MSE Undergrad wins ARL Student Competition

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The undergraduate Gold Medalist, Sarah Adams (center); Silver Medalist, Peter Deaville and Bronze Medalist, Luke Hanner display their winnings from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's 2017 Summer Student Symposium. (U.S. Army photo credit: Conrad Johnson)

Sarah Adams, a senior undergraduate student in the UMD Department of Materials Science and Engineering, received a gold medal from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) for her research presentation entitled, “Fabrication & Characterization of Silicon Nanoparticles for Energetic Applications.”

This summer at Aberdeen Proving Ground, 75 students participated in the ARL symposium, which was held on August 10. The symposium aims to develop future STEM leaders and showcased summer student research activity conducted at ARL. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in addition to cash prizes.

Adams was offered her summer internship in the Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, where she studied the energetic properties of nanoparticles formed from porous silicon.

“I was hesitant at first because I knew nothing about energetics or porous silicon, but I knew it was a good opportunity so I accepted,” said Adams. “Porous silicon is a well-studied energetic material for on chip applications. It’s known for its high energy density, high power density, and high flame speeds, but it’s limited in application due to its synthesis method. I was able to tune a fabrication for making energetic silicon nanoparticles from porous silicon that is competitive with the properties of the bulk material. This result opens up important new avenues for applying the material, such as additive manufacturing.”

Adams, advised by MSE Assistant Professor Yifei Mo, is currently writing two papers on her results and continuing her summer research by using the nanoparticles she made in a 3D printer. She is on track to graduate this coming December. 

Related Media:

Annual symposium highlights student achievements” – ARL, August 2017

Published September 14, 2017