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Program Highlights for year 2011

Topological Materials for Next Generation Electronics

A new class of materials shows great promise for next generation electronics applications.  Topological insulators have been heralded for unique properties that may prove crucial to the successful development of devices in the emerging fields of spintronics and quantum computing.

Microscope maps the graphene terrain

Graphene, a single atom-thin sheet of carbon, can be used to make ultra-fast electronics. Researchers at the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) are collaborating with the U.S.

Atomic Resolution Imaging at 2.5 GHz using Near Field Microwave Microscopy

Sub-nanometer probes of surfaces provide important information about chemical and physical properties of materials at atomic level.  Microwave microscopy (left) is used to study materials properties at GHz (109 sec-1). This is the frequency range relevant for computers and cell phones, for which the materials are being explored.

Vortices and Antivortices on a Crosstie Wall

On the left is a magnetic force microscope (MFM) image of a CoFeB

Jamming as Enabling Technology for Soft Robotics

Basic science concepts developed in IRG1 about jamming of granular materials enabled the development of a new class of soft robotic systems.

MRSEC-Inspired Exhibits at the Exploratorium

Since 2006, members of the University of Chicago MRSEC have visited the Exploratorium and hosted reverse-visits by Exploratorium artists and scientists. The long-term goal is the realization of MRSEC-inspired exhibits on the Exploratorium floor.

EXAFS Studies of Local Structure in MTJ

Background: CoFeB-MgO magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) are leading spintronic devices that relies on quantum Mechanical tunneling of electrons from one magnetic metal (CoFeB) to another across an insulating barrier of MgO. The electrical resistance of such MTJs is dictated by the orientation of the two CoFeB metals, parallel or antiparallel.

High School Student Research Internships at the Johns Hopkins

Background: The JHU MRSEC conducts extensive K-12 educational outreach programs aimed at promoting interest in and awareness of the importance of modern materials research. High school students from the greater Baltimore area receive four-week internships each July to conduct research in the laboratories of the JHU MRSEC. The students are