Ill. --- The Materials Research Institute (MRI) at Northwestern
University and the National Microelectronic Research
Center (NMRC) at the University College in Cork, Ireland,
have embarked on the first U.S.-European research collaboration
in fundamental photonics (the study of light properties).
joint research will leverage the world-class facilities
and basic and applied research experience of both
institutions to develop a new generation of ultra-high-speed
optical devices for information technology applications,
offering the promise of improving the global economy
as well as global security.
will include innovative new materials such as integrated
nanophotonic circuits: tiny devices capable of processing
and transmitting more information, more quickly, in
everything from Palm Pilots to laptop computers and
researchers (R.P.H. Chang, Tobin J. Marks, Mark A.
Ratner and John B. Ketterson) will contribute their
expertise in materials synthesis and characterization
while NMRC partners (Gabriel Crean, Brian Corbett,
Gareth Redmond, Sotomayor Torres and Eoin O’Reilly)
will provide state-of-the-art optical characterization
capabilities and device fabrication facilities.
The collaboration also will bring its cutting-edge
research into science classrooms on both sides of
the Atlantic. Investigators will jointly develop dynamic
Web-based courses in nanophotonics for pre-college
and first-year undergraduate students. Exchanges of
graduate students, post-docs and faculty will take
place in both directions. Science teachers and undergraduate
students will have the opportunity to perform summer
research internships under the mentorship of senior
researchers on both campuses.
International conferences and workshops will be sponsored
on photonics-related topics. All collaborations will
take place in real time via a virtual research platform
hosted at Northwestern. Research results will be exchanged
and online and joint technical seminars and technology
transfer symposia will be simulcast at both sites.
The MRI-NMRC project has received joint funding from
the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Science
Foundation of Ireland (SFI).