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Award Abstract #1229678

MRI: Acquisition of a Molecular Beam Epitaxy Chamber for Quantum-Engineered Structures and Devices

NSF Org: DMR
Division Of Materials Research
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Initial Amendment Date: September 1, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: September 1, 2012
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Award Number: 1229678
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Leonard Spinu
DMR Division Of Materials Research
MPS Direct For Mathematical & Physical Scien
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Start Date: September 1, 2012
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End Date: August 31, 2016 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $812,984.00
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Investigator(s): Michael Santos msantos@ou.edu (Principal Investigator)
Ian Sellers (Co-Principal Investigator)
Rui Yang (Co-Principal Investigator)
Sheena Murphy (Co-Principal Investigator)
Matthew Johnson (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Oklahoma Norman Campus
201 Stephenson Parkway
NORMAN, OK 73019-9705 (405)325-4757
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NSF Program(s): MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION
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Program Reference Code(s): 7237, 9150, 9161, AMPP
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Program Element Code(s): 1189

ABSTRACT

This award to the University of Oklahoma is for the acquisition of a state-of-the-art molecular beam epitaxy chamber to accelerate progress in developing a wide range of scientific and technologically important applications for materials containing antimony (Sb). Antimonide materials typically display a relatively narrow band gap, small effective electronic mass, and strong spin-orbit coupling. Interband cascade structures based on the type-II transition between InAs and GaSb quantum wells will be further developed for applications as mid-infrared lasers, photodetectors, and thermophotovoltaic devices. Quantum-dot structures with antimonide compounds as the material for either the dots or the matrix are candidates for solar cells that exploit intermediate band absorption or multi-exciton generation. Exploitation of strong-spin orbit coupling and confinement effects may lead to a new three-dimensional topological insulator in quantum-confined Sb films. Improved InSb quantum-well structures will facilitate further studies of electron spin effects and may enable formation of novel topological superconductor states. The effects of dilute amounts of nitrogen in narrow gap materials will be studied for photovoltaic and photodetector applications.

The molecular beam epitaxy chamber will be used for the training of students in contemporary growth techniques and will create new research opportunities for students studying physics and engineering. Nanotechnology outreach to K-12 students, middle and high school teachers, undergraduates, and senior citizens will be enriched by the enhanced expertise that will result from the acquisition of a new chamber for antimonide growth.

 

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