KNI Lab Resident Experts

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The Kavli Nanoscience Institute established the KNI Laboratory Resident Expert program in Fall 2019. Designed to leverage the breadth of knowledge from its exceptional lab members, the Resident Expert (RE) program recognizes top users in five critical areas of the KNI Laboratory: Lithography, Microscopy, Deposition, Etching, and Wet Chemistry/Optical Photolithograpy.

Over a six-month period, Resident Experts work alongside technical staff to identify and create useful educational resources that will benefit current and future lab members of the KNI. These resources, e.g. process recipes and procedures, will be compiled into libraries of standardized materials to help minimize exhaustive duplicative efforts across the Lab. Moreover, REs are given a unique platform to contribute thoughtful ideas as to how the KNI Laboratory can evolve to better serve its community.

The current cohort of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute Laboratory Resident Experts is introduced below.


Lucia De RoseLucia De Rose

Lucia De Rose is the current KNI Lab Resident Expert in Microscopy. Lucia is a fourth-year graduate student in Professor Axel Scherer’s group in the department of Applied Physics. Her research interest lies in the area of nanoscale field emitters. Specifically, her work focuses on the design and fabrication of vacuum field emission devices for harsh environments and optically gated vacuum field emission transistors. Lucia has been a member of the KNI Lab since January 2017. Her specialty involves using the Orion Nanofab FIB to mill ~10nm wide gaps using Ne. She also has experience in device characterization using SEM, ESEM, He ion imaging, EDS, and the Quanta electrical probe; electron beam and photolithography; plasma etching of tungsten and silicon nitride; and deposition of various thin films via e-beam evaporation, sputtering, and PECVD.


Weiting DengWeiting Deng

Weiting Deng is the current KNI Lab Resident Expert in Wet Chemistry/Optical Lithography. Weiting is a second-year graduate student in Professor Julia R. Greer’s lab. Her research is focused on determining how the mechanical properties and structures of 3D scaffolds could affect the behavior of cells, especially stem cell differentiation. Weiting joined the KNI Lab in January of this year. She has significant experience using Nanoscribe PPGT, a two photon lithography system, and will be sharing her tips on 3D printing techniques.


Maggie PotterMaggie Potter

Maggie Potter is the current KNI Lab Resident Expert in Deposition. Maggie is a visiting student researcher in Professor Harry Atwater's lab in the department of Applied Physics and Materials Science. Her home institution is the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign where she is a graduate student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in Professor Ralph Nuzzo's group.

At Caltech, Maggie is part of a team that aims to design and build a prototype power-generating window. Energy-harvesting for direct and diffuse sunlight is accomplished through a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC) with micro-scale photovoltaic (PV) components embedded in a planar grid array. Specifically, she contributes to the design and fabrication of the Si-based PV component to optimize solar cell open circuit voltage (Voc) and visual obscurity.

Maggie joined the KNI Lab in January 2019. Since her work applies microelectronic fabrication principles to PV materials, she has experience with micron-scale photolithography using thick photoresists; wet and dry plasma etching of ITO and silicon; deposition of surface passivation, anti-reflective coating materials, and conductive interconnects; and characterization with SEM and ellipsometry. Given the small dimensions of their PV materials, Maggie is also versed in substrate/sample preparation for handling extremely fragile suspended micro-scale arrays and testing micro-scale devices.


Sameer SonarSameer Sonar

Sameer Sonar is the current KNI Lab Resident Expert in Plasma-Etch. Sameer is a graduate student researcher in Professor Oskar Painter's lab in the department of Applied Physics. He is working on investigating and controlling microscopic defects that currently limit the quality-factor of a mechanical oscillator in an opto-mechanical crystal. He has experience fabricating these very high-Q devices which require a few nanometer resolution beamwrite and smooth anisotropic etch profile. As a part of this program, Sameer hopes to share any knowledge he has gained on how to best optimize plasma-etching.


Steven WoodSteven Wood

Steven Wood is the current KNI Lab Resident Expert in Lithography. Steven is a second-year graduate student in Professor Oskar Painter’s group in the department of Applied Physics. His research interests lie broadly in the area of hybrid quantum devices. He is working on combining superconducting circuits with opto-mechanical crystals to create a high efficiency quantum transducer. The goal is to create a device that would convert microwave signals from superconducting qubits into optical photons that could then be used to transmit quantum information over long distances.

Steven started his KNI lab membership as a summer undergraduate research fellow before beginning his PhD at Caltech. During his first summer he worked on developing helium ion lithography using the Orion Nanofab GFIS microscope. Since his first summer Steven has used a variety of tools in the KNI and gained special expertise in electron beam lithography. During the fabrication of his devices, he uses the EBPG to write small features and execute multiple beam writes that are aligned within ~50 nm of each other. As a result, he is interested in optimizing the fracturing of small curved features as well as optimizing alignment and minimizing drift on the EBPGs. As part of this program, he hopes to share any tips and tricks he’s learned with the KNI community.


Former KNI Laboratory Resident Experts

Dvin Adalian (Wet Chemistry/Optical Lithography)

Jash Banker (Lithography)

Wen-Hui Sophia Cheng (Deposition)

Jake Rochman (Plasma-Etch)

Changhao Xu (Microscopy)