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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Doing Business As Name:University of South Dakota Main Campus
PD/PI:
  • Dongming Mei
  • (605) 677-5370
  • dongming.mei@usd.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Wenzhao Wei
  • Jing Liu
  • Parashu Kharel
Award Date:07/28/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 281,575
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 281,575
  • FY 2021=$281,575
Start Date:08/01/2021
End Date:07/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.049
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:MRI-Acquisition: Sputtering System for Developing Novel Germanium Detectors and Materials
Federal Award ID Number:2117774
DUNS ID:929930808
Parent DUNS ID:929538999
Program:Major Research Instrumentation
Program Officer:
  • Allena K. Opper
  • (703) 292-8958
  • aopper@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:414 E CLARK ST
City:vermillion
State:SD
ZIP:57069-2307
County:Vermillion
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:00

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of South Dakota Main Campus
Street:414 East Clark Street
City:Vermillion
State:SD
ZIP:57069-2307
County:Vermillion
Country:US
Cong. District:00

Abstract at Time of Award

This award will provide a new sputtering system for developing novel germanium (Ge) detectors and materials research in the Departments of Physics at the University of South Dakota (USD) and at South Dakota State University (SDSU). This instrument will significantly improve the research facility and capability in the state of South Dakota. The device will be used by a number of investigators to develop and test novel germanium detector designs, some with promising applications to dark matter and neutrino detection, others for medical imaging. The equipment and the dedicated detector fabrication laboratory promise to realize an unusually broad spectrum of Broader Impact. This includes advances in medical research, but also more generically, in fields like environmental monitoring or homeland security. In addition, the group has a track record of involving students from underrepresented groups in the research. The planned instrument will enable multidisciplinary research and more than 50 students will be trained. A sputtering system with a configuration to coat up to 4 inches in diameter and 3 inches in thickness for substrates per batch from both sides by utilizing an in-situ substrate pallet flipping mechanism is planned in this project. Sputtering is a deposition technology involving a gaseous plasma which is generated and confined to a space containing a target (substrate) to be deposited. The surface of the target is eroded by high-energy ions within the plasma, and the liberated atoms travel through the vacuum environment and are deposited into a substrate to form a thin film. The sputtering technology has been used in developing novel Ge detectors by creating amorphous Ge (a-Ge) or a-Si thin films onto high-purity Ge crystals to make electrical contacts, which provide bipolar blocking for electrons and holes. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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