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Stony Brook University Secures ARPA-E Award: Granted a Share in $42M Funding by US Department of Energy

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled a $42 million investment in 15 pioneering projects through ARPA-E’s Unlocking Lasting Transformative Resiliency Advances by Faster Actuation of power Semiconductor Technologies (ULTRAFAST) program. This funding is geared towards the development of the next generation of semiconductor technologies, a crucial step in modernizing America’s electric grid and advancing towards a net-zero economy by 2050.

Stony Brook University (SBU) is at the forefront of this transformative initiative, partnering with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in a collaboration that is part of the $42 million investment from DOE's ULTRAFAST program.

In this groundbreaking effort, Prof. Fang Luo, an esteemed member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department at SBU, plays a pivotal role. As emphasized in a LinkedIn post by ARPA-E, Luo and the team are actively engaged in developing Diamond Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches to revolutionize power grid resilience.

The project directly addresses the pressing issue of power outages affecting half a million Americans daily, resulting in an annual cost of $150 billion to households. Traditional Photoconductive Semiconductor Switches (PCSS), originating in 1970, have proven insufficient in meeting the required voltage/current levels and slew-rates to effectively prevent these disruptions.

With a commitment to "CHANGE WHAT IS POSSIBLE," the team aims to unlock lasting transformative resiliency advances through faster actuation of power semiconductor technologies, buoyed by the substantial $42 million funding initiative. This collaboration harnesses the expertise of SBU's Fang Luo and other key contributors, promising a significant impact on the future resilience of America's power grid.

For additional information, refer to the official press release here. To stay updated on the ULTRAFAST program and project developments, visit the ARPA-E website.