April 13, 2020 at 1:30pm
Dane Lisser

Millikin professor's research lands cover of Journal of Applied Physics

Research by Millikin University Assistant Professor of Physics Dr. Mahua Biswas was published and featured on the cover of the January 2020 edition of the Journal of Applied Physics. The research focuses on the interaction of light and silicon nanomaterials, and the optical properties of the material.

"We are using a special polarized light to excite some of the magnetic properties in this nanomaterial, and if we can apply this kind of property, it will be very useful for future emerging optical devices," said Biswas.

Millikin Physics Department

According to the study, there is a growing interest in understanding high-index nanostructures that can facilitate enhanced light-matter for future optical devices.  

An optical device is a device that creates, manipulates or measures electromagnetic radiation. There are many kinds of optical devices, such as binoculars, lasers‎, microscopes‎ and telescopes. Other optical devices can also be used in the telecom fields such as fiber optic transceivers, fiber optic cables and fiber converters.

The research project is a collaborative study between Illinois State University, Kobe University in Japan, and Boston University. Millikin was responsible for researching nanoparticles as part of the study and using electron microscopic imaging during the research process. Biswas began her research after arriving at Millikin in 2018.

Millikin Physics Department

"This is a recognition that comes from our peers – other scientists around the world," said Biswas. "We are doing incredible work on campus and I want our students to continue to find that inspiration. We had students participate in the research process for training purposes and hopefully more research will be published in future publications."

The Journal of Applied Physics is an influential international journal publishing significant new experimental and theoretical results of applied physics research.

"One of the most important things when students are applying for positions or graduate school is research experience, and our students engage in hands-on learning opportunities right away as first-year students," said Biswas. "In addition to hands-on learning experiences in the lab, our students also get to visit state-of-the-art research facilities and do collaborative work with other institutions."

Millikin Physics Department

Dr. Biswas has also applied for a national science federal grant to assist with research towards more complex nanostructures.

"Instead of one nanoparticle, we want to make the nanomaterials and study the optical properties on campus," said Biswas. "Millikin's Physics Department is doing cutting-edge nanomaterial fabrication and characterization research."

Millikin Physics Department

Dr. Biswas came to Ireland for her Ph.D. after completing her undergraduate degree in electronics and communication engineering from West Bengal University of Technology in Kolkata, India. She completed her Ph.D. in Physics from Dublin City University in Ireland in 2010. After completing her Ph.D., she came to the United States and worked at the New Jersey Institute of Technology from 2011-12 and at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill., from 2013-15 as a post-doctoral researcher.

In 2015, Dr. Biswas joined Missouri State University as an assistant professor of physics and material science where she taught physics and material science in the undergraduate and master's program. She also established her own research group in nanomaterial growth and patterning. She joined Millikin University in 2018 as an assistant professor of physics were she is continuing her physics teaching and nanomaterial research.

Millikin Physics Department

As a faculty member at Millikin, Dr. Biswas teaches the introductory physics, advanced experimental physics and electrodynamics courses designed for physics majors. Her research focuses on block copolymer assisted nanopatterning of inorganic materials and perovskite solar cells fabrication. Her research laboratory for nanomaterial fabrication is equipped with state-of- the art research facilities.