Partnership for Research and Education in Nanomaterials between Pennsylvania State University (PSU) and North Carolina Central University (NCCU)

  • Vinodgopal, Kizhanipuram K. (PI)
  • Wu, Marvin M. (CoPI)
  • Crespi, Vincent V.H. (CoPI)
  • Vlahovic, Branislav (CoPI)
  • Crespi, Vincent V.H. (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


****Non-Technical Abstract****

This Partnership for Research and Education in Nanomaterials between North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically black university, and the Pennsylvania State University (PSU) MRSEC seeks to robustly increase the participation and success of underrepresented minority students in material science. To recruit and train students well equipped to address future challenges in this emerging field, this partnership will integrate a) recruiting strategies that increase the awareness and appeal of material science careers by highlighting the central role of the discipline in the 21st century; b) an innovative peer mentoring 'Penn Pal' program which will pair minority participants in the MRSEC program with NCCU student participants in PREM; c) productive student research experiences at the frontiers of material science closely mentored by both NCCU and MRSEC faculty; and (d) providing participating students with the educational skills necessary to enhance their competitiveness and continued success in materials related graduate programs. Collaborative research with PSU will help NCCU develop sustainable, competitive materials science research programs to continue student training beyond this grant.

****Technical Abstract****

The three research thrusts at the core of this partnership between NCCU and the Penn State Center for Nanoscale Science are: 1) charge transport in individual and coupled semiconductor nanostructures, with the goal of developing advanced optoelectronic devices, 2) new plasmonic materials for optical filter and sensor applications, 3) functionalized 2D materials for spintronic and electronic applications. This partnership also supports expansion of research at NCCU in new directions through seed projects focused on development of nanoscale patterned ferroics and perovskite based multiferroic materials. Each of the three major thrusts and the seed projects listed above have established partnerships with IRGs and seed projects at PSU. Potential outcomes of this research include: uncovering new phenomena in coupled nanoscale semiconductor and metal oxide systems, development of novel nanoparticles and nanostructured thin films for optical applications, creating a new generation of carbon based electronic and spintronic devices, and developing nanostructured ferroic materials with tunable coercivities. These projects will form the foundation of a sustainable materials science research program at NCCU. The combined resources of NCCU and the PSU Center for Nanoscale Science will be leveraged to fully prepare NCCU students for careers in material science through a comprehensive, sequential program that will expand the pool of students interested in materials science and recruit talented students from this pool; integrate students into a tightly knit, multidisciplinary materials science community with classroom and laboratory components tailored for all academic levels; engage students in closely mentored, productive research experiences at PSU.

Effective start/end date9/1/158/31/21


  • National Science Foundation: $3,677,000.00


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