Awarded a second grant from QNRF

Methane clathrate (Image source)
In the third cycle of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), our team (Prof. Mert Atilhan, Prof. Nezih Pala and Prof. Michael Shur) won a grant in the amount of $1,041,641 for the next three years. Our research will find ways to study methane clathrates (a rich source of natural gas that lies at the bottom of oceans) and safely extract them for the use of mankind. My thanks goes to my team members for their tireless efforts. The abstract is as follows:

Integrated Terahertz Technologies for Methane Gas Production from Clathrates and Real Time Analysis
The objective of this project is to develop methods and devices to utilize emerging THz technology in clathrate analysis, methane gas extraction from clathrates and real time analysis.

More specifically, in the first step, we will measure THz absorption spectrums of different clathrates using Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and THz Time Domain Spectroscopy (TDS) to analyze molecular vibration and rotation characteristics as well as to obtain spectral fingerprint data base.

In the second step we will develop nitride-based semiconductor THz sources and detectors with enhanced characteristics by utilizing combination of our novel plasma wave approach and newly observed electron-transit-time effects. With their large sheet carrier concentrations, large breakdown voltage and high peak electron velocities nitride-based wide band-gap semiconductors have strong candidates for millimeter wave and THz emitters as well as tunable plasmonic THz detectors and filters. On the other hand, resonant absorption of THz radiation by the plasmons at the 2D electron gas in nitride-based HEMTs would allow tunable detection of spectroscopic absorption lines and thereby detection and identification of various chemical molecules including gases.

In the final step, we will experimentally demonstrate the methane gas extraction form methane hydrates by THz electromagnetic radiation excitation and analyze the extracted gas in real-time by using the proposed tunable THz detectors.
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