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Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology Appendix G Educational Role of Centers of Expertise for Discovery and Growth of Crystalline Materials As discussed in Recommendation 2 (see Chapter 4 in the report), a center of expertise for the discovery and growth of crystalline materials (DGCM) could have an educational program to help prepare the next generation of scientists engaged in materials discovery and development. Such a program should include both theoretical and practical (hands-on) training and should be geared toward giving young scientists adequate training to allow them to engage in independent research in DGCM either at their home institutions or at national or regional facilities. Ideally, the program would operate on several levels, meeting the needs both of undergraduate and graduate students and of postdoctoral researchers. For this reason, such a program would best be operated as a summer school so as not to interfere with academic calendars. The program should include basic grounding in the important physics, chemistry, and materials science of crystal growth. The theoretical and experimental aspects of growth and characterization of semiconducting, oxide, metallic, organic, and perhaps biological crystals should form the basis for the tutorial portion of the school. Lectures should be included by leading researchers on crystal growth and epitaxial processes, nanocrystallization, in situ and ex situ characterization, properties, and applications; these lectures should be focused on fundamental discussions of the chemical and physical processes that control the assembly of atoms and molecules from the melt, solution, or vapor. A model for such a course of lectures is the periodic summer school on crystal growth operated by the American Association for Crystal Growth, most recently in August 2007. In order to meet the needs of students with a variety of backgrounds and educational levels, each
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Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology set of lectures should begin at a level accessible to undergraduates and progress to more advanced discussions. Students would attend whatever portion of each set that they were able to benefit from. This theoretical or classroom training should be augmented by practical, hands-on training using DGCM equipment. For pedagogical purposes the laboratory activities could involve the growth of well-known materials (rather than original research), but should use state-of-the-art equipment that the students can expect to use in their future research activities. Each student should have the opportunity to receive training on more than one growth technique as well as on a variety of characterization methods. The theoretical and practical portions of the course could be expected to span approximately 3 weeks, with lectures alternating with laboratory (and simulation) activities. After completing the classroom course and practical exercises, students should, if possible, extend their stay to receive further training by engaging in research with scientists at the center of expertise. Undergraduates could participate in ongoing projects of the staff scientists throughout the summer under the aegis of a Research Experience for Undergraduates program funded by the National Science Foundation or the Department of Energy. Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers could pursue their own projects, under the guidance of the staff scientists, for variable periods of time depending on the nature of the projects. During this portion of the school their living expenses could be supported by grants held by their home institutions. Support for such a program could be sought not only from the federal agencies but also from manufacturers of equipment that graduates of the school might be expected to purchase in the future. Companies that employ these trained crystal growers might also be expected to contribute. The center of expertise should have one or more staff members dedicated to the organization of the summer school and student recruitment.
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