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Research Activities

SDSU boasts many research opportunities within the EECS department and throughout the university. Many of our faculty perform exciting research in various areas of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Software Engineering. Listed below are some of our faculty's interests and recent projects. To learn more, please contact the respective faculty member. See the Our People page for contact information.

Electrical Engineering Research Groups

Materials and Device Group

Precision Agriculture Sensor Probes, Sensor Networks and Systems
"Precision Ag Image"


The objective of this task will create real-time precision agriculture sensor systems that can be used to detect changes in temperature, CO2, NO3-N, oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, moisture and electrical conductivity (EC). This information can be used to calculate improvements in porosity, water flow, potential nutrient stresses and yield potential. Ground-based sensors linked to aerial remote sensing can be used to provide comprehensive information on the fate of the seed from planting to harvest. To achieve this objective, novel sensors, sensor networks and their integration into drones and/or swarms with real time mapping and monitoring capability will be developed. Non-contact sensing systems using high resolution camera, infrared, thermal, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and multispectral sensors will be developed. This allows direct visibility over the health of soil and crops by viewing parameters such as sunlight absorption rates, transpiration rates, crop health, CO2 content, temperature, moisture, soil variation and health status.


Cost Effective Solar Cells


"Solar Cell Image"

This research has been focusing on developing next generation cost effective solar cells using new approaches to solve challenges in photovoltaic devices. Current research focused on dye-sensitized solar cells, polymer solar cells and Perovskite solar cells. Three PhD students have graduated in the summer of 2016. Seven PhD and 2 MS students are currently working on these projects. This research has been funded by NSF, NASA, NAS and the State of South Dakota.




Combined Energy Generation and Storage Devices


"Combined Energy Image"


This work is developing novel photovoltaic devices with intrinsically integrated lithium ion batteries. Solar PV panels have the issue of unreliability due to its intermittency nature. Electric utilities have imposed PV power ramp rate regulations to make the electric grid secure. This demands use of energy storage.

Traditional approaches for operation of solar panels and storage as two independent units is rather expensive, inflexible, requires bigger space and suffers electric wire losses. The objective of this research is to develop integrated solar cells as solar harvester and Li-ion battery as storage, which can be simple, efficient and cost effective. Two PhD and two MS students are working on this project. This research is currently funded by NASA.

Nanoscale System for Materials and Devices Characterization


"Nanoscale System Image"


The objective of this project is to develop a state-of-the-art scanning probe microscope (SPM) based instrumentation, integrated with bias modulated hardware, to probe local charge carrier dynamics in nanostructured and disordered materials with high spatial and temporal resolution. The new system will be the first of its kind, which can probe charge carrier dynamics and map carrier density, transport/recombination lifetimes, diffusion length, mobility and recombination rates with high spatial (nm) and temporal (sub-μs) resolution in a wide variety of electronic materials and devices. Currently two PhD students and one MS students are working on this project. This work is funded by NSF.


High Performance Energy Storage - PI: Zhou


"High Energy Storage Image"
  • Increase the energy and power of energy storage devices
  • MEMS chip-scale energy storage devices
  • Flexible all-solid-state supercapacitors
  • Safe Li-metal batteries with structural solid electrolyte
  • Pseudo-capacitor with high specific capacitance
  • Novel materials for energy harvesting devices
  • Counter electrodes in dye-sensitized solar cell
  • Advanced composite for transparent electrodes
  • Photovoltaic devices based on novel junction

Contact: Dr. Yue Zhout

Clean Room Facilities - Lab Manager:  Jason Sternhagen


"Clean Room"


The clean room includes over 3,300 sq. ft. of class 1000 space and the facilities and equipment used for micro and nanoelectronics materials and devices fabrication. It includes five bays, four fume hoods and over $3 million in equipment.


Bay 1 is for organic electronics and includes:

    two glove box systems with inert nitrogen gas environment, organic electronics device
    fabrication equipment atomic force microscope for materials characterization
    lithium ion battery fabrication
    diamond and wire saws for wafer dicing
    tube furnace
    vacuum ovens
    thick film printer

Bay 2 is a materials characterization bay which includes:

    Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) with an Energy Dispersive X-ray analysis
    (EDX) system
    Dektak thin film profilometer
    sputter coater for SEM sample preparation

Bay 3 is for thin film deposition and includes:

    Rapid Thermal Processing oven (RTP),
    ion beam, e-beam, sputtering and evaporation thin film deposition systems
    high-temp chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system for silicon and graphene films
    large-area plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system.

Bay 4 contains systems under development including:

    plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (CVD)
    atomic-layer deposition system (ALD)
    thin-film sputter deposition system with load-lock for rapid sample changing and deep
    reactive-ion etching (DRIE)

Bay 5 is a lithography bay that includes:

    yellow and red darkroom lighting for circuit pattern transfer
    de-ionized water system for substrate cleaning
    substrate spin dryer
    photo-reduction stand for integrated circuit masks
    contact angle measurement system
    wire bonder
    spin coater for photoresist deposition
    mask aligner for circuit pattern transfer

Advanced Characterization Tools - PI: Dr. Qiquan (Quinn) Qiao

    Agilent 5500 SPM Atomic Force Microscopy with 4μm and 10 μm scanners (DEH 053)
    Horiba Raman Spectroscopy (DEH 053)
    Agilent and PerkinElmer UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometers available from 200 nm to 3200 nm (DEH 053)
    Rikaga Smart Lab X-ray diffraction (DEH 056)
    Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)(DEH 056)
    Steady state and time resolved FS920 fluorescence spectrometer (DEH 056)
    Battery analyzers (DEH 056)
    LifeSpec II spectrometer (DEH 056)
    Femtosecond laser system (CDP FOG 100 femtosecond luminescence upconversion system) (DEH 011)
    Transient photovoltage and photocurrent measurement systems using OBB’s Model OL-4300 nitrogen laser (crisp pulse at 337 nm) to pump the model 1011 dye laser (DEH 011)
    Solar simulator (Xenon lamp, Newport) (DEH 011)
    External quantum efficiency (EQE) measurements using a Xenon lamp (Newport) attached to a monochromator (Newport)
    VersaSTAT 3 electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (DEH 058)
    PDC-32G Plasma Cleaner (DEH 058)
    Novascan PSD Pro Series Digital UV Ozone System (DEH 058)
    MTI Precision Disc Cutter (DEH 052)
    Plasma processing system using GSL1100X tube furnace (DEH 052)
    Thermo CL10 Centrifuge (DEH 052)
    MSK-110 Hydraulic Crimping Machine (DEH 052)
    Woollam Ellipsometer (EC-400 and M-2000X) (DEH 036)
    Bruker Dimension Icon ScanAsyst Scanning Probe Microscopy (DEH 036)
    Ecopia Hall Effect Measurement system (HMS-3000) (DEH 036)
    Shimadzu UV-2600 UV-Vis spectrophotometer (DEH 036)
    Filmetrics Transmittance System (DEH 036)

Contact: Jason Sternhagen

Nanoscale Topology and Material Composition

Nanoscale Topology and Material Composition


Power Group


Dr. Reinaldo Tonkoski
Dr. Tim Hansen
Dr. Robert Fourney

"Microgrid Image"


Microgrid Lab- PI: Tonkoski
Virtual Inertia Emulation

"Power System Markets Image"


Power System Markets - PI: Hansen
Scalable Sustainability-Based Approaches to Electric Power



Image Processing Group


Larry Leigh
Dr. Songxin Tan

"Satellite Image"


Satellite Image Processing - PI: Leigh
SDSU Image Processing Lab


"LIDAR Image"




Computer Science Research

"Applied Image Processing Image"


Biomedical and Precision Agriculture - Dr. Sung Shin