I conducted my PhD research with Kathryn Moler. She is the director of Stanford's NSF Center for Probing the Nanoscale and her lab specializes in magnetic micron-scale imaging at low temperatures. My research has focused on building scanning sub-micron sensors that enable measurements of small clusters of electronic spins, and on understanding superconducting fluctuations and phase coherence in micron-scale aluminum rings. Detailed information and a list of my talks and papers are given in my CV.
My scientific results contributed to the field of mesoscopics. Meso comes from the Greek word "mesos" meaning middle sized, which refers to the scale where microscopic, or quantum mechanical effects begin to change the statistically averaged, or classical properties of a given system. My measurements took place in a home-built scanning microscope that operates in a dilution refrigerator (shown on the right), which can reach temperatures close to absolute zero (0.012 Kelvin). Fundamental research like this provides information about how the small components in nature become the building blocks for everyday objects. Together with a co-worker, Hendrik Bluhm, I was able to verify predictions about how a dissipation-less persistent current can exist in normal metals of a certain length, and I identified a mesoscopic parameter that eliminates the magnetic field dependence of the critical temperature in multiply connected superconductors.
During the course of my research I developed a number of skills. I used the tools that semiconductor engineers use to build microchips. I built data acquisition systems, refined numerical models, and did a fair amount of mechanical and thermal engineering. Near the beginning of my PhD, I worked with micro-electro-mechanical devices and optics, and by the end I had designed a new superconducting sensor for our mesoscopic measurements. I consider myself a tool builder, and I am particularly interested in sensing technologies: calculating what is and is not measurable. I continue to strive to apply these skills to problems in the physical world.