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Program Highlights

Stabilizing A Double Gyroid Network Phase by Blending of LAM and CYL Forming Block Oligomers

Based on the hypothesis that blending LAM- and CYL-forming block oligomers may yield stable network phases, molecular dynamics simulations are used to study binary blend self-assembly of AB-type diblock (n-tridecan-1,2,3,4-tetraol) and AB2-type miktoarm (5-octyl-tridecan-1,2,3,4-tetraol)  amphiphiles.

Dopant Segregation at Dislocations in an Emerging Oxide Semiconductor

Emerging semiconductors such as tin-based oxides have enormous application potential in devices, as they are transparent, support highly mobile electrons, and have wide “energy gaps”. Unlike better developed semiconductors, however, these materials are prone to harboring defects, which can limit essential properties such as electron mobility.

Host matrix engineering for enhanced molecular qubit coherence

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we demonstrate that controlling the molecular crystal hosting the active qubit is a powerful means for enhancing coherence.

Self-assembly of nanocrystals into strongly electronically coupled all-inorganic supercrystals

At the University of Chicago MRSEC, we have demonstrated the self-assembly of charged nanocrystals into strongly electronically coupled supercrystals, a feature previously not possible with traditional insulating organic surface ligands.

Trainable shear memory in dense suspensions

A collaboration between the University of Chicago MRSEC groups of Jaeger, Patel, and Rowan showed that the complex modulus of a dense suspension of microparticles can be increased exponentially over several orders of magnitude by applying interval training during oscillatory shear, leading to a structural memory.

IRG2: Equitable COVID-19 Vaccines Through Materials Science

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for platform technologies enabling rapid development of vaccines for emerging viral diseases. The current vaccines target the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein and thus far have shown tremendous efficacy. However, the need for cold-chain distribution, a prime-boost administration schedule, and the emergence of variants of concern (VOCs) call for diligence in novel SARS-CoV-2 vaccine approaches.

EHRD: Research Immersion in Materials Science & Engineering (RIMSE) Summer Schools

The UCSD MRSEC RIMSE Summer Schools prepare trainees to engage in research, in MRSEC labs and within UCSD at large. The program streamlines high school students, undergraduate students (with a particular focus on transfer students), REU students, and incoming graduate students into research programs in the domains covered by the two IRGs.

Leaders in Innovation: New Startups Addressing Societal Problems

The Harvard MRSEC provides a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship and several recent Ph.D. students supported by Center IRGs and seed projects have co-founded new companies. 

Self-Regulated Non-Reciprocal Motions in Liquid Crystal Elastomer Pillars

A team at the Harvard MRSEC led by Bertoldi and Aizenberg has developed an approach to achieve a diverse trajectories from a single-material system via self-regulation: when a photoresponsive liquid crystal elastomeric pillar with mesogen alignment is exposed to light, it ‘dances’ dynamically as light initiates a traveling order-to-disorder transition front that twists and bends via opto-chemo-mechanical feedback.

MRSEC collaborations celebrate diversity and professional growth in materials research

UD CHARM and Princeton’s PCCM coordinated with the Chicago MRSEC to host three virtual events (Soft Matter for All, Rising Stars, and a Professional Development Workshop) to highlight early career, high-impact research and ignite discussion for graduate students and postdocs pursuing academic and non-academic career paths.

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