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University of Dayton Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU): Semiconductor Electronics and Photonics (NSF Funded Program)

Are you interested in learning about semiconductors? Spend 10 weeks performing research and learning about semiconductor materials, how micro/nanoelectronic and photonic devices are made, how the semiconductor industry is structured and what kinds of careers are available in the industry.

You will also receive hands-on training in fabrication of microelectronics in a cleanroom environment and gain a professional certification in semiconductor fabrication. No previous research or semiconductor experience is necessary.

The REU program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Possible Research Areas for REU projects:

  • Semiconductor lasers and optical emitters for silicon photonics
  • Phase change materials for reconfigurable photonic devices and optical memory
  • Infrared photodetectors for low-light imaging and telecommunications
  • Direct laser writing of electronic and photonic devices
  • Synthesis and characterization of semiconductor nanoparticles
  • Memristor devices for neuromorphic computing

Program dates: May 19-July 27, 2024

Application Period: Dec. 4, 2023 to Feb. 29, 2024

Selection Notification: March 15, 2024

Each REU participant will receive:

  • A stipend in the amount of $6,000 upon successful completion of the REU.
  • Housing in UD student dorms. Students will be housed in single or double rooms in the same building.
  • Partial meal allowance. Dining options on campus are limited during the summer, but participants will receive a small allowance for meals on campus.
  • Allowance for travel funds up to $1,000 roundtrip (either by land or air) to attend the REU in Dayton.
  • An allowance for materials and supplies for the research project. Research mentors will receive a $500 stipend for purchasing materials and supplies that are necessary for the research project.
  • Weekly workshops on how semiconductor devices and integrated circuits are manufactured, semiconductor material fundamentals, basic device physics, techniques for lithography, deposition of materials, etching of materials, layout and design and applications of integrated circuits and hands-on fabrication of representative semiconductor manufacturing processes.
  • Training at and on the use of UD's Nanofab facility.
  • Completion of the Rapid Certification: Foundation Level of the Ohio-southwest Alliance on Semiconductors and Integrated Scalable-Manufacturing (OASIS) program, sponsored by Intel.
  • Professional development workshops on an overview of graduate school and how to apply, applying for fellowships and scholarships, technical writing, giving technical presentations, ethics in research, networking and interpersonal communication, time management, membership benefits and outreach in professional/ technical societies, and branding and entrepreneurship.
  • Focused mentorship under a UD faculty member who will work closely with the participants to help them progress.
  • Opportunity to present your summer research at the university-wide symposium as
    oral and poster presentations.
  • Each REU project will be designed with the individual participant’s background and goals in mind. You won’t be assigned a random project. We will work with you to find a mentor and project that fits you.


  • Must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in science or engineering and have status as an active student at an accredited college or university.
  • NSF funding is only for US citizens.
  • No minimum GPA to apply.
  • No knowledge or experience with semiconductors is necessary. 
  • We welcome all students to apply and encourage applications from students with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including, but not limited to, individuals from historically underserved and underrepresented populations, female, racial and ethnic groups (African-American/ Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American and Native Alaskan) historically underrepresented in STEM fields, veterans, LGBTQ+ and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

Selection Criteria:

The program will use a holistic approach to evaluate the applications, taking into account academic performance, motivation, lack of research opportunities available at the home institution, financial need and personal background.

Selected students should not be enrolled in any other coursework or research program outside this REU, during the 10-week time period of the REU.

Application Requirements:

  • Complete the application form, which will also have you upload the following documents.
  • Personal statement. This should be submitted in PDF format and have a maximum of 750 words. Tell us about yourself, why you are applying to the program, and how this program will help you in your future career. You can also address things like your financial need, having overcome significant obstacles or personal events that have affected your academic performance or your experience as a student from an underrepresented group in STEM (Women, Black, Latinx, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hawaiian Native, Pacific Islander). Applications with personal statements exceeding the 750-word limit will not be considered.
  • Your current resume or curriculum vitae (CV) in PDF format.
  • Your unofficial transcript from the college or university at which you are a student. There is no minimum GPA for this program.
  • Contact information and reference letters from two professional references. Choose references that are familiar with your academic performance or can speak to your potential for success in research.

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