News

ECE’s Mishra and Gossard among Thomson Reuters report on the most “Highly Cited Researchers”

September 15th, 2014

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Eight researchers from the UCSB College of Engineering included in the 2014 Thomson Reuters report on the the most “Highly Cited researchers” in the world

Highly Cited Researchers 2014 represents some of world’s leading scientific minds. Over three thousand researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers – ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

UCSB College of Engineering researchers include:

  • Professor Umesh Mishra (ECE)
  • Professor Art Gossard (ECE & Materials)
  • Professor Craig Hawker (Materials and Chemistry & Biochemistry)
  • Professor Alan Heeger (Physics and Materials)
  • Professor Guillermo Bazan (Chemistry & Biochemistry and Materials)
  • Professor Galen Stucky (Chemistry & Biochemistry and Materials)
  • Professor Chris Van De Walle (Materials)
  • Daniel Moses (CPOS)

UCSB and the College of Engineering rank high in U.S. News & World Report’s “2015 Best Colleges” guidebook

September 9th, 2014

u.s. news & world best colleges badge
U.S. News & World Report includes UC Santa Barbara in its annual listing of the “Top 30 Public National Universities” in the country, as well on its list of the “Best National Universities.” UCSB’s College of Engineering undergraduate program is also included in their list of “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate.”

According to U.S. News & World Report, UCSB — which this year experienced the most competitive admissions process in campus history — has jumped to number 10 among the “Top 30 Public National Universities.” Among national universities, including both public and private institutions, UCSB moved up to number 40. The campus tied with Lehigh University.

In addition, the undergraduate program in UCSB’s College of Engineering is ranked number 36 on the U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate.” Among engineering schools at public universities, UCSB’s College of Engineering placed at number 20. UCSB is tied with the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Florida and the University of Notre Dame.

The UC Santa Barbara Current (full article)

U.S. News & World Report's "2015 Best Colleges" rankings

Researchers advance frontiers of biosensing with atomically-thin MoS2 semiconductors

September 4th, 2014

banerjee biosensing research illustration
UC Santa Barbara Professors Kaustav Banerjee (ECE) & Samir Mitragotri (ChemE) and graduate student researcher Deblina Sarkar demonstrate atomically thin, ultrasensitive and scalable molybdenum disulfide field-effect transistor based biosensors and establish their potential for single-molecule detection

Move over, graphene. An atomically thin, two-dimensional, ultrasensitive semiconductor material for biosensing developed by researchers at UC Santa Barbara promises to push the boundaries of biosensing technology in many fields, from health care to environmental protection to forensic industries.

Based on molybdenum disulfide or molybdenite (MoS2), the biosensor material — used commonly as a dry lubricant — surpasses graphene’s already high sensitivity, offers better scalability and lends itself to high-volume manufacturing. Results of the researchers’ study have been published in ACS Nano.

“This invention has established the foundation for a new generation of ultrasensitive and low-cost biosensors that can eventually allow single-molecule detection — the holy grail of diagnostics and bioengineering research,” said Samir Mitragotri, co-author and professor of chemical engineering and director of the Center for Bioengineering at UCSB. “Detection and diagnostics are a key area of bioengineering research at UCSB and this study represents an excellent example of UCSB’s multifaceted competencies in this exciting field.”

The key, according to UCSB professor of electrical and computer engineering Kaustav Banerjee, who led this research, is MoS2’s band gap, the characteristic of a material that determines its electrical conductivity.

UCSB The Current (full article)

"MoS2 Field-Effect Transistor for Next-Generation Label-Free Biosensors" (ACS Nano)

Banerjee's Nano Research Lab (NRL)

UCSB Among the Best According to Washington Monthly’s “National Universities Rankings”

August 27th, 2014

washington monthly cover
UC Santa Barbara jumps seven spots to No. 15 in Washington Monthly magazine’s Sept/Oct issue list of the best national universities

  • UCSB is also ranked number 13 in Washington Monthly’s “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings
  • Among public universities, UCSB is #11 among National Universities and #12 in the Best Bang for the Buck rankings

The University of California dominated Washington Monthly’s 2014 list, with UC San Diego taking the top spot, and UC Riverside and UC Berkeley ranking second and third, respectively. UCLA is ranked #5, UCSB #15 and UC Davis #16. “All eight of the UC campuses that were ranked in the top 100 institutions deserve heartfelt congratulations from the entire UC community,” said UC President Janet Napolitano.

While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit, and higher rankings. Fifteen of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded.

The UCSB Current (full article)

Washington Monthly "2014 National Universities Rankings" (full list)

Washington Monthly magazine (website)

ARWU ranks UCSB Engineering at #7 in the World

August 20th, 2014

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The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) places UC Santa Barbara Engineering/Technology and Computer Science as #7 in the world

UCSB also received a perfect score of 100 for engineering in the criteria category of percentage of papers published in the top 20% of journals in engineering fields. According to ARWU’s report on methodology, the top 20% journals are defined as “their impact factors in the top 20% of each ISI category according to Journal Citation Report, 2012” and that the score is calculated as “the number of papers in the top 20% journals of a particular broad subject field to that in all journals of the field.”

ARWU uses six objective indicators to rank world universities, including the number of alumni and staff winning Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, number of highly cited researchers selected by Thomson Reuters, number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, number of articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index, and per capita performance of a university.

CoE News (full article)

Academic Ranking of World Universities (website)

2014 ARWU Rankings Report (pdf)

ECE Professor Yasamin Mostofi’s “X-Ray Vision for Robots with Only WiFi” research highlighted in UCSB’s The Current

August 6th, 2014

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ECE Professor Yasamin Mostofi and graduate student researchers, Saandeep Depatla and Lucas Buckland, enable robots to see through solid walls with Wi-Fi

Imagine unmanned vehicles arriving behind thick concrete walls. They have no prior knowledge of the area behind these walls. But they are able to see every square inch of the invisible area through the walls, fully discovering what is on the other side with high accuracy. Now, imagine robots doing all these with only WiFi signals and no other sensors.

Read UCSB’s The Current article “Now You Can See the Invisible” to learn more about Mostofi’s x-ray vision and wi-fi research.

X-Ray Vision for Robots (YouTube video)

Mostofi Lab (project website)

NRL Researchers Demystify the Nature of Metal-contacts to 2D Materials

July 21st, 2014

2d materials illustration
In a recent study, ECE researchers from the Nanoelectronics Research Lab (NRL), investigated the nature of the physical contacts between 2D TMD semiconductors and a number of metals using a novel ab-initio technique specifically designed for such 2D layered materials.

Atomically-thin, two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) have emerged as promising materials for future unprecedented electronic, optoelectronic and sensor applications. TMDs offer a wide range of material types, from semiconductors to half-metals and from metals to superconductors, with variable but uniform band gaps.

Besides, these ultra-thin TMDs have inherent flexibility and transparency, rendering them attractive to display electronics. These materials additionally have pristine surfaces that can boost device performance, especially in nanoscale transistors. However, such pristine surfaces also imply that interface bonding to these materials is predominantly van der Waals (vdW) type that are inherently weak (as compared to strong covalent bonds). The vdW bonding essentially implies that there actually exists a ‘vdW gap’ at such interfaces leading to some unusual electronic behavior that had remained inexplicable till date. Moreover, the vdW type interface bonding also leads to poor contact resistances between metals and 2D TMDs.

Ensuring low-resistance metal-contacts to such semiconductors is the primary hindrance to using this technology. In a recent study, ECE researchers from the Nanoelectronics Research Lab (NRL), led by Professor Kaustav Banerjee have investigated the nature of the physical contacts between 2D TMD semiconductors (such as monolayer molybdenum disulfide) and a number of metals using a novel ab-initio technique specifically designed for such 2D layered materials. The detailed study not only provides a pathway to identify the best contact metals for these semiconductors but also reveals some new physics of the interfaces that, in turn, determine the carrier transport across such interfaces. The formalism and the results in this work provide guidelines for novel 2D semiconductor device design and fabrication, a field that is on the rise because of limitations in scaling silicon semiconductor technology.

These results have been recently published in the prestigious journal, Physical Review X, by ECE PhD student Jiahao Kang, et al. The formalism has already yielded some of the highest performance 2D TMD-transistors.

Physical Review X (APS open access journal)

Highest Performance TMD Transisitors (CoE News release)

Nanoelectronics Research Lab (NRL)

Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Engineering students receive honors at the College of Engineering’s “Senior Send-Off”

June 27th, 2014

photo of kay and singh
College of Engineering (CoE) celebrates the undergraduate class of 2014 on June 13th with their annual “Senior Send-Off” event.

The event program and reception included honoring seniors, teaching assistants and faculty members.

The following Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) and Computer Engineering (CE) undergraduates received recognition:

  • College of Engineering Academic Honor (overall highest GPA): Joshua Eric Kay (ECE)
  • Hynes / Wood Award: Dahman Singh (ECE)
  • Outstanding Seniors (major highest GPA): Christopher Taylor Nelson (CE), Joshua Eric Kay (ECE)
  • College of Engineering High Honors: Kevin Michael Albers (ECE), Melissa Anne Johnson (ECE), Joshua Eric Kay (ECE), Christopher Taylor Nelson (CE), Alex Romin Sarraf (CE)

ECE’s Ortoleva and CE’s Goodman receive “Outstanding Teaching Assistant” honors at the College of Engineering’s “Senior Send-Off”

June 27th, 2014

photos of ortoleva and goodman
College of Engineering (CoE) celebrates the undergraduate class of 2014 on June 13th with their annual “Senior Send-Off” event.

The event program and reception included honoring seniors, teaching assistants and faculty members.

The following graduate students received “Outstanding Teaching Assistant (TA) recognitions from the graduating seniors in their program:

  • Sami Ortoleva — Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE)
  • Eric Goodman — Computer Engineering (CE)

ECE Professors Gossard and Rodwell report highest performing III-V Metal-Oxide Semiconductor FETs

June 24th, 2014

microscopic image of MOSFET
Researchers from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) introduced the highest performing III-V metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) field-effect transistors (FETs) this week at the 2014 Symposium on VLSI Technology.

The UCSB research promises to help deliver higher semiconductor performance at lower power consumption levels for next-generation, high-performance servers. The research is supported by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world’s leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies.

The UCSB team’s III-V MOSFETs, for the first time in the industry, exhibit on-current, off-current and operating voltage comparable to or exceeding production silicon devices — while being constructed at small dimensions relevant to the VLSI (very-large-scale integration) industry.

For the past decade, III-V MOSFETs have been widely studied by a large number of research groups, but no research group had reported a III-V MOSFET with a performance equal to, let alone surpassing, that of a silicon MOSFET of similar size. In particular, UCSB’s transistors possess 25 nanometer (nm) gate lengths, an on-current of 0.5mA and off-current of 100nA per micron of transistor width and require only 0.5 volt to operate.

“The goal in developing new transistors is to reach or beat performance goals while making the transistor smaller—it is no good getting high performance in a big transistor,” said Mark Rodwell, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSB. “In time, the UCSB III-V MOSFET should perform significantly better than silicon FinFETs of equal size.”

CoE News Release (full release)

Gossard's CoE Profile

Rodwell Group website