NJIT mathematician receives Fulbright to study thin film science in Argentina

Ever wonder how manufacturers produce the thinnest and finest materials for cell phone displays and even smaller electronic products? If so, you are entering the burgeoning new world of "thin film" science and the life work of theoretical physicist and applied mathematician Lou Kondic, PhD, associate professor, department of mathematics at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT).

Kondic recently received a 2005-2006 Fulbright Scholar grant to study a dimension of thin film science focusing on the thinnest fluids. Kondic will travel next spring to Argentina for three months, where he will help physicists discover better ways to coat very delicate, almost invisible glass fibers. For almost two decades, scientists around the world have been searching for better polymers (more commonly known as plastics) to accomplish this task. These fibers are used to conduct electrical signals in microelectronics, optics and nanotechnology applications.

Interest in thin film science has sky-rocketed because of recent scientific and technological breakthroughs. Aside from coating glass fibers, these new thin microscopic coatings are used to enhance the durability of products ranging from the outer covering of NASA space ships to army tanks in Iraq.

In Argentina, Kondic will focus on how polymers are used to create a thin coating of a fluid film around an existing surface. Scientists consider fluids made of polymers to be complex. "My research will concentrate," said Kondic, "on the instabilities and patterns that form during the flows of these complex thin films."

Kondic's work especially interests researchers in the computer industry who want to know more about how to reach uniform coverage of a rotating silicon surface with a thin film polymer. Kondic hopes his work in Argentina will shed more light.

To achieve results, Kondic will use large scale numerical simulations to analyze the problems and find solutions. These simul

Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
New Jersey Institute of Technology

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