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Program Highlights

Panel Discussion on Entrepreneurship, CTT and LRSM

This year, we collaborated with Penn’s Center for Technology Transfer (CTT) on a discussion panel "How to Start a Materials-based Company." CTT is in charge of transferring inventions and innovative knowledge to outside organizations for the benefit of society. The panel, geared mainly towards graduate students, focused on starting a materials science based company.

In Situ Repair of Nanocrystal Devices

Semiconductor nanocrystals are sensitive to air and solvents, which hinders wet-chemical processing under ambient conditions.

This problem has limited the scaling of nanocrystal device dimensions and large-scale device integration achievable by  conventional processing.

Phonons & Soft Spots in Two-dimensional Glasses and Crystals

The mechanical failure of amorphous systems is not well understood, but recent work by Liu and co-workers suggests that low-frequency vibrational modes are concentrated in localized regions, or “soft spots,” that are prone to rearrange.

Anisotropic Particles Toughen Disordered Packings

Disordered nanoparticle assemblies constitute an important class of materials that have numerous applications in energy conversion and storage, electronics, photonics, and sensing. Unfortunately, however, such assemblies tend to fracture and abrade under small loads, significantly limiting their widespread use.


Dendrimers are highly branched molecules. Amphiphilic glycodendrimers have been synthesized for the first time. These macro-molecules have tunable carbohydrate head groups and hydrophobic tails. The precise architecture of the dendrimers facilitates assembly of precise structures, including vesicles (glycodendrimersomes).

“Shaken, not stirred”: Spin controlled with mechanical vibration

Spin resonance in diamond using a MEMS resonator

Atomic Break Dancing in the World’s Thinnest Glass

Electron microscopy reveals the fundamental steps of bending

Cavitation in Block Copolymer Modified Epoxy Revealed by In Situ Small-Angle X-Ray Scattering

Addition of rubber particles to epoxy thermosets has been successful for toughening these brittle materials.