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Program Highlights

Quantum control of surface acoustic wave phonons


The University of Chicago MRSEC has used super-conducting circuits and piezo-electricity to manipulate single phonons in a surface acoustic wave resonator (SAW).


NSF-MRSEC Booth at the International Materials Research Congress

Following a successful inaugural year in 2016, a NSF-MRSEC booth was again featured at the XXVI International Materials Research Congress (IMRC) in Cancun, Mexico on August 19-25, 2017 to increase awareness, promote international collaboration, and broaden participation from traditionally underrepresented groups in the National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Cente


Research Experience for Teachers

Since its inception in 1992, the NU-MRSEC has offered the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program each summer to middle-school, high-school, and community-college teachers with the principal goals of engaging them in research, developing a network of scientific colleagues, learning about new scientific and technological developments, and transferring this knowledge to the classroom.


HerStory at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

In collaboration with the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, HerStory is an outreach event that encourages young girls, particularly underrepresented minorities, to pursue science in academia and beyond. The event agenda includes a massive scavenger hunt at the museum that featured exhibits of famous female scientists in each wing of the museum.


Encapsulated 2D Heterostructures for Enhanced Layered Optoelectronics

Two-dimensional (2D) layered materials have many features suitable for optoelectronic devices, but poor quality substrates can degrade optical properties. By encapsulating a monolayer semiconductor in layers of atomically-thin hexagonal boron nitride, a nearly pristine environment can be achieved free from surface roughness and defects of typical substrates.


Controlled Mechanical Buckling for Origami-Inspired 3D Microstructures

A new strategy has been introduced to exploit mechanical buckling for autonomic origami assembly of three-dimensional (3D) microstructures across a wide range of material classes, including soft polymers and brittle inorganic semiconductors, and length scales from nanometers to centimeters.


Tuning Optical Properties with DNA-Linked Gold Nanodisk Stacks

Recent advances in gold nanoparticle synthesis combined with functionalization with DNA linkers has enabled the self-assembly of stacks of gold nanodisks in which the optical spectra can be tuned and modulated by controlling the stack structure (e.g., particle spacing, arrangement, and stack length).


Probing Intermolecular Interactions with Intramolecular Resolution

At the nanometer-scale, the surface area to volume ratio increases substantially compared to bulk materials. Consequently, methods for functionalizing and passivating surfaces can play a dominant role in determining the properties of nanomaterials.


High Performance Heterojunction Oxide Thin Film Transistors

Due to their outstanding electronic properties and high optical transparency, metal oxide thin-film transistors have significant potential in state-of-the-art flat panel display technologies.


Amorphous to Crystalline Transition in Indium Oxide Semiconductors

Amorphous oxide semiconductors commonly are indium oxides doped with other metal ions. Although it is known that the introduction of secondary metal ions decreases the degree of crystallinity and elevates the crystallization temperature, there is a lack of systematic study to compare and quantify the effects of different dopant elements.