Texas State has been identified to be the hub of a major new University-Industry-Government Initiative on infrared materials.
According to Dr. Terry Golding, the University Chair in Materials Science and Engineering and Principal Investigator on the project, The US Army has provided Texas State with $190,000 for the “Acquisition of a Molecular Beam Epitaxy System For Research and Development of Hg-Based II-VI Infrared Materials and Devices.” This system will be the hub of a major new national initiative on HgCdTe, that will involve other universities across the nation, national government laboratories and industry.
HgCdTe is the material of choice for high performance infrared focal plane arrays; and molecular beam epitaxy are the techniques of choice for research, development, and production of the next generation devices. Despite the critical importance of HgCdTe and related materials to the Department of Defense (DoD), currently only a very limited number of facilities allow US academic institutions and industry access to materials required for any comprehensive Research and Development effort. The limited number of university research groups capable of conducting comprehensive research programs on HgCdTe has impeded, and continues to impede, development; limits innovation and opportunity; stifles competition; and limits the number of research scientists trained in this technology.
A properly constructed University/Industry/Government consortium, allowing for access to materials, as well as enabling enabling independent submission of proposals from Universities, industry and small businesses will greatly benefit our nation’s R&D efforts and provide DoD with a significantly enhanced pool of research groups, keen to enter and apply new techniques, concepts and talent to this critical technology. The Center being established at Texas State will
• Provide an alternative and conflict-of-interest free platform for DoD to fund HgCdTe and related R&D programs.
• Allow any university or research group to propose and perform comprehensive R&D efforts in this material.
• Create a center for the training of students and scientists at all levels (undergraduate, masters, and doctoral) in DoD-critical infrared materials technology.
• Provide a resource for established industrial partners, who may require University R&D efforts to address some of their materials development needs.
• Establish a center to enable Small Businesses and major contractors to take part in HgCdTe-related programs.