Why did you choose to study MSE?
During high school, I was interested in almost all the science courses, but this also makes it difficult for me to decide which college major I should focus on. One of the reasons to choose MSE at the beginning was simply because it’s an interdisciplinary field that incorporates elements from physics, chemistry, mechanics, and biology, which could allow more opportunities for me to explore what I want to pursue in future. In my sophomore year of college, I participated in a summer research program at UC Berkeley, where I started learning how research is conducted in a lab to solve problems in materials science. As an undergraduate researcher in Prof. Ramesh’s lab, I was obsessed with the research that combines materials design, synthesis, and characterization to understand and control the various fascinating properties in materials. At that time, I decided to pursue a career as an experimentalist in materials science research.
What are you doing now?
Currently I am a GLAM postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University, working with Prof. Harold Hwang on complex oxide nanomembranes and heterostructures. My current research leverages atomic-scale thin film synthesis, nanofabrication, and material characterization to study strain-induced phase transitions and nontrivial polar ground states in freestanding oxide nanomembranes and two-dimensional hierarchical nanostructures. Staying in the Bay Area to do post-doc research also allows the geographic proximity for me to continue benefiting from the extensive expertise at Berkeley Lab. As a current Lab user, I work closely with the staff scientists at the Molecular Foundry to perform experiment using the Foundry facilities. And of course, this also provides the opportunities for me to come back to Cal more often, and grab a coffee at Yali’s with my friends 🙂
What is your most memorable moment you have from MSE at UCB?
I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to study in MSE at UCB. The high-quality teaching, cutting-edge research, and state-of-the-art facilities here all constitute an ideal environment for one to pursue their graduate education. The excellent professors and staff in MSE create a supportive, encouraging, and collaborative environment for students to learn and grow. It was also a pleasure for me to work with Lane and Ramesh during my Ph.D. years. Their enthusiasm and diligence to research has deeply influenced me to keep up this attitude in my own academic career.