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Program Highlights for year 2009

Origin of the Colossal Electromagnon in Multiferroic RMnO3

In multiferroic materials, where magnetism and ferroelectricity coexist, it is possible to excite mixed spin and lattice vibrations with electromagnetic waves called electromagnons. We find that the mechanism responsible for electromagnons is different from the one that couples static magnetism and ferroelectricity.

CRISP High resolution non-contact Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)

Understanding the locations of atoms as they are deposited on a surface is critical for growing interfaces of electronicÂ’  device quality.

Seeing is Believing

Made possible by a grant from the Connecticut Office of Workforce Competitiveness (OWC) the goal is to provide Connecticut's teachers with cutting edge imaging tools for their classrooms. A table top scanning electron microscope (mini-SEM) with elemental analysis capabilities was purchased. Typical SEMs are large and require extensive training and maintenance.

Magnetically-responsive stiffness of carbon nanotube arrays

Professor Buehler of IRG-II has employed atomistic-based multiscale simulations to theoretically demonstrate the concept of “mechanomutability," i.e. the capability of a material to change its mechanical properties reversibly in response to an external stimulus.

Cooking and Science: A Conversation on Creativity

With over 2 million requests annually for only 8,000 reservations at El Bulli, the renowned restaurant is harder to get into than Harvard.

New Ordered Hierarchical Helical Assemblies

Mesoscale hierarchical helical structures with diverse functions are abundant in nature.

Self-Limited Self-Assembly of Chiral Subunits

A simple computational model demonstrates the assembly of self-limited filamentous bundles. The images are taken from dynamic Monte Carlo simulations in which chiral subunits spontaneously assemble under different interaction strengths and degrees of chirality.

Polymers Under Constraint

fd virus is a polymeric virus 1 mm in length and 10 nm in diameter. We bind fluorescently labeled fd to 1 mm diameter polystyrene spheres creating a charged polymer stabilized colloid (hairy bead) and measure the interparticle potential using a double laser trap. We first measure the interaction energy of (a) bare beads and (b) then the hairy beads, seen here in fluorescence microscopy.


During the academic year, F08 - S09, Olin undergraduates Sean Calvo, Caitlin Greeley, Stephani Gulbrandsen, and Leif Jentoft designed, built, and tested a flexible automated microscopy platform capable of imaging an area up to 100mm x 100mm with a resolution of 10 microns at 4.8 second per square mm.