News From the Field
Watching Crystals Grow Provides Clues to Making Smoother, Defect-free Thin Films
January 21, 2010
To make thin films for semiconductors in electronic devices, layers of atoms must be grown in neat, crystalline sheets. But while some materials grow smooth crystals, others tend to develop bumps and defects--a serious problem for thin-film manufacturing. Cornell physicists shed new light on how atoms arrange themselves into thin films.
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2012, its budget was $7.0 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 50,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,500 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $593 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
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