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Program Highlights

Computational Discovery of New Oxychalcogenide Compounds

High-throughput density functional theory (DFT) calculations are used to accelerate the discovery of new oxychalcogenide compounds. In particular, experimentally-known crystal structures are decorated with essentially all possible combinations of elements in the periodic table, generating thousands of potential compounds.

(2018)

Electronic Coupling in Organic-Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Heterojunctions

Heterojunctions containing two-dimensional materials can give rise to unique effects at the interface or enhance existing optical properties of the composite layers. Using organic molecules in these heterojunctions has the advantage to enable synthetically tunable electronic and optical properties.

(2018)

Reconfigurable 2D Materials with Neuromorphic Functionality

Solid-state electronics and advanced computation has spurred significant interest in artificial intelligence and neuromorphic (i.e., brain-like) computing. However, the deterministic correlations between input and action in conventional silicon microelectronics are not well-matched to information processing in biological systems.

(2018)

Forward-looking Metalens

Inspired by the human eye, a team led by Clarke at the Harvard MRSEC has reported in Science Advances an adaptive metalens that is a flat, electronically-controlled artificial eye. This new lens which combines breakthroughs in artificial muscle and lens technologies simultaneously controls focus, astigmatism, and image shift.

(2018)

Crushing Soda Cans: Predicting the Stability Landscape of Shell Buckling

Crushing a soda can from top to bottom is easier if it is dented initially on the side. Predicting the force needed to crush a dented can, however, which is of critical importance for structural reliance of materials engineering is quite challenging.

(2018)

NanoThermoMechanical Thermal Computing

Research

Limited performance and reliability of electronic devices at extreme temperatures, intensive radiation found in space exploration missions and earth-based applications requires the development of alternative computing technologies. Nebraska MRSEC researchers have designed and prototyped the world’s first high-temperature thermal diode.

(2018)

Nebraska MRSEC Puts a “Spark” in Summer Learning

Education

In Summer 2017, Nebraska MRSEC partnered with the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools to offer a new, STEAM-based summer learning program. Spark Summer Learning provides opportunities for students in grades K-5 to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and math in an immersive setting, engaging students in problem-based learning through hands-on “maker” projects.

(2018)

Optical Control of Polarization in Hybrid 2D-Ferroelectric Structures

Research

Switchable electric polarization of ferroelectric materials can serve as a state variable in advanced electronic systems, such as non-volatile memories and logic. Control of ferroelectric polarization by external stimuli is the key component for these systems.

(2018)

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