Planning Grant for joining the I/UCRC for Lasers and Plasmas for Advanced Manufacturing
1134835 University of Texas at Dallas; Matthew Goeckner 1134813 North Carolina State University; Steven Shannon
The University of Texas at Dallas and North Carolina State University are seeking to join the existing Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for Lasers and Plasmas for Advanced Manufacturing. The center currently consists of the University of Virginia (lead), with the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, the Southern Methodist University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign as research partners.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) present a synergistic effort that combines plasma chemistry, plasma-surface interactions, and plasma source development to enhance the scientific understanding of these systems, formulate pathways for industrial application that are founded in basic scientific understanding, and demonstrate the capabilities of intelligently designed next generation plasma devices to enable high technology precision manufacturing in the United States. This scientific effort is complimented by the broad and substantial outreach efforts of the investigators and their institutions. This integrated effort will compliment the current activities of the existing I/UCRC and broaden the scope of the center to include a class of plasma systems poised to make substantial contributions to future manufacturing efforts.
The addition of UTD and NCSU to the existing I/UCRC will fill a void in the capabilities of the U.S., providing a leadership role in the development of the fundamental science of low temperature plasmas. Related educational activities will include the traditional, and currently ongoing, outreach, educational, and scientific endeavors that engage students from high school to graduate level at both universities. Further, as both the Dallas and Raleigh-Durham areas have historically been regions in which low-temperature plasmas are widely used in industry, the consortium will be able to easily provide educational activities for working professions. These activities will be further enhanced by the presently established and successful outreach programs and distance education programs at both UTD and NCSU that will accelerate the accessibility of these programs to this broad industrial base.
Plasma Science is a field that impacts large fractions of the US economy. This ranges from the production of computer chips to advanced lighting. Plasmas are used in ~30% of all of the steps in making computer chips. In fact, without plasma science and plasma technology, improvements in chip quality would have stopped in about 1975. Plasmas are also used directly in lighting (compact fluorescence lights and high intensity street lights) and well as in the production of LED lighting. The basic technology is also finding use in medical applications, automobile production and numerous other industries. As such, plasma science is critical to the future of the US' high technology industry. The I/UCRC program for the NSF provides a unique opportunity to develop a strong university-industry-government project. Laser & Plasma Advanced Manufacturing I/UCRC is the center covering this important topic. This planning grant project will allowed that center to grow, boosting participation of more US companies and graduate students from US universities in this important scientific and economic technological area. Currently the Laser & Plasma Advanced Manufacturing I/UCRC has four sites. Those sites are currently in Virginia, Michigan, Illinois and Texas. This planning grant project will allow an expansion to 6 sites, with the addition of one state, North Carolina