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Matt Graham standing in front of white board in lab

Physicist nets Rising Researcher Award

Matt Graham, assistant professor in physics

Physicist Matt Graham was awarded a 2017 SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing Rising Researcher award, one of only 10 scientists across the country to receive the honor. The SPIE Rising Researcher program recognizes early career professionals who are conducting outstanding work in product development or research in the defense, commercial, and scientific sensing, imaging, optics, or related fields.

SPIE is the international society dedicated to advancing an interdisciplinary approach to the science and application of light optics and photonics.

An assistant physics professor at Oregon State since 2013, Graham is the Principal Investigator of the Micro-Femto Energetics Lab, which targets the moments "when light and matter interact." In other words, the lab investigates how and if electrons in new nanoscale devices and materials can be harvested for energy generation, light emission or electronic applications.

By filming what happens to electrons after they get excited by light and how they move and relax in nano materials, Graham's lab finds out how to avoid bottlenecks that would ultimately limit the efficiency of a solar cell. Since electrons are both very small and fast, in order to film the electrons the lab uses sub-micrometer (10-6) spatial resolution and femtosecond (10-15); hence the lab's name, Micro-Femto Energetics Lab.

The SPIE award brings national recognition to Graham and his work. Bravo to Matt Graham and the Micro-Femto Energetics Lab!