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.
Ringeâ€™s proposal, â€śTailoring of Opto-Electronic Properties of 2D Semiconductors via Defect Engineering,â€ť was one of 58 approved by AFOSR out of the more than 230 proposals submitted.
â€śThe 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 havenâ€™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,â€ť 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, â€śhow much and what kinds of defects are tolerable for 2D semiconductor-based devices.â€ť
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 â€śexceptional ability and promise for conducting basic research.â€ť 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.