Welcome to Dr. Constantin's NanoSynCh Lab

(Nanoscale Synthesis and Characterization Lab)

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Short Bio

I am an assistant professor in Physics and Astronomy department here at JMU. I arrived here in September 2010 from Seton Hall University where I was an assistant professor in the Physics department. I previously worked as a postdoc in the group of Randall Feenstra from Carnegie Mellon University. I received my MS and PhD from Ohio University in 2005 and my BS from University Politehnica of Bucharest in 1999.

I am a scientist interested a handful of nanoscience projects. During my Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience, I worked on structual, electrical, and surface characterization of nitride systems such as Manganese Gallium Nitride (MnGaN), Scandium Gallium Nitride (ScGaN), and Chromium Nitride (CrN). For these Nitride systems, I used molecular beam evaporator as a growth method and scanning tunneling microscope as a surface characterization technique. Most recently, I am interested to understand the thermal transport and thermoelectric properties of materials systems such as Gallium Nitride semiconductors, Manganese Oxide (MnO2) powders, and the conductive polymer poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) poly(styrenesulfonate) (PEDOT-PSS). We measure all of our samples with in-house x-ray diffraction, ellipsometry, atomic force microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy instruments. We measure the nanoscale thermal transport with Time-Domain Thermoreflectance (TDTR). This measurement is done in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Hopkins group at University of Virginia Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Recent News

March 2014 Nick and Morgan are preparing for attending NCUR meeting! Morgan is also working really hard for her honors thesis.
March 2014 Our research in the news!
March 2014 Read about our APS conference student presentations on our departmental blog.
February 2014 Getting ready for APS March Meeting that will be held in Denver, CO. We will present two talks, and two posters.
January 2014 Our first collaboration paper between Dr. Costel Constantin's group and Dr. Patrick Hopkins' group (from UVa) has been accepted into the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters! In this paper, we measured the thermal conductivity of solid, water insoluble thin films of bovine serum albumin and myoglobin proteins. The measurements preformed in the temperature range 77 - 296 K indicate an anharmonic coupling of vibrations that is contributing to thermal conductivity. Our own undergraduate, Chester Szwejkowski, is also a co-author on this work and he will join (as a graduate student!) Patrick's lab this Fall of 2014. We wish him GOOD LUCK!
October 2013 Nikki Creange and Kevin Hunter joined our computational-experimental research group.
September 2013 Started a new computational-experimental research group together with Dr. Jason T. Haraldsen. Looking forward to doing science together!
June, July, and August 2013 Chet and I enjoyed the fountain of knowledge by working with the group of Dr. Patrick Hopkins from UVa.
May 2013 Great News! Our research project titled "Thermal Transport across GaN interfaces:Linking Structural Imperfections to Thermal Properties" has been funded by the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund. This project is in collaboration with Dr. Patrick Hopkins from University of Virginia. We will celebrate this!
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