Associate Professor Matthew Jones, Assistant Professor Yong Chen, and Assistant Professor Chen Yang have each received the Faculty Early Career Development Award, the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award for junior faculty.
Prof. Jones will conduct research that will allow precision measurements with the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment to be carried out in the challenging environment of very high luminosity proton-proton collisions. The goal of the research is to integrate the analysis of CMS data, the validation of detector performance models and the design of upgraded tracking detector and trigger hardware with the development of new pixel detector sensors that is already being carried out at Purdue University. Jones will also work with undergraduate physics and engineering students to develop hardware that will significantly reduce the cost of equipment needed for the QuarkNet program. Finally, the project will expand existing undergraduate service-learning opportunities in the Department to assist high school teachers in implementing the QuarkNet curricula in Indiana classrooms.
Prof. Chen's CAREER Award project will investigate novel quantum physics in graphene. Electrons in graphene can mimic relativistic particles (chiral Dirac fermions) studied in high energy physics and described by quantum electrodynamics (QED) or quantum chromodynamics (QCD). A particular focus of the research will be on how chiral Dirac electrons in graphene nanostructures interact with impurities and with each other to generate novel quantum states of matter. Such study may also provide insights to design novel carbon-based electronic devices. Chen's research will be integrated into specially designed nanoscience outreach activities for teacher professional development.
Prof. Yang will investigate the synthesis of nanowires and nanowire heterostructures with high quality and novel electronic and opto-electronic properties. Yang will investigate a suite of nanowire growth methods nanowires and develop strategies for heterostructure growth. Successful research on her will enable development of devices that will impact important technical areas such as light emission and detection, telecommunications, computing, and sensors. The project also includes an integrated education and outreach program that aims at addressing critical challenges in current nanoscience education for audiences ranging from graduate students to K-12.