Chemistry graduate student receives AVS National Student Award

Angela Image of Angela Hanna, chemistry grad student and Professor Ellen Fisher at AVS National Award CeremonyHanna, a Ph.D. student with the Fisher Research Group and the Department of Chemistry, was recently awarded with the American Vacuum Society’s Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship Award. This award recognizes and encourages excellence in continuing graduate studies in the sciences and technologies.

The American Vacuum Society holds an annual International Symposium, where researchers from academic and industry from all over the world come together to share and present their research. This year, the Symposium was in Long Beach, CA, October 21 – 26th.  Eight finalists were selected based on their research contributions (body of work, quality, and impact); quality of recommendations; publications and presentations; professional service and recognition; and quality of AVS abstract. Hanna contributed a technical talk at the symposium in the Plasma-Surface Interactions session, titled “Tailoring the Surface Properties of Porous Zeolite Constructs Using Plasma Processing.” In addition to her regular talk, she also gave a closed door, 12 minute talk to the Board of Trustees, giving a general overview of her research project and putting it into context of the field (why it is important, what she have added to the field of plasma science, etc.). After her presentation, there was a 10 – 15 minute question & answer session with the awards committee.

Hanna stated that “Attending this conference is always a great learning experience, especially with the formation of collaborations within the plasma community, as well as interacting with potential future employers.” The overall goal of her research is to study nonthermal plasmas from a holistic, fundamental approach; focusing on the gas-phase, gas-surface interface, and resulting material properties. Hanna and her research group’s multipronged approach seeks to provide insight into molecular-level chemistry, affording a more complete understanding not achieved by examining a single aspect of plasma processing. Specific objectives include: illumination of gas-phase chemistry, including kinetic and energy partitioning between degrees of freedom and molecules; measure plasma-surface interactions, such as radical-surface reaction probabilities; and elucidate synergistic plasma interactions.

In 2018, Hanna presented a technical talk at the International Conference on Plasma Science (ICOPS) in Denver and was awarded “Best Student Paper”, and presented a poster at the 2018 Rocky Mountain AVS Chapter Symposium. Hanna’s immediate future plans are to wrap up several manuscripts and hopefully graduate in the summer of 2019. She hopes to work in an industrial research setting, and noted that her time at AVS meetings has allowed her to make contacts in the semiconductor and plasma processing industries that she hopes will lead to future employment.