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Program Highlights for year 2014

Engineering Cellular Response Using Nanopatterned Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG)

Biomaterials implanted in the body evoke a “Foreign body response” which results in encapsulation of the material in a collagen-rich protein capsule. Fibroblast cells, which produce collagen, mediate this process that leads to biomaterial rejection / device failure in vivo. Surface nanotopography of BMGs can be used to engineer fibroblast-material interactions.

Sensor Skin - A platform for highly stretchable, biocompatible, transparent sensors

In work reported in Science (August 20, 2013) a Harvard MRSEC team led by Suo and Whitesides developed a transparent “ionic skin,” a sensor skin using ionic conductors. It senses signals with high stability and wide dynamic

Electrically collapsible hydrogels with enhanced mechanical toughness

A Harvard MRSEC team led by Clarke, Mooney, Parker, Suo, and Vlassak has developed new hydrogels

Magnetic Domain Structure of Cobalt Nanospirals

Nanoscale three-dimensional (3D) structures are building blocks for the fabrication of miniature switching devices and can be used as functional units in nanorobotics. The functionality of the 3D

Plastic deformation of plaque enhances bond strength

Fracture energy of plaque/glass interface Gc ≈ 100 J/m2

104 × larger than Eadh of mfp5 (the most adhesive protein)!


Probing spin and charge on the nanoscale

We are building a scanning probe microscope to study spin and charge on the nanoscale. The magnetic sensing element is a nitrogen-vacancy center (NV) in diamond, which should afford single electron spin sensitivity with 10 nm spatial resolution.

Schematic of diamond-based scanning probe magnetometer

Partnering with Wisconsin Industry

The industrial consortium coordinated by the Wisconsin MRSEC has grown to 20 to 25 members. The Wisconsin MRSEC has now partnered with the University of Wisconsin business school to develop strategies

Cameca LEAP Atom Probe at UW Madison

The wide range of instrumentation within the University of Wisconsin MRSEC Shared Instrumentation Facilities (UW-MRSEC SIF) can now be accessed by academic and industry users around the nation via the Materials Research Facilities Network (   A Significant new addition over the past year is a Cameca LEAP 3000 Si ATOM Probe.

Formation of Large Area Aligned Arrays of Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes

Creating aligned arrays of high purity (>99.9%) semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (s-SWCNTs) over a large area has been a significant challenge in materials synthesis. Towards this goal, IRG2 have