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State Department awards St. Lawrence professor Fulbright grant for research in Europe

By Eric Reinhardt


CANTON — The U.S. Department of State has awarded Daniel Koon, a professor at St. Lawrence University in Canton, a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant to conduct research in Eastern Europe.

St. Lawrence announced the award in a news release last Friday.

Koon will use the funding to continue his research on the electrical resistance of semiconductors for six months in Prague, Czech Republic, St. Lawrence University said.

With the Fulbright, Koon will be able to take a full-year sabbatical while continuing his research, according to the university.

The government also awarded Koon a Fulbright scholarship in 1981, which he used for travel and research in what was then West Berlin, Germany. Koon has spent the past two decades measuring and mapping the resistance of silicon wafers, which is considered an” important quality-control issue” for the semiconductor industry, St. Lawrence said.

The measurements allow him to characterize how a specific shape and the placement of electrodes on a microchip affect how much of the specimen that the measurement samples, how much error will result from misaligning the electrodes, and how much heating can skew results, according to the university.

The results could have “very important implications” in the microelectronics industry, where smaller and smaller devices “drive the need for ever more compact-resistance probes,” Koon said in the news release.

“By making precise calculations for a variety of cross and cloverleaf-shaped specimen geometries, based on some theory developed by myself and colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark, and by confirming these in the laboratory with my colleagues at the Institute for Chemical Technology in Prague, I hope to provide a wide overview of which geometrical shapes and electrode placements provide the most accurate, most tightly focused diagnostic, as well as reducing unwanted effects,” Koon said.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs sponsors the Fulbright program, St. Lawrence said.

It provides funding for students, scholars, teachers, and professionals to undertake graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and teaching in elementary and secondary schools.

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