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DoD-funded research will advance electronic materials, additive manufacturing

Engineering faculty representing several disciplines soon will receive Department of Defense (DoD) funding to accelerate important research and training of graduate students. The Ohio State College of Engineering research teams have received 2 of the 24 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) awards recently announced.

Visualization of a crystal structure of a gallium oxide surfaceVisualization of a crystal structure of a gallium oxide surfaceNeal A. Smith Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Steven A. Ringel, Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professors Siddharth Rajan and Hongping Zhao, and Materials Science and Engineering Assistant Professor Jinwoo Hwang are co-investigators of a MURI project led by James Speck at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the “Gallium Oxide Materials Science and Engineering - GAME” project will study the promising wide bandgap semiconductor material’s structure-property relationships and advance the material to new-generation electronic and photonic device applications. The Ohio State investigators will share approximately $3.7 million of the total awarded amount ($7.5 million) over the next 5 years.

Project-related atomic resolution microscopy will occur at Ohio State’s Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis (CEMAS), with primary materials growth and device development occurring at Ohio State’s Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Lab (SEAL) and the Nanotech West Laboratory.

Ringel also is the Executive Director of Ohio State’s Institute for Materials Research (IMR), and holds courtesy professor appointments in the Departments of Physics and Materials Science and Engineering. Rajan holds a co-appointment in Materials Science and Engineering. Investigators from Cornell University and Georgia Tech round out the team. Collectively, project members have published nearly 50 journal papers on gallium oxide to date.

Materials Science and Engineering Professor Joerg Jinschek is collaborating on a separate advanced manufacturing MURI project led by the University of Tennessee’s Suresh Babu. This multidisciplinary team—which also includes Virginia Tech, Iowa State University, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Colorado School of Mines—will focus on properties, defects and instabilities in additive manufactured alloys, an area of great importance to the Office of Naval Research. They will analyze a number of physical processes that can affect the final product, including rapid heating and cooling, and examine how physical properties at the submicron level might differ from those at a far greater scale.

Also utilizing CEMAS capabilities, Jinschek will lead in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) efforts to track dynamics of phase transformations and defect evolution on the nanometer length scale. Ohio State’s share of the funding over five years could total up to $1.25 million. The co-investigator from Iowa State, associate professor Peter Collins, is an Ohio State alumnus.

The highly competitive MURI program complements other DoD basic research initiatives that support traditional, three-year, single-investigator university research grants. By supporting multidisciplinary teams with larger, longer awards in carefully chosen and relevant research topics, DoD and the Services enhance the potential for significant and sustained advancement of research in critical areas of importance to National Security and the DoD’s mission.

The Army Research Office, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Office of Naval Research solicited proposals in 24 topic areas important to the DoD and the Services.  In response to the initial solicitation the department received 436 white papers.

Article originally posted by The Ohio State University College of Engineering.