CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 14, 2000
UI researchers receive Air Force research grant
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa researchers have received a two-year,
$301,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories to study materials
currently used in biomedical and air pollution monitoring devices and which
may become the foundation of the next generation of electronic devices for
high-speed information processing.
Thomas Boggess, professor in the College of Liberal Arts department of physics
and astronomy and in the College of Engineering department of electrical and
computer engineering, and Michael Flatté, professor in the department
of physics and astronomy, received the award to investigate novel semiconductor
materials. Both researchers are members of the UI Optical Science and Technology
Center, and the studies will be performed in the Iowa Advanced Technology
The research involves microscopic devices and materials, referred to as
nanotechnology, and will be conducted in collaboration with Texas A&M
University. The focus of the work will be on understanding the optical, electronic,
and structural properties of materials comprised of thin layers of different
semiconductors, with each layer roughly 10 atoms thick. Such materials are
used in long-wavelength lasers and detectors, which are ideal for many biomedical
applications and pollution monitoring. According to Boggess, these same materials
are also expected to form the foundation of the next generation of electronic
devices for high-speed information processing, including quantum computing.
"These materials are remarkable, for making one type of layer a single
atom thicker than desired can render the whole device useless," Flatté
says. Flatté also received $30,000 to aid in the application of these
materials to energy collection in power plants.
Boggess and Flatté, along with other UI faculty, previously collaborated
in the development of a long-wavelength, infrared semiconductor laser that
may be useful in non-invasive biomedical monitoring.