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By Anne Ju
Research into new applications for graphene, as well as supporting women who work in the field of nanoelectronics, will result from a new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to Cornell.
NSF and the National Research Initiative have jointly awarded $1.4 million over four years to a Cornell-based interdisciplinary electronic device-scaling project utilizing graphene nanoribbons.
Graphene is a single-layer sheet of honeycomb lattice carbon atoms, well known scientifically for its mechanical strength and near-flawless electrical conductivity. Nanoribbons are narrow strips of graphene, which could potentially replace silicon in high-performance nanoelectronic devices.
The team consists of Paulette Clancy, the Samuel W. and Diane M. Bodman Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; William Dichtel, assistant professor of chemistry and chemical biology; and Lynn Loo, professor of chemical and biological engineering at Princeton University.
Dichtel will be responsible for precise synthesis and design of the nanoribbons using controlled chemistry methods, and Loo will use the nanoribbons to make devices. Clancy's role will include devising novel methods for functionalizing the nanoribbons, such as treating the edges with particular chemical groups for better self-assembly; and using computation to answer questions relating to improving charge transfer through the devices.
Part of the grant will be used toward developing a website for Women in Nanoelectronics, a national organization designed to attract young women to nanoscience disciplines.
Such organizations as the American Association for the Advancement of Science have urged an expansion of women's roles in nanoscience, as reported during a June 2011 meeting of AAAS women researchers.
"Women are often attracted to nanoscience for the opportunity to be part of a larger cadre of women," Clancy said. The site will help celebrate the accomplishments of women in nanoscience from academia and industry; inspire and provide a forum for graduate students; and list events and fellowship opportunities for women.
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