I/UCRC Phase II: The Pennsylvania State University: Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Phase II of the Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC) is devoted to advancing the design and development of coatings based on two-dimensional (2D) materials. In ATOMIC Phase II, the center is expanded to three sites located at Pennsylvania State University, Rice University, and Boise State University. The joint research efforts will concentrate on addressing key societal and industrial problems in areas of U.S. national interest that can be mitigated through advanced multifunctional coatings, such as infrastructure protection, internet of things (IoT) sensing, electronics, energy harvesting/storage, autonomous systems, and biological threat reduction. Because of the aligned partnership among academia, government, and industry, ATOMIC seeks to impact the education and training of students, particularly those who are underrepresented minorities. To encourage young people to pursue science-technology research degrees, the center will jointly conduct activities, such as the Penn State Learning Factory, where students focus on an industrially-defined engineering problem for their senior project and leverage ongoing NSF programs such as the Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Teachers. ATOMIC will leverage Penn State's Innovation Park, which will serve as a hub for fostering academic-industry partnerships, and technology translation efforts.

Phase II builds on the robust foundation of scientific innovation in 2D materials at Penn State and Rice University and expands it into scalable 2D materials printing enabled by Boise State University. Penn State and Rice have successfully employed fundamental research programs in novel 2D materials, such as graphene, hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), MoS2, WS2, and WSxSe1-x; and Boise State has joined with experience nanomaterial ink development and controlled precision printing such as inkjet, plasma jet, aerosol jet, and micro-dispensing. This combination of expertise will ensure relevant pre-competitive research of interest to the industrial members in areas related to large-scale production processes, electronics, sensing, energy and protection. In particular, Penn State will lead research efforts in the areas of thin film deposition via metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), solvothermal and electrochemical deposition, device and sensor integration, and benchmarking the optical, electronic, and sensing performance of 2D layers. Furthermore, Penn State will synergistically work with Rice and Boise State on atomic layer deposition, liquid exfoliation, device and sensor fabrication, modelling, and advanced characterization, using state-of-the-art facilities for materials processing, clean rooms for nanofabrication and unique characterization instruments.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date8/1/217/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $558,142.00


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