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Program Highlights

Reaching Underserved Audiences by Bringing Science to a Local Food Pantry

Not all members of our community have the time or resources to attend science outreach events. To reach some of those people, the Wisconsin MRSEC conducts its engaging, hands-on science activities to a local food pantry. Customers can wait up to 90 minutes at the food pantry, providing ample time for educational activities for kids, their parents, and other curious adult visitors.

(2019)

Nanoscale Control of Complex Oxide Crystallization

Small (nanometer-sized) crystals of multi-component, complex metal oxides have useful properties for applications in electronics, optics, sensors, and mechanical actuators. In order to realize this potential, engineers need to be able to put tiny crystals exactly where they are needed and to control the orientation of the crystal’s lattice.

(2019)

Optical Excited States in a Moiré Crystal

In transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) monolayers, there are two inequivalent valleys (energy extrema points in the band structure) related by time-reversal symmetry. Fundamental optical excitations, or excitons (bound electron-hole pairs) are formed at these valleys.

(2019)

Gelation of Plasmonic Metal Oxide Nanocrystals by Polymer-Induced Depletion Attractions

Nanocrystal gelation is a strategy to translate exceptional properties inherent to nanoscale building blocks into multiscale architectures and devices. However, available gelation methods are not easily adaptable across broad classes of nanocrystal systems since assembly is strongly reliant on specific surface chemistries.

(2019)

Musical Magnetism: Engaging Middle School Students in Materials Science

Education

The Illinois MRSEC developed and implemented an 8-week program called “Musical Magnetism” that engages middle school students in materials science using the popular platform of music. The program combines engaging lessons and demos, researching a topic, turning that research into lyrics, and recording a song. 35 8th graders at Franklin STEAM Academy participated.

(2019)

Strain Superlattice of Graphene on Nanospheres

Research

Strain engineering two-dimensional (2D) materials provides a new way to tailor electronic bandstructures and access novel electronic devices. A key route to strain 2D materials, such as graphene, is via underlying nanostructured substrates.

(2019)

CDCM K-5 Research Experience for Teachers is Forging Direct Links between Elementary Classrooms & University Labs, Mentors, & Facilities

The CDCM RET program is unique in that it is designed specifically for K-5 teachers, with the intended purpose of engaging and sustaining student interest in STEM at a young age. In summer 2018, CDCM launched its inaugural program with 4 teachers participating, spanning grades 1st – 5th.

(2019)

A Viable Material for Topological Antiferromagnetic Spintronics

Research

Topological antiferromagnetic spintronics is an emerging field of research where topological properties of a material are coupled to the antiferromagnetic ordering. Topological properties involve non-trivial electronic states, such as Dirac nodal lines, which are protected by the structural and magnetic symmetry of the material.

(2019)

New Hybrid Heterostructure Nanophotonic Materials

Research

The inherently weak light-matter interaction at the nanoscale can be enhanced by new metal-dielectric hybrid nanomaterials. This enhancement can enrich some of the quantum and nonlinear features of light, leading to new nanophotonic applications.

(2019)

Capturing Structural Dynamics of Materials with Ultrafast Electron Diffraction

Research

“Phase transition” is a term which is commonly used to describe transformations between solid, liquid, and gaseous states of matter. However, even in solids, phase transitions may occur between different structural phases, resulting in a discontinuous change of certain material properties, such as electrical conductivity and heat capacity, which can be used in technological applications.

(2019)

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