Burcu Ozden, Ph.D.

(She, Her, Hers)
Assistant Professor, Engineering
Assistant Professor, Physics
Rydal Executive Plaza, 317

Dr. Burcu Ozden is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Penn State Abington. With a fervent passion for materials engineering and physics, Dr. Ozden's academic journey has been propelled by a steadfast commitment to comprehending and modulating defects in 2D materials and semiconductors. Born and raised in a quaint city in Turkey, Dr. Ozden developed an early fondness for the disordered structures that surrounded her childhood. This fascination ignited her pursuit of a Bachelor's degree in Physics Education at Bogazici University, where she graduated with distinction.

Motivated by an insatiable desire to delve deeper into the realm of solid-state and disordered structures, Dr. Ozden pursued a Ph.D. in Physics at Auburn University, with a focus on the impacts of defects in III-V high electron mobility transistors. She further broadened her expertise during her postdoctoral tenure by delving into exciton-polaritons at the University of Pittsburgh. Concurrently, she served as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Quantum Institute.

As an Assistant Professor at PSU Abington, Dr. Ozden is unwaveringly devoted to inspiring the next generation of engineers and scientists. Her research interests encompass a wide array of topics, including 2D defects, radiation, photoelectrochemical catalysis, Martian soil, exciton-polaritons, and sustainability education. She is deeply committed to fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and empowering students to become catalysts for positive change in their communities.

Beyond the academic realm, Dr. Ozden finds solace and fulfillment in various pursuits. She is eager to enrich the dynamic academic community at PSU Abington and is enthusiastic about making substantial contributions to both research and teaching in the field of Engineering.

As an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Penn State Abington, my research interests encompass a diverse spectrum of topics, reflecting both my curiosity-driven exploration and my commitment to addressing critical challenges in materials science and sustainability.

1. 2D Defects: I am deeply intrigued by the unique properties and functionalities of two-dimensional (2D) materials, particularly concerning defects within their structures. My research focuses on unraveling the formation, dynamics, and effects of defects in 2D materials, with a keen emphasis on their influence on material properties and potential applications in nanoelectronics and beyond.

2. Gamma and Proton Radiation of 2D Materials and Beyond: With a growing emphasis on radiation-resistant materials for aerospace, medical, and nuclear applications, I am dedicated to investigating the responses of 2D materials to gamma and proton radiation. My research aims to elucidate the radiation-induced effects on the structural, electronic, and mechanical properties of 2D materials, paving the way for their utilization in radiation-sensitive environments.

3. Photoelectrochemical Catalysis: In the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions, I am actively engaged in research on photoelectrochemical catalysis systems. By harnessing the power of sunlight and semiconductor materials, my work aims to develop efficient and scalable catalytic processes for renewable energy conversion and environmental remediation, with a focus on water splitting and pollutant degradation.

4. Martian Soil: As humanity turns its gaze towards space exploration and colonization, understanding the properties and potential applications of extraterrestrial materials becomes increasingly imperative. My research endeavors in this area focus on characterizing the composition, structure, and reactivity of Martian soil simulants, with an eye towards advancing our understanding of Martian regolith properties and their implications for in-situ resource utilization and planetary habitat construction.

5. Exciton-Polaritons: Delving into the fascinating realm of quantum phenomena, I am intrigued by the emergent properties of exciton-polaritons in semiconductor microcavities. My research seeks to explore the fundamental physics underlying exciton-polariton dynamics and interactions, with the goal of harnessing their unique properties for applications in quantum information processing, nonlinear optics, and solid-state quantum technologies.

6. Sustainability Education: Committed to fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability, I am actively involved in research on innovative pedagogical approaches and educational initiatives. My work in sustainability education aims to develop interdisciplinary curricula, outreach programs, and experiential learning opportunities that empower students and communities to address complex environmental challenges and enact positive change towards a more sustainable future.

Through my interdisciplinary research endeavors, I endeavor to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge, the development of sustainable technologies, and the cultivation of a more resilient and environmentally conscious society. I am enthusiastic about collaborating with colleagues and students at Penn State Abington and beyond to tackle pressing global challenges and catalyze transformative solutions.

Ph.D. in Physics
M.S in Physics
M.S in Teaching in Physics
B.S. in Teaching in Physics