Materials Science & Nanoengineering

Materials Science & Nanoengineering

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Ringe wins AFOSR Young Investigator Award

Emilie Ringe, assistant professor of materials science and nanoengineering (MSNE) at Rice University, has been awarded a three-year, $360,000 grant by the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) to research a promising class of two-dimensional (2D) materials.

Ringe’s proposal, “Tailoring of Opto-Electronic Properties of 2D Semiconductors via Defect Engineering,” was one of 58 approved by AFOSR out of the more than 230 proposals submitted.

“The goal of the project is to understand the effect of defects on the electrical transport and optical properties of TMDs [transition metal dichalcogenides]. The applications of these semiconducting structures haven’t yet been realized because of the difficulty of scaling up their production while maintaining a high quality. Defects are unavoidable during growth, and significant advances could be made if we learned to work with imperfect materials,” Ringe said.

One focus of her research is to better understand the effect of defects on the optical and electronic properties of TMDs, thus establishing, she said, “how much and what kinds of defects are tolerable for 2D semiconductor-based devices.”

Ringe is among the scientists and engineers from 41 research institutions and small businesses to share some $20.8 million in grants through YIP. The program is open to researchers who have received their Ph.D. or equivalent degree in the last five years and who demonstrate “exceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.” Ringe earned her Ph.D. in materials chemistry from Northwestern University in 2012, pursued postdoctoral studies at the University of Cambridge (UK), and joined the Rice faculty in 2014.

–Patrick Kurp, Engineering Communications