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Crouch to Receive NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship

Nina Welding • DATE: July 21, 2016

Garrison Crouch, a graduate student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship (NSTRF). Program fellowships are given to graduate students who show significant potential in the creation of innovative space technologies for the nation’s exploration and economic future. In addition to working on campus with Notre Dame faculty as part of this research program, Crouch will be paired with a professional research collaborator in a NASA center for a 10-week visiting technologist experience. This will allow him to take advantage of broader research opportunities related to his career objectives while enhancing his understanding of the research process.

Crouch will focus on the fundamental quantum and photonic interactions of bimetallic atomic-scale junctions (ASJs), which are basically nanoscale silver wires grown between two gold electrodes that, due to their small size and the quantized nature of the electron waveforms in the junction, are extremely sensitive to disturbances in the surrounding environment. He will be exploring ways to create and control the junction [connection]. Their size and versatility make ASJs potentially attractive for a wide array of applications, which makes the research of great interest and potential benefit to the scientific community.

In addition to this most recent honor, Crouch is a National Merit Scholar and twice received a Rose Hills Foundation Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Southern California (USC). He graduated cum laude from USC in 2014 with a degree in chemical engineering, having studied beyond his degree requirements by completing additional coursework in electrical engineering, such as linear circuits, physical electronics and engineering nanosystems beyond his degree requirements.

Currently, he is a member of the Bohn Research Group, where he has published on electrochemistry in zero-mode waveguides and under high electric fields. While an undergraduate, he worked in the Armani Research Group at USC, where he explored active, pH-sensitive and pi-conjugated helicene polymer and block copolymer coatings for photonic microtoroid resonators. He also interned as a test engineer with Broadcom Corporation, where he tested pre-production network hardware.