Engineering 101

Arkansas to Host its First Energy Frontier Research Center

The U.S. Department of Energy awarded a team at the University of Arkansas a $10.3 million grant to build the first Energy Frontier Researcher Center in Arkansas, U.S.A.

The research facility, to be named the Center for Manipulation of Atomic Ordering for Manufacturing Semiconductors, will investigate the formation of atomic orders in semiconductor alloys and their effects on various physical properties.

The team, led by Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu, an electrical engineering professor at the University of Arkansas, will enable reliable, cost-effective, and transformative manufacturing of semiconductors.

The four-year grant is part of the Energy Department’s $540 million in research funding to universities and laboratories focusing on clean energy tech, with an ultimate goal of developing low-carbon manufacturing processes.

The multi-institutional team recently discovered that atoms in the alloy silicon germanium tin demonstrate a short-range order in periodic lattice, which led to the award. Their research hypothesizes that material properties in semiconductor alloys could be designed and fabricated by manipulating the order of atoms.

The U of A researchers will work with others from Arizona State University, George Washington University, University of California Berkeley, Dartmouth College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Delaware, and Sandia National Laboratory.

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