Research Capabilities

Research Goals for the Center

The main coordinators of the Center, Dr. Terrones and Dr. Robinson, lead and articulate the theoretical and the experimental branches coordinated by two senior scientists (to be appointed). The Center is active in attracting funding from industry and government and is applying to major research proposal calls in order to strengthen the area and multidisciplinary collaborations within Penn State. Both the theoretical and experimental branches of the Center will then deliver new advances and developments in the field as follows:

The primary goal of the Center is to develop a fundamental understanding of the synthesis and materials performance limits of 2-D layered structures. The research strategies are built upon our recent successful development of synthesis, integration, and evaluation of 2D materials. The themes that form the core Center goals include:

  • Developing synthesis techniques for large-area synthesis of highly crystalline 2D layered materials exhibiting tunable band gaps
  • Developing novel, low-cost, chemistry-based doping techniques able to tailor the electronic, structural, and chemical properties of 2-D Layered Materials
  • Understanding the fundamental impact of “bulk”, edge, and interface states on the chemical and electronic properties of different 2D layered materials, and how to control these states to enhance specific material properties.
  • Developing novel characterization techniques across multiple length scales to correlate the process/property relationship of the layered materials.
  • Developing novel chemical and molecular doping methods to tailor 2D hybrid materials for optoelectronic applications.
  • Demonstrating technology transition to industrial partners through the formation of an government-industry advisory board that will help guide the fundamental science.

Education

In addition to the research goals, it is important to emphasize that this is a unique interdisciplinary team, working in the innovative field of 2D materials, where students from a variety of academic departments at Penn State participate. The program trains graduate and undergraduate students through laboratory research and coursework, involving physics, chemistry, materials science, and engineering. Particular attention is given to recruiting women and under-represented minority graduate and undergraduate research assistants, which closely matches the theme of our research team. Additionally, the Center works closely with industrial and government partners to develop the unique opportunity for students to explore industrial and government R&D settings through an industry-government-academic research exchange program. The multidisciplinary philosophy of this Center will result in a world-class education of younger generations with unique tools that will be used in their subsequent academic/industrial careers.