USD Granted Patent on Dark Matter Detection Technology
The inventors of this technology are Guojian Wang, Ph.D., and Dongming Mei, Ph.D., from the Department of Physics. Wang and Mei are developing the technology with the goal of seeing it commercialized in the future.
The patented technology is a method of growing high-purity germanium crystals, which can be used in radiation or dark matter detectors. Only a small number of companies worldwide make germanium crystals, and Wang and Mei’s research indicate that the crystals produced at USD have comparable purity to what is on the market.
The USD-patented growers are much smaller, allowing germanium growth to be implemented into a regular laboratory building, as opposed to commercial companies for high-purity germanium crystal growth, making it more accessible.
Mei is the director of USD’s Center for Ultra-Low Background Experiments (CUBED) and a professor of physics at USD. His research focuses on underground nuclear and participle physics in search for rare physics processes beyond the Standard Model of physics.
Since 2006, Mei, as a principal investigator, has obtained $13.9 million in external research funds to sponsor his research and support postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students. He has published more than 100 papers in the field of his research.
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Two University of South Dakota College of Arts & Sciences faculty members received a South Dakota Board of Regents (SDBOR) Competitive Research Grant this year. The grant program invests in researchers to enhance the research capabilities and capacities of the state universities and benefits the state’s economic development.
Wenqin Xu, Ph.D., an assistant professor for the Department of Physics at the University of South Dakota, has recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his research in operating high-purity germanium detectors in liquid scintillators.