Today, Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) joined U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressmen Dutch Ruppersberger, and Kweisi Mfume today announced $7,500,000 in federal funding for Morgan State University, in partnership with Adelphi Laboratory Center and Aberdeen Proving Ground research centers of the U.S. Army and John’s Hopkins University, to establish the Center for Advanced Electro-Photonics with 2D materials, the first of its kind at any Historically Black College or University (HBCU), that will train students in researching and developing wearable military technology. 2D materials are solid elements or compounds that are only one atom thick. While research and discovery of these materials is relatively new, scientists believe there are many applications for their future use in fields such as renewable energy and modern defense.
“Morgan State is leading the charge in the development of key technology for the Department of Defense, setting our state up for success on a national and global scale,” the lawmakers said. “We remain committed to investing in our local HBCUs and STEM programs, such as Morgan State, as they continue to cultivate research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, promote strong leadership in emerging STEM fields, and innovate new technologies to support our Armed Forces.”
Funding comes from the Department of Defense, through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s HBCU and Minority-Serving Institutions Research and Education Program, and will target properties of 2D materials for specific areas of technology including wearable photovoltaics (PV) and thermally-managed photo-sensors as well as hybrid PV thermoelectric technologies for use by individual warfighters. The award will provide funding for research towards the creation of wearable two-dimensional infrared light detectors and thermoelectric devices to convert wasted heat into electricity to maintain equipment, among other activities.