Engineering PhD student wins best student paper award at international event

headshot of Jaesung Lee next to his awardJaesung Lee, a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) who is mentored by Assistant Professor Philip Feng, received a Best Paper Award at the American Vacuum Society’s (AVS) 61st International Symposium & Exhibition, held in Baltimore in November.

In his talk, titled “Temperature-Compensated Graphene Nanomechanical Resonators,” Lee presented the first thermally stable graphene nanomechanical resonators operating in a wide temperature range, from room temperature up to approximately 300 degrees Celsius. The new temperature-compensated design applies to graphene resonators consisting of atomically thin graphene and gold electrodes. It minimizes the overall thermal expansion of the devices, making their resonance frequencies immune from temperature variations.

With this new technique, the functions and performance of these emerging graphene nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) can be greatly enhanced. This work demonstrates the possibilities and strategies for engineering ultrasensitive graphene resonant sensors that would be stable and would not suffer from temperature drifts or variations, Feng said.

Upon receiving the notification of this award, Jaesung said: “I’m very thankful to AVS for this recognition—it’s very encouraging news for me. Studying temperature-compensation effects in the extremely small graphene systems has been a very interesting topic.”

AVS symposium is the annual international forum for latest advances and new emerging frontiers in the broad international vacuum science and technology community, covering scientific progresses and breakthroughs in the fields of applied surface science, biomaterial interfaces, electronic materials and processing, magnetic interfaces, manufacturing science, MEMS/NEMS, nanoscience, thin films, plasma science, surface science or vacuum technology.

In the student competition, each candidate was judged based on the originality and quality of the research, and the clarity and effectiveness of the presentation. Lee’s Best Paper Award was from the MEMS/NEMS Technical Sessions. The award comes with a plaque and a $500 check.

This work has been supported by the National Academy of Engineering Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Award.