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University of Washington to Lead Center for Optoelectronic Materials Integration

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SEATTLE, Sept. 14, 2021 — The NSF has issued a five-year, $25 million Science and Technology Center grant to fund the Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand (IMOD), a collaboration of scientists and engineers at 11 universities led by the University of Washington (UW).

IMOD research will look at new semiconductor materials and scalable manufacturing processes for new optoelectronic devices for applications ranging from displays and sensors to a technological revolution, under development today, that’s based on harnessing the principles of quantum mechanics, a University of Washington press release said.

The 11 academic institutions that make up IMOD are UW; the University of Maryland, College Park; the University of Pennsylvania; Lehigh University; Columbia University; Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech); Northwestern University; the City College of New York (CUNY); the University of Chicago; University of Colorado at Boulder; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

David Ginger, the Alvin L. and Verla R. Kwiram Endowed Professor of Chemistry at UW, chief scientist at the UW Clean Energy Institute, and co-director of NW IMPACT, is the center’s director.

“In the early days of electronics, a computer would fill an entire room. Now we all carry around smartphones that are millions of times more powerful in our pockets,” Ginger said. “Today, we see an opportunity for advances in materials and scalable manufacturing to do the same thing for optoelectronics: Can we take a quantum optics experiment that fills an entire room, and fit thousands — or even millions — of them on a chip, enabling a new revolution?

“Along the way we anticipate IMOD’s science will help with a few more familiar challenges, like improving the display of the cellphone you already have in your pocket so the battery lasts longer.”

Building on advances in the synthesis of semiconductor quantum dots and halide perovskites, the center will integrate the work of scientists and engineers from diverse backgrounds. These include chemists with expertise in atomically precise colloidal synthesis, characterization, and theory, which consist of engineered systems of nanoparticles suspended in a medium; materials scientists and mechanical engineers developing methods for the integration, processing, and additive manufacturing of semiconductor devices; and electrical engineers and physicists who are developing new nanoscale photonic structures and investigating the performance limits of these materials for optical quantum communication and computing.

IMOD’s external partners include Amazon, Applied Materials, Corning Inc., Microsoft, Nanosys, and FOM Technologies Inc. Partner government organizations include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Washington State Department of Commerce. Educational partners include GEAR UP at UW, Catalyst @ Penn GSE, and the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing at Georgia Tech.

The center will launch a series of mentorship, team science training, and internship programs for participants, including students from underrepresented groups in STEM and first-generation students. Center scientists will also work with high school teachers on curriculum development programs aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards and act as “ambassadors” to K-12 students, introducing them to STEM careers.
Sep 2021
BusinessgrantfundingUniversity of WashingtonNational Science FoundationCenter for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on DemandIMODUniversity of PennsylvanniaLehigh UniversityColumbia UniversityGeorgia Institute of TechnologyNorthwestern UniversityCity College of New YorkUniversity of ChicagoUniversity of Colorado at BoulderUniversity of MarylandmaterialsAmazonApplied MaterialsCorningMicrosoftNanosysFOM TechnologiesNational Renewable Energy LaboratoryPacific Northwest National LaboratoryWashington State Department of Commerce

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