COSAM » News » Articles » 2019 » November » COSAM Physicist Wins Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program Award for $450,000

COSAM Physicist Wins Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program Award for $450,000

Published: 11/05/2019

By: Maria Gebhardt

Dr. Ryan Comes is the first recipient from Auburn University selected for the Air Force’s Young Investigator Research Program Award. He joins a cohort on only 40 researchers in 2019 given this prestigious honor as being the one of the most promising scientists and engineers who received a doctoral degree during the last seven years and demonstrate exceptional capabilities for conducting research that can advance military interests.

He was awarded $450,000 in funding over the next three years for his interdisciplinary research for his project titled Metastable Oxides for High-Mobility and Spin-Orbit 2D Electronics. The grant will allow Dr. Comes to support graduate student and a postdoctoral researchers in the Films, Interfaces, and Nanostructures of Oxides (FINO) Lab in the Auburn Physics Department.

Dr. Comes is seeking to develop a new class of metastable oxides using molecular beam epitaxy that have both high electron-density and high mobility. His research will combine these materials together to create new types of heterostructures that have more capabilities than traditional conventional semiconductors. This work has direct interest and applications to the United States military.

“Our goal is to design atomic-scale structures that combine the best aspects of two different oxide materials and engineer the materials to complement each other so that we can enable devices for high-speed electronic devices,” explained Dr. Comes.

Dr. Comes will be collaborating with Cornell University to create structures, and working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to conduct experiments and analyze data.

Dr. Comes has published numerous papers and been invited to speak at several international conferences. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University in physics/electrical and computer engineering. In 2013, he received his doctorate degree from the University of Virginia in engineering physics.

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