CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Oct. 26, 2001
UI researchers receive $320,000 Air Force grant
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Two University of Iowa researchers have received a two-year,
$320,000 grant from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratories to study materials
currently used in monitoring devices which may be useful in detecting the
presence of air pollutants and chemical warfare agents.
Thomas Boggess, professor and chair of the department of physics and astronomy
in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor in the department
of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering, and
Michael Flatté, associate professor in the department of physics and
astronomy, received the award to investigate novel semiconductor materials
used in the design of mid-infrared lasers. Both researchers are members of
the UI Optical Science and Technology Center, and the studies will be performed
in the Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories Building.
Boggess says that the goal is to improve laser power, efficiency, and operating
temperature by conducting theoretical and experimental studies of the semiconductors
used in mid-infrared lasers.
"Here at the University of Iowa, layered semiconductors made from the
elements aluminum, indium, gallium, arsenic, and antimony are used in very
unusual lasers," Boggess says. "These lasers emit infrared light
with colors beyond red, colors that people cannot see. Some colors of this
laser light will interact strongly with pollutants and hazardous chemicals,
and therefore these lasers are expected to be important tools for sensing
the presence of pollutants and chemical warfare agents."
The research, involving microscopic devices and materials collectively referred
to as nanotechnology, will be conducted in collaboration with Texas A&M
University, MIT Lincoln Laboratories, and the Air Force Research Laboratory
at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, N.M.