George Williams

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Emeritus Professor

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Educational Background:

  • B.A. 1952 Colgate University
  • Ph.D 1956 University of Illinois

Research Interests:

Professor Williams is interested in NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and NQR (Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance). He is working with the group associated with Professor Taylor to apply these techniques to the study of amorphous and glassy semiconducting systems. Examples of these systems are glassy As2S3 or As2Se3 and amorphous silicon. The NQR technique provides a detailed local probe of the bonding in amorphous semiconductors. This technique is particularly important because the standard scattering techniques that are so useful in determining the structures of crystalline solids often provide ambiguous information in the case of amorphous materials. In addition to local bonding information, NMR in amorphous semiconductors can also provide information concerning defects or local motion of atomic species.

Professor Williams is also interested in the bonding of metal atoms in semiconducting glasses, especially those glasses whose major constituents come from Group VI of the periodic table (the so-called chalcogenide glasses). This problem is important because of the complex interplay between covalent and ionic effects in determining the local structural order in these glasses. Also of current interest is the bonding of hydrogen in hydrogenated amorphous alloys made from Group IV elements such as silicon, germanium or carbon. Thin amorphous films based on these elements are very important in modern electronic devices such as thin film transistors for large-area applications like flat panel displays. It is thought that motion of the hydrogen results in instabilities that adversely affect the performance of devices made from these amorphous semiconductors. NMR is one important technique for studying this motion on an atomic scale.

Honors:

  • University of Utah Distinguished Teaching Award (1990)
  • Hatch Prize for Excellence in Teaching (2002)

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