CENSES seeks resources from CREST to enhance as well as develop research expertise in areas associated with sensors and energy transduction systems in order to serve as a national resource center in these critical areas, and to be available for collaboration in research and development efforts with a variety of potential partners. Three research subprojects are proposed. Subproject-1 focuses on nanomaterials and nanostructures for sensor applications, with 3 constituent projects dealing with mid-IR sensors based on wide bandgap II-VI semiconductor devices; chemical and biological sensors from single-walled carbon nanotubes; and liposome-based arrays with nanoparticle markers for toxin detection. Subproject-2 exploits nanomaterials and nanostructures in energy systems, and has 4 constituent projects concerned with battery electrode nanomaterials; single-walled carbon nanotubes onto which electrocatalysts are attached for fuel cell applications; hybrid II-VI and III-V multiple quantum well/quantum dot high-performance solar cells; and hydrate-based gas storage materials. Subproject-3 focuses on emerging technologies and novel characterization techniques, and has 4 constituent projects dealing with biologically inspired self-assembled nanostructures; cobalt-oxide-based thermoelectric materials and devices; surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) applied to the study organicinorganic hybrid nanomaterials; and femtosecond time-resolved scanning tunneling microscopy.
The results of the above aforementioned research efforts will be invaluable in addressing the major challenges facing our nation and the world today in the development of sustainable energy technologies that focus on renewable resources, and the monitoring of health, the environment and national security threats. The impact of this CREST center project not only includes a diversity recruitment & retention plan to continue engaging graduate students from underrepresented groups and a research experience for undergraduate students-style enrichment program geared towards the largely minority population of transfer students, but it also contains a professional development plan to increase the number of underrepresented individuals with in-depth research knowledge and skills in the nanotechnology fields who can join the faculty and postdoctoral ranks of City College and elsewhere.