Air Force Office of Scientific Research funds Virginia Tech research into advanced materials

vtech-logoGiti Khodaparast, an associate professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been awarded $1,199,998 over three years by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research to probe “Nonlinear and Terahertz Studies of Electro-Optic and Magneto-Electric Materials.”

The multidisciplinary and multi-university project involves Shashank Priya, a professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, as well as the University of Colorado in Boulder, the University of Florida, and Texas A&M University.

The phenomena where a magnetic polarization is induced via an external electric field has been known for more than 100 years and studied for more than 50 years.

Research interest has been renewed because of the possibility of creating novel and high performance materials with potential applications for generating new optical frequencies in nonlinear processes.

In order to harness the full potential of the electro-optic and magneto-electric materials, extensive characterization techniques as well as theoretical approaches are required.

The ability to control light in different scenarios has a variety of applications, such as creating all-optical computers that theoretically could be faster and more efficient than electronic devices.

“This work is important because experimental and theoretical efforts can be pursued simultaneously toward developing multifunctional devices for our fast-paced, technological world,” said Khodaparast, who is affiliated with the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.

The research will focus on specific material compositions and composite architectures that demonstrate the possibility of providing giant optical nonlinear conversion.

Khodaparast is the recipient of the Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award as well as the National Science Foundation Career award.

She joined Virginia Tech in 2004 and received her Ph.D. in physics at the University of Oklahoma.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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