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Program Highlights

Active Nanophotonic Materials and Devices

The recent decade has seen an explosion of optical communication. Yet much of the information processing is conducted electronically since there have been few truly tunable optical devices. Ferroelectric materials offer a potential solution. They possess interesting nonlinear properties that can be used to design and fabricate unique active tunable nanophotonic devices.

Microtubules in Capped Channels: The Persistence of Circulation

In eukaryotic cells, kinesin motor proteins transport intracellular cargo along microtubules, 25 nm protein filaments that form the cell cytoskeleton.

Catalytic Pumping: Electrokinesis arrested

In 2004, a Penn State MRSEC team showed that bimetallic platinum/gold nanorods could swim at speeds up to 20 microns per second by catalyzing the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

Magnetic Frustration by Design: Spins Can't Always Get What They Want

Frustration is not only a state of mind, but also a state of matter wherein the interactions among different subunits cannot all be satisfied.

Molecular Rulers: A Marriage of Molecules and Metal

Molecules come in well-defined lengths: Penn State MRSEC researchers have invented a technique called "Molecular Rulers," in which molecular layers of precisely defined widths coat preexisting structures and form templates for patterning new structures with ever-smaller dimens

Fiber Integration: Semiconductors encased in glass

Penn State researchers John Badding, Venkat Gopalan and Vincent Crespi, working in close collaboration with Pier Sazio at the University of Southhampton, have succeeded in a task that at first sight may seem impossible: depositing uniform, dense conformal semic

Nanocar: Smooth Ride on Fullerene Wheels

In MRSEC-sponsored research, Kevin Kelly, Andrew Osgood, Yasuhiro Shirai, James Tour and Yuming Zhao at Rice university have produced a nanometer-scale car with fullerene wheels that rotate

Engineered Evolution of Inorganic-Binding Peptides

Based on the similarity of the sequences of combinatorially selected peptides that have similar binding characteristics, we developed a bioinformatics approach that provides a general and simple methodology to quantitatively categorize a large number of inorganic binding peptides.