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Program Highlights

Surface Patterning of Nanoparticles with Polymer Patches

Research
We demonstrate nanoparticle surface patterning, which utilizes thermodynamically driven segregation of polymer ligands from a uniform polymer brush into surface pinned micelles following a change in solvent quality.
(2016)

RT-MRSEC Graduate Fellow Launches Award-Winning Startup Company

Industry
A team of Duke graduate students has been named one of five companies receiving a total of $250,000 through the NC IDEA Foundation - an organization committed to supporting entrepreneurial business innovation and economic advancement in North Carolina.
(2016)

Self-Propelled Bouncing Droplets Remove Contaminants

Research
Researchers at Duke University and the University of British Columbia are exploring whether surfaces can shed dirt without the use of fragile superhydrophobic coatings.
(2016)

Synergistic Chemical Action Leads to Enhanced Adhesion

Research

Siderophores are compounds in microorganisms that bind and store iron. Parallels between the chemistry of compounds secreted by mussels to aid adhesion to rocks, and the chemistry of some siderophores inspired UCSB researchers Butler, Israelachvili, and Waite and their coworkers to study their adhesive properties.

(2016)

3D Multimodal Imaging of Biphasic Thermoelectrics

Facilities, Research

The use of a prototype “TriBeam” microscope, a scanning electron microscope equipped with a femtosecond laser for rapid serial sectioning, allows 3D views of materials to be obtained.

(2016)

Electrocatalytic Surfaces Using Bulk Metallic Glass Nanostructures

Research
Metallic glass nanostructures provide a new platform for electrocatalytic applications. Several surface modification strategies that remove or add metal species (images, right) improve the catalytic activity of metallic glass nanostructures.   These strategies were demonstrated for three key electrocatalytic reactions important for renewable energy.     
(2016)

Revealing Hidden Phases in Materials

Research

Strong interactions at the interface between a crystalline film and substrate can impart new structure to thin films. Here, a germanium surface (purple atoms) squeezes a BaTiO3 thin film above, revealing a hidden phase not seen in the bulk. The hidden phase of BaTiO3 shows oxygen octahedra cages (shaded in aqua) alternating in size.

(2016)

Metasurface Generation of Accelerating Light

Research
Artificially designed planar devices known as metasurfaces can control the output of an incident beam to generate prechosen patterns.
(2016)

A III-Nitride Monolithic Nanowire Laser for Silicon Photonics

Research
Present day silicon chips for communication and computing are densely packed with transistors and other passive elements.
(2016)

Persistent Optical Gating of a Topological Insulator

Research
An inter-MRSEC collaboration between the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University led to the discovery of a new technique that enables bidirectional control of the chemical potential in a topological insulator (TI).
(2016)

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