"Anemone Anomaly" - Color enhanced SEM image of a cluster on ZnO thin film on c-cut sapphire substrate grown by PLD
Stalagmites in a nano world" - Color enhanced SEM image of cones formed on laser-ablated PZT target surface
"Cosmic fairy" - Color enhanced SEM image of structures formed on a post-annealed NaSi thin film on Si wafer deposited by PLD
"Bunch of green grapes" - Color enhanced SEM image of ZnO nanoparticles grown using microwave plasma-assisted technique
"Lava flow" – Color enhanced SEM image of laser-ablated type-I clathrate Ba8Ga16Ge30 target surface
"Patterns" - Color enhanced SEM image of multi-walled carbon nanotubes grown via chemical vapor deposition
"Twigs in dark night" – Color enhanced SEM image of PbSe nanorods grown by laser-assisted spray pyrolysis
The Florida Cluster for Advanced Smart Sensor Technologies (FCASST) was established in December 2010 by a $550K New Florida 2010 Cluster award from the Florida State University System’s Board of Governors to scientists and engineers from the Department of Physics at the University of South Florida (USF) and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at the University of Florida (UF). It is an inter-institutional cluster directed at the discovery, development and optimization of smart sensors based on advances in materials science and technology. Co-directed by Prof. Pritish Mukherjee, Chair of Physics at USF, and Prof. Simon Phillpot, Chair of MSE at UF, the cluster nucleates research collaboration between two units with doctoral programs that are unique in the State of Florida: Applied Physics at USF, the only such program in the State of Florida, and MSE at UF which is ranked among the top 5 in the Nation.
The science and technology of sensors is a rapidly growing area of research that promises to fulfill the increasing demand for faster, cheaper, smaller, and more sensitive means to monitor the chemical, biological, and physical world around us. The technology of sensors that cuts across the disciplines of physics, chemistry, biology and engineering can have a global impact in many areas that include environmental cleanup, industrial process control, emissions monitoring, nonproliferation of weapons, screening for explosives and contraband, home and workplace safety, medical diagnosis and care, aeronautical and space systems, and planetary exploration.
The design, fabrication, and construction of smart structures which are suitable for a diversity of sensing applications present ultimate challenges in science and engineering today. Fundamental understanding of how materials, the building blocks of sensors, respond to changes that are to be detected, and acquiring the know-how to develop practical devices that will ultimately benefit society are essential for making advances in sensor technology. FCASST brings together existing expertise and infrastructure at USF and UF with complementary synergies spanning the range from fundamental science to engineering applications. Including well-established materials design and development programs, and considerable strength in the fabrication of device structures and prototyping, FCASST is directed at research towards developing the next generation of smart sensors.