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Program Highlights

Chemically-Triggered Synthesis, Remodeling, and Degradation of Soft Materials

This works demonstrated a series of morphological changes could be induced with a small set of monomers due to the use of reversible covalent bonding interactions.

Unique Facilities: Benchtop X-ray Spectrometer for Accelerating Discovery and Characterization of Novel Phosphorous-Rich Materials

MEM-C has developed a unique high-resolution x-ray emission spectrometer for studying phosphorus-rich, air-sensitive materials.

MEM-C IRG-2: An atomically thin in-plane layered antiferromagnetic insulator

We investigate the magnetic order of atomically thin CrCl3 by employing vertical tunneling measurements, which are sensitive to the relative alignment of spins in different layers. 

I-MRSEC educational web series: “Magnetic Fields”

In Summer 2019 the I-MRSEC officially released the web series “Magnetic Fields,” which follows middle school aged characters as they encounter a new material at the I-MRSEC, and emphasizes the scientific process, persistence, and the diversity of scientists.

Ultrasoft, Slip Mediated Bending of Multilayer Graphene

Two-dimensional (2D) materials like graphene are highly deformable due to their atomically thin structure. To fabricate deformable devices (e.g. flexible and wearable electronics) that capitalize on their ultrasoft nature, it is critical to assess the bending stiffness of graphene.

Discovery of a hexagonal easy-plane metallic antiferromagnet in the CuMnAs system

We discovered a new hexagonal metallic antiferromagnetic phase in the Cu-Mn-As system.   Electrical switching and read-out of tetragonal CuMnAs inspired a world-wide research effort in metallic antiferromagnets. Phase equilibria in this system (Fig. a) however is poorly understood.

Bioinspired DNA Origami Capsids

DNA origami technology is used to develop building blocks that self-assemble into predetermined finite-sized structures.

Disclination loops in 3D Active Nematics

Current active matter systems, such as self propelled colloids or migrating cells, are inherently 2D, which limits the potential engineering applications. Brandeis developed the first 3D active nematic material by mixing an isotropic active fluid (Microtubules + kinesin motors) with a passive nematic colloidal liquid crystal (fd viruses).

Rheology of active isotropic gels

Cytoplasmic flows, bacterial colonies, and algal blooms are ubiquitous examples of active suspensions assembled from self-propelled particles, which internally inject energy into their suspending medium and, at sufficient concentrations, can produce large-scale flows.

Repulsive and attractive colloidal rafts with switchable comformational states

We describe hierarchical assemblages of colloidal rods that mimic some of the complexity and reconfigurability of biological structures. In particular, we show that chiral rod-like inclusions dissolved in an achiral colloidal membrane assemble into rafts, which are adaptable finite-sized liquid droplets that exhibit two distinct chiral states of opposite handedness.