transport properties. This experience taught me how to collaborate with others and gave me greatconfidence in materials synthesis.In retrospect, my previous education and research experiences spanning from MSE to EE equipped me withexcellent research capabilities, comprehensive knowledge and practical simulation skills, all of which will leadme to excel in my future research.
My summer project at Yale, which focused on superconducting electro-opticalmodulator design, strengthened my passion for in nanophotonics. Is there any possibility to improving both theimpedance and phase velocity of a transmission line? How can we design the configuration of waveguide topossess a wider bandwidth but lower optical loss? Is it feasible to synthesize novel optical waveguide materials(other than AlN) to optimize optical communication? There are just too many ideas and formidable challengesworth dedicating my career to. Therefore, I wish to continue my research in Prof. Hong’s lab, where I will sharpenmy research capabilities, fully develop my interests and fulfill my potential in this field. Furthermore, I stronglydesire to explore the profound physics in novel low-dimensional materials (like graphene) and cutting-edgetechnology of materials synthesis. Thus, I am extremely impressed by Prof.
Judy Cha’s research on 2-D layeredchalcogenides and their unique electronic properties, and I am especially inspired by their success in visualizingthe nucleation and crystallization of nanorods.The home of numerous revolutionary breakthroughs, Yale University has always been my dream graduate school.There remain many exciting branches of nano-engineering that I wish to further explore. Therefore, I want topursue a Ph.D. degree at Yale University, and I sincerely look forward to your favorable review of my application.