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Leading science group selects School of Materials professor for top honor

January 18, 2007

ASU scientist Nathan Newman has recently been elected to a distinguished position in one of the leading professional scientific organizations in the nation.

Newman, a professor and associate director of research in the School of Materials and director of the Center for Solid State Science, is now among the exclusive one-half of one percent of the 45,000-plus members of the American Physical Society selected to join the organization’s Fellowship.

He will be formally recognized as a Fellowship member at the society’s national meeting in March.

The School of Materials is jointly administered by the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Newman was honored for “contributions to the understanding of Schottky barriers in semiconductor devices, and to the synthesis of novel materials for superconducting devices.”

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by my peers, and it’s inspiring that my work in two entirely different fields is so highly regarded,” Newman said.

“The American Physical Society is a very prestigious organization. To be elected to its Fellowship is a singular honor for an individual and an institution,” says Subhash Mahajan, director of the School of Materials. “Such awards bring positive visibility to the School of Materials and ASU. Nate’s studies have significant ramifications in both science and technology. I am glad I was able to recruit him from Northwestern University.”

Newman’s research has focused on the synthesis, characterization and modeling of advanced materials for ultra high-performance electronics.

His work has been aimed at developing a fundamental understanding of electrical conduction in solids. His most recognized research in semiconductors gave important insight into the mechanism responsible for rectification in junctions of a semiconductor and a dissimilar material such as a metal.

Such devices are used in a number of applications including the conversion of alternating electrical power in wall outlets to direct power for electronics such as personal computers.

Newman also was recognized for developing the scientific framework needed to produce superconductor materials with significantly improved performance at microwave frequencies.

This has led to the development of advances in useful ultra high-frequency analog and digital devices from this technology.

One widely used application involves the use of high-temperature superconductors in the receiving circuitry of cell phone base stations.

Newman is now working on optimizing the performance of a recently discovered superconductor called magnesium diboride for producing improved magnets for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology. This is expected to lead to more sensitive, less costly and potentially even portable MRI systems.

About The Author

Joe Kullman

Joe Kullman is a science writer for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Before joining Arizona State University in 2006, Joe worked as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers and magazines dating back to the dawn of the age of the personal computer. He began his career while earning degrees in journalism and philosophy from Kent State University in Ohio. Media Contact: [email protected] | 480-965-8122 | Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering Communications

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