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June 24, 2020 at 10:24 am

NQPI Announces 2018-19 Dissertation Award Co-Winners

By Rachael Beardsley
NQPI Editorial Intern
Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute 2020 Spring Newsletter

The Nanoscale and Quantum Phenomena Institute announced Oscar Avalos-Ovando and Dawei Zhai as co-winners of the 2018-19 NQPI Outstanding Dissertation Award.

Drs. Oscar Avalos-Ovando and Sergio Ulloa

Avalos-Ovando was recognized for his work under Physics & Astronomy Professor Sergio Ulloa titled “Magnetic Interactions in Transition Metal Dichalcogenides,” which theoretically studied magnetic induced effects on semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Ohio State University. Before joining Ohio State in March, he did a year of postdoctoral work with physics Distinguished Professor and NQPI member Alexander Govorov.

“It is a great honor to be awarded with this recognition,” Avalos-Ovando said. “It has been my pleasure to work in NQPI, and I appreciate their support throughout the years.”

Drs. Dawei Zhai and Nancy Sandler

Zhai, who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at The University of Hong Kong, worked with Physics & Astronomy Professor Nancy Sandler on his dissertation titled “Studies on Electron Dynamics in Deformed Graphene.” His work studied the separation of graphene electrons from different valleys, one of the prerequisites of utilizing valley index for information processing.

“It is an honor to receive the award,” Zhai said. “I appreciate NQPI for the continuous financial support as well as offering various opportunities to present my research. The award gives me more confidence in continuing my academic career and motivates me to make more contributions to the community in the future.”

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