Research 

Examples of active research areas in the nano-SE PhD program are: synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite materials; photo-activated nano-inks for direct write applications; polymer chemistry; high resolution electron microscopy; epitaxial semiconductor nanostructures; and nano-scale spectroscopy utilizing the near-fields of ultrafast lasers. The program has ties with the School of Mines Composites and Polymer Engineering Laboratory, which focuses on the synthesis, processing, and characterization of nanocomposite materials. Funding for nano-SE research at SDSM&T is provided through the State of South Dakota, as well as several federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Education (DOE), and NASA. A partial list of active research programs of faculty involved in the nano-SE program is reproduced below.

Partial List of Funded Research Projects

  • Design and development of a femtosecond apertureless near-field microscope (Smith, NSF)
  • Development of super-resolution optical microscopy techniques (Smith, DOE/NREL)
  • Photo-activated localization microscopy of single carbohydrate binding modules (Smith, NSF)
  • Nanoscale ultrafast spectroscopy of nanoscale energy materials (Smith, SDBOR)
  • Development of advanced photovoltaic materials (Smith, Ahrenkiel, Zhu, NASA)
  • Lattice-mismatched eptaxial films for multijunction photovoltaics (Ahrenkiel, DOE)
  • Broad-spectrum organic/inorganic photovoltaic materials and devices (Ahrenkiel, Yang, NSF)
  • Nanostructured materials for photocatalysis (Ahrenkiel, DOE)
  • Nano imprinting and lithography (Zhu, PRF)
  • Nano-scaled polymer, ceramic and carbon/graphite fibers and their applications (Fong, DOD,NIH)
  • Polymer processing and nanocomposites (Salem, NASA)
  • RF and microwave circuits; computational electromagnetics (Whites, NSF, AFRL)
  • Reconfigurable, planar and flexible antennas and RF devices (Anagnostou, DOD)
  • Nano-ink materials (Cross, NSF)