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Electronic Materials & Devices

Piezoelectrics, Pyroelectrics, & Ferroelectrics

Thermal Imaging - Pyroelectric System

A special formulization of PZT is pyrolectric which means it will generate an electrical signal as it changes temperature. Integrated PZT pyroelectric devices have been built at Penn State.

Faculty Experts: 
Badding, John
Cao, Wenwu
Chen, Long-Qing
Lanagan, Mike
Liu, Zi-Kui
Messing, Gary
Randall, Clive
Shrout, Thomas
Trolier-McKinstry, Susan
Tadigadapa, Srinivas
Uchino, Kenji
Zhang, Shujun

Metamaterials, Chalcogenide Glass

Using a combination of the new tools of metamaterials and transformation optics, engineers at Penn State University have developed designs for miniaturized optical devices that can be used in chip-based optical integrated circuits, the equivalent of the integrated electronic circuits that make possible computers and cell phones.

Faculty Experts: 
Badding, John
Cao, Wenwu
Chen, Long-Qing
Lanagan, Mike
Liu, Zi-Kui
Messing, Gary
Randall, Clive
Shrout, Thomas
Trolier-McKinstry, Susan
Tadigadapa, Srinivas
Uchino, Kenji
Zhang, Shujun

Organic and Thin Film Nanoelectronics

Flexible electronics open the door to foldaway smartphone displays, solar cells on a roll of plastic and advanced medical devices -- if we can figure out how to make them.

Nearly everyone knows what the inside of a computer or a mobile phone looks like: A stiff circuit board, usually green, crammed with chips, resistors, capacitors and sockets, interconnected by a suburban sprawl of printed wiring.

But what if our printed circuit board was not stiff, but flexible enough to bend or even fold?

Faculty Experts: 
Alem, Nasim
Crespi, Vincent
Giebink, Chris
Gomez, Enrique
Hudson, Eric
Jackson, Thomas
Liu, Zhiwen
Mallouk, Thomas
Mohney, Suzanne
Redwing, Joan
Samarth, Nitin
Sofo, Jorge
Zhang, Sulin
Zhu, Jun

Wide Band-gap Compound Semiconductors

Penn State researching ways to improve computer speed, efficiency

Semiconductors with band-gaps larger than 2eV are said to be wide band-gap. They are used to fabricate optical devices that emit visible green and blue, and ultraviolet/deep ultraviolet light. Wide band-gap semiconductors such as gallium nitride and silicon carbide are being studied for electronic components, especially in high power high temperature applications. Wide band-gap semiconductors are used to make LEDs and lasers such as those used in DVD and Blue Ray disk players.

Spintronics

Penn State researching ways to improve computer speed, efficiency

Sensors

Penn State, North Carolina State University, the University of Virginia and Florida International University will collaborate on a national nanotechnology research effort to create self-powered devices to help people monitor their health and understand how the surrounding environment affects it, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced today, September 5, 2012.

Semiconductor Thin Film Devices

Materials Other Than Silicon for Next Generation Electronic Devices

In the consumer electronics industry, the mantra for innovation is higher device performance/less power. Arun Thathachary, a Ph.D. student in Penn State's Electrical Engineering Department, spends his days and sometimes nights in the cleanroom of the Materials Research Institute's Nanofabrication Laboratory trying to make innovative transistor devices out of materials other than the standard semiconductor silicon that will allow higher performance using less power.

Plasmonics

Plasmonics takes advantage of the collective oscillation of electrons on the surface of a metal and their effect on light absorption and reflection. Due to their very short wavelength and low loss at high frequencies, plasmons are good candidates for optical communication on computer chips, high resolution lithography and microscopy, and molecular sensors. Light absorbing plasmonic materials could also be used to improve the efficiency of solar cells.

Optical Fibers

First electronic optical fibers with hydrogenated amorphous silicon are developed

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