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Program Highlights

Toward Site-Specific Stamping of Graphene

A physical hypothesis based on theory and ab initio modeling for the stamping of graphene and few layers graphene (FLG) on silica is presented, and the feasibility of site-specific stamping of FLG patterns is demonstrated experimentally (figure below shows 10-layer FLG pattern stamped on silica).

Hybrid Silicon Nanocrystal-Polymer Solar Cells

Mr. Chin-Yi Liu, a graduate student working in Professor Kortshagen’s group, demonstrated the first hybrid solar cell based on silicon nanocrystals and a conductive polymer, poly-3(hexylthiophene) (P3HT). 

Manipulating Crystal Orientation in Nanopores

The UMN MRSEC has demonstrated the control of nanocrystal orientation within nanoporous polymer monoliths prepared from ABC triblock terpolymers containing a robust A block (polystyrene), a hydrophilic B block [poly(dimethylacrylamide)]

Magnetics Day - Magnetism in Technology

MRSEC faculty members Paul Crowell, Chris Leighton, and Dan Dahlberg and their students guided 25 high school students through an exploration of magnetism and its applications to technology as part of the Institute of Technology Center for Education Programs (ITCEP) Exploring Careers in Science & Engineering summer camp. The day of activities included hands-on demos, a lunch with recent graduates working in industry, and an afternoon spent building motors, magnetic levitators, generators, and radios.

Defect Density Limits Orientational Order in Shear-Aligned Block Copolymer Films

Self-assembling block copolymers provide a simple, efficient, and rapid way to generate nanoscale patterns over macroscopic areas:Â’  for example, an array of 20 nm dots covering a 100 mm silicon wafer.Â’  These dots can be "lined up" by applying shear to the block copolymer film [1], but the order is not perfect:Â’  dislocations (lines of dots that abruptly start or end) remain in the film.Â’

Quantum Memory Preserves Coherence for over 1 Second in Silicon

One of the key hurdles to building a large quantum computer is maintaining the coherence of the many individual two-level quantum mechanical systems, or qubits. Atoms and ions in a vacuum or nuclear spins in solids and liquids can have long coherence, but it is not yet known how well those systems can be scaled to make a large computer.

Phase Transition of Dirac Electrons in Bismuth

The energy E of a bowling ball increases as the square of its velocity (or momentum p). This is also generally true for electrons in solids, which are accurately described by the Schràƒ’¶dinger equation (Fig. 1a). However, in a small set of materials - e.g. bismuth, antimony and graphene - E increases linearly with p (Fig. 1b).

Nanoscale Imaging Shows Link between Attractive and Repulsive Forces in Copper-Oxide Superconductors

In a normal material, electrons repel each other due to their charge. In the copper-oxide superconductors, however, an attractive force develops between electrons that pairs them up at temperatures up to 140 degrees above absolute zero. Understanding the reason for this pairing has remained an elusive goal in condensed matter physics research over the past two decades.

Low Density Ti-based Bulk Metallic Glasses as a Matrix For High Performance Metallic Glass Composite

In a recent publication in Nature, we reported bulk metallic glass (BMG) matrix composites exhibiting >10% tensile ductility and Fracture Toughness comparable to or exceeding the toughest metals known [1]. These high performance composites demonstrate the potential of metallic glass as revolutionary structural metals. The BMG matrix