Project Overview

NIRT: Nuclear Hyperpolarization for Organic and Inorganic Semiconductor Nanostructures

# 0608763
Carlos Meriles (Principal Investigator)
Jeffrey Reimer (Co-Principal Investigator)
Maria Tamargo (Co-Principal Investigator)
Rachel Segalman (Co-Principal Investigator)

This work will use optical pumping (OP) and spin-injection (SI) methods to generate massively athermal nuclear spin polarizations for exploitation in nanostructured semiconductor devices. The proposed research aims to develop a fundamental understanding of the electron-nuclear cross relaxation in a host of materials engineered to exhibit structural features ranging from bulk to mesoscale to quantum dots. In the course of these studies, new phenomenology in the form of nuclear spin hyperpolarization in novel inorganic and polymeric semiconductor structures is anticipated as well as the development of new analytical tools for the measurement of nuclear polarization. This work will use the newly developed understanding of OP and SI to design new application experiments and devices.

The intellectual merit of the proposed work lies in the assertion that measurement and observation are of intrinsic and fundamental value in developing an understanding of the natural world. A more complete understanding of nuclear hyperpolarization could potentially overcome limitations in current analytical spectroscopic methods (i.e., NMR, MRI) by providing the mechanism for greatly enhanced signals as well as assist in the creation of spintronics and quantum computing devices.

The proposed research is expected to have a broad educational outcome because it will offer students a unique inter-disciplinary scientific education and exposure to teams of diverse and complimentary backgrounds. Undergraduate students from both CCNY and UC Berkeley will be involved in the research and will spend summers visiting the alternate campus to broaden their scientific horizons. This research will also be used to inspire freshmen during a pivotal point of their undergraduate education through a series of seminar discussion courses. Long-distance seminars and group meetings between the CCNY and UC Berkeley groups will be used to ensure the synergistic nature of the consortium.

Source: NSF