Gold nanoparticles used in low thermal expansion
nano-composite materials.

Rare-earth doped upconverting nano-particles
used in photodynamic therapy.


Examples of active research areas in the Nano SE PhD program are: synthesis and characterization of nanocomposite materials, photo-activated nano-inks for direct write applications, nano-energetic materials, polymer chemistry, theory of spintronic devices, high resolution electron microscopy, and nano-scale spectroscopy utilizing the near-fields of ultrafast lasers. The program has ties with the School of Mines' Composities and Polymer Engineering Laboratory (CAPE) , a nanotechnology center with a focus on development of advanced nanocomposite materials, as well as ties to the State of South Dakota NSF-EPSCoR research cluster based on photo-activated nanoscale systems (PANS), and the NSF-funded IGERT program between USD, SDSU and SDSM&T, based on photovoltaic materials and device processing. A partial list of currently funded research programs and email links to the faculty involved is reproduced below.

Partial List of Funded Research Projects

  • Development of an Advanced Photovoltaic Materials Research Cluster in South Dakota (NASA,
    Smith, Ahrenkiel, Zhu).
  • Imaging Cellulose - Carbohydrate Binding Module Interactions with Nanometer Resolution Using
    Single Molecule Methods (NSF, Smith).
  • Study of Local Electronic and Optical Characteristics of Solar Cells (EU-Czech Ministry of Science, Smith).
  • Flexible Electronics for Space Applications: Development of New Materials and Device Processing
    Technologies (NASA, Zhu, Smith, Ahrenkiel, Yang).
  • Combinatorial Research for Glass Coatings (Gaurdian Glass Corp., Ahrenkiel).
  • Lattice-Mismatched III-V Epilayers for High-Efficiency Photovoltaics (DOE, Ahrenkiel).
  • The South Dakota Catalysis Group (SDCG) for Alternative Energy (DOE, Ahrenkiel, Fong).
  • Ordered Arrays of Uniformly Sized Quantum Dots for High Efficiency Solar Cells (NSF, Yang).
  • Structural Thermal Composites for Space Habitats (NASA, Salem, Cross).

Nano Science and Engineering PhD Program
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 E. St. Joseph St, Rapid City, SD, 57701
Nano SE PhD Info   Tel: 605-394-5268