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Program Highlights

Oriental Institute Mobile Museum Project

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we pursued new outreach directions with campus museums including the Smart Museum of Art and the Oriental Institute.

Self-organizing motors divide active liquid droplets

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we have constructed active liquid droplets comprised of the biopolymer actin, crosslinker and molecular motors myosin. The motors spontaneously divide the droplets in half.

Building strongly interacting photonic materials

A collaboration of the Simon and Schuster groups at the University of Chicago MRSEC  have realized a photonic strongly interacting Mott insulator using a 1D lattice of superconducting qubits.

Subatomic Channeling and Spiraling Electron Beams in Crystals

Using analytical aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), we studied the behavior of the electron probe propagating in SrTiO3 at sub-atomic length scales.

ABC Micelleplexes: Precise Compaction and High Colloidal Stability

In this work, the complexation of ABC micelles with a model semiflexible polyion, DNA, is systematically investigated to correlate the structure of the micelle with the properties of the resulting “micelleplexes”.

NSF-MRSEC Booth at the International Materials Research Congress

The NSF-MRSEC booth was featured at the XXVII International Materials Research Congress (IMRC) in Cancun, Mexico on August 19-24, 2018 to increase awareness, promote international collaboration, and broaden participation from traditionally underrepresented groups in the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (NSF-MRSEC) program.

Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI)

The NU-MRSEC has supported Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI), which is the largely NSF-funded program aimed at fostering connections between young researchers in the US and those in Eastern Africa.

Research Experience for Undergraduates Plus (REU+)

The new NU-MRSEC REU+ Program enables select REU participants from small colleges to follow their summer experience with an academic quarter at Northwestern University as domestic exchange students, thereby allowing them to experience the rigor of an R1 university in a nurturing environment. REU+ students take classes and also continue their research for an additional ten weeks.

Materials Science Exhibit at the Chicago Public Library

In collaboration with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and the Chicago Public Library, the NU-MRSEC launched the Materials Science Exhibit at the Harold Washington Library in downtown Chicago. The exhibit includes the Microscopy Gallery, which features artistic scientific images based on the latest research of nanoscale systems studied in NU-MRSEC Shared Facilities.

Designing Biomaterials Using High-Throughput Directed Evolution

Traditional design approaches are insufficient for exploring the vast phase space available to protein-based biomaterials. This NU-MRSEC seed-funded project is developing a platform for biomaterials design using directed evolution, which combines genetic mutation and protein synthesis with high-throughput materials characterization.