Silicon Carbide Microsystems Technology for Extreme Environments: Opportunities for Nuclear Applications

All dates for this event occur in the past.

Scott Lab E141
201 W. 19th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

Robert Okojie

Seminar Speaker: Robert Okojie

Abstract: Over the past five decades, NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC) had been advancing the development of single crystal silicon carbide (SiC) growth and microsystems technologies, culminating in the reported operation of batch fabricated MEMS-scale SiC pressure sensors at 800 °C and integrated circuit electronics durability at 500 °C. As a result of the progress made in demonstrating the high temperature capability of the technology, further maturation is currently in progress, with the goal toward deployment in operational environments (i.e., jet engines and planet Venus). The high temperature robustness and radiation hardness of SiC, coupled with the increasing maturation of the batch microfabrication, contact metallization, and packaging technologies, make the technology a prime candidate for future advanced micro nuclear reactor instrumentation and control strategies. That is why the current research efforts at NASA GRC have expanded into developing SiC microsystems for nuclear reactor instrumentation and, potentially, for future Lunar/Martian nuclear power.

Bio: Dr. Robert S. Okojie received the BS, MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey, between 1991 and 1996.  He was a Senior Research Scientist at Kulite Semiconductor Products, Inc., Leonia, NJ, from 1993 to 1997, developing high temperature ohmic contacts to SiC semiconductor pressure sensors for high temperature applications; He was Senior Research Engineer at Ford Microelectronics, Colorado Springs, CO, in 1997, developing MEMS-based sensors, smart fuel injectors, and associated packaging technologies.  He joined the SiC research group at NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland OH, in August 1999, as an Electronics Engineer, primarily developing enabling technologies for silicon carbide microsystems for extreme environments.  He had served as the Associate Project Investigator in Hypersonic Project Experimental Capabilities of the NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program between 2006 and 2009.

Dr Okojie was inducted into the NASA Inventors Hall of Fame in 2020, received the 2012 NASA Glenn Research Center Distinguished Publication Award in 2012, in 2009 the Abe Silverstein Medal for Research, and numerous other awards between 2002 and 2018.

Dr Okojie is a Senior Member of the IEEE and member and published over 50 peer reviewed papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings relating to high temperature MEMS technology, and a contributing author to the CRC MEMS Handbook. Dr Okojie has mentored over 20 student interns since joining the Agency.

Category: Nuclear Seminar
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