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Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures

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MRSEC: Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures (CSPIN)  (University of Oklahoma Norman Campus)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures (C-SPIN) is a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). MRSECs support interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society.

Richard Feynman, in a 1959 talk entitled "There's Room at the Bottom," challenged physicists to explore the field we now call nanotechnology. His vision was the control of materials on the atomic scale, a key technology for future electronic, optoelectronic and electromechanical devices. Since then we have learned how to pattern devices on the sub-micron scale, devices which form the basis of all modern electronics that in turn makes possible much of our information economy. Nanoscale semiconductor devices will lead to faster, smaller computers, denser information storage, and new technologies not yet imagined.

In spite of this tremendous potential, our fundamental understanding of material science on the nanoscale is still in its infancy. The Center for Semiconductor Physics in Nanostructures aims to design and control the growth and behavior of these new systems by combining individual research efforts into a collaborative whole. C-SPIN's two research groups study the creation of nanoscale structures, such as dots and wires and how to make extremely smooth interfaces, allowing for smaller quantum well heterostructures.

Education & Outreach

C-SPIN's outreach efforts include high school mentorship experiences, Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) programs and minority recruitment programs at both campuses, as well as a newly funded Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) in Photonics at Arknsas. These efforts are supplemented by several new outreach efforts including summer salary for faculty at regional universities to work at the Center; a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program for middle school and high school teachers; web-based access to images of samples sent in by K-12 students; and outreach to the broader community through development of videos, DVD's, and science shows. The Center also collaborates with the Oklahoma Alliance for Minority Participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (OKAMP) and Carver Project (UA) programs to improve minority recruiting, retention, and placement.

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  • Image from an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
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