The Center for Physics and Chemistry of Materials (CPCoM) at Fisk University seeks to establish a sustainable program that integrates high-quality science education with state-of-the-art research leading to an internationally recognized research center in the area of physics and chemistry of advanced materials.
Fisk University and its partners are committed to increasing the numbers of scientists from historically underrepresented populations in order to provide a diverse group of graduate practitioners in the materials sciences. Student research experiences in the Center for Physics and Chemistry of Materials include laboratory experimentation and modeling in the areas of: preparation of amorphous materials, crystal growth of semiconductors and optical materials, preparation of functional nanostructured materials, thin film deposition, surface characterization, linear and non-linear optics, laser spectroscopy, polymer chemistry, and the fabrication and implementation of materials in sensors, devices, and subsystems.
Outreach activities extend to high schools and regional colleges. Masters-to-PhD Bridge programs provide Fisk program graduates with opportunities beyond the master’s degree as Fisk continues to build the academic foundation and intellectual climate for quality PhD research activities at CPCoM.
- Continue developing paths to the PhD for Fisk students. We will strengthen the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master-to-PhD Bridge program developed during the first 5-year period of NSF support. One of the new, value-added initiatives will be the dissemination of best practices to other institutions, emphasizing the advising and mentoring activities of our Bridge program. We will also expand the BRIDGE program activities to include additional Ph.D. institutions as partners.
- Expand and deepen our high quality research to become more suitable for PhD-level research. Such materials research projects will become suitable for full- or part-time training of doctoral students enrolled at collaborating institutions.
- Provide for the sustainability of CPCoM beyond the 10 years of NSF support. We will increase the support of CPCoM projects with additional leveraging grants and contracts. At present for each $1 from the CREST program we have been successful in receiving $1.5 from other agencies in a related topic; CREST has been a transformational and enabling program for Fisk. With continuing support from the CREST NSF grant for six (6) full-time equivalent graduate students per year, we expect to fully or partially support at CPCoM approximately 24 graduate students at any given time, representing a ~100% increase in graduate enrollment compared to the pre-CREST CPCoM period. Additionally, we expect to increase leveraged funding for the center by approximately `15% annually over the next five-year period.
- Enhance recruitment of high-quality graduate students. We will build up our summer research program by enrolling undergraduates from Fisk and neighboring institutions and exposing them to CPCoM projects. The faculty and postdocs will have the primary responsibility for training the summer interns, while graduate students will also have the opportunity to mentor them.
- Support outreach activities for students of neighboring middle schools, high schools, and the local community.
- Continue to act as a regional materials science resource center by organizing regional and national scientific workshops, conferences and symposia