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Tri Nguyen | Student Spotlight

"Just like our imperfections make us unique and interesting humans, imperfections – also known as defects – play a central role in materials science"

 

Tri Nguyen

Ph.D. Candidate
Materials Science and Engineering

"Just like our imperfections make us unique and interesting humans, imperfections – also known as defects – play a central role in materials science.

In the world of semiconductors, the goal has typically been to reduce the number of defects and maintain stable crystal structures. At Stanford, my research takes a complementary approach by exploring how we can embrace these imperfections in crystals. I aim to harness a class of semiconductors called IV-VI that host beneficial crystal defects and can switch between different crystal structures. These properties allow us to engineer better infrared devices with applications in sensing, environmental monitoring, and space exploration, which are not achievable with traditionally “perfect” or defect-free semiconductors.

Outside the lab, I seek to lead a life of impact and service. From organizing a science fair for Vietnamese students in low-resource communities to coaching chess for students at a local New Zealand primary school, and most recently, serving as the co-president of the Stanford Materials Research Society Student Group, I find joy and meaning in serving my communities.

I am deeply grateful to the amazing professors, staff, colleagues, and friends who have made my Stanford journey enriching and enjoyable. Much like how we welcome defect-enabled functionality and restructuring in materials, I look forward to embracing all the twists, turns, and opportunities that Stanford has to offer!"

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