|North of the border
The American Physical Society (APS)
will hold its 2004 March meeting March 22–26, 2004, in Montreal,
a locale that will allow physicists to enjoy a blend of old world
charm and cutting-edge science and technology. The APS’s
Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics (FIAP) will focus its annual
March meeting program on activities that cross both national and
disciplinary boundaries, with a particular emphasis on applied
physics activities in Canada.
The FIAP program will include 1 tutorial, 17 focus sessions, and
10 invited symposia, which will update work in broad areas of interest
to industrial and applied physicists, and to many engineers as
well. Topics will include semiconductor devices and materials,
microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nanotechnology, hydrogen
storage and power conversion, molecular electronics, biologically
inspired computing, optoelectronics, and new developments in ceramics.
In addition, there will be an invited symposium on the future of
physical-science research in industrial laboratories.
|Figure 1. Colorized
scanning electron micrograph of a carbon nanotube grown by
chemical vapor deposition and selectively positioned to bridge
two pre-patterned electrodes. (Microelectronics and Physical
Sciences Lab, Motorola, Tempe, Arizona)
On Sunday, March 21, a premeeting tutorial titled “Organic and
Inorganic Semiconductor Quantum Dots,” an event suggested by FIAP,
will provide a comprehensive review of progress in these fascinating
structures of emerging practical interest. Semiconductor quantum dots,
with typical dimensions of less than 10 nm, represent a new class of
material systems that provide a degree of flexibility unmatched in bulk
Victor Klimov of Los Alamos National Laboratory will describe
the synthesis and nonlinear optical properties of inorganic semiconductor
quantum dots and quantum dot lasers, and Alexander Bratkovski of
Hewlett-Packard Labs will present the latest developments in organic
quantum dot electronics. David Lockwood of the National Research
Council of Canada (Ottawa) will describe the basic properties of
silicon–silicon germanium nanostructures and discuss their
applications in advanced photodetectors. Leonid Tsybeskov, New
Jersey Institute of Technology, will discuss the fabrication and
basic properties of nanocrystalline silicon – amorphous silicon
oxide superlattices and their applications in novel semiconductor
memories. This tutorial will provide an excellent introduction
to the increasingly practical world of quantum dots.
After World War II, research in the physical sciences flourished in U.S.
industrial research laboratories. Recently, however, many laboratories
in both the United States and foreign countries have significantly
reduced their workforces. Moreover, the remaining researchers in the
physical sciences have been refocused toward more applied R&D programs,
which have the goal of achieving practical results in a shorter time.
One may ask whether physics as a discipline will continue to flourish
in this environment or go back to its earlier role as a primarily academic
and somewhat esoteric discipline.
FIAP focus-session organizer Alex Demkov of Motorola, Inc. (Austin,
TX), has assembled a panel of industry and government experts to
address this concern. Speakers in this session include APS Pake
Prize recipient Robert Marshall White of Carnegie Mellon University;
Kenneth Hass, manager of the physical and environmental sciences
department at Ford Motor Co. and chair of FIAP; Iwona Turlik, corporate
vice president of Motorola, Inc. (Schaumburg, IL); Charles B. Duke,
vice president and senior research fellow at the Xerox Wilson Center
for Research and Technology; and Donald Senich, senior advisor
for small business procurement policy in the division of design,
manufacture, and industrial innovation of the National Science
Foundation. The discussions begun in this session will likely continue
into the evening in the bars and restaurants of Montreal.
In the future, hydrogen could potentially serve as a common, clean energy
source. A major barrier to its widespread use as a commercially viable
fuel for vehicles is the lack of convenient and cost-effective hydrogen
storage. Current hydrogen-storage technologies rely on liquid and compressed-gas
systems, but further progress remains the goal, particularly in the
development of solid-hydrogen storage materials. FIAP will present
a focus session and an invited symposium to explain the current research
in hydrogen-storage materials, measurements, and modeling.
The invited symposium will open with an overview by George Thomas
of Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, CA), titled “Hydrogen
storage: Where are we now, and where do we need to go?” Craig
Jensen of the University of Hawaii at Manoa will describe hydrogen
storage in sodium alanates; Gerbrand Ceder of the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology will show first-principles calculations
of metal- and complex- hydride systems; Omar Yaghi of the University
of Michigan will discuss metal–organic frameworks for hydrogen
storage; and Richard Chahine of the Université du Québec à Trois-
Rivières will describe hydrogen storage in carbon structures.
These talks will focus on costeffective storage and the safe, efficient
use of hydrogen in fuel cells or internal-combustion engines to
power motor vehicles.
||Figure 2. The
electrical properties in different growth regions of a gallium
nitride sample are illustrated using a conducting- tip atomic
force microscope operating in different modes: a current map
(a), a dopant map (b), and a surface potential map (c). This
work was done at Bell Laboratories in 2000-2001 by Julia Hsu
before she moved to Sandia National Laboratories, and is not
the subject of her invited talk at the APS 2004 March meeting.
(Bell Laboratories/App. Phys. Lett.
2001, 79, 6, 761–763)
FIAP and APS’s Division of Materials Physics will present an invited
symposium on the challenging issue of making electrical contact to molecules,
an essential problem to resolve before one can begin to develop practical,
commercial applications of molecular electronics (Figure 1). Electronic
devices based on molecules as active components would provide attractive
alternatives to inorganic devices because of the large changes in conductivity
that can be achieved with a single molecule, but this conductivity is
affected profoundly by the method in which molecules are contacted.
Julia Hsu of Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM) will
describe progress in forming electrical contacts to molecular layers
by nanotransfer printing (Figure 2). J. G. Kushmerick of the Naval
Research Laboratory will discuss a study of the effects of molecular
bonding on current – voltage symmetry; Antoine Kahn of Princeton
University will focus on the use of X-ray photoemission spectroscopy
to examine dipole formation between organic molecules and inorganic
electrodes; C. D. Frisbie of the University of Minnesota will present
an atomic-forcemicroscope study of molecular- metal contact resistance;
and A. W. Ghosh of Purdue University will describe quantum mechanical
calculations of transport through single molecules. This symposium
will be one of several invited and focus sessions on the continuing
transformation of molecular electronics and biologically inspired
computing from laboratory curiosities into viable technologies
that will have future commercial applications.
The FIAP program also encompasses a broad range of other topics.
These include terahertz semiconductor devices and their applications,
multifunctional and complex oxides and their interfaces, microelectronics
processing, materials and phenomena for solid-state power conversion,
and a focus session on landmine detection. The complete FIAP program
is accessible at the APS Web site,
by either following the link to the FIAP home page or going to
the APS March meeting pages.
Dan Fleetwood is
vice chair of the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics (FIAP)
and chair of the electrical engineering and computer science
department at Vanderbilt University. For more information about
the Forum, please visit the FIAP
Web site or contact the Chair, Ken