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Program Highlights

Universal Signatures of Plasticity in a Wide Range of Disordered Solids

Research

The groups of nine faculty in IRG 1 (Arratia, Carpick, Durian, Fakhraai, Lee, Riggleman, Turner, Yodh, Liu) are exploring approaches to increase the toughness of disordered materials that are otherwise prone to fail in a catast

(2018)

Middle School Summer Program: Girard College and Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

Education

Since 2011, 7th grade students from Girard College have spent one week on campus at the LRSM. Girard College is a Philadelphia boarding school for economically disadvantaged students from single-parent households. In 2018, students from The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD) joined the camp.

(2018)

Tunable nechanics and dynamics in biopolymer-based nematic materials

Research

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we have shown that building blocks of the biopolymers, actin and microtubule, form lyotropic liquid crystals with controllable structure and mechanics.

(2018)

Quantum control of surface acoustic wave phonons

Research

The University of Chicago MRSEC has used super-conducting circuits and piezo-electricity to manipulate single phonons in a surface acoustic wave resonator (SAW).

(2018)

NSF-MRSEC Booth at the International Materials Research Congress

Following a successful inaugural year in 2016, a NSF-MRSEC booth was again featured at the XXVI International Materials Research Congress (IMRC) in Cancun, Mexico on August 19-25, 2017 to increase awareness, promote international collaboration, and broaden participation from traditionally underrepresented groups in the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Cente

(2018)

Research Experience for Teachers

Since its inception in 1992, the NU-MRSEC has offered the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program each summer to middle-school, high-school, and community-college teachers with the principal goals of engaging them in research, developing a network of scientific colleagues, learning about new scientific and technological developments, and transferring this knowledge to the classroom.

(2018)

HerStory at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

In collaboration with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, HerStory is an outreach event that encourages young girls, particularly underrepresented minorities, to pursue science in academia and beyond. The event agenda includes a massive scavenger hunt at the museum that featured exhibits of famous female scientists in each wing of the museum.

(2018)

Encapsulated 2D Heterostructures for Enhanced Layered Optoelectronics

Two-dimensional (2D) layered materials have many features suitable for optoelectronic devices, but poor quality substrates can degrade optical properties. By encapsulating a monolayer semiconductor in layers of atomically-thin hexagonal boron nitride, a nearly pristine environment can be achieved free from surface roughness and defects of typical substrates.

(2018)

Controlled Mechanical Buckling for Origami-Inspired 3D Microstructures

A new strategy has been introduced to exploit mechanical buckling for autonomic origami assembly of three-dimensional (3D) microstructures across a wide range of material classes, including soft polymers and brittle inorganic semiconductors, and length scales from nanometers to centimeters.

(2018)

Tuning Optical Properties with DNA-Linked Gold Nanodisk Stacks

Recent advances in gold nanoparticle synthesis combined with functionalization with DNA linkers has enabled the self-assembly of stacks of gold nanodisks in which the optical spectra can be tuned and modulated by controlling the stack structure (e.g., particle spacing, arrangement, and stack length).

(2018)

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