Post-Doctoral Fellows

George Burton
Post-Doctoral Fellow

George joined the Packard group as a postdoctoral fellow in January 2020. In collaboration with NREL, his research uses TEM to investigate ordering, structural defects and compositional intermixing in HVPE-grown GaAs/InGaP devices. He received his PhD in Materials Science at the Colorado School of Mines studying composition-property relationships of grain boundaries in ion-conducting ceramics as a CoorsTek Fellow. After obtaining his B.S. in Physics from Georgetown University, he spent one year measuring the properties of non-spherical colloid suspensions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Yachao Chen
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Yachao Chen joined Dr. Packard’s group as a postdoc fellow July, 2017. She uses nanoindentation and PFM techniques to investigate the mechanical and electrical properties of novel AlN thin films. She earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science from Colorado School of Mines in July, 2017. She has worked on understanding the structure and property relations of Li-Al-Si system through diamond anvil cell (DAC) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS).

Rachel Schoeppner
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Rachel joined the Packard group as a postdoc in November 2017 to work on the high throughput synthesis and mechanical characterization of bulk metallic glasses in collaboration with NREL. She spent the past three years as a postdoc at Empa in Switzerland developing and incorporating a custom built shutter system to use in combinatorial materials library depositions as well as characterizing and maintaining a nanoparticle generator to control the incorporation of particles into the coatings. She used combinatorial materials characterization techniques to investigate adhesion of ALD coatings and the effect of nanoparticle incorporation into bulk and multilayer films.  She received her doctorate from Washington State University investigating the mechanical properties and thermal stability of Cu/Ni/Nb multilayers and wear and thermal stability of oxide dispersion strengthened Au-ZnO films in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories.

Graduate Students

Noor Alkurd

Noor was a PhD candidate in the Materials Science program. His project involved controlled fracture and reuse of substrates on which III-V solar devices are grown. He utilized an electrochemical process to produce porous Germanium for semiconductor wafer reuse. Noor has a Bachelors of Chemistry from the University of New Orleans. He has past experience in nanomaterial synthesis, thin film device fabrication, and testing.

Brett Ley

Brett completed a M.S. in the Materials Science program in 2019. He worked collaboratively with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to control fracture within germanium substrates for III-V photovoltaic applications. Brett graduated in 2017 from Lehigh University with a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering. His past research includes looking at crystallization in atomic layer deposited alumina thin films. Brett has also studied effects of corrosion in 316L stainless steel pipes used for concentrated solar power applications.