Skip to content Skip to navigation

Program Highlights for year 2016

Metasurface Generation of Accelerating Light

Artificially designed planar devices known as metasurfaces can control the output of an incident beam to generate prechosen patterns.

A III-Nitride Monolithic Nanowire Laser for Silicon Photonics

Present day silicon chips for communication and computing are densely packed with transistors and other passive elements.

Persistent Optical Gating of a Topological Insulator

An inter-MRSEC collaboration between the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University led to the discovery of a new technique that enables bidirectional control of the chemical potential in a topological insulator (TI).

Red, Yellow, Green, and Blue Lasing Using Colloidal Quantum Wells

There is an abiding interest in using nanocrystals as laser gain media due to their tunable emission wavelengths, low cost, and solution processability. However, it has been proven difficult to achieve low lasing thresholds suitable for practical applicatons.

Plate Mechanical Metamaterials

We introduced the concept of plate mechanical metamaterials [1] and its initial realization in the form of freestanding corrugated plates made out of ultrathin films.

Helium Conservation in the Property Measurement Facility (SEF)

The NSF has awarded additional funds to support helium conservation in the Property Measurement Shared Experimental Facility (SEF). The SEF hosts over a dozen low temperature measurement capabilities requiring liquid helium.

Dendrimer-Nanocrystal Building Blocks

Optimum function of plasmonic nanocrystal in assembly requires precision control of separation. Often, larger separations are desired while still maintaining order. With our COMPASS collaborators, Hough and Donnio, IRG-4 has developed a new class of building blocks that incorporate dendrimer ligands.

Universality of Microscopic Structure and Macroscopic Mechanical Response in Disordered Packings Across Length Scales

A metal spoon can bend in half without breaking because of defects in its crystalline structure.  By contrast, a metal spoon with atoms in a disordered structure—a metallic glass spoon—would break via a catastrophic brittle fracture.  Here we show that disordered packings of particles ranging in size from atoms, as in a metallic glass, to nanoparticles to micron-sized colloids to centimeter-siz

Video Archives of Outreach Presentations

To increase our online presence, we are recording nearly all outreach presentations and making them available on our website ( These include Science Cafes, PREM seminars (given usually in Spanish), and various other events.

Top Chefs at the MRSEC

Harvard hosted its first ever “Top Chef” competition, as part of Science and Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Condensed Matter, now in its sixth year as a highly popular undergraduate course at Harvard.