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Program Highlights

Holiday Lecture 2020: A Materials Wonderland

PCCM celebrated its annual Holiday Lecture 2020: A Materials Wonderland: A Celebration of How Materials Science Make Our Holidays Fun with PCCM faculty, research members and others providing (virtual) materials science presentations. The audience helped with experiments and demonstrations from their homes. 426 families registered, some with multiple children (tuning from all over the world), resulting in ~1,000 attendees!

Discovery of Intrinsic Landau Quantization in an Insulator

In a surprising discovery, Princeton physicists have observed an unexpected quantum behavior in an insulator made from a material called tungsten ditelluride. This phenomenon, known as quantum oscillation, is typically observed in metals rather than insulators, and its discovery offers new insights into our understanding of the quantum world. The findings also hint at the existence of an entirely new type of quantum particle.

Multi-qubit Entanglement in a Quantum Network

The Cleland and Schuster groups at the University of Chicago have demonstrated multi-bit entanglement in a Quantum Network.

Sculpting and Predicting Flows in Active Nematics

The Gardel lab at the University of Chicago has realized an active liquid crystal where the active stresses could be modulated spatiotemporally through selective illumination with blue light.

Metallic “Defect Wires” in a Semiconducting Oxide

Semiconductors, which have electrical properties in between metals and insulators, are the building blocks of devices like transistors that fuel computer technology. New semiconducting materials that could outperform existing ones are continuously sought in science and engineering, with oxides being one contender.

PointNet-meso: A Tool for Detecting Self-Assembled Block Oligomer Morphologies

Screening block oligomer chemistry and architecture through molecular simulations to find promising candidates for functional materials requires effective morphology identification techniques. Common strategies for structure identification include structure factors and order parameters, but these fail to identify imperfect structures in simulations with incorrect system sizes.

Trainable shear memory in dense suspensions

A collaboration between the University of Chicago MRSEC groups of Jaeger, Patel, and Rowan showed that the complex modulus of a dense suspension of microparticles can be increased exponentially over several orders of magnitude by applying interval training during oscillatory shear, leading to a structural memory. 

Soft Matter for All: Celebrating Diversity and Creativity in Soft Matter

MRSEC faculty at Princeton University and the University of Delaware co-hosted a virtual symposium celebrating early-career researchers in Soft and Biological Matter with a focus on those from underrepresented groups.

Virtual Exhibition on International Education for Sustainable Textile Manufacturing

PAQM researcher Theanne Schiros creatied a virtual exhibition entitled 6878 KM. The exhibition features outreach and international sustainable development teaching natural dye chemistry to artisans, especially women, in ultra-poor communities in West Africa.

Active Control of Long-Range Exciton Transport in Superatomic Materials

Active control over exciton (electron-hole pair) transport is a much sought-after goal to create reconfigurable excitonic and optoelectronic transistors. The PAQM team achieved the first example of predictive optical control over exciton transport in semiconductors.