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Program Highlights

Using Light to Control the Viscoelastic Mechanical Properties of Gel-Like Materials

Research

MIT MRSEC researchers have developed stimuli-responsive hydrogel materials that can change their mechanical properties upon exposure to light. Insights generated from these studies will aid in the development of programmable hydrogels with specific stress-relaxing or energy-dissipating properties.

(2017)

Tuning the Stability of Electronic Defects in Semiconducting Oxides

Research

MIT MRSEC researchers have demonstrated that the combined action of temperature and mechanical stress can tune the relative stability of electronic defects in semiconducting oxides.

(2017)

Stretchable Spinal Cord Probes Offer New Tools to Study the Nervous System

Research

Intellectual Merit: Currently neurological and neuromuscular disorders such as spinal cord injuries and Parkinson’s disease are poorly understood.  A impediment to advances in this area is a lack of materials and devices that would allow for precise long-term two-way communication with groups of neurons (nerve cells) in the body.

(2017)

Leveraging MRSEC Equipment Purchases

Facilities

Leveraged upgrades to Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (S/TEM) and Focused Ion Beam System (FIB) include Gas-phase Environmental TEM, 3D EDS tomography (S/TEM), and others. 

(2017)

Synthesis of a Family of 2D Coordination Polymers using Hexaaminobenzene as the Building Block

Research

Since the discovery of Graphene, there has been a significant interest in the search of new 2D materials which would show similar interesting properties such as electrical and thermal conductivity, superconductivity, and topological gap.

(2017)

“Optical Detection of Transverse Spin-Seebeck Effect in Permalloy Films using Sagnac Interferometer Microscopy”

Research

The field of spintronics, which involves the design of novel electronic devices that utilize the spin of electrons, requires researchers to develop a robust source of spin-polarized currents to fuel future technology. 

(2017)

Terbium Ion Doping in Ca3Co4O9: A Step Towards High-Performance Thermoelectric Materials

Research

We have achieved the enhanced thermoelectric response in polycrystalline Ca3Co4O9 on doping Tb ions in the material. Specifically, a high figure of merit (ZT) of 0.74 at 800 K was observed for Ca2.5Tb0.5Co4O9.

(2017)

Surface-Enhanced Fluorescence of Pyrene on Nanostructured Aluminum

Research

Both the absorption and emission of ultraviolet light by pyrene (PAH compound) are enhanced by more than 30-fold on nanostructured aluminum, compared to an equivalent control sample on sapphire (aluminum oxide). 

(2017)

Using Shape Memory Alloys for Active Terahertz Plasmonic Devices

Research

We show the first demonstration of shape memory alloys being used for active THz devices. The metal foil was found to reproducibly cycle between the two geometries over 100 times. 

(2017)

Hands-on Science After School

Education

Utah MRSEC establishes science and engineering afterschool clubs at community centers and schools serving predominately underrepresented minority (URM) students in those fields. The Education and Outreach team then hires and trains University of Utah undergraduates to lead the clubs and deliver hands-on activities each week.

(2017)

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