Grants totaling $5.4 million will pay for cutting-edge equipment, fill a void for semiconductor production and train the next generation of researchers and engineers.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – More than $5 million in total funding from the Army Research Office and the Army Research Laboratory will go toward a unique silicon carbide semiconductor fabrication facility at the University of Arkansas.
The grants — $4.5 million from the Army Research Office and $900,000 from the Army Research Laboratory — come on the heels of an $18 million grant from the National Science Foundation to fund construction and operation of the unique national fabrication facility.
Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering, is principal investigator for both grants.
The Army Research Office grant will be used for equipment, and the Army Research Laboratory grant for student and staff compensation, tuition and materials for supporting collaborative research activities with the Army Research Lab.
Combining cutting-edge equipment and infrastructure with a core of research experts focused on silicon carbide semiconductor devices, sensors and integrated circuits, the fabrication facility will develop new electronics to address areas of national defense. Researchers will fabricate superior integrated circuits for compact and robust electronic devices for branches of the U.S. military. The devices will also be more energy efficient and heat resistant.
The facility will also train the next generation of semiconductor researchers and engineers who can work in both the silicon and silicon carbide semiconductor industries. Students at all degree levels will be given research opportunities and be exposed to a high-need area of science and technology. The research will engage underrepresented students in this new and burgeoning area of electronics.
With now decades of experience working with silicon carbide, Mantooth will lead a team that will acquire, install and integrate cutting-edge equipment for the purpose of building a low-volume prototyping facility to produce silicon-carbide integrated circuits.
In addition to Mantooth, researchers on this project include Greg Salamo, Distinguished Professor of physics; Zhong Chen, associate professor of electrical engineering; and Shannon Davis, business and operations manager in the Department of Electrical Engineering.
About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of U.S. colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.