VISION 2000: College of Engineering 1995 Annual ReportMATERIALS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
VISION 2000: College of Engineering 1995 Annual ReportHR

In a new course conducted by Professor David C. Larbalestier, freshmen are learning about structures and properties of metals, and applying this kind of information by dissecting manufactured items such as padlocks and drill bits. MS&E 360 was added as a prerequisite to two junior-level labs, providing new engineering students with practical experience, and enabling subsequent labs to move on to more challenging tasks. In MS&E 360, students first learn the basics of sectioning, mounting, polishing, etching, photographing and interpreting the microstructures of rolled brass and plain carbon steels. Then they apply this knowledge, asking such questions as: "How were these items fabricated?" and "What compromises did the manufacturer make?"

Professor Max G. Lagally was recognized three times during the past year for accomplishments in the field of surface physics. Lagally received the Materials Research Society Medal Award for his pioneering efforts in the field of scanning tunneling microscopy; the Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics of the American Physical Society for his contributions to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of epitaxy; and the David Adler Lectureship Award in Materials Physics of the American Physical Society for his contributions to surface science and crystal growth. Lagally's achievements in these areas have resulted in two recent grants, totaling in excess of $3 million, to design and implement novel instrumentation for nanoscale characterization of film growth.

With a three-dimensional atom probe (3DAP), Professor Thomas F. Kelly may soon be making atomic-scale maps of the position and identity of one million atoms per second. This means that to study material containing one billion atoms, over a distance of about one micrometer, it would only take about 17 minutes. Currently, this requires more than a year. With these large volumetric capabilities, says Kelly, the 3DAP would become a more useful analytical instrument. It would be particularly beneficial in fabricating microelectronics and high- strength materials. Kelly says 3DAPs could be made small enough to fit on bench tops, and all of their electronics may fit into a floor-standing personal computer.

Single crystals for electronic, optical and laser applications are often doped with a very small amount of impurity so that they develop desired physical properties. However, dopant segregation can occur during the crystal growth process, resulting in crystals of non-uniform compositions and properties. In an effort to prevent this, Professor Sindo Kou has been working on control over dopant segregation. New methods for segregation control have been developed and patented, he notes. Additionally, for some applications, such as for components of jet engines, it is desirable to grow crystals in special shapes, and new methods for crystal shape control have also been developed and patented.

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Date last modified: Wednesday, 29-Nov-1995 12:00:00 CST
Date created: 29-Nov-1995

1995 Annual Report Contents