Cornell University’s Huili Grace Xing to Lead the Superior Energy-Efficient Materials and Devices Center

Huili Grace Xing, the William L. Quackenbush Professor of Engineering in materials science and engineering, and in electrical and computer engineering, at Cornell University, has been named director of the SUPeRior Energy-efficient Materials and dEvices (SUPREME) Center. Researchers at the center will explore both fundamental new science and novel engineering technologies, with the aim of driving the semiconductor industry in the next 3-15 years, while also training the next generation of scientists and engineers to work across disciplines.

“Our center will focus on the material science, the new device architectures and how they interplay with each other,” said Dr. Xing, whose own pioneering research has included materials that support unipolar or bipolar transport, such as 2D materials, ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors, and devices with record performance that reveal fundamental limits. “We’re not engineering a particular approach, we’re actually going down to the material genome level. If we go down to the building blocks and make a connection, then we can serve a very broad application space in logic, memory, computing, sensing, and communication with the desired energy efficiency.

The researchers will work in close collaboration with industry leaders to maximize the impact and relevance of their work, which will not only lead to more energy-efficiency technologies, but also ultimately boost equality, according to Dr. Xing. “We want technology that can use as little energy as possible but provide as much function as possible. That is essential if we want to propagate equality,” she said. “If we’re able to lower the energy consumption for all of those essential means we want to have in modern life, we can lower the barrier for everybody to have access to information, to have access for education, and to have access to opportunities.”

The new center will bring together leading researchers from 14 higher education institutions, in collaboration with the center’s sponsor, Semiconductor Research Corporation. In addition to Cornell, the partnering institutions are the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boise State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Stanford University, Yale University, the University of Colorado, Boulder, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Xing joined the faculty at Cornell University in 2015 after teaching at the University of Notre Dame. She received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Peking University in China. She holds a master’s degree in material science and engineering from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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