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What is the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory?
At its previous location situated in an empty cyclotron bay at the University of Michigan, Dr. Douglas S. McGregor created the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory in November 1998. The entire S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory was moved to Kansas in May 2002 when Professor McGregor accepted a faculty position at Kansas State University. Completely moved and rebuilt, the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory has the necessary equipment to design, fabricate, test, package, and deploy a variety of custom radiation detectors. Although much of the research involves semiconductors, including growth, characterization, design, and device fabrication, other projects ongoing in the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory involve development of gas-filled detectors, scintillation detecting materials, radiation measurements, and neutron activation analysis. Novel radiation detectors are always under development at the KSU S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory, such as geometrically weighted Frisch grid detectors, Frisch-collar CdZnTe detectors, micro-pocket fission detectors (MPFD), microstructured semiconductor neutron detectors (MSND), GaAs self-biased low power neutron detectors, and pixelated semiconductor neutron imaging detectors. Fourteen patents have been awarded to S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory researchers for various detector designs with several more patents still pending. Students and faculty using the S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory have generated over 180 scientific publications. S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory researchers have also been the recipients of three R&D 100 awards for the years of 2005, 2009, and 2014.
S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory research has been supported with funds supplied from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense through DTRA, Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Spire Corporation, Radiation Safety Engineering, Inc., Instrumentation Associates, Lockheed-Martin, Argonne National Laboratories, and the U.S. Department of Energy through the NERI and the NEER programs, and through the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The rapid growth of the laboratory has also been assisted by equipment donations from Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, IBM Corporation, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, MOXTEK, Inc., Renaissance Instruments, University of Michigan, Cornell University and Northrup Grumman.
The S.M.A.R.T. Laboratory at Kansas State University
The SMART Laboratory equipment includes an assortment of semiconductor processing equipment, including a linear drive diamond cutting wheel, a diamond wire saw, a precision slurry saw, a wafer dicing saw, precision lapping and polishing machines, a custom chemo-mechanical polishing system, a custom 6-pocket e-beam evaporator, a 4-pocket evaporator, two dual filament evaporators, an ion mill, a vacuum annealing chamber, a fission chamber plating station, mask aligners, microscopes, ovens, grinders, and an assortment of various furnaces for annealing, sintering, diffusions, and oxidations. Further, the SMART Laboratory has numerous crystal growth furnaces that actively being used to grow CdZnTe, LaBr3, and HgI2 crystals for radiation detector development, which include 40 horizontal and 10 vertical HgI2 vapor transport furnaces, 4 high pressure vertical Bridgman furnaces, two low pressure vertical Stockbarger furnaces, three zone melt furnaces, 1 vapor transport purifying furnace, and 1 GaAs LPE furnace. Central to the SMART Laboratory is a 1200 sq ft class-100 clean room where radiation detectors are fabricated. The SMART Laboratory also has 300 sq ft class 1000 clean for crystal growth sample preparation. Detectors are built from start to finish in readily deployable packages. The SMART Laboratory is equipped a scanning electron microscope, Auger electron analyzing system, IV and CV tracers, ellipsometer, probers, radiation sources and NIM electronics to test and characterize radiation detectors and materials. The facility is available to students and faculty for research and development of devices requiring standard equipment for VLSI processing and device fabrication. Over 90 undergraduate and graduate students have worked in the SMART Laboratory.