Skip to main content
Educational Programs and Outreach

Bolingbrook High School ESRP 2022

Study of the Electronic Properties of Conductor, Insulator, and High-Temperature Superconductor Using Valence Electron Excitation


  • Students:
    • Joshua Bozarth
    • Hans Manganti
    • Tejas Patnaik
    • Nikitha Sheth
  • Teachers:
    • Lois Emde
  • Mentors:
    • Paul Chow (Argonne National Laboratory, Sector 16 ID-D)

Advanced Photon Source Sector 16: HP-CAT

The purpose of the experiment is to determine the electronic properties of the materials aluminum (a conductor), diamond (an insulator), and bismuth strontium calcium copper oxide, or BSCCO (a high-temperature superconductor). This is done by valence electron excitation, which yields information about the transitions of electrons within the crystalline materials band structure. In doing this procedure, the X-ray exits the body at a certain angle and energy; the resultant energy of the X-ray photons reveals the excitations of electrons. This offers insight into the physical properties of materials. The measured angles of the photons can be used to determine the change in momentum of the electron and the calculated loss in energy shows the energy transferred into the electron system. The results of the experiment reflect the excitation of the materials’ electrons to higher energy bands, which would be indicative of both the materials’ ground and excited state electrical properties.

Download Poster