The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1.5 million grant to a University of Florida chemist to create a center for investigating manufacturing techniques for nanoscale electronics.
The Center for Nanostructured Electronic Materials will bring together researchers on materials for molecular electronics from UF, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Georgia, as well as private industry developers. Chemistry professor Lisa McElwee-White, the principal investigator, was awarded the grant through the NSF Centers for Chemical Innovation Program.
“The CCI Program provides a special opportunity to work collaboratively on major, long-term fundamental chemistry projects that are likely to produce high-impact results and lead to innovation,” said McElwee-White. “These centers are chosen for their potential to generate scientific and public interest by addressing challenging questions and sharing the results.”
The center will research chemical and synthetic methods for using molecular structures and nanoparticles to build integrated circuits. If successful, the center will pioneer the way to build smaller circuits that are currently possible with conventional construction techniques.
If initial research shows potential, a second phase of up to $40 million in additional grant funding will be awarded.
The center will also focus on student education in this competitive interdisciplinary field by providing internships, mentoring, and collaboration with interactions with industrial research personnel. The center will work with programs at the three universities to recruit and mentor minority and female undergraduates and doctoral students. The center will develop a series of two-minute radio spots and podcasts that will feature real world applications of chemistry and materials science research.