News Releases 2008

LETU Professor Researches Nanotechnology at Naval Research Laboratory

Thu, Sep 25 2008

LeTourneau University associate professor of chemistry Dr. Gary DeBoer spent 10 weeks this summer conducting research at the U.S. Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.
This prestigious fellowship enabled DeBoer to use his expertise in nanotubes and chemistry to further research nanowires and their applications to advancing electronics technologies. 
 “Nanowires are already used in many electronic applications such as micro fuel cell membranes and may ultimately be used many more electronics applications such as TVs and iPods,” DeBoer said.
DeBoer described nanowires as so tiny that it would take tens of thousands of them laid side by side to equal the width of a single human hair. Nanowires are measured with instruments like scanning electron microscopes and atomic force microscopes.    
DeBoer was also able to further his knowledge of surface chemistry, surface physics and plasmonically coupled optically resonant antennae, emitters and detectors. He had the opportunity to work alongside people from around the world, learning about their cultural backgrounds as well as their expertise in various scientific fields.
DeBoer, who earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Iowa, has been teaching general, inorganic, physical, quantum mechanics, and computational chemistry at LETU since 1998.
DeBoer has spent several summers as a faculty fellow at the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts working on research relating to space vehicles. He also has worked on carbon nanotube research during several NASA summer faculty fellowships at the Johnson Space Center in Houston.
“My work at the NRL has components that are portable such that students here at LETU can become involved in this research,” he said. “This is why we do research at LETU, to enable our teaching, provide collaborative research opportunities for our students, and to invigorate our own enthusiasm for discipline.”
Written by Teal Medrano, senior English major