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Program Highlights

SEED Team Builds Simple Microrobots from DNA

Research

The ‘micro-origami’ approach to making microrobotic devices is to form thin films that can fold themselves into desired, dynamically  transformable  shapes.

(2017)

Probing the Evolution of Plasmonic Properties in Nanocrystal Oligomer Metamolecules

Research

Nanocrystal “molecules” or “oligomers”: precise-number assemblies of nanocrystals  with well-defined geometrical arrangements.

IRG-4 self-assembles, models, and measures these plasmonic metal nanocrystal oligomers in order to tailor their optical properties.

(2017)

Polycatenar Ligands Control Nanocrystal Synthesis and Self-Assembly

Research

Penn-COMPASS Partnership: IRG4/Solvay/CNRS

IRG-4 creates new forms of matter by assembling nanometer-sized crystals into large, ordered, complex assemblies (nanocrystal superlattices. 

Murray (IRG-4) and Donnio (CNRS) have synthesized a library of molecules (polycatenars) that enable new kinds of nanocrystals and superlattices.

Broader Impact

(2017)

A new measure of structure in disordered materials

Research

Disordered packings like sand piles and metallic glasses have arrangements of their constituent particles that appear very similar to those of a liquid.  It is a very hard and long-standing problem to be able “look” at the particle arrangement and tell if the the system is rigid, and where flow will initiate if the system is deformed.

(2017)

Heterogeneity in the small-scale deformation behavior of disordered nanoparticle packings

Research

At the smallest length scales, disordered systems such as nanoparticle packings and glass resemble the grains of sand on a beach. Lacking a structure, it is very difficult to understand how they deform and flow. We use a technique called atomic force microscopy, in which a sharp probe “feels” and pokes at a sample to measure its shape and mechanical properties.

(2017)

Hybrid Cell-Like Vesicular Assemblies from Bacterial Membranes and Synthetic Components

Research

Hybrid cell-like vesicles were prepared by coassembling (glyco)dendrimersomes with bacterial membrane vesicles (BMVs) derived from E. Coli. These assemblies incorporated transmembrane proteins such as the small fusion protein MgrB tagged with a red fluorescent protein, and glycoconjugates such as lipopolysaccharides and glycoproteins from E. Coli.

(2017)

Three-dimensional Objects from Swollen, Topographically-Patterned Bilayer Films

Research

Building complex three-dimensional (3D) materials from pre-programmed two-dimensional films presents exciting challenges and opportunities. To achieve this goal, researchers inspired by the paper folding techniques of origami and kirigami have successfully utilized the mechanical instabilities of thin films, such as buckling.

(2017)

Control of Spin-Orbit Splitting in 2D Semiconductors

Probing and manipulating electronic band structures of 2D materials.

(2017)

Translating Spin Seebeck Effect Physics into Practice

Study reveals thin film physics also manifests in random nanocomposite geometry. 

(2017)

Through the Atomic Scale Looking Glass

Research

In Through the Looking Glass, Alice steps through a mirror into a world in which everything is its mirror image. Realizing that writing in books is reversed, Alice wonders what has happened on the atomic scale. 

(2017)

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