Postdoctoral Researcher

University of Vermont

Discovery Hall W315
82 University Place
Burlington, Vermont 05405

Phone: +1 (802) 656-0276


B.S. Chemistry, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
M.S. Chemistry, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine
Ph.D. Physics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA

Research Interests

During Kateryna’s doctoral studies, she studied charge-carrier dynamics in 2D nanomaterials with future applications in renewable energy, optoelectronics, and sensors. To characterize these materials, she applied new techniques involving THz (or far-infrared) radiation; specifically, THz time-domain spectroscopy, optical pump-THz probe spectroscopy, and THz emission spectroscopy. These powerful techniques are critical to investigating the low-frequency motions of atoms and molecules that are ultimately responsible for numerous bulk phenomena, including phase-transition processes, reaction mechanisms, and structural dynamics. While THz spectroscopy has many possible applications, one of the most considerable limitations to its adaptability is a lack of cross-disciplinary collaborations, which she hopes to actively change through participation and promotion of interdisciplinary work.

Using these THz techniques, she demonstrated the first experimental evidence of ferroelectricity and zero-bias ultrafast surface photocurrents in GeS and THz emission due to transient shift currents in several 2D chalcogenides, such as GeSe and SnS2. Her work on the electronic and optical proper-ties of 2D group-IV monochalcogenides GeS, GeSe, SnSe and related 2D chalcogenides SnS2 and Bi2Se3 has resulted in four publications and seven presentations at international conferences. As a WPI Global Research Award recipient, she spent two months conducting research on SnS2 in the lab of Prof. David Cooke at McGill University. During this internship, she learned about ultra-broadband THz spectroscopy and the opportunities that come with it. Additionally, she has trained and mentored new graduate and undergraduate students, including REU trainees, in the Ultrafast Optical and THz Spectroscopy Laboratory at WPI.

At UVM, her focus is on constructing an ultra-broadband THz spectroscopy setup in the lab of Prof. Ruggiero. Such an instrument would represent one of the most advanced THz spectrometers on the planet. Upon completion, she plans to turn her attention toward using this instrument to address three main environmental issues: pollution, global warming, and alternative energy sources. There are outstanding critical questions in each of these areas that directly relate to the molecular dynamics that occur at THz frequencies.

Stay tuned for lots of exciting developments from Kateryna!