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Program Highlights for year 2009

PREM Collaboration yields scientific and educational results

A collaboration between PREM partners, Michael Bockstaller (CMU) and Rufina Alamo (FAMU) had great outcomes for both science and education. A student from Alamos's group at FAMU, Robert Smith, joined Bockstaller's group during the summer to study the effect of selective chlorine substitution on the crystallization of polyethylene.

Grain Boundary Lifetimes

The types of grain boundaries that make up the interfacial network within polycrystalline solids influence the properties and performance of the material. The population of grain boundary types is anisotropic, meaning that some of the types are found more frequently than others.

Adhesion and Interfacial Fracture in Soft and Hard Materials

One of the challenges in developing robust multilayers is the need to predict the interfacial strength between hard and soft materials.

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.