Australian Institute of Physics

South Australian Branch

AIP Student Night
2007 Student Night
presented by the
Australian Institute of Physics
(SA branch)
Ph: (08) 8201 2093 or (08) 8277 7036 (a.h.) Fax: (08) 8201 2905
Post: AIP-SA secretary, c/o SoCPES, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide SA 5001

at 7:30 pm on Thursday 8th March 2007 in

Kerr Grant Lecture Theatre , Physics Building
at the University of Adelaide

Postgraduate Physics students from South Australian Universities talked about their research work:

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Clancy James
School of Chemistry and Physics, University of Adelaide

“Simulating the Radio-Detection of UHE Neutrino Interactions in the Moon”

Neutrinos are nearly massless subatomic particles which could provide a new window on the universe. Ultra-high energy (UHE) neutrinos are the key to the mystery of the highest energy cosmic rays, and their detection would give new insight into the most active regions of the universe. However, the very properties which make them attractive as targets for observations also make them extremely difficult to detect. My PhD involves simulating a method - the Lunar Cherenkov technique - which involves using Earth-based radio-telescopes to detect the radiation given off when these particles interact in the outer layers of the Moon. I'll begin by outlining why we should search for UHE neutrinos, and give a brief overview of the Lunar Cherenkov technique. Finally, I'll describe my own research, and how it's helping to improve our chances of observing these elusive particles.

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Jingxian Yu
School of Chemistry, Physics and Earth Sciences, Flinders University

"Direct Attachment of Well-aligned Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Architectures to Silicon (100) Surfaces: A Simple Approach for Device Assembly"

A new approach for the attachment of vertically-aligned shortened carbon nanotube architectures on a silicon (100) substrate by chemical anchoring directly to the surface has been demonstrated for the first time. The ordered assembly of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) was accomplished by hydroxylating the silicon surface followed by a condensation reaction with carboxylic acid functionalised SWCNTs. This new nanostructure has been characterised by X-ray photoelectron, Raman and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy as well as scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. The assembly behaviour of SWCNTs onto the silicon surface shows a fast initial step producing isolated functionalised carbon nanotubes or nanotube bundles anchored to the silicon surface followed by a slower step where the adsorbed nanotubes grow into larger aggregates via van der Waals interactions between adsorbed and solvated nanotubes. The electrochemical and optical properties of the SWCNTs directly attached to silicon have also been investigated. These new nanostructures are excellent electrochemical electrodes and fluoresce strongly in the wavelength range 650-800 nm. The successful attachment of the SWCNTs directly to silicon provides a simple, new avenue for fabrication and development of silicon-based nanoelectronic, nano-optoelectronic and sensing devices. Compared to existing techniques, this new approach has several advantages including low operating temperature, low cost and the possibility of further modification.

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Hong Ji
School of AME & School of EIE , University of South Australia

"Fibre Bragg Grating Based Optical Touch Trigger Probe for Down Scaled 3D CMMs"

In order to satisfy the ongoing increasing demand for highly accurate geometrical measurements on small parts and small structures, a new measuring probe having high sensitivity and small geometrical dimension with low contact forces needs to be developed. In this talk, a novel probing system, which combines a FBG (Fibre Bragg Grating) embedded optical fibre tactile probe with an optical sensing technique, is proposed for down scaled 3D micro-CMMs (Coordinate Measuring Machines). The reflected Bragg wavelength shifts with the strain developed along the grating once the fibre probe touches the surface of the part. With high-resolution interferometric wavelength demodulation technology, a resolution of 5nm could be achieved using the FBG integrated system. With the sensor elements integrated into the probe tip directly, CMM system sensitivity can be increased significantly for 3 dimensional measurements.

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The Silver Bragg medals, awarded to the best 3rd-year Physics students in 2006, were presented by the AIP SA Chair, Dr Jamie Quinton, to Samuel Stranks of the University of Adelaide and to Nadine Pesor of Flinders University