A commuter student and physics major, she is currently studying optical lithography, particularly the nonlinearities of CdSe quantum dot thin-films by inscribing patterns onto them.
by Brett H. Spielberg“At the end of the day, I am just very thankful that Adelphi has given me all these wonderful opportunities as well as a life-changing experience.”—Danielle Sofferman
When you first hear about how well quantum dots absorb light and transcribe patterns, you might be a bit overwhelmed without a background in optical lithography.
Understanding that inscribing these miniscule patterns happens on circuit chips and those precise inscriptions can make drastic improvements to the processing speeds of smartphones can be confusing to the non-scientist. But not to Danielle Sofferman, a commuter student and physics major with a research focus in nonlinear optics.
Danielle is currently studying the nonlinearities of CdSe quantum dot thin-films by inscribing patterns onto them: her work in optical lithography sounds like a modest term for technological innovation when you realize the kind of potential her research has.
“Danielle has been working with me for over two years now,” Sean Bentley, Ph.D., said. “She would agree that she has gained a lot of skills and confidence in the lab and an appreciation for experimental science.”
Her most recent project has given her the chance to present her work at various conferences, including the Ninth Annual Adelphi Research Conference, the 96th Annual Meeting of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the Sigma Pi Sigma Quadrennial Physics Congress and the Northeast Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (NCUWP).
The tight-knit nature of the physics department along with the hands-on laboratory experience available provides innumerable opportunities.
“The small classroom size and student-to-professor ratio offered by Adelphi makes it so special,” Danielle said. “I am one of 15 students in my class and some classes are even smaller. I think that knowing my peers and professors has really made a difference in my education.”
For the 2013 Adelphi research conference, Dr. Bentley and Ms. Sofferman have their own optimistic plan. They intend to use their methods of optical lithography to inscribe a microscopic AU logo on a sample that is as small as a speck of dust.
While it will be one of her toughest challenges yet, Danielle hopes to show off a combination of her academic prowess, laboratory savvy and school spirit before she graduates in May.
After graduation, she plans to continue her studies in graduate school for a Ph.D. in Applied Physics/Materials Science.
“At the end of the day, I am just very thankful that Adelphi has given me all these wonderful opportunities as well as a life-changing experience,” Danielle said.
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