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,
This prestigious fellowship enabled DeBoer to use his expertise in
nanotubes and chemistry to further research nanowires and their applications to advancing
“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
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