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Program Highlights

Workshops on Materials Science Labs for Teachers

In 2008 The Penn MRSEC assisted a high school science teacher, Schuyler Patton, to prepare a year-long elective course on materials science for his high school, Central HS, Philadelphia. It started with one class of 33 students and it was very successful. In 2010-11, it was expanded to two sections with 66 students.

Philly Materials Science and Engineering Day

In conjunction with the NOVA TV science program, the Penn MRSEC collaborated with Penn and Drexel University Materials Science Departments to arrange the first Philly Materials Science & Engineering Day on Feb. 5, 2011, which introduced the general public in the

Using a vice to change topology: theory and modeling insulators under strain The Topological Insulators Seed of the LRSM

The topological insulating materials offer conductive surface states that can be useful for quantum computing, catalysis, and other applications.

Protein Assembly at the Air-Water Interface

Protein assembly at the air-water interface (AWI) occurs naturally in many biological processes, and provides a method for creating ordered biomaterials. However, the factors that control protein self-assembly at the AWI are generally not well understood.

Nanostructured programmable matter for functional architectures and devices

The objective of this Seed is to understand cooperative electronic, optical and electromagnetic phenomena emerging from the interactions of nanoscale building blocks. Recent work encompasses synthesis of nanoparticles (figure right) and nanowires, and the investigation of how nanocrystals can drive geometrical rearrangement in polymersome micelles (figure right).

Pd Dispersion on Opposing Polar LiNbO3 Surfaces

Pioneering experiments reported [upper left] the ability of ferroelectric domain orientation to switch surface chemistry on and off, finding unambiguous evidence that the polarity of a ferroelectric surface can have a strong impact on the energetics of physisorption.

Maquette protein engineering and construction for long-lived photo-induced charge separation

We have developed analytic methods that establish molecular constraints to photochemical efficiency in the engineering and construction of molecular photochemical materials and devices useful to addressing the global energy challenge. The absence, to-date, of analytic procedures has seriously handicapped progress in the development of photochemical devices.

Engineering a virus-like particle via protein design

We have designed specialized protein molecules that organize around carbon nanotubes into an atomistically-predefined pattern. Targeted design of such self-organization is a powerful tool for engineering at the nano scale. For example, we have shown that our protein/nanotube hybrid can be used to generate a regularly-spaced array of gold nano-particle.

Patterning within Amphiphilic Self-Assemblies using Charge, Curvature, and Crystallinity

Design & engineering of modern devices increasingly requires complex nano-