Home > Press > Appelbaum wins NSF Career Award for research on silicon spintronics
|Ian Appelbaum, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the recipient of the Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his research on spintronics.
Photo by Jon Cox
Ian Appelbaum, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Delaware, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his pioneering research in the exciting next evolution of electronics known as spintronics.
Appelbaum wins NSF Career Award for research on silicon spintronics
Newark, DE | Posted on March 3rd, 2008
This emerging field focuses on harnessing the magnet-like spin property of electrons to produce electronics ranging from computers to cell phones that are faster, yet use less energy than today's power-hogging devices.
The highly competitive funding award, designed to support the integrated research and educational activities of faculty early in their careers, is bestowed on those scientists and engineers deemed most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. Fewer than 20 percent of the proposals submitted by faculty from across the nation to the annual competition are funded.
The five-year, $400,000 award will support Appelbaum's research and companion education project on silicon spintronics.
"It was really great to receive this award," Appelbaum says. "It will enable us to continue our work to prove that silicon--the world's top semiconductor--can be used in spintronic applications. Spintronic devices will offer a number of advantages in the future," Appelbaum notes. "These lower-power, instant-on electronics will allow increased device portability and are especially important in light of today's increasing energy costs and its environmental impact."
Silicon is the workhorse material of the electronics industry, the transporter of electrical current in computer chips and transistors. Silicon also had been predicted to be a superior semiconductor for spintronics, yet demonstrating the element's ability to conduct the spin of electrons, referred to as "spin transport," had eluded scientists until Appelbaum and his research group, with a colleague from Cambridge NanoTech, published their results in the scientific journal Nature in May 2007.
The UD research group made international headlines as the first to demonstrate spin transport in silicon using a novel hot-electron detection technique.
Appelbaum's research group then showed how their device design could be used as a spin field-effect transistor. The design was featured on the cover of the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters in June 2007.
More recently, Appelbaum and his team showed that an electron's spin can be transported a marathon distance in the world of microelectronics--through a 350-micron-thick silicon wafer. That major advance was reported in the Oct. 26, 2007, issue of Physical Review Letters, published by the American Physical Society.
The former research was funded by grants from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense.
Now, with NSF's support, Appelbaum and his group will continue to explore the fundamental development of the silicon chips, transistors and integrated circuits required for a potential new industry. Ultimately, the research may lead to the development of a whole new logic architecture for electronics, Appelbaum says.
"While almost all work in the field has focused on compound semiconductors, there are clear benefits from leveraging the enormous existing capital investment in silicon," Appelbaum says. "Furthermore, silicon has an intrinsically long spin lifetime, making it even more attractive for applications where spins must survive through many clock cycles and across complex circuits," he says.
A complementary education component to the research project will include the training of graduate students and under-represented undergraduates in diverse aspects of science and engineering, including semiconductor device design, processing and measurement, and spintronics.
Also, research fellowships for minority undergraduate students will be fostered through a partnership with the local Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) and the Resources to Insure Successful Engineers (RISE) program at UD. Summer research internship opportunities for Delaware high school teachers will be offered, too, according to Appelbaum.
"The education component is designed to help us advance UD's research strengths in engineering and spintronics, as well as in nanotechnology," Appelbaum says. "By exposing high-school teachers to modern nanotechnology concepts, we hope to excite their students' interest in pursuing advanced technology degrees."
Appelbaum also plans to offer his successful course "Magnetism and Spintronics" (ELEG423) through a distance-learning format.
Appelbaum earned his bachelor's degree summa cum laude in physics and mathematics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University for one year before joining the UD faculty in 2005.
Appelbaum is the author or co-author of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles. He is a member of the Materials Research Society and a life member of the American Physical Society.
Article by Tracey Bryant
About University of Delaware
The University of Delaware has grown from its founding as a small private academy in 1743 to a major university. As one of the oldest land-grant institutions, as well as a sea-grant, space-grant and urban-grant institution, Delaware offers an impressive collection of educational resources. Undergraduates may choose to major in any one or more of over 100 academic majors. The University's distinguished faculty includes internationally known scientists, authors and teachers, who are committed to continuing the University of Delaware's tradition in providing one of the highest quality undergraduate educations available.
The University enrolls over 16,000 undergraduates and nearly 3,000 graduate students. As a state-assisted, privately controlled institution, the University seeks to enroll students from diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of geographic regions. Currently, 60 percent of Newark campus undergraduates are nonresidents who represent nearly every state and several foreign countries. The University of Delaware is strongly committed to enrolling and retaining minority students.
For more information, please click here
Office of Public Relations
The Academy Building,
105 East Main St.
Newark, DE 19716-2701
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
News and information
NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts September 30th, 2014
Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014
Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014
Research mimics brain cells to boost memory power September 30th, 2014
Graphene and Amaranthus Superparamagnets: Breakthrough nanoparticles discovery of Indian researcher September 23rd, 2014
IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting To Celebrate 60th Anniversary as The Leading Technical Conference for Advanced Semiconductor Devices September 18th, 2014
A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014
Molecular engineers record an electron's quantum behavior August 14th, 2014
Park Systems Announces Outsourced Analytical Services Including AFM Surface Imaging, Data Analysis and Interpretation September 30th, 2014
Ad-REIC vaccine: A magic bullet for cancer treatment September 30th, 2014
New Topical Hemostatic Agent: Neutral Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel September 30th, 2014
Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014
A Heartbeat Away? Hybrid "Patch" Could Replace Transplants: TAU researcher harnesses gold nanoparticles to engineer novel biocompatible cardiac patch September 30th, 2014
Teijin Aramidís carbon nanotube fibers awarded with Paul Schlack prize: New generation super fibers bring wave of innovations to fiber market September 25th, 2014
New chip promising for tumor-targeting research September 22nd, 2014
SouthWest NanoTechnologies (SWeNT) Receives NIST Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 Award to Produce Greater than 99% Semiconducting Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes September 19th, 2014