Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Yonna Kim L&S Sciences

Characterizing Dynamics of Materials at High Pressure Using a Nanoscale Quantum Sensor

Solid-state defect centers such as the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond are promising nanoscale quantum sensors capable of operating at extreme pressures and temperatures. Their sensitivity to magnetic field noise allows for the characterization of a wide range of dynamical phenomena arising from charge, spin, and phonon fluctuations in correlated matter. The frequency dependence of these fluctuations encodes unique information about the underlying physics processes that cannot be gleaned from the static signatures that are typically used in standard magnetometry. With NV centers, one could measure the magnetic response of materials at high pressures and also potentially explore for exotic phases of matter. My research project will investigate a variety of dynamical phenomena expected to occur at high pressure and make predictions about the expected spectral response in nearby solid-state defect centers. I will focus on the spectral response to high pressure structural phase transitions with relevance to geophysics and high-pressure chemistry.

Message To Sponsor

I want to thank the anonymous donor who supported my research endeavors this summer. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to conduct research at UC Berkeley and to have been part of the amazing research community here. This opportunity has given me the chance to challenge myself to take a step into the unknown and unfamiliar. I've learned how to ask questions and how to be honest with myself about what I know and don't know. I've also gained more confidence in my abilities as a researcher and as a student. I hope to continue my efforts in research for the next academic school year, as well as in my next step towards graduate school.
Profile image of Yonna Kim
Major: Physics
Mentor: Norman Yao
Sponsor: Anonymous Donor
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