Lab to Fab; Mantooth Discusses Semiconductor Research and Fabrication at U of A

Alan Mantooth
Russell Cothren, University Relations

Alan Mantooth

The U of A is a leader in the U.S. semiconductor economy. As the essential materials in most electronic devices, semiconductors advance performance in fields such as healthcare, the military, computing and transportation.

Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering, is an international leader in the investigation and fabrication of silicon carbide, a powerful and versatile semiconductor. Over the past 20 years, his research teams have received more than $200 million in federal funding to support various projects related to silicon carbide solutions for power electronics.

In this month's Short Talks from the Hill, Mantooth discusses his work with silicon carbide and explains why the university is uniquely positioned as a leader in the semiconductor economy.

"We're attempting to create a bridge in the manufacturing gap that exists in America," Mantooth says in the podcast. "Right now we have a lot of expertise, probably the world's leading authorities around the nation, in this material system and the things that it can do for us in our everyday lives, like electrified transportation, electric power grid modernization and so forth. But these people have no place to do low volume prototyping. … So we have bridged that gap by creating an open facility where university researchers, national laboratories or even small and large businesses that don't have access to this capability can prototype their ideas in a cost-efficient manner and then ramp it to high-volume manufacturing. So it really is part of the whole ecosystem of manufacturing from lab to fab."

The U of A has launched a major new initiative to increase investment in semiconductor research and awareness. Researchers in this area, including Mantooth, are eligible to take advantage of the recent CHIPS (Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors) and Science Act, which is providing approximately $280 billion in funding to stimulate domestic research and manufacturing of semiconductors.

You can listen to Mantooth — and all previous Short Talks programming — wherever you get your podcasts, or by clicking on the link above. For more information, please visit Arkansas Research, the home of research and economic development news at the U of A.

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Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor
electrical engineering

Matt McGowan, science and research communications officer
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