Dr. Xu awarded $175k grant for research equipment
Morehead State University’s Dr. Qingzhou Xu, Micro Fabrication Engineer and Assistant Professor at the Space Science Center, was awarded a two-year, $175,456 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Major Research Instrumentation program to purchase specialized equipment to further his research projects.
Dr. Xu’s Co-PIs, who will also use the equipment as part of their research, are Dr. Kent Price, Associate Professor of Physics, Dr. William Grise, Professor of Industrial & Engineering Technology, and Dr. Sadeta Krijestorac, Assistant Professor of Industrial & Engineering Technology.
The project, titled “MRI: Acquisition of a Semiconductor Device Analyzer and a Probe Station for Multidisciplinary Research and Education,” aims to purchase a semiconductor device analyzer and a probe station, which will allow the professors to continue their individual research projects.
Dr. Xu’s project involves radio-frequency micro-electro-mechanical-systems (RF MEMS) switches.
“RF MEMS switches are miniaturized mechanical devices with the potential to revolutionize modern communication systems,” Xu said. “The design and contact I’m working on will hopefully solve the problematic reliability issue of these switches that prevents their large-scale practical applications.”
Dr. Price is engaged in improving the long-term efficiency and stability of cadmium telluride (CdTe)-based solar cells. The fundamental research on CdTe-based solar cells will help realize cheaper, more efficient and reliable solar panels, which are vital to achieving affordable, renewable green energy.
Drs. Grisé and Krijestorac are developing novel high-dielectric constant (high-k) thin film metal oxides. The innovative research effort on high-k materials will help develop even smaller field-effect transistors (FETs) and capacitors to further increase the device density of ultra large scale integrated circuits, which are the backbones of modern electronic products.
“The new instruments also will offer a long-term educational benefit to students at Morehead State University,” Xu said. “The instruments will significantly enhance MSU’s capability of carrying out this research. With these research projects going on, valuable opportunities are created to train graduate and undergraduate students.”
More information is available by calling Dr. Xu at (606) 783-9598.