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Program Highlights

Tunable Persistent Random Walk in Swimming

Here we explain the molecular engine of droplet motion that gives rise to their persistent random walk. This result allows us to tune their swimming speed and turning frequency over a range that is much broader than that of solid active particles.

A hydrogen-bonded framework toolkit for molecular structure determination

MRSEC investigators reported that a versatile toolkit of guanidinium organosulfonate hydrogen-bonded host frameworks can form inclusion compounds with complex “stubborn” molecules that cannot be crystallized or form suitable single crystals for X-ray diffraction analysis by themselves, enabling determination of their molecular structure.

A general framework for nanoscale electromagnetism

The d parameters are a convenient parametrization for surface-related, quantum corrections. We  establish  a  systematic  approach  to measure the d parameter dispersion of a general two-material interface.

Voltage Control of Optical Properties by Ionic Gating

Using a simple device structure, it has been shown that electrical control of optical properties can be achieved through electrochemical hydrogen gating, sourced from moisture in the air.

Building Enduring Pathways in STEM: Incorporating Traditional Ways of Knowing in Materials Research

This unique partnership between Navajo Technical University and the Harvard MRSEC builds enduring pathways for undergraduate Native American students into STEM by including traditional Navajo  perspectives and methods of scientific inquiry in materials science research and education.

Shape-Shifting Lattices via Multimaterial 4D Printing

A team at the Harvard MRSEC led by Lakshminarayanan Mahadevan and Jennifer A. Lewis has created shape-shifting lattices by combining predictive design and multimaterial 4D printing.

Focused Ion Beam / Scanning Electron Microscope: TESCAN S8000X

In the Fall of 2019, the LRSM installed a uniquely equipped focused ion beam / scanning electron microscope from the TESCAN corporation. The instrument has a high flux xenon source, allowing rapid sample removal. It is equipped with two novel accessories, a cryogenic transfer system and a time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometer (ToF-SIMS).

Experimenta con PREM

“Experimenta con PREM” is a summer high school program organized by PREM-UPR (Univ. of Puerto Rico [PR]) faculty. Led by Wallace and Licurse, Penn participates annually by creating workshops and staffing those workshops with LRSM post-docs and grad students.

Membraneless Organelles Built from Engineered Assemblies of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins

The SuperSeed labs of Hammer and Good designed a disordered protein material called ‘SPLIT’ capable of self-assembly into micron size protein condensates when illuminated with brief pulses of 405 nm laser light [1].

Paramagnetic Organocobalt Capsule Reveals Xe Host-Guest Chemistry

This collaboration between Dmochowski (Seed) and Kikkawa (IRG-3) addresses a  major challenge for molecular imaging with conventional MRI: the probes typically have low sensitivity and lack of responsiveness to local environment.