Undergraduate Students

Nidhi Kapate

email: nidhikap@seas.upenn.edu

Nidhi is a senior studying Materials Science and Engineering at Penn with a minor in Math and has submatriculated into the Master’s program for MSE as well. She plans to attend graduate school and pursue a PhD. Outside of school, she enjoys hiking, listening to podcasts, and exploring the Philly food scene.

Nidhi is interested in the intersection of nanotechnology, electronic devices, and sustainability. Her work in the group focuses on the photocatalytic and physical properties of TMDs.


Natalia Acero

email: nacero@sas.upenn.edu

Natalia is a rising junior studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Physics with a business and technology concentration. She is from Bogotá, Colombia and plans to go back to work on the development of solar energy in Latin America. In addition to academics, Natalia enjoys playing volleyball, swimming, and drawing.

Her research interests are innovative ways to facilitate the use of renewable energy in nanotechnology, especially solar energy. More specifically, she explores transfer methods of van der Waals materials to reduce interface contamination in heterostructures.


Bhaskar Abhiraman

email: bhaskara@sas.upenn.edu

Bhaskar is a rising junior in the VIPER program studying electrical engineering and physics. He is from New Canaan, Connecticut. After graduation, he hopes to work in the R&D of sustainable technology. Outside of academics, Bhaskar enjoys playing the piano, biking around Philly, and boxing.

Previously, Bhaskar has worked in Professor Aaswath Raman’s lab. There, he designed nanophotonic, radiative sky cooling materials for sustainable systems in the water-energy nexus. In Professor Jariwala’s lab, Bhaskar pursues simulation-driven design of novel nanophotonic, optoelectronic, and photovoltaic devices.


Francisco Barrera

email: fbarrera@sas.upenn.edu

Francisco is rising sophomore in the VIPER program studying Materials Science & Engineering and Physics with a concentration in business. Coming from sunny Miami, Florida, he hopes to one day go back home and start a solar-technology-based business. Aside from these career interests, Francisco likes playing soccer and volleyball, and enjoys reading in the evening.
Francisco is interested in researching solar cells with high mass-to-energy-output ratios for use in space-based solar power which, he believes, is the future of sustainable energy.

Jack Jenkins

email: jrjenk@seas.upenn.edu

Jack is a rising sophomore studying Materials Science Engineering and Physics. He is from Overland Park, Kansas and enjoys playing soccer outside of academics.
Jack’s research interests include renewable energy and nanotechnology applied to electronic devices. He is currently exploring innovative ways to construct a new generation of photovoltaics.

Sebastian Naranjo

email: naranjorn@gmail.com

Sebastian is a rising senior at Rowan University studying Biomedical Engineering with a focus in Cellular, Molecular, and tissue Engineering/Regenerative Medicine. He is from Kinnelon, New Jersey and will be applying and completing a PhD program, hopefully at UPenn, to one day conduct his own research in diagnosing and curing cancer.
One of his project goals while at the Jariwala Group will be to optimize the graphene monolayer semiconductor microenvironment and promote cell adhesion and viability.  He is also looking to produce a physiologically relevant electrical stimulus, only targeting the transmembrane receptors and complementary extracellular matrix ligands.  Then by using Real-Time epifluorescence microscopy, he hopes to quantify specific mechanisms and migration patterns associated with the electrical field produced by my semiconductor chip.

Kelotchi Figueroa

email: kelotchi.figueroa@upr.edu

Kelotchi is a rising junior at the University of Humacao Puerto Rico majoring in Physics applied to Electronics. Once he finishes his major, he plans on applying to graduate school. Outside of the lab, he enjoys playing basketball and volleyball.