Zach is pursuing a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering at Arizona State University. He writes, “I first fell in love with vacuum chambers and coating systems during my Materials Physics Master’s degree at Missouri State University. I grew from an apprentice to head vacuum coating specialist. I took the initiative in the lab to maintain and repair vacuum coating equipment and develop standard operating procedures. I assembled and validated a new thermal evaporating system and UHV evaporation chamber and installed a new solid-state Nd:YAG laser for pulsed laser deposition target ablation. I found deep satisfaction in mentoring the next generation of students through this program. I went on to complete my Master’s thesis research with pulsed laser deposition by growing epitaxial Iron Platinum (FePt) coatings a few nanometers thick on single crystal Magnesium oxide (MgO) substrates at 850°C then in-situ coated this with Nickel Oxide (NiO).”
“Upon joining Arizona State University in 2019 under Professor Zachary Holman, I started a Department of Energy-funded research project. The project’s primary goal was to enable manufacturable silicon solar cells with heterojunction contacts via an innovative deposition technique that would reduce capital expenditures (CapEx) by > 60%. Over the last year, Professor Holman, Professor Yu, two other grad students, and I have co-founded a start-up company centered around commercializing perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells. We plan to manufacture silicon-perovskite tandem solar cells and then sell these to solar panel module manufacturers for residential and utility power use. Our product will make clean power more accessible and affordable for homeowners and communities.”
“I express my sincere gratitude for awarding me the Bernard Henry Aimcal-SVC Fund Scholarship. I am incredibly honored and humbled to have been chosen as a recipient of this prestigious scholarship.
As a passionate student in the field of vacuum coating, this scholarship means so much to me. The scholarship will provide me with the resources and tools I need to achieve my academic and professional goals. With your generous support, I can continue my education and pursue my dream of developing hollow cathode sputtering and innovation in vacuum coating development and processing.”