Plasma etching is on its way, thanks to NSF grant
Research related to the science and engineering of materials at Youngstown State University spans a broad spectrum and includes semiconductors, polymers, carbon nanotubes, ceramic-metallic composites and functional materials.
To meet the challenge in studying the diversity of these types of materials, researches from the STEM College have teamed up with industrial partners such as Fireline Inc. and Materials Research Laboratories, Inc. A major requirement in processing and studying these materials is the ability to remove unwanted layers of the material in order, for example, to fabricate a microelectronic device.
This “subtractive manufacturing” is best accomplished using high density plasma, which can etch materials as soft as polymers or as hard as ceramics. To etch, you need an etcher.
YSU will soon have its own etcher. A grant award in the amount of $307,422 was won by YSU by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to acquire a plasma etching equipment for conducting research on these materials.
The lead investigator of this grant was Dr. Tom Oder, Professor of Physics, assisted by co-investigators Dr. Pedro Cortes, Assistant Professor of Civil/Environmental and Chemical Engineering; Dr. Ruigang Wang, Assistant Professor of Chemistry; Dr. Virgil Solomon, Associate Professor of Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering; and Klaus-Markus Peters, General Manager Fireline TCON, Inc.
Dr. Oder, who led this grant proposal, is the Director of the Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Research at YSU. He has successfully won previous major grant awards, including:
(a) NSF award for $224,500 (2010-2015),
(b) NSF award for $171,046 (2006-2010),
(c) Research Corporation for Science Advancement grant for $43,470 (2006-2008).
Dr. Oder is also a co-principle investigator of several major grants in the STEM College.