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Determination is the guiding principle that resonates through Kamal Harrison’s heart and mind from childhood to UCF’s labs and post-graduate aspirations.

His undergraduate research – identifying the properties of a unique type of quantum material known as a topological insulator – garnered significant interest and was published recently in the highly regarded journal ACS Nano.

The results could be used to discover new applications of the materials, which conduct electricity on the outside and insulate on the inside, in the next generation of electronics, spin-based electronics (spintronics), and quantum computing devices.

Harrison achieved this feat early in his career by refining his interest in physics and gaining valuable experience through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Center for Ultrafast Dynamics and Catalysis in Emerging Materials (C-UDCEM), a partnership between UCF and the University of Washington (UW), and with the confidence and mentorship of the center’s director, professor Saiful Khondaker of Physics and Nanotechnology at UCF.

“I had not heard of anyone doing physics before, so I did not know the path or what it took to succeed,” Harrison says. “I enjoyed learning physics, so I wanted to get experience working in the labs. It was also my chance to know if I could succeed in the field.”

Read article from UCF Today.
By Eddy Duryea | April 4, 2024