Nirat Ray is pursuing Ph.D. studies in the Department of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she is working on charge detection in semiconductor quantum dots. A quantum dot is essentially a semiconductor nanostructure that places confinements on the motion of electrons, valence band holes, and electron-hole pairs or excitons. When the radius of a semiconductor nanocrystallite is smaller than the bulk exciton Bohr radius, the electron and hole experience quantum confinement in three dimensions. Using modern electron beam lithographic techniques to confine electrons to small dimensions, Nirat’s experiments use charge sensors to study electron transport in nanocrystal arrays. She hopes to extend these methods to investigate the trapping of charge and tunneling between localized states in amorphous semiconductors. In addition to the rich physics involved, a deeper understanding of these phenomena would be important for improving the efficiency of solar cells made from these nanostructures.
An Indian International Fulbright Science & Technology Fellow, Nirat received her Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Delhi. Subsequent to completing her degree, she gained research experience from the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bangalore, India and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. She completed her Master’s degree in Physics from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Nirat is a creative person and a fine arts enthusiast. She is presently enjoying the sophistication and historic charm of New England.