Ohio State-led research team receives $2.2 million grant for transformational energy project

Researchers at The Ohio State University are leading a project recently awarded $2.2 million from the Department of Energy to develop gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor materials suitable for high-voltage power control and conversion.


The project, “GaN MOCVD Growth on Native Substrates for High Voltage (15-20 kV) Vertical Power Devices,” is one of 12 projects receiving $35 million in funding through the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) OPEN+ program.


“Today’s dominant power semiconductor devices use Silicon, which suffers at high power and high temperature operations. It is absolutely critical to find alternatives to harness medium-voltage electricity infrastructure for applications across industry, transportation, on the grid and beyond,” said Hongping Zhao, associate professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). “This project aims to develop wide bandgap semiconductor GaN materials grown on native GaN substrates that enables vertical power devices with switching voltages up to 15-20 kilovolts.”


The team is led by Zhao and includes ECE and MSE professor Siddharth Rajan; IMR Executive Director, Distinguished University Professor and Neal A. Smith Professor of Electrical Engineering Steven Ringel; and ECE professor Jin Wang. During the three year project, Ohio State will partner with SixPoint Materials, Inc., a California-based materials manufacturer, which will focus on developing GaN substrates.


Zhao joined Ohio State in August 2017 through the IMR-led Materials & Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme. Zhao’s research interests focus on the growth and physics of wide bandgap and ultra-wide bandgap semiconductor materials and devices, and the low-dimensional semiconductor nano-materials and devices for energy applications.


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From natural rubber to medical glove: CFAES research team’s creation fends off allergies, blocks radiation

IMR member Katrina Cornish, an Ohio Research Scholar and Endowed Chair in Bio-based Emergent Materials at the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), and her team were recently highlighted by both Ohio State News and The Ohio State University’s student newspaper, The Lantern.


Her team created the first medical glove that meets federal guidelines and blocks radiation while not triggering allergic reactions. The federal guideline mandating medical professionals to protect themselves from bloodborne pathogens and radiation forces some to wear two sets of gloves, while others settle on wearing just one. The former option restricts hand mobility, the latter is risky.


Cornish’s team answered with the development of a radiation attenuation medical glove created with guayule natural rubber. The glove was developed with partner EnergyEne Inc., a Cornish-led startup company in Wooster, Ohio.


Read more from about Cornish and her team at Ohio State News.


More info about their research and medical glove can be found at The Lantern.


IMR offering grant development support to researchers interested in upcoming NSF opportunity

The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) encourages faculty members interested in submitting an NSF Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) proposal to reach out to the institute’s grants developer with inquiries.


IMR will host an open house Dec. 6 at Nanotech West Laboratory, on West Campus, to offer more information about the proposal development process to researchers at The Ohio State University wishing to join or complete a DMREF team.


Joanna Gardner, IMR administrator and grants developer, will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about the DMREF program and grant opportunity. Nadeane Howard, with the Proposal Development Office, will discuss available resources through her office.


Researchers are encouraged to present their expertise and areas of study during a series of informal, mini presentations (two minutes each), following Gardner and Howard. The majority of the open house will be dedicated to allowing visitors an opportunity to network.


DMREF Open House:

Thursday, December 6, 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Innovation Lab, Room 218 at Nanotech West: 1381 Kinnear Road

RSVP: gardner.306@osu.edu


This NSF solicitation is not restricted to specific topics of materials research, though the NSF identifies four of particular interest: 1) Synthetic materials biology, 2) Structural materials under extreme conditions, 3) Recyclable plastics and alternative materials for sustainable development, and 4) Robotic materials.


IMR works with its faculty members and their teams to find methods to advance their research proposals. Joanna Gardner, IMR administrator and grants developer, assists in finding the right external funding opportunities and provides full-service support through the grant proposal and award process.


Feel free to contact her with questions: gardner.306@osu.edu


DMREF awards are forecast to range from $1,000,000 to $1,750,000 for a duration of four years. NSF anticipates $36 million in funding for an estimated 20 to 25 awards. The submission window for proposals is Jan. 28 to Feb. 04, 2019.


The NSF program solicitation and additional award information are available here.


IMR’s Steven Ringel awarded title of Distinguished University Professor


The Ohio State University awarded Steven Ringel, a faculty member in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), the permanent title of Distinguished University Professor in appreciation of his teaching, research and service at the university.


Ohio State Board of Trustees conferred the appointment during its Aug. 31 meeting, bestowing Ringel the university’s highest honor given to faculty members.


“It is really such an honor to receive this recognition,” Ringel said. “I am, indeed, humbled.”


Ringel serves as professor and Neal A. Smith Chair in Electrical Engineering in the College of Engineering, Associate Vice President for Research, and Executive Director of the Institute for Materials Research (IMR).


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Research tours roll on as Morley Stone visits Nanotech West Lab


Morley Stone, the new senior vice president for research at The Ohio State University, continued his weekly rounds of introductions to the land-grant university’s varied academic spaces Aug. 16 with a tour of the Nanotech West Laboratory.


Stone joined the Office of Research leadership team this month after serving as chief technology officer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Dayton, Ohio.


Stone now serves an integral role in the advancement of the university’s research enterprise, overseeing strategic planning and infrastructure support for Ohio State’s $864 million annual basic and applied research program.


“Throughout his career, Dr. Stone has built strong, strategic collaborations with academia, industry and government organizations, including Ohio State,” President Michael V. Drake said with the announcement Stone was selected for the position. “We look forward to our continued work together to uplift lives in our communities through outstanding research.”


Stone toured Nanotech West on Kinnear Road as part of his office’s ongoing #ResearchFriday tours.


“I consider these visits near the top of my priority list,” Stone said. “I have to know our PIs and their work on a personal level, so that I can best represent the ground-breaking work that they perform.”


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