Contact: Dhaval Doshi, 272-7136
Jeff Brinker, 272 -7627
Michael Padilla, 277-1816

August 10, 2001


University of New Mexico Professor Jeff Brinker and graduate student Dhaval Doshi were named winners in the 2001 Collegiate Inventors Competition. They are one of only five student/advisor teams to receive this year’s award. Other teams represented Harvard, Stanford, The University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland.

Doshi will receive a $20,000 cash prize and a $2,000 gift certificate to Brinker will receive a $10,000 cash prize.

In September the two will travel to Akron, Ohio as guests of The National Inventors Hall of Fame. The Collegiate Inventors Competition winners will receive their awards at a dinner given in their honor Friday, Sept. 14, additionally they will be showcased alongside inductees to the National Inventors Hall of Fame during an Induction Ceremony Saturday, Sept. 15.

The Collegiate Inventors Competition is a national event designed to encourage the creativity and problem solving abilities of college students active in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. It also serves to foster student/advisor relationships, and stimulate excitement and interest in technology and economic leadership. The competition required participants to submit an essay describing the invention and its potential economic, environmental and societal benefits.

The UNM winning entry, “Optically-Adjustable Nanostructures,” devised by Doshi and Brinker employs molecular self-assembly to prepare photosensitive porous thin-film nanostructures and lithographic procedures to define optically their etchability, wettability, refractive index, dielectric constant, surface area, pore size and pore connectivity.

“This invention enables the multi-billion dollar lithography infrastructure to be used not just to define the presence or absence of conventional thin film materials but to define optically the structure and function of new nano-structured thin film materials crucially needed to advance the capabilities of U.S. industry in the burgeoning area of Nano-Technology,” said Doshi.

Specific applications of the products of this invention include patterned low dielectric constant thin films needed for all future generations of microelectronics, optically ‘tunable’ membranes (molecular sieves) for chemical purification and pollution mitigation, sensor arrays, fluidic networks for biosensors, and photonic structures for optical communication.”

Doshi said the invention embodies several novel concepts enabling the efficient formation of nanostructures, their integration into devices, and the optical definition of both their form and function.

Brinker is a professor of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering and Chemistry at UNM and a Senior Scientist at Sandia National Laboratories.

Doshi is an international graduate student from Mumbai, India. He received his Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, Mumbai, India, in April 97. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at UNM.

Their work was featured in an article in Science last October. Other members of the Brinker group that contributed to this work are, Nicola Huesing, Hongyou Fan and Alan J. Hurd.

This is the second year in a row UNM has been named winners in the competion. Last year UNM student Balaji Srinivasan and professor Ravinder K. Jain were named recipients for their invention of Fiber Lasers.


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