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Program Highlights

ABC Micelleplexes: Precise Compaction and High Colloidal Stability

Research

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”.

(2019)

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.

(2019)

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.

(2019)

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.

(2019)

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.

(2019)

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.

(2019)

Processing 2D Porous Polymers into Membranes via Exfoliation

The NU-MRSEC Super-Seed team has developed a method to process imine-linked 2D COF powders into thin films via reversible exfoliation. The COF powder is treated with strong acids, which causes each layer to become positively charged. This charged form is exfoliated in solvents with gentle sonication, which provides a suspension of nanosheets.

(2019)

Photoluminescence and Antiferromagnetism in the New Heteroanionic Material BaFMn0.5Te

Semiconductors with both magnetic and optoelectronic properties are relevant for novel spintronic devices. With the aim of discovering new magnetic semiconductors, NU-MRSEC IRG-2 performed synthesis investigations on mixed halide-chalcogenides, resulting in the discovery of the new compound BaFMn0.5Te.

(2019)

UPenn Program with Southern Africa

Education

Since 2003 we have successfully partnered with universities in Southern Africa, specifically the National University of Lesotho and the University of Pretoria, to bring faculty members to the LRSM every summer to participate in collaborative research projects with our faculty. Often the students of faculty members are invited to join as well to gain research experience. This was the case with Mopeli Fabiane (top picture), who originally came as a lecturer, then a graduate student, and now continues to visit as a researcher with his Ph.D. The program started with 2-3 faculty/students visiting each summer and now this summer, 2019, will support 7 visitors (6 faculty and 1 student).

(2019)

Membraneless Organelles Build from Engineered Assemblies of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

Research

Our team designed a protein-based RGG material capable of self-assembly into micron size condensates that can be genetically encoded and expressed to form membranelles organelles in living cells. RGG is an intrinsically disordered peptide that coacervates to form a dynamic protein phase through weak, multivalent interactions.

(2019)

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