Air Force Extends Grant for Graphene Research

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has extended Columbia’s Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant for “Graphene Materials for Microsystem Devices” for two option years with an additional $3 million. This grant is a collaboration with Columbia Engineering, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Columbia, and Cornell University’s Electronic Materials group, with Michael G. Spencer, professor of electrical and computer engineering, as their coordinator.

“Having this grant extended is great news,” says Richard Osgood (at right), Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of applied physics and applied mathematics, the lead principal investigator of the MURI. “Our MURI program is providing the cutting-edge work in graphene in the U.S.”

The researchers are working on developing new growth and fabrication technologies for graphene that, when coupled with improved understanding of the material’s critical underlying physical properties, will enable novel device concepts, including ultrafast FETs (field-effect transistors that amplify weak signals) and tunable acoustic resonators, which can generate or modify sounds by enhancing particular frequencies. Working closely with governmental agencies like the Air Force Research Laboratory and with industry, they are focusing on three types of advanced electronic and nanoscale electromechanical devices that demonstrate the potential for new or dramatically enhanced functionality: electrical, optical, and mechanical.

Across the University, the MURI team includes Louis Brus (Samuel Latham Mitchell Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University and professor of chemical engineering at Columbia Engineering), George Flynn (Higgins Professor of Chemistry at Columbia University and professor of chemical engineering at Columbia Engineering), Tony Heinz (David M. Rickey Professor of Optical Communications at Columbia Engineering and professor of physics at Columbia University), Jim Hone (associate professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia Engineering), Philip Kim (professor of physics at Columbia University ), Richard Osgood (Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and professor of applied physics and applied mathematics at Columbia Engineering), and Ken Shepard (professor of electrical engineering at Columbia Engineering). The group is collaborating with Cornell on this program, which began October 2010 and was originally funded for $4.5 million.

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