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Crystal Growth & Dectector Development

Born inside distant, pulsating stars, germanium is a rare element on Earth most closely related to silicon and tin. Researchers at USD are working on ways to turn this shiny, grayish white metalloid into extremely sensitive sensors that may someday reveal the secrets of dark matter.

USD is one of only a handful of places in the world where scientists are growing extremely pure germanium crystals. Detectors made of the crystals will be used in deep underground experiments, like those at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in the old Homestake Gold Mine in the Black Hills. There scientists hope to study dark matter and double-beta decay.

  • Neutrino physics
  • Dark matter physics
  • Underground physics
Name Department & Office Contact
Dongming Mei
  • Director, CUBED / Professor
Patterson Hall 103
Yongchen Sun
  • Chair, Physics / Associate Professor
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 117C
Christina Keller
  • Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences / Professor
Joel Sander
  • Associate Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center
CY Jiang
  • Associate Professor
Churchill-Haines Labs 114
Ryan MacLellan
Jing Liu
  • Associate Professor
Akeley-Lawrence Science Center 308