Ian Appelbaum, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the university announced yesterday. The five-year, $400,000 award will support Appelbaum's research and companion education project on silicon spintronics. The emerging field of spintronics focuses on harnessing the magnet- University of Delaware spintronics researcher Ian Appelbaum (Photo by Jon Cox) like spin property of electrons to produce faster, more efficient electronics ranging from computers to cell phones. Appelbaum said the funding will help continue his work, which seeks to prove that silicon, the workhorse material of the electronics industry, can be used in spintronic applications. The research may lead to the development of an entirely new logic architecture for electronics, Appelbaum said. He and his group were the first to demonstrate silicon's ability to conduct the spin of electrons, known as "spin transport," using a novel hot-electron detection technique. His research group then showed how their device design could be used as a spin field-effect transistor, and more recently demonstrated that an electron's spin can be transported through a 350-µm-thick silicon wafer. The NSF award supports the integrated research and educational activities of faculty deemed most likely to become academic leaders while still early in their careers. Appelbaum earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his PhD in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University prior to joining the UD faculty in 2005. Appelbaum has authored or co-authored of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and is a member of the Materials Research Society and a life member of the American Physical Society.