MRSEC Program Overview

Welcome to the internet hub of the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC). This website provides organized information and resources at the various MRSECs for the international scientific, industrial, and educational materials research and development communities.

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Program Highlights

May 26, 2016

Plate Mechanical Metamaterials

Our plate metamaterials weigh as little as 0.1 g/cm2 and have the ability to ‘pop-back’ to their original shape without damage even after undergoing multiple sharp bends of more than 90 degree.We introduced the concept of plate mechanical metamaterials [1] and its initial realization in the form of freestanding corrugated plates made out of ultrathin films. We used atomic layer deposition (ALD) and microfabrication techniques to make robust plates out of a single continuous ALD layer with lateral dimensions of up to 2 cm and a thickness as low as 25 nm, creating the thinnest freestanding plates that can be picked up by hand [1]. Unlike unpatterned ultrathin films, which tend to warp or even roll up because of residual stress gradients, our plate metamaterials can be engineered to be extremely flat and can undergo extremely sharp bending. The plates are also more robust than planar films with respect to cracks: instead of propagating though the entire film, the cracks terminate at the vertical walls.

May 26, 2016

Helium Conservation in the Property Measurement Facility (SEF)

Mehmet Noyan loads a sample into the helium re-liquefier.The NSF has awarded additional funds to support helium conservation in the Property Measurement Shared Experimental Facility (SEF). The SEF hosts over a dozen low temperature measurement capabilities requiring liquid helium. Using the award, the Property Measurement Facility added a helium re-liquefier to a cryogenic, superconducting magnet system.  The new equipment nearly eliminates helium consumption in the facility, and will enable high levels of instrument availability for end-users.  Helium is a vanishing resource on our planet that plays an important role in scientific discovery.  This award will allow us to recapture helium rather than releasing it into our atmosphere and, ultimately, outer space.