This award is for the acquisition of laser systems and an atomic force microscope to pursue novel work in the engineering and characterization of interfaces. Each of the three investigators brings a unique knowledge base and experience, and the equipment will allow special collaborative opportunities to develop. The research that will be performed with these tools includes laser deposition of polymer films, the characterization of fungal-plant interfaces, and liquid crystal diffraction grating research. While the pairing of two physicists and a biologist may seem unusual, it is precisely this type of interaction that will allow for the advancement of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries. An example of this work is the nanomechanical characterization of the plant-fungi interface and the subsequent capture and interrogation of the vapors emitted by competing species of fungi. It would not be likely that we could pursue this research as individual investigators and the equipment will allow us to thoroughly capitalize on our mutual interests. Other research that will be pursued involves the deposition and characterization of liquid crystal nanocomposite films and the resonant desorption of analyte compounds to facilitate the detection of explosives and other chemicals of interest.The broader impacts of the award begin with the fact that it is intrinsically multidisciplinary (as noted above) and therefore affords the participation by a wide group of students drawn from each of the three science departments. Rutgers-Camden is located adjacent to Philadelphia in the city of Camden, NJ. It draws a very diverse pool of students from an area that has been historically recognized as one of the most troubled cities in America (Camden). However, Camden borders on Moorestown and Cherry Hill, which are nationally known as some of the best suburban towns to live in. Since most of our students come from the surrounding counties, the student body greatly resembles the populace. As part of Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey, we have institutional resources that are greater than most schools of our size, yet the distinct character of this campus is rooted in and informed by a commitment to undergraduate education with an emphasis on student participation in research. The acquisition of this equipment will greatly enhance both education and practical training through laboratory curricula and advanced research projects. Finally, each of the investigators will forgenew directions in their respective research programs.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/09 → 7/31/12|
- National Science Foundation (National Science Foundation (NSF))