FAME center to focus on advanced electronics

Five University of California, Riverside professors will receive a total of $5 million as part of a $35 million research center aimed at developing materials and structures that could enable more energy efficient computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.

The research center, which will be called the Center for Function Accelerated nanoMaterial Engineering (FAME), will be located at UCLA and led by Jane P. Chang, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UCLA.

Four professors from UC Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering are part of the center: Alexander A. Balandin, Alexander Khitun, Jianlin Liu and Roger Lake, all of whom are part of the electrical engineering department and materials science and engineering program. Jeanie Lau, a professor of physics and astronomy who is also part of the materials science and engineering program, is the fifth professor. Each professor will receive about $1 million.

FAME is one of six new university microelectronics research centers recently established with $194 million over the next five years from the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The funding supports the continued growth and leadership of the U.S. semiconductor industry.

The other five centers will be located at UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and University of Minnesota.

The University of Minnesota center is called the Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures (C-SPIN). Three UC Riverside researchers – Roland Kawakami, Ludwig Bartels and Cengiz Ozkan – received a total of $3 million as part of that center.

The goal of the FAME center is to create and investigate new nonconventional atomic scale engineered materials and structures of multi-function oxides, metals and semiconductors to accelerate innovations in analog, logic and memory devices for the semiconductor and defense industries.

The center includes 35 faculty researchers from 16 universities: UCLA, Columbia, Cornell, UC Berkeley, MIT, UC Santa Barbara, Stanford, UC Irvine, Purdue, Rice, UC Riverside, North Carolina State, Caltech, Penn, West Virginia and Yale.

Balandin, Lau and Liu will focus on van der Waals materials – a broad range of crystalline solids with layer structures. The van der Waals materials include graphene, topological insulators and charge-density wave materials. It is expected that this class of materials can be used in future information processing.

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