CREOL Spring Colloquium Series: Prof. Casey M. Schwarz - Photo-sensitive infrared and visible glass as a route to laser patterned optical devices with a focus on undergraduate research and reciprocal mentoring

Friday, January 21, 2022 noon to 1 p.m.

 Abstract: This lecture will contain highlights on our group’s recent work with ZnO-Bi2O3-B2O3 (ZBB) glass-ceramics, chalcogenide glasses (ChGs) and preliminary research on bioactive glasses. Control over crystallization size, density, and depth were obtained through laser exposures and heat treatments in ZBB compositions. New methodologies and techniques were used to structurally and morphologically engineer ChG materials. Gradient refractive index (GRIN) effective medium lens were fabricated in multilayer As2S3-As2Se3 ChG films with features as small as 120 nm. Preliminary work on the processing and characterization of bioactive glasses for drug delivery will also be included.

Throughout the lecture, the unique role of undergraduate work and involvement on these projects will be emphasized. I will then discuss particulars about our undergraduate research program in materials and glass science and how this is accomplished at an undergraduate-only institution. A detailed look into recruitment, internships, reciprocal mentoring, research collaborations, and linked inquiry courses and unique curriculum will be discussed. Outcomes from the Glass and Materials science to Engage Students (GaMES) outreach camp will be provided as well as plans to scale up efforts.

About the speaker: Casey M. Schwarz completed her PhD in physics at UCF in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Leonid Chernyak and Prof. Elena Flitsiyan studying the radiation effects of semiconductor transport properties. Schwarz then joined Prof. Kuebler’s research group in spring of 2013 a post-doctoral researcher where she investigated the processing and properties of novel materials for future optical device applications. Schwarz is currently an assistant professor in the physics & astronomy department at Ursinus College, a small liberal arts institution in Pennsylvania. Her research interests include 3D direct laser writing of multi-component chalcogenide glass, solution processing of infrared glasses and bioactive glasses. Through her collaboration with Prof. Richardson at UCF CREOL, a highly successful summer research program was developed for Ursinus students. She is also very active in her outreach activities which include mentoring high school and undergraduate students and participating in promotion of women in science events and organizations. She currently lives in Collegeville, Pennsylvania with her partner, her dog, and her 2-year-old budding experimentalist. 

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