Research

My main research focuses are interdisciplinary over chemistry, physics and material science. I am broadly interested in the synthesis and characterization of quantum materials with a range of exotic properties from superconductivity, topological effects and frustrated magnetism. Below are some of my publications and research projects:
 

Selected publications

  1. Wilfong, B., Sharma, V., Naphy, J., Bishop, O., Bennett, S. P., Prestigiacomo, J., ... & Jamer, M. E. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 894, 162421 (2022)

  2. Wilfong, B., Liyanage, W. L. N. C., Naphy, J., Gilbert, D. A., Bennett, S. P., & Jamer, M. E. Applied Physics Letters, 118(21), 212405 (2021)

  3. Wilfong, B., Zhou, X., Zheng, H., Babra, N., Brown, C. M., Lynn, J. W., ... & Rodriguez, E. E.  Physical Review Materials, 4(3), 034803 (2020).

  4. Zhou, X., Wilfong, B., Liou, S. C., Hodovanets, H., Brown, C. M., & Rodriguez, E. E. Chemical Communications, 54(50), 6895-6898 (2018).

  5. Wilfong, B., Zhou, X., Vivanco, H., Campbell, D. J., Wang, K., Graf, D., ... & Rodriguez, E. Physical Review B, 97(10), 104408 (2018). 

  6. Zhou, X., Wilfong, B., Vivanco, H., Paglione, J., Brown, C. M., & Rodriguez, E. E. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(50), 16432-16442 (2016).

  7. Wilfong, B., Ahart, M., Gramsch, S. A., Stock, C., Li, X., Luo, H., & Hemley, R. J.  Journal of Raman Spectroscopy, 47(2), 227-232 (2016).

IMG-1108.jpg

This image was taken in Calistoga, CA during a break on a trail run. 

Johns Hopkins University

My research at Johns Hopkins University with Dr. Tyrel McQueen is broadly focused on the synthesis and characterization of new quantum materials. One main project is done through collaboration with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory on utilizing machine-learning techniques to discover new families of superconductors and closing the loop in machine learning materials discovery. Additionally, I working on the synthesis and characterization of new class of magnetically frustrated materials based on a maple-leaf metal sublattice as well as discovering new topological materials for electronic and phonon topological properties. This work in done in collaboration with colleagues at PARADIM at JHU, University of Maryland, and Argonne National Laboratory.

United States Naval Academy

My research at the United States Naval Academy with Dr. Michelle Jamer focused on the synthesis and characterization of intermetallic alloys. My work is on the fundamental side where we worked to synthesize new compounds and study the crystallographic, electronic, and magnetic properties. We made use of a wide range of synthetic strategies from arc-melting, chemical vapor transport, and flux growths.  The use of national synchrotron x-ray and neutron sources for experimental characterization through diffraction and spectroscopy is a central focus of our work. We actively collaborated with researchers at the Naval Research Lab, Laboratory for Physical Science, and Northeastern University to study how these materials behave when integrated into devices. 

Metallic Fe3Ga4 displays a complex magnetic phase diagram that supports an intermediate antiferromagnetic (AFM) helical spin structure (HSS) state at room temperature which lies between two ferromagnetic (FM) phases. We synthesized single crystals to understand the evolution of this novel magnetic phase diagram.

University of Maryland

My doctoral work was done under the guidance of Prof. Efrain Rodriguez and Prof. Johnpierre Paglione at the University of Maryland and focused around the synthesis and characterization of transition metal chalcogenides in relation to the study of superconductivity and frustrated magnetism.  With techniques that include synchrotron X-ray and neutron diffraction as well as physical/magnetic property measurements, I studied the key structure-property relationships to understand how physical properties manifest as a result of composition, bonding, and electron filling. In addition, I developed novel chemical route towards the preparation of powders and single crystals of our materials. A wide variety of techniques were employed from hydrothermal synthesis, flux growth and chemical vapor transport to explore new phases and stabilize metastable phases. This work used active collaborations with scientists at NIST NCNR, ORNL HFIR, ANL ANS, NHMFL as well as researchers at the University of Maryland Quantum Materials Center, Nanocenter, and X-ray Crystallographic Center.

The topochemical synthesis of CoSe, isostructural to FeSe, offers a new avenue for exploration of superconductivity in the Fe chalcogenide family and have broad implications for the rational design of new two-dimensional building blocks for functional materials.