Krishna Wins ONR Grant to Develop Next-Gen IR Detector Technologies

ECE team wins $3 million ONR grant to make infrared detector technologies at Ohio State tops

The research team consists of (l-r) Teressa Specht, SeungHyun Lee, Vinita Dahiya, Gustavo Vieira and Krishna. Alireza Kazemi (not pictured).

 

Landing planes in zero visibility. Detecting pollution at the nanoscale.

A potential $3 million in new grant funding could help make The Ohio State University a worldwide leader in next-generation infrared detector technologies.

Electrical and computer engineering (ECE) professor Sanjay Krishna had only been at Ohio State a month, hired as part of the university’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Themes initiative, before landing the grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

“This means great things for Ohio State’s Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme initiative,” Ohio State professor Steve Ringel said, who leads the M&MS program to create pre-eminence in materials and technologies for sustainability, focusing on innovation and industry deployment.

“Sanjay is the epitome of what M&MS is all about,” Ringel said. “Not only is he a world leader in critical areas of science and technology that impact energy and the environment who, through awards such as this, is already enhancing our prominence academically, but he is also dedicated to the translation of those successes into the private sector through his innovative activities as an entrepreneur.”

The new grant funding comes on behalf of the High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO)Multidisciplinary Research Initiative (MRI) Program, under the Secretary of Defense for Science and Technology, (DUSDS&T).

It is an alphabet soup of acronyms, for sure, but Krishna said the intention of the grant award is simple – to explore new realms of infrared camera technologies and set the stage for more advancements decades down the line.

Krishna is a world-leading researcher and innovator in the field of narrow bandgap semiconductors applied to infrared imaging sensors and related technologies.

“I want to make Ohio State the number one research group in this particular area,” Krishna said.

His winning research proposal, “Low Excess-noise Avalanche Photodetectors with Superlattices (LEAPS),” outlines research and development toward high performance short wavelength infrared detectors based on III-V semiconductors designed for manufacturing.

“Infrared detectors are important because they can be used for chemical sensing,” Krishna said. “If you want to find out what is coming out of a factory, or what pollution is coming out of a car. Usually these hydrocarbons have characteristics of nature in the infrared. So, if you send a laser beam and watch it come back, you can see that it’s nitrogen oxide or carbon dioxide, or even methane.”

He said infrared detectors can enhance the ability to see through objects.

“If you are landing a plane in wet and foggy conditions, you can see. If a firefighter or first responder is entering a building, you can see in the infrared beyond what you can see in the visible,” Krishna said.

Infrared technology can also study how heat dissipates from the human body.

“We are currently emitting photons,” he said. “You can use this for not only human detection, but also temperature profiles of human beings. This can be applied for a variety of medical applications, including the early detection of skin cancer.”

Krishna said the list goes on to include medical imaging, corrosion detection and food safety applications.

The final task of their grant award is to train new students to take up the proverbial infrared research baton for generations to come, Krishna said.

The professor said he would like to position Ohio State as one of the only two universities in the United States with the ability to undertake “design to camera” research and development in the infrared field.

Collaborators on the project include the University of Virginia, the MIT Lincoln lab, the University of Illinois, Chicago and industry representative L-3 Cincinnati Electronics.


 

This story originally appeared on Electrical and Computer Engineering’s website: https://ece.osu.edu/news/2017/02/ece-team-wins-3-million-onr-grant-make-infrared-detector-technologies-ohio-state-tops

Yuan Zheng Named 2016 Innovator of the Year

Congratulations to Professor Yuan Zheng, Winbigler Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for being named The Ohio State University’s 2016 Innovator of the Year!

 

2016 Innovator of the Year award winner Yuan Zheng, Electrical and Computer Engineering, with Senior Vice President for Research Caroline Whitacre and Associate Dean of Engineering Randy Moses

On January 25, Dr. Caroline Whitacre, senior vice president for research, delivered the annual state of research address titled “Creative Partnerships, Meaningful Impact,” followed by the awarding of the university’s 2016 Innovator of the Year, Early Career Innovator of the Year and Student Innovator of the Year awards.

 

Dr. Zheng has been a leader in robotics research for more than 35 years, creating innovative structures and mechanisms for robotics in industrial, defense and service applications. In 2014, Zheng developed the Circular Wave Drive (CWD), a compact and co-axial gear head that allows for speed reduction in rotational motions. Speed reducers represent 36% of the total cost of an industrial robot. Yuan’s CWD was developed as a replacement for the traditional Harmonic Drive Gear (HDG) technology used widely in the robotics industry. The HDG technology uses a special metal alloy that has to be replaced every two years and requires expensive high precision machining.

 

Zheng’s CWD technology overcomes the shortcomings of the HDG. He developed a low-cost, compact, highly-efficient, ruggedized speed reducing gear system. He increased torque capacity and the life span of the gear by eliminating the use of flexible materials in the design. This invention could mean the formation of a new market of ultra-fast, high-precision steering and automation beyond robotic joints.

 

IKOVE, a local venture capital company, licensed his technology from the university in 2015 and founded a start-up company called CWD LLC. One U.S. patent and one international patent have been filed. Funding from the Ohio Third Frontier’s Technology Validation and Start-up Fund was used to design and fabricate a prototype CWD.

 

The 2016 Early Career Innovator of the Year is Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, research assistant professor in physical medicine and rehabilitation and associate director of the Human Motion Analysis and Recovery Laboratory. The 2016 Student Innovator of the Year is Jacaob Mendlovic, a recent Ohio State honors graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering and a minor in nuclear engineering.

 

For learn more about all of this year’s award winners, visit the Office of Research’s website: http://research.osu.edu/2017/01/yuan-zheng-lise-worthen-chaudhari-and-jacob-mendlovic-named-2016-innovators-of-the-year/ 

Grassman Wins SunShot Award to Develop High Efficiency Tandem Solar Cell

Prof. Tyler Grassman (MSE/ECE) was awarded $1,124,999 to develop a tandem solar cell with gallium arsenide phosphide (GaAsP) on silicon (Si) aimed at 30% or higher efficiency.  This research is powered by the U.S. Department of pv-module-diagram-twitterEnergy SunShot Initiative’s Photovoltaic Research and Development program and will support the development of next generation photovoltaics technology, driving solar cost reductions and reliability improvements for years to come. Prof. Grassman’s project will support the SunShot goals by developing a mature GaAsP/Si tandem cell that could be manufactured at scale via existing Si and III-V tooling and infrastructure, greatly reducing capital expenditures and revitalizing existing manufacturing industries.

 

pvrd-photo-fb The SunShot Initiative’s Photovoltaic Research and Development (PVRD) funding program pushes the limits of power conversion efficiency, fielded energy output, service lifetime, and manufacturability of commercial and emerging PV technologies.  PVRD is one of the first funding opportunities in SunShot that looks to a post-2020 goal, and it is anticipated that a second round of funding opportunities in this area wil lbe announced in October 2016.

 

Learn more about Prof. Grassman’s award: http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/project-profile-ohio-state-university-pvrd

NSF Awards IMR Team $1M to Build New Spectrometer

The National Science Foundation recently announced that an IMR-led Major Research Instrumentation proposal totaling over $1 million has been awarded to a multidisciplinary team of Ohio State researchers.  The project, titled “Development of a Broadband 330 GHz Variable Temperature Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer System,” has Professor Fengyuan Yang, Professor of Physics and IMR Associate Director, as the Principal Investigator.

The project team includes five other Ohio State professors – Chris Hammel, Physics; Rolando Valdes Aguilar, Physics; Joseph Heremans, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; John Volakis, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Ezekiel Johnston-Halperin, Physics – as well as IMR Member of Technical Staff and NanoSystems Lab director, Dr. Denis Pelekhov.

Together, these researchers will develop a broadband high frequency magnetic resonance spectrometer with the frequency ranging from 1 to 330 GHz between liquid helium and room temperature.  This will be the first magnetic resonance spectrometer in the 100’s GHz at a shared user facility in the Midwest region, and will significantly strengthen and expand the investigation of novel fundamental phenomena and the development of paradigm-changing technologies for researchers within The Ohio State University and from across the Midwest region.

Congratulations to Professor Fengyuan Yang on this NSF MRI award!

For more information, see the College of Engineering’s full story: https://engineering.osu.edu/news/2016/09/nsf-award-funds-novel-magnetic-resonance-research 

Global Partnership Grant Funds Sustainable Materials Research Collaboration

The new Global Partnership Grants program of the IMR and its M&MS Discovery Theme focus area is supporting an international research collaboration between The Ohio State University and the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay.  This inaugural Global Partnership Grant award funds the research project “Development and Characterization of Gallium Oxide Transistors,” a collaboration between Siddharth Rajan, Associate Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering departments at Ohio State, and Saurabh Lodha, an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at IIT-Bombay.  The professors and their research teams will explore the design of energy-efficient electronic devices based on a new semiconductor material, Gallium Oxide.  More information about this exciting joint research project and Global Partnership Grants is available on our website.