The Historically Black Colleges and Universities - Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE) program supports the development of research capability at Historically Black Colleges and Universities that offer doctoral degrees in science and engineering disciplines. Supported projects have a unifying research focus in one of the research areas supported by the National Science Foundation, a direct connection to the long-term plans of the host department, institutional strategic plan and mission, and plans for expanding institutional research capacity, as well as increasing the production of doctoral students, especially those underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With National Science Foundation support, Clark Atlanta University will conduct a project entitled "Enhancement of Research and Education Infrastructure - Laboratory for Prototype Devices Based on Functional Materials". The vision of this project is to increase the number of underrepresented scientists in the interdisciplinary field of materials science. This project will strengthen the research and education infrastructure at Clark Atlanta University. High quality research experience opportunities for students will be available through a university/ industry partnership. A summer research program will provide undergraduate students with academic enrichment experience and will serve as an introduction to the field of materials science. A new materials science course will be developed covering the basic laws and concepts relating the structures of solids to their physical and mechanical properties. This project will significantly increase the number of African-Americans earning doctoral degrees with expertise in materials science. These efforts will also enhance career opportunities for graduate students through the development of a multidisciplinary educational program.
The research component of this project will focus on the design, development and testing of prototype lithium-air batteries. Conventional lithium-ion batteries in use in hybrid and electric vehicles are approaching their theoretical limit. Lithium-air technology offers the potential for ten-times the performance of today's lithium-ion technology. Proposed research is expected to lead to the development of new electronic materials such as electrolyte and anodes for lithium-air and lithium-ion batteries. Experimental work will be complemented by computational analyses. Battery studies will generate data sets to determine material design for improved functional performance.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.