Monday, August 1, 2011

UC San Diego's Micromouse Competition in the Spotlight

The Institute, a newspaper mailed quarterly to all IEEE members, profiled UC San Diego's micromouse competition in its most recent issue. The publication singled out IEEE's UC San Diego chapter for organizing the first-ever California Micromouse Competition in May. The goal was to boost attendance--and excitement. The competition attracted 13 teams from 8 schools, including UCLA, the University of Southern California and UC Santa Barbara. Fittingly, UCSD teams took first and second place. UCLA came in third.

Read the full story here. Then check out our news release about the competition here.

Charles Tu Grows the Materials that Build Technology

The North American Molecular Beam Epitaxy (NAMBE) Advisory Board and Veeco, Inc. will honor electrical and computer engineering professor Charles Tu with its MBE Innovator Award on Aug. 16 for significantly advancing the field of Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE). MBE is a versatile research tool for growing single-crystalline films atomic-layer by atomic-layer in order to build devices like high-performance transistors, lasers and solar cells. Tu is also associate dean of the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering. The award will be presented at UCSD during the annual NAMBE conference banquet.

MBE systems traditionally relied upon ultra-pure solid elements, such as gallium and arsenic, which could only be used to grow arsenides, leaving out other compounds that are important in fiber-optic communications.

When Tu came to UCSD in 1988, he set up one of the first gas-source MBE systems in the United States, enabling his research team to grow a wider variety of materials -- including arsenides, phosphides, nitrides, and mixtures of them – than was previously possible. Currently, Tu is growing dilute nitrides – a new class of materials pioneered in his shop over the past 12 years – for intermediate-band solar cells and nanowire solar cells.

The MBE Innovator Award recognizes individuals whose innovative work has significantly advanced the field of MBE in materials research, device development or commercialization, or equipment development.