Innovations in Materials Science
Annabella Orsini ’23
Mentor: Casey Schwarz, assistant professor of physics
Chalcogenide glasses have a wide variety of applications that can affect everyday life and expand our observation capabilities in science. They can be used for search and rescue operations, medical imaging, and even telescopes because these materials transmit across the infrared electromagnetic spectrum.
This summer, Annabella Orsini ’23 is creating chalcogenide glass films using sulfide and selenide compounds. Why? “These compounds are more flexible as well as cost effective than what is currently used,” she said. “The goal is to extend the transmission capabilities made from these compounds so that they are comparable or better than what is in use today.”
“This will be done through lab work, where the films will be created and then tested accordingly,” she said. “A side goal is to examine some films that have delaminated—broken apart—and figure out what went wrong, such as human error or exposure to atmospheric pressure.”
The Passion Behind the Project
“This project has helped me gain knowledge and appreciation for materials science, which is a realm of physics that I previously had not considered,” Orsini said. “It is interesting to be a small part of something that truly could change lives and improve the challenges some of these fields face with their current technology.”