Advancing Semiconductor Research: 'µ-ATOMS' Energy Frontier Research Center Conference

µ-ATOMS group photo with team and external collaborators
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µ-ATOMS group photo with team and external collaborators

Manipulation of Atomic Ordering for Manufacturing Semiconductors, or µ-ATOMS for short, the newly established Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, hosted its first annual conference in late August. The researchers and administrators of the participating institutions as well as DOE program managers, external advisory board members and collaborators met together at the U of A.

This conference showcased and evaluated the Energy Frontier Research Center’s performance in research, management and workforce development, as well as the long-term goal in the semiconductor research.

Last August, the U of A was awarded a $10.3 million grant to establish the very first EFRC led by an Arkansas institution. This highly prestigious award brought together 10 participating institutions to study the influence of atomic ordering on semiconductors and develop the next generation workforce in semiconductor research and applications.

These institutions include U of A, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, University of Delaware, Arizona State University, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Stanford University, The George Washington University, Rensselaer and Sandia National Laboratories. The mission of the μ-ATOMS EFRC reflects the researchers' grand vision that aligns well with the national strategy to strengthen United States' capability in semiconductor development, as represented by the CHIPS and Science Act.

This EFRC envisions itself as the core of semiconductor research, cultivating expertise and infrastructure within the EFRC. Professor Shui-Qing "Fisher" Yu, the lead principal investigator of this project, stressed that "this type of research is critical to our economy and the future of American technological advancement. This is all cutting edge and unique within the industry."

The conference was a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration and the thirst for scientific discovery. The µ-ATOMS Energy Frontier Research Center is poised to unlock the mysteries of semiconductor atomic ordering, paving the way for groundbreaking advancements in semiconductor manufacturing and the technologies that shape our world.


Austin James Cook, project/program specialist
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


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