Rongming Chu awarded Department of Defense grant for semiconductor research

January 30, 2023

By Mary Fetzer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Rongming Chu, associate professor of electrical engineering in the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was awarded a $191,650 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. The grant, part of the $59 million Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), will be used to equip Chu’s power semiconductor device characterization lab.

“Our lab has been pushing the capabilities of wide bandgap semiconductor technology toward higher voltage, higher power and better tolerance to harsh environments,” Chu said. “Under this award, we will develop a new capability to perform measurements of semiconductor devices in a vacuum environment with extreme temperature ranges.”

Chu said that this new characterization capability will help researchers to better understand the device physics under extremely high voltage and electric fields. Knowledge gained through this research can used to develop new devices that will enable cryogenic power electronic systems, which are being considered for superconducting power grids, electric aviation and deep space missions.

According to a press release by the Department of Defense, DURIP selected 147 of 522 proposals from university investigators conducting foundational science and engineering research relevant to national defense. The program is administered jointly by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office and the Office of Naval Research.


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