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Program Highlights

Deactivating Viruses Using Self-Assembling DNA Origami Shells

Researchers have developed programmable DNA origami building blocks that self-assemble into icosahedral shells, with programmable sizes. The shells can be functionalized with antibodies, enabling them to engulf and neutralize natural viruses.

Development of New Active Materials

Active materials are systems that are driven by nano scale components that consume energy and produce work. In this work, two new biochemically powered active materials were developed with unique properties that will allow for a systematic exploration of emergent non-equilibrium phenomenology.

Single-Defect Phonons Imaged by Electron Microscopy

Based on the new capabilities of the Nion HERMES 200, the UCI MRSEC team (Pan and Wu) demonstrated, for the first time, exotic atomic vibrations localized at a single stacking fault in cubic SiC, showing by an energy shift of 3.8 meV and an obvious intensity modulation of the acoustic phonon mode.

Hierarchical Assembly of Structurally Oriented Metal-Organic Frameworks as Novel Ionic Conductors

Liquefied gas electrolytes enable low temperature operation due to their low freezing point. However, their high vapor pressure poses a safety concern. Can confinement of these gas electrolytes in a nanoscale material enhance electrochemical performance while minimizing the hazards?

Research Immersion in Materials Science & Engineering (RIMSE) Spring Break Research Experience

In response to a campus-wide initiative to prevent a surge in COVID19 infections, the Center piloted a special (in-person) RIMSE Spring Break Research Experience to encourage undergraduate students to remain on campus during the 2021 Spring Break.

Complementary Methods for Characterizing Excitations in Hybrid Materials

The UD MRSEC team is developing and employing a suite of novel experimental characterization techniques that provide important insights into hybrid materials, in which unique properties arise due to interactions between material constituents.

Science and Cooking: Highlighting Indigenous Scientific Innovations and Traditions

The Harvard MRSEC is partnering with Navajo Technical University to develop robust pathways to scientific careers for Native American students. The partnership strives to bring to the forefront scientific traditions and innovations of indigenous peoples.

Liquid-induced Topological Transformations of Cellular Microstructures

A team at the Harvard MRSEC led by Aizenberg and Bertoldi has developed a dynamic design strategy to achieve topological transformations of two-dimensional polymeric cellular lattices in a reversible and controllable manner through exposure to different liquids.

Mechanochemical Adhesion and Plasticity in Multifiber Hydrogel Networks

Burdick and Shenoy have designed synthetic actively remodeling networks using electrospun fibers containing reactive groups that form c