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					                                                                                                          S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 0 1 | Vol. 3, No.1

                              M   A   T   E   R   I   A   L   S   A   N   D   N   U   C   L   E   A   R     E   N   G   I    N   E   E   R   I   N   G

A newsletter for
alumni and friends of
                        Department Showcases Research
the Department of
Materials and Nuclear   On June 7, 2001, the Department proudly                       to engineered compound semiconductors.
                        hosted its first Research Review Day, former-                 Nanoscience in the Department now consists of
                                                                                      molecular engineering nanoscience and
                        ly known as the “Board of Visitors’ Meeting                   NMEMs, battery electrodes and energy storage,
                        and Industrial Outreach.” A total of twenty                   vacuum microelectronics, nanomolecular com-
                        companies and 85 visitors participated and                    posites, and nanostructures from organic poly-
                        observed the selected posters of our gradu-                        “Fueling the IT Engine —The Role of
                        ate and undergraduate students.                               Materials” was the key subject matter covered in
2 Message from                                                                        Professor Gary Rubloff ’s presentation.
   the Chair            T H E D A Y S T A R T E D W I T H D E A N Nariman                  The overview of nanotechnology and
                        Farvardin’s overview of the Clark School of                   nanomaterials by Professor Gottlieb Oehrlein
2 Research Note
                        Engineering. The School, with its top twenty                  presented a very thorough review of the depart-
3 Department News       ranking, has become a national leader in inter-               ment’s contributions to nanotechnology. Our
                        disciplinary research and advanced technology.                world-class capabilities in scanned probe instru-
4 Faculty News          The presentation by Chairman Aristos Christou                 ments include the work on scanning tunneling
                        entitled “Materials Engineering for the 21st                  microscopy by Ray Phaneuf . Self-assembly and
5 Faculty Profile
                        Century,” discussed how the Department is                     nanomaterials are extremely important in the
6 Research Feature      making significant contributions in nanomateri-               department as shown by Kofinas’ work on metal
                        als, organic materials, molecular electronics and             oxide nanoclusters and Robert Briber ’s work on
9 Recent Graduates      materials processing.                                         nanoporous dielectrics. DNA self-assembly on
                              Our contributions in titanium alloys (S.                inorganic surfaces has many unique possibilities
10 Student News
                        Ankem, et. al.) have made significant contribu-               for DNA memory as is shown by the work of
11 Alumni Profile       tions in enhancing the strength-to-weight ratios              Mohamad Al-Sheikhly. Other investigators
                        of Naval aircraft. Multi-laminate composites                  include quantum dot devices and the focused
12 End Notes            coupled with stainless steel inserts have revolu-             ion beam patterning of diamond films.
                        tionized how snow skis and snowboards are                          Organic materials research in the depart-
                        constructed. The work of our thermodynamics                   ment was reviewed by Dr. Kofinas. Organic
                        and microscopy groups has achieved a new                      materials are a key area of research for the
                        understanding of phase transformations in car-                department and ranges from liquid crystals (Luz
                        bon. The investigations of Peter Kofinas and                  Martinez-Miranda ) to organic nanocomposites
                        Otto Wilson have concentrated on materials                    (Wilson), nanoparticles, DNA hybridization and
                        made by nature: bio/membranes and dental                      block-copolymers (Kofinas). The work by the
                        implants. Advanced materials for microelec-                   polymer group headed by Dr. Kofinas includes
                        tronics investigated by our faculty have ranged               molecular imprinted hydrogels, phosphate bind-
                        from liquid crystal displays, to new dielectrics,             ing hydrogels, self-assembly of nanoclusters and

                                                                                                                            continued on page 3

                        A .   J A M E S               C L A R K           S C H O O L             O F     E N G I N E E R I N G
                                                 Message From the Chair

                                                 W      ELCOME TO THE SECOND
                                                         decade of our existence. The
                                                 completion of academic year 2000-2001
                                                                                                reviewing the events leading up to
                                                                                                September, we awarded 16 Ph.D. degrees,
                                                                                                30 M.S. degrees and 12 B.S. degrees dur-
                                                 marked the completion of our tenth year,       ing academic year 2000-2001. We created
                                                 and what a decade it has been! During          and are administratively responsible for
                                                 our first decade, the university and fund-     two new centers of research, The Center
                                                 ing agencies have invested approximately       for Combinatorial Materials Synthesis and
                                                 six million dollars just in the department’s   the Center for Optoelectronic Devices
                                                 materials science research infrastructure,     Interconnects and Packaging (COEDIP).
                                                 which in turn has resulted in close to fifty   Our faculty’s research expenditures topped
                                                 million dollars of research expenditures by    the seven million dollar mark, and includ-
                                                 our faculty. The last decade has seen a sig-   ed the initial funding of a Department of
                                                 nificant expansion of materials faculty and    Defense MURI (Multi-University
                                                 research, the creation of a new reliability    Research Initiative) on Multi-Ferroic Thin
                                                 engineering program, and a movement of         Film Materials (PI-Manfred Wuttig).
                                                 nuclear engineering towards reliability,            As we strive to continuously improve
                                                 safety and risk.                               our academic programs and research infra-
                                                      I welcome our friends, students and       structure, the next decade will bring many
                                                 alumni to a newly formatted newsletter.        exciting changes—stay tuned.
                                                 We seek your contributions and com-
                                                 ments to this publication, with which we
                                                 hope to reach over 5,000 readers. In


    researchNOTE                                 Department of Materials and Nuclear
                                                 Engineering, and former research associate
                                                                                                form its actuation. Wuttig’s microactuator
                                                                                                can be made and used without removing
                                                 Quanmin Su, is made from a class of met-       the substrate, simplifying the manufactur-
    Smart Actuator Licensed to TiNi              als called shape-memory metals. These          ing process. The microactuator includes
    Alloy                                        smart metals can be programmed to              an elastic, stress-compensating film that has
                                                 assume a particular shape when cooled          the same thermal properties as the shape-
    A SMART MICROACTUATOR HAS                    below transformation temperature and           memory alloy film but doesn’t have the
    emerged from a University of Maryland        then return to their original shape when       shape-memory effect. This improves the
    lab and has landed in the research and       heated above transformation temperature.       microactuator’s switching capabilities
    development pipeline of TiNi Alloy Co.,      The shape-memory alloy nickel titanium         because the action occurs against the elas-
    of San Leandro, California. TiNi Alloy       is commonly used to perform actuations         tic deformation of the stress-compensating
    recently licensed the patented composite     because it is a reliable, high-strength and    film, causing internal stress that influences
    shape-memory microactuator from the          lightweight material.                          the phase transformation and produces a
    Office of Technology Commercialization            Shape-memory alloy actuators are          more efficient reverse shape change.
    and is developing it into a novel latching   traditionally made by depositing a thin        —Megan Michael
    mechanism for fiber-optic technologies.      film of a shape-memory alloy, like silicon,    This article has been reprinted from Maryland
         The microactuator, invented by          on a substrate. The substrate is then          Research Magazine.
    Manfred Wuttig, a professor in the           removed so the shape-memory can per-

                                                                                                                       TECHSTRACKS n Summer/Fall 2001
Step Right Up and Test Your...Materials?
Materials and Nuclear Engineering                          undergraduate students designed a “high           alloy and then heated it, at which point it
Students help bring “Boardwalk” to                         hitter,” the backdrop of which listed dif-        returned to its original shape. They also
                                                           ferent types of materials, as well as the dif-    saw liquid nitrogen being used to cool a
                                                           ferent departments of the Clark School.           superconductor to below its transition
A SUNNY SPRING SATURDAY                                    Participants were offered a chance to ring        temperature, allowing the levitation of a
attracted over 66,000 alumni and friends                   the bell with a sledgehammer and win a            magnet.
to the university to celebrate the third                   prize. Whereas everyone who swung the                Although not your usual attraction on
annual Maryland Day open house. As part                    hammer walked away a winner there, only           your typical boardwalk, Nuclear faculty
of the festivities on April 28, 2001, the A.               those who actually bounced a ball into a          and students offered tours of the universi-
James Clark School of Engineering’s                        fish bowl went home with a new friend             ty’s nuclear reactor. This training reactor
theme was “A Day at the Boardwalk.”                        in the Nuclear undergrads’ ping-pong ball         is not enclosed on the top so that its core
Among the many booths and exhibits,                        toss.                                             may be directly observed. Participants in
faculty and students from Department of                       The Materials Science faculty demon-           the Maryland Day tour were also able to
Materials and Nuclear Engineering added                    strated shape memory alloys and a super-          look into the core of the operating reactor
their own attractions to the fun.                          conductor. Observers watched as faculty           during the tour, as well. T
   Materials Science and Engineering                       members altered the original shape of an

                                                                                                            Clockwise from top left: Materials Science
                                                                                                            students with their “high hitter;” a young
Research Review Day
continued from page 1                                                                                       contender tests his muscles with the “high
                                                                                                            hitter;” visitors watch a memory alloy
a nanoscale solid-state battery. However,                                                                   change shape; using liquid nitrogen to cool
the work extends even to environmental                                                                                                                     3
                                                                                                            a superconductor
engineering covering anion remediation
and toxic pollutant remediation from
     The role of risk technologies in engi-
neering was reviewed by Mohamad
Modarres. Risk technologies and its
applications to enhancing the safety of
nuclear energy provides the core funding
for the Department’s research group in
this area. Dr. Modarres also presented
recent results from applications for
enhancing food safety in the area of agri-
     The research day concluded with the
viewing of over 90 posters presented by
our graduate students. The posters were
judged by a selected group of industrial
visitors and the top four posters received a
monetary award, and more importantly,
their placement for one year in the
Department’s conference room. The
event has now become an annual one,
therefore be on the alert for our next
research review day to be held in late
Spring 2002. T

                                           GLENN L. MARTIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
   Oehrlein Brings New Plasma Laboratory to Department
   An array of state-of-the-art tools for plasma processing of                tool is very complex. The major
  advanced materials has become operational in the                            scientific theme of the research per-
                                                                              formed in the Laboratory for
  Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering and the                     Plasma Processing of Materials is the
  Institute of Research in Electronics and Applied Physics. The               characterization and understanding
  new facility, called the Laboratory for Plasma Processing of                of the processes at the plasma-mate-
                                                                              rial interface that control the prop-
  Materials, is located in the Energy Research Facility and                   erties of the material that is ulti-
  directed by Professor Gottlieb S. Oehrlein.                                 mately produced. This research
                                                                              requires a variety of equipment,
  A plasma, Oehrlein explains, is an electrified gas consisting of            including reactors that can produce
  electrons, ions, and neutrals; it is also known as the “Fourth State        the plasmas, instruments that charac-
  of Matter,” in addition to the solid, liquid and gaseous states.            terize the plasma and the plasma-             Dr. Gottlieb S. Oehrlein
  Plasmas occur naturally in the form of flames, lightning, astro-            treated materials, and measurement
  nomical nebulae, and interstellar matter like our sun, but man-             tools that evaluate the crucial variables that determine the ulti-
  made plasmas have recently become indispensable for advanced                mate usefulness of the materials and structures thus produced.
  materials processing in many high-tech industries. The micro-               The plasma studies also involve many collaborative efforts with
  electronics industry employs plasma-based etching tools to pro-             industrial laboratories and universities throughout the world. For
  duce the billions of microscopic features in thin films with pre-           instance, a visiting scientist from Japan, Masanaga Fukusawa, will
  cisely controlled dimensions that are                                                                 return to his homeland at the end of
  required in computer chips; they also use                                                             November, after spending more than a
4 plasmas to synthesize insulators, conduc-                                                             year collaborating with University of
  tors, diamond thin films, solar cells, and                                                            Maryland researchers on leading-edge
  high-temperature superconductors.                                                                     research in the field of plasma-based
  Plasmas are also used to harden the sur-                                                              materials. Fukusawa, who is on leave
  faces of cutting tools and to modify sur-                                                             from his job at Sony Corporation, played
  faces of plastics so paint will stick to                                                              an important role to establish together
  them.                                                                                                 with Dr. Xi Li and graduate students Li
      Plasmas are produced by adding energy                                                             Ling, Xuefeng Hua, and Xiang Wang, the
  to a gas. For instance, strong electric                                                               new Laboratory for Plasma Processing of
  fields may be used to accelerate free elec-                                                           Materials. Fukusawa came to the
  trons in a gas. The energetic electrons                                                               University of Maryland to work with Dr.
  collide with the gas atoms and molecules,                                                             Oehrlein in order to investigate a number
  producing an electrified gas consisting of                                                            of issues related to the use of plasmas in
  many different types of ions and energetic                                                            the semiconductor industry. Fukusawa
  neutral atoms/molecules that are highly                                                               ultimately hopes to benefit from this
  reactive. The production of such reactive                                                             work by being able to contribute aspects
  species at temperatures close to room                                                                 of this technology to Sony Corporation’s
  temperature has opened up a wide spec-                                                                Playstation III.
  trum of new possibilities for the forma-           Graduate student Xuefeng Hua and visitor               “The goal of our work is to establish
  tion and manipulation of materials that            Masanaga Fukusawa (Sony Corp.) perform-            optimal plasma processes for advanced
  was previously inaccessible.                       ing surface analysis of plasma-treated             materials and produce predictive models
      Even the simplest plasma processing            material.                                          of plasma processes,” explained Oehrlein.

                                                                                                                              TECHSTRACKS n Summer/Fall 2001
                                                                                     Mirela Gavrilas
“For instance, about 30 to 40 percent of                                             WHEN MIRELA GAVRILAS BEGAN
the equipment installed in computer chip-                                            her undergraduate studies in nuclear engi-
manufacturing plants today use plasmas,                                              neering in 1986, she had no idea that she
which will benefit directly from the work                                            would return ten years later as a faculty
performed in the new laboratory.” The                                                member in the same department. But
plasma-related projects, he said, have                                               when Dr. Yih-Yun Hsu (now Professor
received funding by the Department of                                                Emeritus) introduced her to the world of
Energy/National Science Foundation                                                   heat transfer and the developing 2x4
joint initiative on Plasma Science, the                                              Thermalhydraulic Loop Facility—one of
Semiconductor Research Corporation,                                                  only three university integral test facilities
International SEMATECH, and compa-                                                   in the U.S.—she was hooked. By her
nies like Inficon and Air Products. T                                                sophomore year, she received a Nuclear
                                                                                     Regulatory Commission Senior Reactor Operator’s License and
                                                                                     became increasingly involved in nuclear science and the College of
                                                                                     Engineering. In her senior year she was one of the two students
                                                                                     asked in the College to name their favorite faculty member; of
                                                                                     course, she chose Dr. Hsu. She was also chosen to give the address
                                                                                     at her commencement ceremonies in 1990. When introducing her,
                                                                                     Dr. George Dieter, then the dean of the College of Engineering,
                                                                                     spoke about her desire to return to the university as a faculty mem-
                                                                                     ber, although she had never told him of it directly.
                                                                                          Dr. Gavrilas did, however, talk about it with her faculty in the   5
                                                                                     Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering. The department
                                                                                     faculty, together with Dr. George Dieter, Dr. Marilyn Berman, and
                                                                                     Dr. Jim Newton, encouraged her to go to M.I.T. to get her Ph.D.,
                                                                                     and then return to Maryland.
                                                                                          Dr. Gavrilas is now an assistant professor in the Department of
                                                                                     Materials and Nuclear Engineering and the Director of the 2x4
                                                                                     Thermalhydraulic Loop Facility, and has just overseen the comple-
                                                                                     tion of the facility’s Organization for Cooperation and
                                                                                     Development/Committee for Safety of Nuclear Installations’
                                                                                     (OECD/CSNI) international standards problem for computational
                                                                                     fluid dynamics code verification. This exercise was the first to use
                                                                                     an integral test facility to obtain experimental data in this field.
Dr. Xi Li working on the multi-chamber vacu-
                                                                                          She is also the Undergraduate Nuclear Engineering Program
um system used for plasma processing of                                              Director. In working with her students, Dr. Gavrilas remembers her
materials. Various plasma devices are con-                                           own experiences as an undergraduate at the university. “I try to be
nected to a ultra-high vacuum sample trans-                                          very nurturing and encouraging with my students, just as my faculty
fer system and a multi-technique surface                                             were with me. I want to continue that tradition in the Department,
analysis apparatus.                                                                  and at Maryland.” T

                                           GLENN L. MARTIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
   From the nickel-based super alloys of                Material                                Center, or MRSEC. Ongoing projects at
                                                                                                Maryland promise to drastically reduce

   jet engines to the ultra-pure glass that
                                                                                                the size and price of computers and other
   is the backbone for high-speed fiber-                                                        microelectronics devices, promote healthy
   optic networks, new materials have                                                           living with detectors that can prevent skin
                                                                                                cancer and sensors that can manage dia-
   contributed greatly to the scientific and
                                                                                                betes, and protect our environment by
   technological advances that trans-                      By Megan Michael                     cleaning up polluted industrial wastewater.
   formed our world in the second half of             Photography by John T. Consoli                  At Maryland’s MRSEC, more than 20
                                                                                                faculty members and research associates
   the 20th century. Now, as materials
                                                                                                and assistants are working on materials sci-
   scientists and engineers try to gain                                                         ence and engineering projects, from fabri-
   even more control over the material            materials that will occupy our homes and      cating and manipulating the properties of
                                                  workplaces in the 21st century. In fact, an   nanostructures to improving the electrical,
   world, they are promising to radically
                                                  entire new universe of high-tech materials    magnetic and optical properties of materi-
   transform our lives yet again.                 is being explored and refined in the labo-    als for sensors, process integration and
                                                  ratories of scientists and engineers at the   computer and microelectronics memories.
   I T S E E M S O B V I O U S T O S A Y THAT     University of Maryland, where materials             The research spans three academic
  materials are everywhere. They make up          research has become a key area in the         divisions—the College of Computer,
  the clothes we wear, the pots and pans we       University’s efforts to apply its work to     Mathematical and Physical Sciences, the
  use for cooking, the cars we drive, the         problems outside of academia.                 Clark School of Engineering, and the
  houses we live in and the computers we               “Within the next 15 years, materials     College of Life Sciences—and smaller
  use at home and work. There are about           science and engineering projects will         departments. “Advanced technologies and
6 50,000 different materials that make up         result in a whole bandwidth of new,           new discoveries form the fields of physics,
  the various things in our world, and all are    rewarding technologies that will impact       chemistry, mathematics and engineering
  based on the 100-plus elements of the           fields such as communications, health,        have really powered materials science and
  periodic table, combined and manipulated        environment and transportation,” says         engineering in the last 40 years,” says
  into new and useful substances.                 Ramamoorthy Ramesh, a professor in the        Ramesh.
       Yet for all the materials we think of as   University’s departments of physics and             Maryland’s MRSEC is part of the
  the building blocks of our world—from           materials and nuclear engineering and         National Science Foundation’s network of
  cinderblock to fiber-optic cable—scientists     associate director of the Materials           29 Materials Research Science and
  say they represent only a fraction of the       Research Science and Engineering              Engineering centers across the country

                                                                                                                       TECHSTRACKS n Summer/Fall 2001
that explore innovative materials and stim-                the greatest achievements of the late 20th     the chip has been powered down,”
ulate research and education within the                    century, including the information tech-       Ramesh says. “And one way to capture
field of materials science. Noting                         nology and microelectronics revolutions        this magical memory is with ferroelectric
Maryland’s strength in materials research,                 that put cellular phones and personal          materials.”
the NSF recently announced a major                         computers into the hands of everyday                Ferroelectric materials are crystalline
grant to be shared between Maryland’s                      consumers.                                     substances that have a spontaneous electric
MRSEC and Rutgers, the State                                     Yet despite the myriad of substances     polarization reversible by an electric field,
University of New Jersey. The joint cen-                   that make up the objects in our world,         making them ideal candidates for a new
ter will receive $10 million over the next                 almost all are derived from the four basic     kind of computer memory that holds
five years, of which approximately $9 mil-                 classes of materials—ceramics, electron-       information longer and more securely.
lion will go to Maryland. “Researchers                     ics/photonics, metals, and polymers.           Early research found, however, that capaci-
on our campus are exploring novel uses of                  These are the ingredients that materials       tors manufactured with ferroelectric
thin film metal oxides, studying the                       scientists and engineers work with in their    materials, after running through the loop
dynamics of surfaces and developing novel                  quest to make things faster, stronger,         of the two stable states a million times,
techniques to probe extremely small struc-                 smarter, lighter, more durable, and cheap-     weakened and lost their ferroelectricity.
tures,” called nanostructures, says Ellen                  er. To accomplish these goals, they must            Ramesh and his research team have
Williams, professor of physics at Maryland                 first understand the structure, processing,    been working on the ferroelectric memo-
and director of the joint center. In addi-                 and properties of materials—from the           ry solution for about 10 years. Typical to
tion to the basic research, the center will                atomic level to the microscopic and            the field of materials science and engi-
take on educational outreach initiatives                   macroscopic levels.                            neering, their biggest breakthrough came
and foster greater collaboration with pri-                                                                about by accident. “Our original assump-
vate industry.                                             Magical Memories for                           tion was that to make a nonvolatile mem-
                                                           Microelectronics                               ory with ferroelectric materials, we had to
The New Alchemy                                            RAMESH’S RESEARCH—SUPPORT -                    make a film of ferroelectric single crystal
DESPITE ITS MODERN, HIGH-TECH                              ed by the NSF and by industry leaders          so that there wouldn’t be variations in
applications, the interdisciplinary field of               like Telecordia, Motorola, and IBM—is          properties across the film. We thought this
materials science and engineering has its                  focused on enhancing the random-access         would fix the problem of fatigue.
roots in a much older discipline—metal-                    memory of computers. Random-access                  “It turns out that it was not the
lurgy, the science of metals. Metallurgy                   memory, better known as RAM, is the            answer,” adds Ramesh. But in the process 7
has always had an immensely useful role in                 driver behind most computer functions,         of trying to make a single crystal film,
human civilization, and advances in metals                 facilitating the commands and communi-         Ramesh introduced something that others
came to define entire periods of human                     cation within and between various pro-         had not. Instead of using typical metals
existence, from the Bronze Age to the                      grams and computer operating systems.          like aluminum, platinum, or gold to make
Iron Age and beyond.                                             Integrated circuit memory chips have     a three-component capacitor, Ramesh
     As modern metallurgy and other sci-                   become increasingly important as personal      used a conducting oxide metal yttrium
entific fields progressed, researchers began               computers and computerized equipment           barium copper oxide, or YBCO. “We put
studying new materials, including super                    find their way into almost every facet of      the YBCO first and last. Then all of a
alloys, glass and polymers, which resulted                 modern society, Ramesh says. Currently,        sudden the fatigue went away,” he says.
in the birth of the new alchemy in the                     dynamic random-access memory, or               “The key to the invention was trying a
1960s. That alchemy has lead to some of                    DRAM, is the hard-core fast memory that        new material combination and using the
                                                           all personal computers use. But DRAM           YBCO, because the chemical interface
Left to right:                                             suffers from a need to be periodically         between a ferroelectric and a metal oxide
Ramamoorthy Ramesh, Professor of Physics                   refreshed and from losses of information       is very different from the interface
and Materials and Nuclear Engineering, and
                                                           in the event of a power failure or system      between a ferroelectric and a conventional
                                                           crash. Traditional DRAMS use dielectric        metal.”
Associate Director, Materials Research
                                                           materials like silicon dioxide that are non-        Now Ramesh and his team are
Science and Engineering Center;
                                                           conductors of direct electric current, to      addressing the development and fabrica-
Peter Kofinas, Assistant Professor of
                                                           provide support functions such as “read”       tion issues of ferroelectric random-access
Materials and Nuclear Engineering;                         and “write” commands.                          memory, or FRAM. “Some of the issues
T. “Venky” Venkatesan, Professor of Physics                      “For years, researchers have been        that we’re trying to work out are under-
and Electrical Engineering, and R.D. Vispute,              looking for new ways to make a non-            standing what happens to the properties of
Assistant Research Scientist in Materials and              volatile memory that is fast like the
Nuclear Engineering                                        DRAM but continues to store data after                              continued on page 8

                                           GLENN L. MARTIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    The Material World                                          At Maryland, Venkatesan’s research is     probing laser. Using a short wavelength
    continued from page 7                                  focused on three technology areas—high-        UV lasers would decrease the [area of
                                                           temperature superconductors, metal oxide       information] on the disc, effectively quad-
    the materials as we approach the micro-                thin films, and wide-band gap semicon-         rupling CDs’ data-storage capacity.”
    and nanoscale and how to actually fabri-               ductors. “The wide-band gap program
    cate devices at these tiny scales,” he says.           has the potential to result in novel light-    Pharming Polymers
          Already, Ramesh has been awarded 16              ning materials,” he says.                      ANOTHER CRITICALLY IMPORT-
    patents related to his FRAM research, and                   For the program, Venkatesan has           ant area in materials science and engineer-
    he is working with the university’s Office             joined efforts with R.D. Vispute , an assis-   ing research is “developing the interface
    of Technology Commercialization to                     tant research scientist in the Department      between materials and medicine,” says
    transfer the FRAM technology from the                  of Materials and Nuclear Engineering, to       Peter Kofinas , associate professor in the
    laboratory to the manufacturing stage.                 explore the use of metal oxides such as        Department of Materials and Nuclear
    “There is a lot of university and industry             zinc oxide (ZnO) and magnesium zinc            Engineering. “Some of the questions
    competition out there, including the big               oxide (MgZnO) as wide-band gap semi-           researchers in the medical area are asking
    [integrated circuitry] companies like                  conductors. “These wide-band gap semi-         themselves are, ‘How do we get new
    Toshiba, Hitachi, and Samsung,” Ramesh                 conductors are the materials that can emit     materials to deliver drugs at various rates
    says. “Because what we’re designing here               light in the blue region, so they can be       of delivery? How can we develop a drug
    is a low-powered, non-volatile memory                  used for a wide variety of applications        that would last for a few days in a single
    that could eliminate both the DRAM and                 such as blue light-emitting diodes and         dose?’ or ‘How do we make implantable
    the hard drive, drastically change the                 lasers, high power switches and transistors,   sensors?’”
    architecture of a computer and revolu-                 and detection and sensors,” Venkatesan              Kofinas is trying to find answers to
    tionize microelectronics equipment of                  explains.                                      these questions through his research in
    tomorrow, it has become a race to mar-                      With funding from the U.S. Army           polymeric materials, which have broad
    ket.”                                                  Research Laboratory, Venkatesan and            crossover applications in fields ranging
                                                           Vispute have been able “to grow high           from microelectronics to environmental
    Unique UV Detectors                                    quality MgZnO thin films that have supe-       science. One of his main focuses is the
    T . “ V E N K Y ” V E N K A T E S A N , P R O F E S-   rior thermal, electrical, optical, and         development of new biomaterials—novel
    sor of physics and electrical engineering, is          mechanical properties,” says Vispute. In       hydrogels—for use as pharmaceuticals or
8   wearing dual hats these days as a universi-            one application of the MgZnO thin films,       as sensors.
    ty leader in the field of materials science            the team has developed a patent-pending             Polymers are very large molecules
    and an industry leader with his startup                ultraviolet light detector that can be acti-   made up of smaller component molecules,
    company, Neocera, Inc. of Beltsville, Md.              vated and tuned to detect a certain range      called monomers, that can be linked
    Venkatesan founded Neocera in 1989 to                  of UV light.                                   together in various ways, resulting in
    apply research in using metal oxides for                    The detector could have immediate         microstructures like linear chains or dense,
    high-temperature superconductors to                    commercial applications, Venkatesan says,      interconnected networks, explains Kofinas.
    thin-film electronics. Today, Neocera is a             particularly for sunbathers and other peo-     Hydrogels are simply crosslinked polymer
    mature microelectronics- and sensor-based              ple who spend a lot of time outside and        networks that are highly swollen with
    instrumentation company with materials                 are at risk of overexposure to damaging        water.
    expertise in thin-film development and                 UV rays from the sun.                               Kofinas and his research team have
    production.                                                 “The watch would have a UV-dosing         developed polymeric hydrogels that can
         Neocera pioneered the development                 meter that has an alarm that would go off      lock up glucose from food in the human
    of an important materials research tool                when there has been enough sun on the          body without being absorbed into the
    called the pulsed laser deposition system,             body,” says Venkatesan.                        bloodstream, making it a potentially safe
    or PLD. The tool is used to process thin                    Other future applications of the UV       and effective method for controlling con-
    films of multi-component materials,                    detector include ultra-high temperature        ditions like diabetes and obesity. The glu-
    including high-temperature superconduct-               measurement devices, missile warning sys-      cose-binding polymer, which is awaiting a
    ing films and thin films of ferroelectric              tems, communications, and information          patent, could lead to treatments for mil-
    materials. The PLD process involves plac-              retrieval technologies. “The UV detector       lions of people around the world who suf-
    ing a ceramic target in a vacuum chamber,              technology could bring about major             fer with glucose-related health conditions.
    where a pulsed laser beam vaporizes the                changes to data storage equipment like         In another project, Kofinas has a patent
    surface of the target. The vapor condenses             compact discs and digital video discs,” says   pending on a glucose-sensing polymer
    on a substrate, resulting in a thin film of            Vispute. “CDs’ storage density is largely      that could be implanted in diabetic
    complex material.                                      determined by the wavelength of the            patients to detect and monitor hypo-

                                                                                                                                 TECHSTRACKS n Summer/Fall 2001
glycemia and to administer insulin.
      Kofinas is also working on a method
                                                                    recentGRADUAT ES
to use phosphate-binding polymeric
hydrogels to treat polluted wastewater.                             2000-2001 Ph.D. Recipients
The hydrogels are capable of removing
conventional nutrient pollutants like phos-                         La Rhonda Borum, “Enhanced Colloidal Stability of Hydroxyapatite” Advisor:
phorus and nitrogen from wastewater as                              Wilson — MSE
well as toxic contaminants like ammoni-                             Robert Esser, “Niobium/Gold Thin Film Metallizations for GaAs Devices and
um perchlorate. The technology, which is                            Circuits” Advisor: Christou — MSE
also awaiting a patent, could be used to                            Jason Edward Floyd, “Evaluation of the Predictive Capabilities of Current
treat various types of wastewater from                              Computational Methods for Fire Simulation Using the HDR T51 and T52 Tests
industry, agriculture, and other sources, he                        With A Focus on Performance-Based Fire Codes” Advisor: Wolf — NE
says.                                                               Chandan Ganpule, “Nanoscale Phenomena in Ferroelectric Thin Films”
                                                                    Advisor: Ramesh — MSE
Materials Rewards                                                   Ingrid Jenkins, “Switching Dynamics in Lead Based Ferroelectric Thin Films”
WHILE NOT AN EXHAUSTIVE LIST,                                       Advisor: Ramesh — MSE
these are a few of the areas where materi-                          Francisco Joglar-Billoch, “A Methodology for Fire Risk and Hazard
als research and engineering at Maryland                            Assessment” Advisor: Modarres — MSE
are advancing science and solving real-                             Fei Li, “Assessment of Pressure Vessel Failure Due to Pressurized Thermal Shock
world problems. Moreover, according to a                            With Consideration of Probabilistic-Deterministic Screening and Uncertainty
report from the Federal Coordinating                                Analysis” Advisor: Modarres — RE
Council for Science, Engineering, and                               Maria Linnik, “Novel Devices and Heterostructures Based on Modulated
Technology, continued development of                                Dielectric Properties of Materials” Advisor: Christou — MSE
advanced materials and engineering tech-                            Scott A. Matthews, “Processing and In Situ Characterization of Thin Film
nologies is an important contributor to                             (TiNi) (TiPd) Shape Memory Alloys” Advisor: Wuttig — MSE
broader economic prosperity, environmen-                            Frances Mayhew, “A Study of Oxidation Products in Thermally Aged
tal well-being, and overall quality of life in                      Cellulose Film” Advisor: Block — MSE
the United States. The report emphasizes                            K. Kevin Mun, “Hydrogen Transport and Distribution in a Passively Cooled
that advanced materials research will con-                          PWR Containment” Advisor: Wolf — NE                                                9
tribute to increased energy efficiency,                             Yuan-Te (Tony) Peng, “Hydrogen Sensor Based on Electroplated Palladium
improved environmental quality, sustained                           on Optical Fiber Bragg Grating” Advisor: Sirkis — MSE
national security, reduced health-care                              Wendy Sarney, “Microanalysis of Semiconductor Thin Films for Military
costs, the development of information                               Optoelectronic Device Applications” Advisor: Salamanca-Riba — MSE
super-highways, reconstruction of high-                             Zhibin Tan, “Methodology for Analyzing Reliability of X-Ware Systems”
ways and bridges, and the production of                             Advisor: Mosleh — RE
new transportation vehicles that will carry                         C. Wesley Tipton, “Pyroelectric Response of Perovskite Heterostructures
the United States well into the 21st cen-                           Incorporating Conductive Oxide Electrodes” Advisor: Ramesh — MSE
tury.                                                               Nagarajan Valanoor, “Impact of Substrate on Structure and Electrical
      Continued university-industry-gov-                            Properties of Pb-Based Ferroelectric Thin Films” Advisor: Ramesh — MSE
ernment partnerships like those at                                  Yiheng Xu, “Real-Time In-Situ Chemical Sensing, Sensor-Based Film
Maryland are vital to the achievement of                            Thickness Metrology, and Process Control in W-CVD Process” Advisor: Rubloff
these and many more materials science                               — MSE
and engineering rewards, for it is through
the concerted research efforts and discov -
                                                                                                                      Congratulations to the
eries of these communities that we will be
                                                                                                                      Class of 2001!
able to gain control and claim victory
over the material world. T                                                                                            Members of the Materials
                                                                                                                      Science and Engineering
This article has been reprinted from Maryland                                                                         Undergraduate Class of 2001
Research Magazine.                                                                                                    (left to right): Gideon
                                                                                                                      Schneider, Mark Usefara,
                                                                                                                      William Choi, Allan Jaworkski,
                                                                                                                      Brett Neuberger, Kevin
                                                                                                                      McCarthy, Arthur Cresce, and
                                                                                                                      Taesoon Kwon

                                           GLENN L. MARTIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
    SURF Program Finishes Second Year                                                           Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
                                                                                                Sponsors Scholars
    THE DEPARTMENT OF MATERIALS                          Charles Brooks with Dr. John           THREE PH.D. CANDIDATES IN THE
   and Nuclear Engineering recently com-             Kidder : “Atomic Layer Chemical Vapor      Department of Materials and Nuclear
   pleted the second successful year of its          Deposition of Tantalum Oxide and           Engineering are gearing up for the fall
   Summer Undergraduate Research                     Titanium Oxide Films”                      semester, after successfully completing
   Fellowship Program (SURF). Attracting                  Erin Camponeschi with Dr. Otto        their first year as Sloan Scholars.
   students from such universities as                Wilson : “Silica NanoComposites for             Brian Harris, Randy Jacobs, and
   Dartmouth, Iowa State, Rowan, and                 Biological Uses”                           Olugbenga Famodu are currently pursu-
   Virginia Tech, as well as the University of            Jason Hattrick-Simpers with Dr.       ing their Ph.D.s in the areas of microwave
   Maryland, this ten-week program matched           Ichiro Takeuchi : “Scanning Microwave      processing of materials, thin films, and
   eight undergraduate students with                 Microscopy of Epitaxial Combinatorial      combinatorial synthesis, respectively.
   Materials Science faculty to conduct              Ba1-x Sr xTiO3 Samples”                    While any university would be eager to
   research, write a paper, and present their             Michael Krashin with Dr. John         have such students matriculate on their
   findings in a poster session on August 7,         Kidder : “Chemical Vapor Deposition of     campus, the Department of Materials and
   2001. This session, attended by faculty           Strontium Niobate Films”                   Nuclear Engineering obtained special
   and graduate students, allowed these stu-              Corey Love with Dr.                   funding and incentives for these students
   dents the opportunity to present their            Sreeramamurthy Ankem: “Ambient             to earn their Ph.D.s at the University of
   research in a conference or research              Temperature Creep-Fatigue Interaction in   Maryland.
   review day format.                                Titanium Alloys and Intermetallics”             The Sloan Scholarship, sponsored by
        In addition to conducting research,               John Read with Dr. Ichiro Takeuchi:   the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is a pro-
   the students attended weekly seminars led         “Flip Chip Magnetic Tunnel Junctions”      gram designed to increase the number of
   by faculty on a variety of materials related           Marta Vornbrock with Drs. Manfred     underrepresented minority students
10 topics and participated in field trips to         Wuttig and Ramamoorthy Ramesh:             (African Americans, Hispanic Americans
   government agencies and private facilities.       “Heusler Alloy Thin Films: A New Class     and Native Americans) receiving Ph.D.s in
        The students, faculty mentors, and           of Functional Materials” T                 mathematics, natural science, and engi-
   their research are as follows:                                                               neering. In deciding the award, the
        Dale Apgar with Dr.                                                                     Foundation seeks mathematics, natural sci-
   Sreeramamurthy Ankem: “Biomedical                                                            ence, and engineering faculty who can
   Applications of Titanium”                                                                    successfully recruit, mentor, and graduate
                                                                                                minority students from a Ph.D. program.
                                                                                                It reviews the prospective faculty’s past
                                                                                                record and plans for minority student
                                                                                                recruitment and retention, what role these
                                                                                                faculty would expect to play with respect
                                                                                                to Sloan Scholars, and the expectations for
                                                                                                financial support of Sloan Scholars beyond
                                                                                                the amount of the Sloan Scholarship. The
                                                                                                Foundation reviews the participating fac-
                                                                                                ulty annually, the results of which can
                                                                                                affect the scholarship amounts in subse-
                                                                                                quent years.
                                                                                                     This scholarship program was under-
             SURF participants, from left: John Read, Faculty Advisor Dr. John Kidder,          way in the Clark School of Engineering
             Jason Hattrick-Simpers, Erin Camponeschi, Charles Brooks, Michael Krashin,         when Materials and Nuclear Engineering
             Dale Apgar, Marta Vornbrock, Corey Love, and Dr. Ichiro Takeuchi                                        continued on page 11

                                                                                                                      TECHSTRACKS n Summer/Fall 2001
C. Robert Crowe
Alumnus C. Robert Crowe (Ph.D., ’75) is a professor at                                In 1983, Dr. Crowe joined the staff of the Composites
Virginia Tech, a joint appointment between Materials                             Section at the Naval Research Laboratory where he super-
                                                                                 vised the development of advanced metal matrix composites.
Science and Engineering and Mechancial Engineering.                              This effort involved the development of unique processing
Also affiliated with Virginia Tech’s Center for Intelligent                      technology to produce advanced MMC’s and characteriza-
Materials Systems and Structures, Dr. Crowe’s research                           tion of the products; it is anticipated that these materials will
                                                                                 provide significant advances in future aircraft. In 1987 Dr.
interests are aerospace metals and alloys, smart materi-                         Crowe became the head of Physical Metallurgy Branch of
als, and process modeling and simulation.                                        NRL, responsible for a broad-based research program in
                                                                                 physical metallurgy consisting of studies on phase transfor-
PRIOR TO JOINING VIRGINIA TECH IN 1998, DR.                                      mations, ordered intermetallics, steels, titanium alloys, com-
Crowe was most recently associated with the Defense                              posites, welding and joining, high temperature effects, corro-
Science Office of the Advanced Research Projects Agency                          sion, and failure analyses.
(DARPA) in Arlington, Va. There Dr. Crowe was responsible                             In addition to his work with the federal government,
for developing and supporting programs in advanced materi-                       Dr. Crowe was also an instructor at the University of
als, especially in metal matrix composites, smart materials,                     Maryland where he taught senior and graduate-level courses
metals and alloys, and materials processing science.                             in materials science and served on the reviewing committee
      After receiving his B.S. (1967) and M.S. (1968) in metal-                  of several Ph.D. candidates.
lurgy from the University of Tennessee, Dr. Crowe joined the                          Dr. Crowe has authored or coauthored more than 90
Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, Va., where he began                        publications and government reports. He is an editorial
his research on solving stress corrosion cracking problems in                    advisor for Advances in Corrosion Science and Technology, a
depleted uranium alloys and understanding high strain rate                       reviewer for Metallurgical Transactions and other metallurgic       11
fracture and fragmentation, which received international                         journals, and reviews proposals for the National Science
attention. After receiving his Ph.D. in Materials from the                       Foundation. He is listed in Who’s Who in the East, is a mem-
University of Maryland in 1975, Dr. Crowe moved to the                           ber of Sigma Xi honorary and the AIME, and is a Fellow of
Naval Surface Weapons Center in Silver Spring, Md., where                        the American Society for Materials. Dr. Crowe was issued a
he became leader of the Corrosion Group. There he devel-                         patent in 1976 for “Incendiary Alloys Existing as a
oped new electrochemical techniques to study the corrosion                       Dispersion of Incendiary Particles in a Non-Incendiary,
resistance of metals, alloys, and metal matrix composites,                       Atmospheric Attack Resistant Matrix.” T
which are just now emerging as viable engineering materi-

Sloan Scholars                                         grant application. I wrote the proposal          Ph.D., travel to professional meetings,
continued from page 10                                 for our department, and was thrilled to          or other approved purposes. In addi-
                                                       learn that we were funded for two                tion, to the grant from the Sloan
Assistant Professor Otto Wilson, Jr. ,                 additional Ph.D. candidates for the              Foundation, the University of
was interested in expanding the pro-                   2000-2001 year,” he said.                        Maryland generously offered matching
gram to his department. “Professor                          The $40,000 award is to be used             funds. T
Darryl Pines had already obtained the                  to support the students’ costs of pursu-
scholarship for students in his depart-                ing a Ph.D. The Scholar may draw on
ment, Aerospace Engineering. When I                    this money at any time during his/her
approached the Sloan Foundation to                     tenure in the Ph.D. program to cover
see if we include our students, we were                the cost of tuition, stipend, books, sum-
told that we needed to submit a new                    mer support while working toward the

                                           GLENN L. MARTIN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
endNOTES                                          TECHSTRACKS is published several times
                                                  a year for alumni and friends of the
                                                  Department of Materials and Nuclear
The Joint ASM/TMS Student Chapter at the          Engineering at the A. James Clark School

University of Maryland has won the 2001           of Engineering.

ASM/TMS “Chapters of Excellence Contest
                                                  Your alumni news and comments are
for Promotion of the Field.“ The award, con-
                                                  welcome. Please send them to:
sisting of $500 cash and a framed certificate,    Techstracks Editor, Department of
will be announced at the Student Career           Materials and Nuclear Engineering, 2135
Forum on November 4, 2001, in Indianapolis,       Chemical and Nuclear Engineering
Indiana, and presented to advisor Prof.           Building, College Park, MD, 20742-2115.

Sreeramamurthy Ankem and chapter repre-
                                                  Phone: 301.405.5208
sentatives at the TMS Annual Meeting &
                                                  Fax: 301.314.9467
Exhibition Awards Banquet, Tuesday, February
19, 2002, in Seattle, Washington.                 Visit our Web site at
Congratulations to all!
                                                  Department Chair: Dr. Aristos Christou
                                                  Editor: Patricia Congro Aquilina

                                                                                      Nonprofit Org.
                                                                                       U.S. Postage
Department of Materials and Nuclear Engineering                                       Permit No. 10
University of Maryland                                                               College Park, MD
College Park, MD 20742-3035

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