Status: Master of Science – Physics, 2nd Year
Proposed Thesis: Crystal structure and partial photon density of states of Fe- and Sb- compounds under pressure
Advisor: Dr. Ravhi Kumar
- BS – Physics, minor Mathematics University of Nevada, Las Vegas May 2016
- AS – Gen. Science conc. Great Basin College Dec 2011
My current research focuses on using techniques such as nuclear resonant inelastic x-ray scattering, nuclear forward scattering, x-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to study lattice dynamics, phonon density of states, and their relation to thermoelectric properties under high pressure conditions. Other projects include low temperature x-ray diffraction and resonant x-ray emission spectroscopy to study the crystal structure and valence of strongly correlated materials and superconductivity. Samples are synthesized in-house using conventional solid state heating and arc melting techniques. High pressures are achieved using diamond anvil cells.
Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source:
- Part of a collaboration between APS Sector 16 and UNLV HiPSEC to build a cryostat for high pressure nuclear resonant scattering measurements at Sector 16 ID-D beamline.
- Conducted high pressure nuclear resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (NRIXS) and nuclear forward scattering (NFS) measurements of isotopically enriched Fe-57 containing samples at Sector 16 ID-D beamline.
- Performed high pressure powder x-ray diffraction studies at Sector 16 ID-B and ID-D beamlines, including high temperature ( ≤ 600 K) xrd studies using diamond anvil cell resistive heating at ID-B and ID-D, and low-temperature ( ≥ 8 K) xrd studies in cryostat at ID-B.
- Measured valence behavior with pressure of ytterbium-containing compounds using resonant x-ray emission spectroscopy (R-XES) and partial fluorescence yield (PFY) techniques at Sector 16 ID-D.
- Performed high pressure Raman study of bismuth oxide nanoparticles using HPCAT off-line Raman system, paired with high pressure powder x-ray diffraction data measured at Sector 16 ID-B.
- Aided in high pressure, low temperature XANES measurements at APS Sector 4 beamline.
Canadian Light Source:
- Assisted in high pressure experiments conducted at the mid-IR and Far-IR beamlines of the Canadian Light Source, including the first high pressure diamond anvil cell study conducted at the Canadian Light Source Far-IR beamline.
- Helped perform high pressure (70+ GPa) XANES measurements on cesium, fluorine, and chlorine containing mixtures at the Hard X-ray MicroAnalysis (HXMA) beamline.
Professional schools & workshops:
- Workshop on Nuclear Resonant Scattering and Data Analysis, November 2016 at the Argonne National Laboratory Advanced Photon Source. Workshop introduced nuclear resonant inelastic x-ray scattering (NRIXS) and nuclear forward scattering (NRS) techniques, important research applications, and CONUSS and PHOENIX analysis software.
- Reitveld Refinement Analysis Workshop at the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association, including training in GSAS and Jana2006 crystallographic software.
- 2014 National Science and Security Consortium (NSSC) – Los Alamos National Laboratory Nuclear Safeguards Summer School for hands-on experience in passive nondestructive assay of radioactive materials.
- The 2016 Ovshinsky Student Travel Grant Award, Honorable Mention, by the APS Division of Materials Physics for poster entitled “High Pressure synchrotron XRD and Raman studies of Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7” at the 2016 APS March Meeting.
- The American Crystallographic Association Student Travel Grant for poster entitled “Pressure induced structural transition in Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7 by synchrotron XRD and Raman experiments” at the ACA 65th Annual Meeting, July 2015.
- The UNLV Foundation and Southwest Airlines Spring 2015 Student Travel Award, used to attend the 65th Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association in Philadelphia, PA.
- First Place UNLV CSUN Academic Affairs – Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship 2015 Poster Conference, STEM Session, for poster “High Pressure Raman and X-Ray Diffraction Study of Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7.”
- Michael Pravica, Melanie White, and Yonggang Wang. “A novel method for generating molecular mixtures at extreme conditions: The case of fluorine and oxygen.” AIP Conference Proceedings 1793, 060030 (2017). DOI: 10.1063/1.4971586.
- Michael Pravica, Yonggang Wang, Daniel Sneed, Sharissa Reiser, and Melanie White. “High Pressure Studies of Potassium Perchlorate.” Chemical Physics Letters 660, 37-42 (2016). DOI: 10.1016/j.cplett.2016.07.060.
- Michael Pravica, Daniel Sneed, Quinlan Smith, Brant Billinghurst, Tim May, Melanie White, and Kamil Dziubek. “A novel synthesis of polymeric CO via useful hard X-ray photochemistry.” Cogent Physics 3, 1169880 (2016). DOI: 0.1080/23311940.2016.1169880.
- Michael Pravica, Daniel Sneed, Yonggang Wang, Quinlan Smith, and Melanie White. “Hexafluorobenzene under Extreme Conditions,” The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 120 (10), pp 2854–2858, (2016); DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.6b00497.
- Michael Pravica, Daniel Sneed, Melanie White, and Yonggang Wang. “Communication: A novel method for generating molecular mixtures at extreme conditions: The case of hydrogen and oxygen,” Journal of Chemical Physics, 141 (19), 091101 (2014); DOI: 10.1063/1.4894402.
- Michael Pravica, Daniel Sneed, Melanie White, and Yonggang Wang. “Note: Loading method of molecular fluorine using x-ray induced chemistry,” Review of Scientific Instruments, 85 (8), 086110 (2014); DOI: 10.1063/1.4893384
- 2017 National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Academic Programs Annual Symposium in Chicago, IL. Presented poster titled “Crystal structure and phonon density of states of FeSb2 with pressure.”
- 2017 Applied Nanoscience and Nanotechnology International Conference in Barcelona, Spain. Presented talk titled “Effect of Pressure on Crystal Structure and Optical Properties of Bi2O3 Nanoparticles.”
- 2016 March Meeting of the American Physical Society in Baltimore, MD. Presented poster titled “High Pressure synchrotron XRD and Raman studies of Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7.”
- 65th Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association in Philadelphia, PA. Presented poster “Pressure induced structural transition in Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7 by synchrotron XRD and Raman experiments.”
- 2015 National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Academic Programs Annual Symposium in Santa Fe, NM. Presented poster titled “High pressure Raman and XRD studies of Ho0.5Y1.5Ti2O7.”
- 2014 National Nuclear Security Administration Stewardship Science Academic Programs Annual Symposium in Bethesda, MD. Presented poster titled “Hexafluorobenzene Under Extreme Conditions.”
- 2014 UNLV Division of Research and Economic Development – National Security Technologies (NSTec) Symposium.