Physics faculty Ethan Minot and Janet Tate are part of a team of 6 investigators who have been awarded an NSF grant to acquire a $700,000 instrument for materials science research. The instrument, known as a physical properties measurement system (PPMS), will be located in the Kelly Engineering Building and will support materials research across campus, and across all of Oregon. The PPMS allows researchers to study material properties (electrical/optical/magnetic) at extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.

Jeremiah Hauth is the recipient of the 2015 Hetherington Scholarship in the Department of Physics.


The Hetherington Scholarship was established by Ann and Bill Hetherington.  Bill is an emeritus faculty member in physics who realized while teaching that some of his students were working many hours to support themselves while also studying and doing research.  This scholarship  is intended to reduce the need for highly talented students to work so that they can focus on scholarship.

Instructor KC Walsh has received two awards to support his innovative teaching.

If I flip my classroom, maybe I can do this with animations?
If I flip my classroom, maybe I can do this with animations?

He has been awarded an ESTEME@OSU Action Research
Fellowship and an L.L. Stewart Faculty Development Award to support his research on the effectiveness of flipped classroom materials.

For details on the program please go to http://stem.oregonstate.edu/ad-action-research-fellowship

Congratulations to Janet Tate!

Prof. Janet Tate
Prof. Janet Tate

Physics Prof. Janet Tate is the 2015 recipient of the OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award.

The OSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award recognizes a faculty member each year for superior academic performance, professional renown, and service to the University and to the public. She will be recognized at several events at the beginning of Fall quarter.

more details on the Award program can be found HERE .

Brian Johnson (Ostroverkhova group) has received the 2015 Physics Graduate Research Award in recognition of his work on organic semiconductors.

Brian Johnson with optical setup.

He describes his work as follows.

I have focused on studying the charge photogeneration, carrier transport, and carrier trapping mechanisms in small molecule organic semiconductor materials, specifically, functionalized derivatives of pentacene and anthradithiophene. I developed a computational model which simulates experimental data and fits those simulations to measured data to extract quantitative material parameters. My work helps to answer one of the most important open questions in organic semiconductor material physics: what, exactly, is the process by which charge photogeneration happens? Classic models have been shown to be incomplete, and my work fits into gaps in the current research towards this topic, as much more work has been done on polymers than in small molecules, and investigations of nanosecond time scale carrier dynamics are rare. This work is important to the development of new materials for organic LEDs, solar cells, and transistors.

Congratulations to Lee Aspitarte,  2015 recipient of the Ben and Elaine Whiteley Materials Research Fellowship
Lee Aspitarte is a fourth year PhD student working with Prof. Ethan Minot, and recipient of this year’s Ben and Elaine Whiteley Materials Research Fellowship. He is studying photocurrent generation in photodiodes fabricated from single carbon nanotubes (CNTs). CNTs are exciting candidates for next generation solar technology because they undergo Multiple Electron-hole pair Generation (MEG), where carriers excited by a photon with an energy of more than twice the band gap can decay by exciting additional electron-hole pairs. By utilizing MEG, CNT based solar technology could exceed the theoretical limit on solar power conversion efficiency for silicon based technology, 29%. The research funded by this fellowship will study MEG in CNT photodiodes by manipulating the dielectric environment surrounding the CNT, affecting the electron-electron scattering processes that lead to MEG. The knowledge gained from this study could directly impact design considerations for next-generation high-efficiency MEG based solar cells.  Mr. Aspitarte received the  Peter Fontana Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in 2012 and has already co-authored two papers on his research at Oregon State.
The Ben and Elaine Whiteley Endowment for Materials Research, established in 2007, provides support for materials research in the College of Science. In particular, it provides fellowship support for students to work full time during the Summer in a research laboratory, working on materials research related topics.