Grant Details


This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). This Research award in the Inorganic, Bioinorganic and Organometallic Chemistry program supports chemistry by Professor Bradley D. Fahlman at Central Michigan University to develop new materials for next-generation nonvolatile memory devices (e.g., portable hard drives, memory sticks, etc.). Hafnium oxide (HfO2), a high-k dielectric material, is of increasing importance for the microelectronics industry, in order to continue Moore's Law - doubling the number of transistors on an integrated circuit every 1.5 - 2 years. This project greatly expands the largely unexplored chemistry of hafnium through the design of novel hafnium complexes for vapor deposition applications. Our work also explores the direct incorporation of nanocrystals into high-k dielectric thin films via atomic layer deposition (ALD). Undergraduate students will gain hands-on experience in a variety of inorganic/organic and nanomaterials synthesis, as well as a suite of surface characterization techniques - rather atypical for a traditional undergraduate experience. This project also entails undergraduate student mentoring opportunities for postdoctoral and graduate students - of utmost importance for their future careers. Undergraduate students from the local Chippewa Native-American tribe participate in the project; this represents part of an important objective for Central Michigan University; namely, increasing the number of majors in the sciences within this underrepresented group. The results of this fundamental research project will directly influence the future of commercial microelectronic devices, ensuring that improvements in computational speeds continue to be realized.

Effective start/end date08/1/0907/31/13


  • National Science Foundation: $255,000.00


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