1238086 North Carolina State University; Elizabeth Dickey 1238334 Pennsylvania State University; Clive Randall

The proposed Center for Dielectrics and Piezoelectrics (CDP) aims to develop an international leadership position in the fundamental material science and engineering that underpins dielectric and piezoelectric materials. The research efforts will be anchored by North Carolina State University (NCSU) as the lead institution, partnered with the Pennsylvania State University (PSU).

The Center will focus on new functionalities in dielectric and piezoelectric materials that could enable new and potentially disruptive storage and sensing technologies to drive the energy, electronics, medical, and communications sectors of the economy. The proposed I/UCRC will support major industries based on capacitor and piezoelectric materials and devices, through the development of new materials, processing strategies, electrical testing, and nanoscale structural characterization methodologies. The Center will strive to anticipate, define, and address critical material needs for low-power, conformable, mobile devices, as well as for high pulse electrical power. The proposed center also aims to identify and recruit companies across the supply chain, i.e. ones that manufacture dielectric and piezoelectric materials, component manufacturers, and end users, who will provide the technological pull for CDP research activities.

The Center will support training and research in materials development from the atomic to device levels, co-processing of various materials in device integration, and reliability of capacitive devices under high field and cycling conditions. The center will serve as a primary educational resource in these materials from the undergraduate student level through the continuing education of industrial scientists. The CDP will be a resource to other universities, research institutes, national laboratories, and commercial companies engaged in developing and utilizing dielectrics for integration into systems. The center plans to continuously and proactively develop broader participation at both institutions by having guest faculty at center meetings as a means to introduce faculty expertise to the center membership.

Project Report

, which is now an official NSF I/UCRC. The Planning Grant lead to the recruitment of over thirty international companies into the CDP, and over 20 faculty are involved in the center at the North Carolina State University and Pennsylvania State University sites. The goals of the CDP are to: Become a leading international center dedicated to the science and technology of dielectric and piezoelectric materials and their integration into devices. Perform innovative interdisciplinary research that will lead to novel breakthroughs in dielectric and piezoelectric materials. Educate graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who will become successful members of the research community with a minimal learning curve. Develop unique measurement and characterization infrastructure to support the industry. The Planning Grant led to a successful subsequent proposal to NSF to establish the I/UCRC, with the following merits and impacts: Intellectual Merit: The CDP aims to become a leading international center dedicated to improving the science and technology of dielectric and piezoelectric materials and their integration into devices by performing innovative interdisciplinary research that will lead to novel breakthroughs. The center aims to develop unique measurement, modeling and characterization infrastructure and techniques to support the industry. Broader Impacts: The CDP will sponsor graduate-student research, with the goal of training a diverse group of next-generation scientists and engineers for industrial, national laboratory, and university careers. The CDP offers a unique experience for students and postdocs by providing direct insights into the global economy, industrial manufacturing, and corporate research through interactions with the industrial advisory board (IAB) and company mentors and by factory and R&D laboratory visits. The CDP research and human capital development is anticipated to directly and indirectly impact our nation’s energy, transportation, security and medical infrastructure by advancing materials that underpin critical technologies for these sectors of the economy.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Raffaella Montelli
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Pennsylvania State University
University Park
United States
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