The Department of Defense awarded Mukti Rana, an associate professor of physics and engineering at Delaware State University, with a $227,834 grant that will fund the purchase of an X-ray Diffraction System.

Known among researchers as an XRD System, the X-ray technology is used to see how atoms are arranged inside a solid structure. According to Rana, while the university has previously obtained an XRD to X-ray powder substances, it will be the first time the institution will have such technology capable of X-raying solid material to determine atom configuration.

Rana said the XRD System will be used in research that analyzes the crystal structure as well as the atomic composition of thin-film materials. This will include the analysis of new two-dimensional materials that have the potential to be used as new semiconducting material for various nano-electronics, detection and sensing applications.

The XRD System will also help characterize other thin-film materials such as germanium, silicon, aluminum nitride and calcium lead titanate for use in night vision cameras.

“In addition to ongoing and future research projects, this technology will also help to train a pool of DSU science students on the XRD System,” said Rana.

With the Department of Defense funding assured, Rana said it is expected that the XRD System will be delivered to the university by November.