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REU Site Home | Application Procedure | Projects

Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)- Research Groups and Project Descriptions

The following faculty and research groups are participating in this program. Each group has one or more projects available for Fellows, described as follows:

Yves Chabal, MSE Department Head, Professor and Texas Instruments Distinguished
University Chair in Nanoelectronics
Title: Chemical functionalization of semiconductor surfaces for nanoelectronic, sensors and photovoltaic devices
Description: Fellows will participate in the preparation of H-terminated Si surfaces and their subsequent modification, modify the chemically prepared surfaces with atomic layer deposition (ALD) for nanoelectronic applications, and graft either biomolecules or QD/NPs to the chemically modified surfaces for sensor or PV applications. This project will also involve characterization by IR, Raman, AFM and LEIS methods, and clean-room device fabrication techniques.

Lev D. Gelb, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Molecular Simulation of Self-Assembly and Phase Behavior at Surfaces
Description: Monte Carlo simulations will be used to study self-assembly and order-disorder transitions in a two-dimensional lattice model of adsorbed molecules, and/or use Kinetic Monte Carlo and massive-scale molecular dynamics to study the structural evolution of polycrystalline metal films under high-temperature annealing and at temperatures typical of catalytic applications.

Matthew Goeckner, Professor and Head of Mathematical Sciences
Title: Plasma Processing of Materials
Description: Plasma processing is employed in etching, deposition and implantation for a wide variety of materials, including semiconductors and polymers.  Fellows will investigate plasma-surface interactions using a number of methods, in particular Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.

Christopher L. Hinkle, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering:
Title: Novel Transition Metal Dichalcogenides for Li-ion batteries
Description: Fellows will grow novel transition metal dichalcogenide
(TMD) electrodes which have the potential to significantly enhance batteries' charge storage capacity. The electrodes will be investigated using advanced characterization techniques such as reflection high-energy electron diffraction (RHEED), XPS, internal photoemission, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to determine their chemical bonding and ionic and electronic transport properties.

Julia W. P. Hsu, Professor and Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Nanoelectronics, Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Solution Synthesis of Metal Oxide Nanoparticles for Organic Electronics
Description: In organic solar cells and light emitting diodes, carrier transport layers that are deposited between the active materials and the metal electrodes have been shown to significantly improve device performance. Fellows will make oxide nanoparticles in solution using both traditional and microwave heating methods. These will be used to lower/increase the electrode work function in organic and hybrid solar cells so that the electrodes will collect either electrons or holes more selectively. Fellows will also use organic molecules to change the work function and the band bending in inorganic semiconductors, by modification of the surfaces of metal oxide films.

Hongbing Lu, Louis Beecherl Jr. Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Title: Porous nanostructured materials for acoustic attenuation and vibration damping
Description: Fellows will work on a new class of porous nanostructured materials (ductile aerogels) based on hierarchical 3D random assemblies of nanoparticles. Fellows will work to understand the extremely high acoustic transmission loss in these materials, and to create new materials that are slim, broadband, isotropic, and durable under different environmental conditions.

Manuel Quevedo, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Flexible Electronics
Description: In the area of radiation sensing, Fellows will learn about nuclear threat detection all the way from the fundamental interactions of neutrons and charged particles with matter to designing and fabricating complex circuits to testing devices for sensitivity and radiation hardness. In the area of nano-engineered materials, Fellows may contribute to ongoing work on materials for contacts, dielectrics and semiconductors for flexible electronics.

Amy V. Walker, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Deposition of Metals and Semiconductors on Organic Thin Films
Description: The Walker group explores the behavior of surfaces and molecular interfaces using a variety of surface science techniques, including time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF SIMS).
Fellows will contribute to research in two areas: optimization and application of new methods for depositing nanowires on micropatterned substrates, and development new flexible catalysts membranes for environmental remediation and fuel cells.

Robert M. Wallace, Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Semiconductors for Nanoelectronics
Description: Fellows will participate in projects that include analysis (XPS, UPS, STM) of semiconductor and graphene surfaces, with particular attention to the interfacial chemical bonding associated with overlying dielectric layers. In particular, compound semiconductor surfaces ((100) and (111)) including GaN, GaSb and GaP in direct contact with high-k dielectrics including Al2O3 and HfO2 will be studied.

Chadwin Young, Assistant Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
Title: Electrical Characterization of Thin-Film Transistors
Description: REU Fellows will perform time-resolved electrical testing to assess the performance and reliability of high-k dielectric thin-film transistors (TFTs). The technologies that arise from these test devices will be implemented in future microprocessors, memory, and other applications. This project will provide a broad introduction to understanding state-of-the-art device design and performance, as well as experience with a range of electrical characterization tools.