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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Japanese Ph.D. Student Has Productive Exchange with Old Dominion at Applied Research Center

A doctoral student from Japan's top elite higher education institution, The University of Tokyo, recently completed a 10-month research assignment working under Helmut Baumgart, Virginia Microelectronics Consortium Endowed Chair with Old Dominion's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

University of Tokyo Ph.D. student Takashi Matsumae spent the 2014-15 school year working with Baumgart at the Old Dominion Applied Research Center (ARC) located at Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Lab in Newport News, in his ongoing research into groundbreaking applications for semiconductors at the micro and nanoscale.

The first graduate engineering student and Ph.D. candidate on a direct exchange to Old Dominion from the University of Tokyo Department of Precision Engineering, Matsumae earned two academic journal publications, five presentations at international conferences in the U.S. and Japan and launched two engineering projects with ARC that will continue.

"Takashi had to measure up to high expectations. The University of Tokyo School of Engineering is the Japanese equivalent to Harvard University," Baumgart said. "He was a terrific Ph.D. student and I look forward to continuing research projects together."

Hisashi Yoshikawa, director of the University of Tokyo's Global Leader Program for Social Design Management (GSDM) thanked Baumgart and the ARC team for their "kind and generous" support of Matsumae during his 10-month stay in the United States.

"Mr. Matsumae gave presentations on his experiences in the United States, both at the GSDM faculty meeting and GSDM students gathering," Yoshikawa wrote. "From his presentations, we could tell his stay was very productive in pursuing his professional career, as well as deepening his understanding of U.S. culture and history. There is no doubt that your generosity enriches his experiences, which will definitely be his lifetime asset."

Baumgart said, based on Matsumae's positive experience in Hampton Roads and with Old Dominion engineering, Applied Research Center faculty hope to continue the academic exchange with the University of Tokyo, providing opportunities for students in Japan and the United States.

This spring, Baumgart also received notification from U.S. Patent Office for research conducted by a team of Old Dominion engineers that he led. In May, U.S. 2015/0136733 A1 entitled: "Multiple Walled Nested Coaxial Nanostructures," was granted a U.S. patent.

"This is more evidence of the groundbreaking work being done by the Old Dominion team at the Applied Research Center," Baumgart said. Other researchers on the patent application were Gon Namkoong, associate professor of electrical engineering; research scientist Diefeng Gu; and Tarek Abdel-Fattah, associate professor of chemistry at Christopher Newport University.

Nanostructures exhibit novel physical properties and play an important role in fundamental research. They have been found to have many practical uses because of their smaller size and higher surface area. However, a need exists for the controlled synthesis and micro-fabrication of far more complex multiple walled nested nanotubes, formed from alternating sequences of insulators such as metal oxides, semiconductor layers and metals that have more complex functionalized structures. This will enable novel device architectures with applications in photovoltaics, microfluidics, sensors and detectors.

This research suggests a novel way to fabricate multiple-walled nanostructures inside of nanoporous templates, constructing them one atom-layer at a time, through a process known as atomic layer deposition (ALD).

Through the ALD fabrication of nanostructures such as electroosmotic pumps, greater efficiency can be achieved for semiconductors in fields such as energy generation, the research suggests.

Baumgart, a Fulbright Scholar, received a Ph.D. in semiconductor physics from the University of Stuttgart for this graduate thesis research conducted at the Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research. He held numerous research and development positions in the microelectronics industry before coming to ODU's Applied Research Center, located on the campus of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility.

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