Abdullah Al Maruf

Abdullah Al Maruf

Institution/Organization: South Dakota State University

Department: Physics

Academic Status: Masters Student


I am a graduating senior physics major at SDSU and an incoming graduate student Dartmouth College. I am interested in finding novel properties in quantum and energy materials using quantum simulation techniques. In the past, I have investigated half-metallic ferro- and antiferromagnetic materials for spintronics application, solid state electrolytes for Li-ion batteries, and ultra-low energy excited states in novel scintillator detector materials. Besides academics/research, I am actively involved in Society of Physics Students (SPS) and am a member of the Sigma-Pi-Sigma (Physics) Honors Society. I enjoy mountain biking, watching Sci-Fi movies, and playing open world RPG games during my leisure times.


I am currently pursuing a B.S. in both physics and mathematics and will continue to graduate school to obtain a Ph.D. in condensed matter physics. My goal is to become a university professor someday since the career will allow me to be an active researcher in my field as well as educate the next generation of physicists.

My academic experience at South Dakota State University (SDSU) is providing rigorous physics and mathematics coursework, as well as undergraduate physics research experience in preparation of my future. My early interest in research allowed me to get a research assistantship (RA) opportunity in the summer of my freshman year at SDSU Physics Department. I was given the opportunity to work in Dr. Parashu Kharel’s lab at the Physics Department, where I began studying a unique type of spin-polarized magnetic material called half-metal, both computationally (DFT+U) and experimentally, which has potential applications in spintronics technology. And I continued working on the project throughout the next academic year and have been working there ever since.

My physics research experiences also enabled me to collaborate with electrical engineering lab at SDSU to conduct research on energy materials and devices, i.e. Li-ion batteries and electrochemical sensor. Besides the experiment, I performed Li-adsorption studies on different metallic and semi-metallic thin film interfaces using DFT as implemented in Quantum Espresso. These (111) phase thin-films are made to suppress the dendrite the growth in Li-metal anode in Li-ion battery. So it was important for us to investigate the binding energies between Li atom and different thin film candidates, quantitatively, to elucidate the overall improved cyclic performances. I also studied electrostatic surface potential (ESP) on metal organic framework (MOF) molecules, which is used to explain the reaction mechanism in the as biosensor we developed. I generally used triple zeta basis set, cc-pVTZ in B3LYP functionals for most of my calculation in Gaussian09 to investigate the MOF molecule for our sensor.