College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

MRC fosters cutting-edge research and provides state-of-the-art equipment

Liang Dong, Vikram Dalal Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering was named the director of the Microelectronics Research Center (MRC) in 2022.

The MRC is a multi-disciplinary center focusing on the study of semiconductor materials, devices, and applications. The research conducted at the MRC includes microelectronics, photonics, compound semiconductors, nanomaterials, sensors, and microelectromechanical systems. The Center is utilized by research groups across the campus, industry specialists, and students.

“The Center provides our students with ampler opportunities for fabricating micro- and nanodevices. Our researchers have full access to a range of tools. The fabrication and characterization capacity we have is the foundation that our academic and industry communities need to innovate and scale in the micro- and nano-world,” Dong said, “The Center also provides an environment that fosters innovation and collaboration between researchers. We are working towards integrating expertise and strengths to initiate and develop new research activities and to succeed.”

One of Dong’s core research areas is in sensors. He has developed a suite of agricultural sensors to detect plant diseases, monitor their health status, and quantify water and fertilizer use efficiencies of crops.

These devices are just some examples of research that utilizes the MRC, which houses a lot of state-of-the-art equipment to use. This includes a 3D-nano-printer. This printer, worth more than half a million dollars, can print fine structures of less than one hundredth the size of human hair. This piece of equipment has a wide array of applications in low-cost sensors, micro-optics, and smart nanomaterials and devices.