Undergraduate Student wins First-place Prize for Research Presentation at INSPIRE Conference

Jeremy Lawson, an undergraduate physics major doing research in the MINT Center, recently won a first-place prize for his research presentation at the INSPIRE conference at the University of Southern Mississippi Oct. 16-18. The conference featured presentations by undergraduate students throughout the region in the areas of materials science, polymers, and biomaterials. Jeremy’s award was in the Materials Science division and included a check for $500. The topic of his presentation was “Magnetic and Structural Characterization of FePtAu Nanoparticles for use in High-density Storage Media.” Jeremy began this research under the supervision of Prof. J.W. Harrell during the summer of 2003 as an REU student with the NSF-MRSEC program in MINT, and he has continued this research during the academic year. The chemical synthesis, characterization, and modeling of FePt and related magnetic nanoparticles is one of the thrusts of the NSF-MRSEC. Prof. Harrell and Prof. David Nikles have recently shown that the insertion of gold into the nanoparticles leads to a significant reduction in the chemical ordering temperature. Jeremy’s research explores the time-temperature kinetics of ordering of FePtAu nanoparticles at low temperatures. Jeremy is shown in the photograph below displaying his award with Prof. Harrell.