Researcher Wins NSF Early CAREER Award for Developing RF Processors Using Novel Materials

photo of bayaner arigong phd in his lab at the famu-fsu college of engineering

Bayaner Arigong, Ph.D. in his lab at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering in Tallahassee, Florida. The National Science Foundation recently awarded Arigong a CAREER award. (Scott Holstein/FAMU-FSU Engineering)

An assistant professor at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering received a National Science Foundation CAREER grant for continuing his work in finding solutions to accelerate the processing speed and accuracy of data transmission using novel materials.

Bayaner Arigong, faculty member in electrical and computer engineering received a continuing five-year $550,000 grant to design an RF real-time configurable analog signal co-processor using nanoparticles and 3-D printing. The process transmits signals in the analog domain before converting them to digital and accelerates computing speed.

“This NSF CAREER award is excellent opportunity for me to further develop state-of-the-art technology in my research field and train and shape next generation of researchers in the high frequency and wireless world,” Arigong said.  

Arigong’s research uses a phase-changing nanoparticle filling to control and conform to different sizes and shapes required for multiple mathematical operations. The complex calculations are used in everything from high-tech AI to wireless communications. The engineered nanoparticle composite film and 3-D printing techniques reduce the cost of fabrication and design. 

The circuit is designed with the engineered material fully configurable to perform directly in the RF domain. The material’s dielectric properties change when external voltage is applied. The engineered phase-changing material works at different frequencies to adapt to the specific frequency needed for a particular mathematical operation. 

“We can perform mathematical operations directly at the electromagnetic waveform,” Arigong said. “That helps us handle complex computations in digital signal processing. We not only speed up the process but also lower the cost and complexity down by using less energy.”

CAREER Awards are NSF’s most prestigious recognition of early-career faculty serving as role models in education and leading research advancement in their departments. They give recognition to faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and advance the mission of their department or organization. 

“I am delighted that Dr. Arigong has been recognized with the highly anticipated NSF CAREER grant,” said Sastry Pamidi, chair of the joint college’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Dr. Arigong’s research advanced the fields of wireless communications and emerging Artificial Intelligence. His research engages and supports underrepresented minorities in engineering in novel techniques to advance the development of new RF technologies of the future.”

The CAREER grant will provide numerous opportunities for underrepresented students from an HBCU to broaden their participation in electrical engineering. Students will gain experience in developing chips and circuits, have opportunities to work with the novel phase-changing nanoparticle composites, and explore 3D printing to fabricate highly integrated RF and analog processors.

“The impact of the funded research will reach local students and expand across the nation,” Arigong said. “The model and education plan involves K-12, undergraduate, and graduate education and will greatly increase the much-needed pool of diverse and multi-disciplinary talent for workforce in the U.S.”


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