Dr. James LeBeau Wins Powe Award!

Dr. James LeBeau, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, has won a 2011 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award! LeBeau is one of two recipients of the award at North Carolina State University and one of twenty-nine recipients nationwide. This is truly a prestigious and commendable honor! The Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards provide funding for research by junior faculty at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. These awards enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty and result in new funding opportunities. The award amount provided by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is $5,000. North Carolina State University, as a member of ORAU, is required to match that award with at least an additional $5,000.

LeBeau plans to use the award to develop a methodology for the in-situ nanoscale analysis of thin film reactions using electron microscopy. From his award application submission, “Combining a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) with a heating specimen holder provides the capability to assess structure and chemistry of thin film reactions as a function of annealing time and temperature. To explore the technique, an investigation of improved solar cell electrical contacts is proposed. The outcome of this research will provide an understanding of what variables influence the final solar cell device. Moreover, the results will help lead to improved solar cell device efficiency while reducing manufacturing complexity. Successful demonstration of the technique will lead to a general approach to explore thermally driven chemical diffusion and solid state reactions in thin-film device structures.”

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering would like to again congratulate Dr. James LeBeau on this award and look forward to seeing the research that comes forward from it!