Proposal No. CTS-0318241 Principal Investigator: K. Stebe, Johns Hopkins University
This grant is for the acquisition of an Imaging Ellipsometer. By impinging polarized light on a surface and measuring the change in polarization of the reflected beam, ellipsometers determine film thicknesses on solid surfaces with angstrom level resolution. Imaging ellipsometry performs these measurements by focusing the beam onto a high resolution CCD camera to provide spatial resolution of 1micron over areas as large as 400 x 500 microns, allowing for the construction of surface topological maps at that resolution.
The measurement of such surface topologies is useful in disciplines ranging from sputter rippling of gold films to the evolution of adsorbed protein films on polymeric surfaces used for controlled drug release. Therefore, this instrumentation will advance research and educational efforts in several research groups at JHU. Undergraduate and graduate students from the departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering will use the imaging ellipsometer and Materials Science & Engineering in projects administered by the co-PIs in the general areas of nanotechnology, surface science and bioengineering.
The co-PIs have a record of effective collaboration. Three of the co-PIs have created new courses for an undergraduate concentration between the departments of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering. All of the co-PIs have made a concerted effort at increasing the numbers of women and underrepresented minorities students in their research programs. At the undergraduate level, students are drawn into research via research projects for credit, and via REU programs administered through our MRSEC and in the department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Through these channels, the co-PIs together have directed 60 undergraduates in research projects, of whom 31 were female and 4 were drawn from other under-represented groups. At the Ph.D and post-graduate levels, women and minorities are also actively recruited. This focus is apparent in the numbers of women and members of under-represented groups being trained in these programs; of the 30 Ph.Ds and postdoctoral researchers, half have been women, and two were drawn from other under-represented groups. The acquisition of this equipment will support the co-PIs efforts in their research and outreach efforts.
* Jointly supported by the Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program and the Interfacial, Transport and Thermodynamics Program