Two West Virginia University graduate physics students have won Young Scientist awards.

Randy Tompkins of New Haven, W.Va., and Brenda VanMil of Missoula, Mont., accepted their awards at the 2005 Conference on the Physics and Chemistry of Semiconductor Interfaces in Boseman, Mont.

Tompkins and VanMil were among six students to receive the awards after giving brief presentations on their research.

Both WVU studentsprojects involved studies of the growth of semiconductor materials and how their structure impacts their optical and/or electronic properties. This work has relevance in microelectronic and semiconductor laser technologies.

Tompkinsproject focused on zinc selenide, a special type of semiconductor material with unique optical properties that depend greatly on the structure of the material and any elements such as chlorine introduced to alter its properties.

He examined how the conditions under which these materials are grown vary the structure and semiconductor properties.

VanMil developed a technique that will enable future investigators to examine the structure and composition of materials as they are grown, atomic layer by atomic layer. This was second time VanMil has presented at the Physics and Chemistry of Semiconductor Interfaces Conference.

Tom Myers, a WVU physics professor and the studentsadviser, said:This is another indication of the high quality of graduate research occurring at WVU , with two of our students successfully competing with others at a prestigious international conference.

For more information, contact Tom Myers in WVU s Department of Physics at 304-293-3422 ext. 1469 or .