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Program Highlights

Self-Assembly of Soft Materials: A Multiscale Computational Approach

Surfactant adsorption at solid-liquid interfaces is important in many industrial processes, including corrosion inhibition, dispersion stabilization, and lubrication. Furthermore, surfactant adsorption may provide novel and exciting means to guide soft materials to self-assemble into a myriad of tailored shapes.

Direct-Transfer Patterning on Three- Dimensional Surfaces

While many approaches have been developed over the years to transfer patterns onto flat surfaces, faithfully transferring patterns onto curves substrates remains a major obstacle to the development of large-area electronics. Recently, PCCM researchers have successfully patterned domed polyester substrates with metal stripes (gold, silver, etc.).

Doping Affects Electronic Transport Through Molecular Junctions

Electronic transport through a junction formed between silicon (Si), a monolayer of alkyl chains (C14H29) self-assembled on Si, and a metal (M) is dominated by thermionic emission above the semiconductor barrier and tunneling through the insulating molecular layer [1].

Breaking the Mold to Produce Submicron Polymeric Gratings with Large Areas

PCCM researchers have discovered a new method for making gratings: by prying apart two rigid plates that sandwich a thin, glassy polymeric film. The process fractures the film into complementary sets of ridges on each plate, with the ridges on one corresponding to the valleys on the other.

Si Nanowire Grids Polarize Down to 193 nm

The continual decrease in microelectronic device feature size, captured in the famous "Moore's Law", has come in part from a decrease in the wavelength of light used in the photolithographic steps used to pattern these features. Today, the most advanced production photolithography uses 193 nm ultraviolet (UV) light from an ArF excimer laser.

An Electronic Density-Wave Turns into a Superconductor

At low temperatures, the electrons in most layered transition-metal chalcogenides undergo a phase transition into an interesting, highly-ordered state called the charge-density-wave (CDW), in which the electron density spontaneously acquires a weak, periodic spatial modulation. In a small subset of materials, the CDW state is destroyed and replaced by the superconducting state.

A story of two spin off companies

Fundamental MRSEC research often leads to new technologies that in turn create innovative start-up companies. QD Vision and Luminus Devices are two exciting examples of this process.

Closing the Loop on Recycling: Can We Stop the oil-to-Landfill Treadmill?

Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), a widely used engineering thermoplastic for carpet, clothing (fibers), tire cords, soda bottles and other containers, film, automotive, electronics, displays etc., will contribute several billion pounds of waste to landfills this year alone! According to the American Plastics Council, PET packaging was originally used for soft d