Leading-Edge Research and Development > Research Profiles > Profiles Archive > CNSE professor receives prestigious award for his work toward revolutionizing an industry
CNSE professor receives prestigious award for his work toward revolutionizing an industry
Imagine your computer powering on the same way as your television, without needing time to "boot up." That's just one possible outcome of research being done by Dr. Vincent LaBella, Associate Professor of Nanoscience at CNSE, who was recently recognized for his work.
Dr. LaBella was presented with a Nanotech Briefs Nano 50 Award for his development of a Ballistic Spin Transport Metrology Tool, which will significantly impact the state of the art in nanotechnology by providing the ability to study electron spin scattering at interfaces between materials.
Existing electronic devices rely on the transport of electron charge in a semiconductor, often silicon. Spintronics, a cutting-edge field of research in nanotechnology, has shown promise for improving how current electronic devices function by using the spin of the electron, as well as its charge, to create new devices that are more versatile, including those that are smaller, faster and offer reduced energy consumption. One such spintronic device currently on the market is magnetic random access memory, which is a high-speed nonvolatile data storage device similar to flash memory, but significantly faster.
|Dr. Vincent LaBella and the Ballistic Spin Transport |
At the forefront of spintronics research is Dr. LaBella and his team of students, who have developed the Ballistic Spin Transport Metrology Tool. "This technique uses a scanning tunneling microscope tip to inject spin polarized electrons. We have developed it over the past 4 years," says Dr. LaBella. "The instrument can investigate the spin transport through interfaces and enable us to map it out with nanoscale resolution." The first results of this instrument have been published in Physical Review B 76 195311.
With the help of the Ballistic Spin Transport Metrology Tool, Dr. LaBella and his team are looking to use spin to send signals in silicon. The use of spin in this way has the potential to replace copper, which is currently used to interconnect devices on a chip, revolutionizing the semiconductor industry. Dr. LaBella's Ballistic Spin Transport Metrology Tool was awarded a Nano 50 Award for its potential to transform the industry.
The Nano 50 Awards are given annually by Nanotech Briefs to the "best of the best - the innovative people and designs that will move nanotechnology to key mainstream markets." Nominations for the Nano 50 awards are judged by a panel of top nanotechnology and MEMS experts. The top 50 that are chosen to receive the awards are recognized for the top technologies, products, and innovators that have significantly impacted the state of the art in nanotechnology.
Dr. LaBella was presented with the award on November 12, 2008 at the NASA Tech Briefs National Nano Engineering Conference in Boston.
"It is truly an honor to be recognized with this award," says LaBella. "At the same time, it further demonstrates the pioneering education and cutting-edge research that is made possible by the unparalleled intellectual capital and physical infrastructure at CNSE, which is second-to-none in the world."