by Jerome Saintjones
Huntsville, Alabama ---- State-of-the-art equipment provided through a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) will provide Alabama A&M University students and electrical engineering professors some unparalleled research experiences.
The new $350,000, three-in-one equipment is housed in a nearly half-million dollar device characterization laboratory built from scratch by Dr. Mohammad Alim. The JEOL JSM-6610LV equipment functions as a scanning electron microscope (SEM); an Oxford-produced energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS); and a nanometer pattern generation system (NPGS) by the Nabity Company.
At a given time, about six undergraduate and graduate students will be able to analyze amorphous, biological materials, ceramics, junction devices, insulators, metals, semiconductors, composites and other materials. Such analysis is essential, says Alim, if electrical engineers and researchers are to continue to make improvements to the everyday devices that consumers enjoy today.
These more common devices include computers, microwave devices, thermoelectrics, thermistors, nanowires, sensors, detectors, surge protectors, as well as electrical components (solid state and piezoelectric transformers, resisters, capacitors, etc.), notes Professor Alim, who also procured more than half of the equipment in his department’s ‘Class 1,000 clean room’ from AFOSR, Missile Defense Agency, and NASA. He is also affiliated with current Department of Defense and National Science Foundation research that totals more than $800,000 over the next three years.
Alim has authored more than 70 research papers since joining Alabama A&M University in fall 1998, in addition to proceedings, book chapters and other published work in important physics, device, materials science, and electroceramics journals. He believes the new equipment will allow AAMU students to become more prolific in published student-oriented research, as well. Further, Alim and colleagues are continuing their efforts to procure outside funding to support AAMU students and engineering facilities.
For more information about the electrical engineering equipment, contact Dr. Alim at (256) 372-5562.