MEMENCYS students

Addressing the nation’s need for strong domestic semiconductor industry and infrastructure

UCR students rise to the task

July 19, 2023
Author: Iqbal Pittalwala
July 19, 2023

Last year, UC Riverside scientists Shane Cybart and Ludwig Bartels and colleagues at UC Irvine received $5 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, or DOE, to team up with Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in building a diverse educational pipeline in the field of microelectronics. Developing expertise and infrastructure in this field is a priority for industry and government. 

The UCR project, called MEMENCYS, combines research in chip editing, fabrication of novel device materials and structures, and the investigation of radiation effects on microelectronics. MEMENCYS is a DOE-National Nuclear Security Agency sponsored project that provides training to UCR students in the areas of hardware cybersecurity and thin film growth. 

As their final graduation milestone, UCR materials science and engineering students complete a senior design project, in which they work in teams to develop instrumentation or a materials-oriented product during the winter and spring quarters. 

Last year, MEMENCYS sponsored two senior design teams. The first studied the growth of single-layer transitional metal dichaclogenides and how their electronic properties shift upon ion beam irradiation. The second developed an atomic scale microscope capable of resolving thin films. The students received a fellowship for their work as well as equipment and supplies.

Scientists from the Sandia National Laboratory visited the teams at UCR in April and were impressed by the teams’ progress. They extended an invitation to the teams to visit the lab in June and validate their results.

In May, the students presented their final results at the senior design fair at UCR. Here are some photos: