Science and Engineering are the key paradigms for organizing a study of natural phenomena. Science, the active study, seeks to understand and predict. Engineering, the pro-active study, seeks to co-opt and re-purpose. Hand in hand, the study of Science and Engineering, as applied to materials, can be mapped by four significant milestones. These milestones chart the progress of EMAT graduate students through their education and research as they struggle, learn, master and, finally, bequeath answers...
... that raise new questions.
Figure: Discovery of Si nanocrystal light emission (875-1050 nm spectral range) from sputtered SiON:Er and Si3N4:Er thin films confirms the co-existence of nanocrystals with Er.
It's about being able to ask reckless questions in a responsible way.
Discovery comes from pushing the envelope. From rigorous mastery of the laws of electromagnetism, thermodynamics and mechanics, and their assiduous application in an experimental laboratory setting. Then comes the moment of risk: daring to ask questions and devise measurements that seek to shatter the known laws-to rock the foundation of your lab space.
The process of discovery owes as much to a diligent survey of your peer's work, as it does to the lone researcher's creative inner reasoning. It is the artistic component of a science study-one that is honed by experience over time.
Past achievements in discovery for the EMAT group include:
Discovery of room temperature Er electroluminescence in a forward-biased Si:Er LED, for an on-chip integrated LED light-source.
Discovery of a low threading dislocation density deposition process for the direct epitaxy of Ge onto a Si substrate, thereby enabling the fabrication of silicon circuits with monolithically integrated Ge detectors with high responsivity.
Discovery of a one-dimensional photonic crystal defect state, which was integrated into a Si waveguide to produce a wavelength-selective filter with ultra-high modal confinement.