The Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) for functional nanomaterials seeks to leverage the expertise and capabilities at each partner institution to further material science research in nanostructures materials. We integrate the materials characterization and nano fabrication capabilities at Fort Lewis College, the crystal growth and nanofabrication capabilities at Norfolk State University and ultimately capabilities for functional imaging available through the STROBE partnership. These partnerships allow students to experience and work on the entire process of advancing material design and developing partnerships and connections that propel them to graduate programs or industry.
Our research plan is divided into three research thrusts, each of them covering the whole cycle for material science research for different nanostructured materials: growth, characterization, device integration and nano-fabrication, functional imaging, and design. Thrust 1 focuses on the understanding the relationship between structure and thermoelectric efficiency in topological insulator materials. Thrust 2 focuses on understanding the relationship between nanoscale geometry and patterning and thermoelectric efficiency in functioning thermoelectric devices. Thrust 3 focuses on understanding the relationship between structure at the atomic and meso-scale with the nanomaterials for biological applications. During the course of this research our students and faculty will collaborate between all three institutions. Our students will not only conduct leading edge materials science research but also develop valuable skills and experiences preparing them for graduate school or industry.