NSF IGERT  
Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies
Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies The Training Program Graduate Study Research People Seminars & Events Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies
Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies Undergraduates CONJUNTO Scholars & Mentors Program Rice Quantum Institute Rice University Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies
Nanophotonics: Fundamentals and Applications in Emerging Technologies
The Training Program
NSF IGERT Program Overview

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The Training Program

Intellectual Merit

Rice University has established a unique interdisciplinary program in Nanophotonics aimed at providing science and engineering students with the educational and research training to develop new tools for generating, controlling and manipulating light at nanoscale dimensions. This rapidly emerging field spans the traditional disciplines of physics, chemistry, electrical engineering and bioengineering, and promises important advances in an even wider arena. Rice University has a strong commitment to training graduate students in key areas that bridge basic and applied sciences and engineering. To this end, the Rice Graduate Applied Physics Program was created 14 years ago to support graduate education in areas of interdisciplinary cutting-edge research. In the last several years, Nanophotonics has become a prominent focus within the APP, providing strong motivation to create a training program in this area. The Nanophotonics program has four main topical thrusts:

  1. design/simulation/modeling of nanophotonics components, devices and systems based on state-of-the-art highly parallelized numerical methods such as the Finite Difference Time-Domain method;
  2. fabrication methods for nanophotonic components and systems, including both clean room and chemical fabrication techniques;
  3. fundamentals of nanoscale optics for the development of new nanoscale optical elements that propagate light with dimensions compatible with state-of-the-art nanoelectronics for on-chip applications such as plasmonic interconnects, and that focus light for microscopies with far greater resolution than the current limit of conventional optics;
  4. applications of nanophotonics ranging from nanoparticle-enhanced sensing and spectroscopy, and nanophotonic devices with applications in life sciences research, such as spectral fingerprinting of proteins and peptides, intracellular spectroscopy, and disease diagnosis and treatment.

Key components of the proposed training program include:

  1. A core curriculum for all graduate student participants to ensure adequate exposure to the science and engineering aspects of the four topical areas, including research methodology and scientific ethics;
  2. A program for trainees to work under dual advisors from different departments and/or institutions;
  3. An industrial internship program option with Nanophotonics research efforts at Becton-Dickinson (Research Trianble Park, NC), IBM Research (Almaden, Yorktown, and Zurish), Quantum Dot Corp. (Hayward, CA), Nanospectra Biosciences (Houston, TX) and NanoComposix (San Diego, CA);
  4. An internship option in the Nanophotonics group at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory;
  5. A Nanophotonics seminar series featuring speakers from other institutions, having different themes each semester and including a visiting scientist program to provide in-depth expertise in new areas.

Broader impacts

The anticipated societal impact of this IGERT will be accomplished by an effort to extend Rice University's successful undergraduate recruitment program for Hispanic and other underrepresented minorities to this specialized area of graduate education through a new, multiyear REU Program, The CONJUNTO Scholars & Mentors Program. By focusing our REU recruiting efforts at UT Brownsville and UT Pan American, Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) with 88% and 95% Hispanic enrollments, respectively, we will bring talented undergraduate researchers from these institutions to Rice for undergraduate research projects mentored by the IGERT faculty and graduate students, coordinating our efforts with the highly successful AGEP program at Rice, preparing and encouraging these students into our IGERT program and other graduate programs nationally. With its 33% women faculty demographic, our unique training program builds upon our established strengths in interdisciplinary research and education, creating a center of excellence that will train researchers to utilize advances in nanoscale science and technology to create new, innovative photonics based products in the 21st century.




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