Wednesday, July 1, 2015

UNO Researchers Win $160,000 NSF Grant to Develop New Materials

Leonard SpinuAMRI and Physics Professor Leonard Spinu

Researchers with the University of New Orleans' Advanced Materials Research Institute (AMRI) won a $160,000 National Science Foundation grant to develop new materials that could lead to important advances in data storage and communications.

"The mobility of current devices demands that those devices become increasingly more miniature and multifunctional where one device component can perform more than one task," said Leonard Spinu, professor of physics, AMRI director and the grant's principal investigator. He will work on the project with chemistry professor and fellow AMRI researcher John Wiley.

According to Spinu, standard materials rely primarily on electrical input to drive devices such as phones and computers. In this project, UNO researchers will attempt to develop new materials that can respond simultaneously to light, heat, pressure or magnetic stimuli. The advantage with these materials is that one component will be able to carry out several different operations, possibly all at the same time. This can contribute to the ongoing goal of improvements in technology by creating smaller, faster, lighter and cheaper devices.

The funding for this project is provided through the National Science Foundation's Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program, which is designed to support high-risk research that could lead to exceptional advances in science and technology.