• (2023) 3D-Printed Topological Photonic Waveguides for Microwaves

    Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have used 3D-printing to make a new waveguide for microwaves. These waveguides are formed from a topological photonic crystal, which makes them more resistant to defects. As a result, a straight waveguide and a waveguide with multiple bends have the same ability to transmit radiation.

  • (2023) Migrant Education Program Gets Energized with Materials

    The Wisconsin MRSEC partnered with the Colorado Migrant Education Program to provide MRSEC-developed research-inspired activities to a new underserved and underrepresented audience during the 2023 summer Migrant Education STEAM Academy.

  • (2023) Stress-Driven Rotating Lattice in Lateral Solid-Phase Complex Oxide Crystallization

    Complex oxide materials have useful electronic, magnetic, and optical properties arising from their versatile composition and crystallographic structure. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have investigated new methods for the crystallization of complex oxides. They have found that the crystallization of amorphous complex oxide layers from isolated seed crystals presents the opportunity to remove geometric constraints posed by previous thin film epitaxial growth methods on single-crystal substrates.

  • (2023) Guiding Nanoscale Crystallization of Amorphous Solids

    MRSEC researchers have found similar phenomena in systems as diverse as amorphous water (the glassy form of ice) and chalcogenides. These various materials have applications spanning electronics, catalysis, and medicine, so the discovery of common features in their crystallization has potential impact far beyond the IRG’s original work in metal oxides.

  • (2023) MRSEC Members Introduce Materials Science to First Gen Students

    Wisconsin MRSEC scientists created an interactive experience to engage high school students participating in the UW-Madison PEOPLE pre-college program with materials research. PEOPLE provides longitudinal support to first-generation college students from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups. Attendees had expressed interest in STEM fields, but for most, this was their first interaction with materials science.

  • (2023) A New Common Behavior for Glasses

    Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have discovered a new common behavior for glasses: How fast atoms move on a glass surface is connected to how easily flow is activated for the same material as a liquid. This connection holds across all kinds of glasses and over many orders of magnitude in the speed of motion.

  • (2023) Lunch Seminar Series Brings Academia and Industry Together

    The Wisconsin MRSEC Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium (AMIC) has organized a series of lunch-time seminars by engineers from member companies and prospective member companies. These seminars introduce students, faculty, and staff to the engineering challenges and career opportunities of the industrial partners.

  • (2023) Toward White LED Light with a New Substrate

    Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have developed a new way to synthesize one possible substrate, ScAlMgO4, by depositing it at low temperature, then crystallizing it. Now, the team has developed the ability to grow high-In InGaN on top of ScAlMgO4 using the industry-standard metal-organic chemical vapor deposition process. The films are smoother than films grown on free-standing ScAlMgO4 substrates, which is a critical prerequisite to devices including LEDs, other optoelectronics, and highspeed electronics. The team has developed an InGaN-based green LED device on a conventional substrate that will yield yellow to red light when grown at higher In content on ScAlMgO4.

  • (2022) Predicting Surface Diffusion on Molecular Glasses

    Molecules near to the surface of a glass move much faster than molecules on the inside – up to a billion times faster. Making glasses often involves adding new molecules from the surface, so high surface mobility is crucial for making materials for cell phone displays, organic solar cells, and drug delivery.

  • (2022) Spray-on “SLIPS” and Controlled release “SNIPS”: New Designs for Slippery Antifouling Materials

    Coatings that prevent fouling are critical in commercial, industrial, and healthcare contexts. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have developed new spray-based methods to make nanoporous water-repelling films and spray-on ‘slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces’ (SLIPS). These coatings are antifouling to a range of substances and microorganisms and can be produced using scalable, manufacturing-compatible methods. They also developed new antifouling ‘slippery nanoemulsion-infused porous’ (SNIPS) that use water-in-oil nanoemulsions to slowly release encapsulated cargo.

  • (2022) An Underwater Topological Waveguide at MHz Frequencies

    Concepts of topology recently have been brought to bear on materials designed to control sound waves. Sound wavelengths are much longer than light, making acoustic materials easier to synthesize and their behavior easier to measure. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers are using topological acoustic materials to explore topological physics and enable applications in sensing, communication, and energy transport.

  • (2022) Computationally Designed Synthesis of Complex Oxide Materials

    The useful properties of chemical compounds are determined by the elements from which they are made and the arrangement of the atoms. However, there are often several ways atoms of the same elements can be arranged to form a solid. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers are particularly interested in a series of compounds formed from rare-earth elements and iridium. One phase, Pr2Ir2O7, is of particular interest because it exhibits novel magnetic phenomena and can open new opportunities in the field of quantum materials.

  • (2022) Speeding the Discovery of Materials Synthesis Techniques using In Situ Synchrotron X-ray Nanobeam Characterization

    The creation of novel materials often involves the painstaking and time-consuming synthesis and characterization of a series of samples with small differences. This process is slow and slows the pace of materials innovation. For example, creating sequences of thin layers of metals is an important route to the discovery of new 2D materials for quantum electronics, but it is slowed by the need to explore a large range of thicknesses of the individual layers.

  • (2022) Student-Industry Seed Projects Teach Essential Skills for Future Success

    Preparing students for careers inside and outside academia is a key mission for the Wisconsin MRSEC and its Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium (AMIC). AMIC sponsors student-led seed research projects to help students learn essential skills. AMIC companies suggest project areas, then company engineers work with MRSEC students to develop research proposals that leverage the student’s expertise. The AMIC Board selects projects, and students lead the resulting research, managing the budget, junior personnel like undergraduates, and reporting. Company engineers mentor the student leaders.

  • (2022) Bringing Science Home with Free Activity Kits

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wisconsin MRSEC developed and disseminated inclusive science activity kits. The project started in partnership with a local food pantry as an effort to engage with economically disadvantaged members of the Madison community. Food pantry staff and clients provided crucial insight to make the kits accessible and inclusive, such as including all the necessary materials including common household items like tape and including instructions in Spanish and English.

  • (2022) A Teacher Inspired by Her MRSEC RET Program Experience Develops Her Own Research Experience

    Jamie Lauer, a Wisconsin (WI) high school teacher, participated in the MRSEC’s cross-cultural Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program in 2019 and 2021. The program is run in collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez (UPRM) to give teachers in WI and PR authentic research experiences in labs at UPRM and in MRSEC. During the 2019 RET capstone week, Jamie traveled to PR where she learned about the geography, culture and educational systems of the island. During the virtual 2021 program, Jamie learned about the native Taino people of PR.

  • (2022) Nanoscale Oxide Solid Phase Epitaxy

    The crystallization of complex oxides can be templated by a crystalline seed. Nanoscale crystallization environments lead to the possibility that this process can be employed to create precise arrays of nanoscale materials for electronic, magnetic, and optical applications.

  • (2021) Low Temperature Properties of Glass and its Connection to Glass Stability

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  • (2021) New Insights into Surface Diffusion on Glasses

    Understanding how atoms move is fundamental to making and using materials. Atoms on the surface of some glasses move at nearly the same rate as atoms on the inside. But for other glasses, surfaces atoms move a million times faster. Researchers in the Wisconsin MRSEC IRG 1 have combined experiments, simulations, and data-centric methods to understand why some surfaces are so much faster than others. They found that atoms in glasses move by breaking out of a “cage” of nearby atoms. On the surface, that cage can be weaker than inside the glass, allowing for faster motion. They also discovered a relationship that predicts surface motion from more accessible data about bulk motion. Their results unify behavior for glasses of organic molecules, metals, and oxides and make creating glasses for applications like light-emitting diodes, quantum computers, and hard coatings easier.

  • (2021) Use Machine Learning to Link Atomic Structure with Glass Properties and Behaviors

    Glasses have disordered arrangements of atoms without the repeating patterns that crystals have. However, there are small-scale patterns of atoms that touch each other that strongly affect the energy of the glass, how the atoms move when they get hot, and other properties like strength and response to an electric field. Unfortunately, there are many possible patterns and many slight variations of each one, so studying them is like sorting the grains of sand on a beach by size and color by hand–it’s an impossible task. Wisconsin MRSEC IRG 1 uses machine learning to sort the sand. They have developed algorithms to find small-scale atomic patterns in large simulations of glasses and link them to the glass’ energy. Ongoing studies have connected patterns to atomic motions, which provides a path to simulations of glasses over long times and low temperatures that are currently impossible.

  • (2021) Controlling Waves with 3D Printed Materials

    Materials with a repetitive pattern the same size as the wavelength of a wave can be used to control the wave, causing it to bend, perfectly reflect or transmit, or even turn around corners. Where different patterns meet, even more exotic behavior occurs, including making highways for light or sound that only travel in one direction or where the waves cannot be dissipated. Synthesizing such materials is a major challenge, which  Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have met by adapting a family of 3D printing techniques.

  • (2020) Energy Transfer Inside of a Topological Photonic Materials

    The Wisconsin MRSEC has shown that molecules inside in a type of topological photonic material called a Weyl crystal can exchange energy over much larger distances. The intricate twisting structure of the material uses light to connect one molecule to others much farther away. Developing photonic Weyl crystals may contribute to more efficient LEDs and solar cells and improve molecular sensors.

  • (2020) Sparking Student Interest: Renewable Energy Devices in the Classroom

    The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed a simple, inexpensive way for K-12 students to build a sustainable energy device using familiar, everyday materials including aluminum foil, a plastic egg, clear tape, and a bouncy ball. The device, called a triboelectric nanogenerator, converts the often-wasted energy of motion into useful electrical energy.

  • (2020) Solid-Phase Crystallization Produces Oxide Buffer Layers Lattice-Matched to Semiconductors

    Engineers currently lack good substrate materials on which to grow thin films of materials like GaN with few defects. These layers are needed in applications like high-power transistors and solid-state lighting. Available bulk crystals have the wrong crystal structure or the wrong distance between the atoms. The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed a buffer layer material and related synthesis method that promises to alleviate the substrate problem.

  • (2020) Research Endeavors, Cross-Cultural Experiences, and Educational Activities

    The Wisconsin MRSEC Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program is a cross-cultural collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM). The RET program provides science teachers from Wisconsin and Puerto Rico an authentic research and cultural literacy professional development experience. The program culminates with an in-person capstone week where the RETs from both sites share the research-inspired classroom activities they have developed and learn from one another about teaching in a different cultural and geographic environment. The teachers learn about the area and culture that is unique to the site hosting the capstone.

  • (2020) Solid-phase Epitaxy Produces Magnetic Oxides with Novel Magnetic Properties

    The Wisconsin MRSEC has created thin films of a fascinating magnetic material, Pr2Ir2O7, in which the magnetic moments are frustrated: No matter how they are arranged, some of the moments are always fighting to change their direction, like two bar magnets with their north poles shoved together. Frustration creates a rich landscape for discovery and manipulation of new magnetic effects and of electronic phenomena linked to magnetism.

  • (2020) Order From Disorder: Molecular Packing in Glasses

    Using physical vapor deposition, researchers produced glassy films that are smooth and uniform, but which also have the molecules aligned with one another and organized in layers. This added structure could make the glass more efficient for conductors and expand the range of materials that can be used in future organic electronics.  The colorful images in the figure show measurements using synchrotron x-rays that contrast the disordered starting material and the ordered glass.

  • (2020) Why Sound Waves Travel So Far Unimpeded in Glasses at Low Temperatures

    IRG 1 showed how the atoms around the defects can restrict their ability to jump between configurations and how defects can talk to each other via sound waves. Both phenomena keep the defects from interfering with sound waves allowing the waves to travel long distances.

  • (2020) Wisconsin MRSEC Excellence in Open Science Prize

    The Wisconsin MRSEC is committed to being a leader in Open Science, which shares data in digital forms following FAIR1 principles. As part of these efforts the Center has developed a new web site, a best practices guide, and held informational events. This year the Center launched the first Wisconsin MRSEC Excellence in Open Science Prize. The winner was graduate student Bradley Dallin2 for his work on molecules interacting with water, with potential applications from understanding human blood to protein folding diseases like Alzheimer’s. Bradley shared his results in papers, but also shared all his simulations and tools in an open accessible format for the community, increasing the impact of his work.

  • (2020) In Situ Synchrotron Radiation Instrumentation for Challenging Problems in Oxide Crystallization

    Researchers at the Wisconsin MRSEC have developed a new instrument using very bright synchrotron x-ray beams to watch nanoscale crystals as they grow. The system has a unique design that allows the crystals to grow in vacuum while keeping the x-ray lenses and the x-ray beam in air but bringing them very close to the crystal. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers are using this new instrument to learn about solid phase epitaxy, a process based on the growth of ordered crystals from a disordered amorphous solid, which is capable of creating new materials for applications in electronics, optics, sensors, and quantum information.

  • (2020) Machine Learning Algorithms

    The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed machine learning techniques that enable the design of new toxin sensors using liquid crystal droplets that respond to the presence of different bacterial toxins and at extremely low concentrations by changing shape and appearance. Machine learning enables computers to automatically analyze the droplet responses to measure toxin concentration and type automatically at high accuracy. More generally, these results demonstrate that the machine learning approach can quickly extract valuable information from complex datasets.

  • (2019) Strain Mapping with a Fast TEM Camera

    The Wisconsin MRSEC is developing an ultrafast direct electron camera for use on a scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) in its Shared Instrument Facilities. One application of the camera will be experiments to map strains – tiny variations in the distance between atoms – inside materials caused by defects in the crystal lattice or interfaces between two different materials. The MRSEC acquired an existing, slower camera to support technique development before the new camera arrives. An example strain map is shown to the right. The gray-scale image is a small Nb particle formed inside a larger Zr crystal. The color image shows the rotation of the Zr lattice caused by the interface between the two materials. Higher sensitivity maps covering larger areas with more points will be possible with the new camera.

  • (2019) Design Rules for Soft Materials with Integrated Natural and Synthetic Building Blocks

    Bacteria communicate via molecular signals that they produce in high concentrations. Bacterial communication promotes the formation of biofilms that can be harmful to humans and costly to industry. We have shown that collections of individual bacterial signaling molecules interact in water to form soft materials (“self-assemble”) with spherical, layered, or cylindrical structures. Simulation images showing the formation of a spherical structure (“micelle”) are shown with corresponding experimental images.

  • (2019) Atomic and Electronic Structure of a Heusler Alloy

    Heusler compounds are promising materials for next generation devices for direct conversion of heat to electricity (thermoelectricity) and for magnetic computer memory. Performance in these applications depends sensitively on the arrangement of the atoms and the behavior of electrons, both of which are hard to predict and harder to control for Heuslers. We have grown thin films of FeVSb, a new Heusler compound, using molecular beam epitaxy, a kind of spray painting with “cans” of different atoms. The top picture is an electron microscope image showing the arrangement of the Fe, V, and Sb as different size dots. On the right, the image shows the material we want, FeVSb. On the left, there is a completely new, unexpected material, Fe2VSb, which is a new kind of magnet.

  • (2019) Reaching Underserved Audiences by Bringing Science to a Local Food Pantry

    Not all members of our community have the time or resources to attend science outreach events. To reach some of those people, the Wisconsin MRSEC conducts its engaging, hands-on science activities to a local food pantry. Customers can wait up to 90 minutes at the food pantry, providing ample time for educational activities for kids, their parents, and other curious adult visitors. By bringing science and engineering activities to the food pantry, the Wisconsin MRSEC forms connections with and helps inspire a new, diverse audience composed entirely of economically disadvantaged members of the community.

  • (2019) All Aboard the Improv-Science Trolley: Learning Science in Unexpected Places

    During the Wisconsin Science Festival, a statewide event that reaches over 30,000 people, the Wisconsin MRSEC developed an improvised science program held on a trolley that shuttled passengers between 27 science activities around Madison’s Capitol Square. On the trolley, an all-female team interviewed eight early career researchers about their research and lives to enable the ever-changing trolley audience to learn about the scientists and their science as well as ask their own questions of the researchers. More than 150 people rode the trolley and learned about scientific research during their journey. The event was an excellent professional development opportunity in science communication for the researchers and was covered by the Wisconsin State Journal.

  • (2019) New Precursors and Growth Processes for Complex Oxide Electronic Materials

    Oxide compounds with multiple metal atoms are called complex oxides because they can have many chemical states, crystal structures, and a wide range of useful properties. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have developed a new way to create crystals of an important series of oxides for quantum electronics, involving the lanthanide row of elements on the periodic table. The MRSEC team deposited lanthanide oxide films using a method called atomic layer deposition, using chemical precursors they developed. The resulting films are amorphous, with a disordered atomic structure, but heating them in contact with the surface of a substrate widely employed in oxide research transforms them into crystals templated by the substrate. This work required interdisciplinary collaboration among chemists, chemical engineers, and materials scientists, brought together by the MRSEC.

  • (2019) Nanoscale Control of Complex Oxide Crystallization

    Small (nanometer-sized) crystals of multi-component, complex metal oxides have useful properties for applications in electronics, optics, sensors, and mechanical actuators. In order to realize this potential, engineers need to be able to put tiny crystals exactly where they are needed and to control the orientation of the crystal’s lattice. Researchers at the Wisconsin MRSEC and Argonne National Lab have studied a new way to place tiny oxide crystals through controlled, seeded crystallization of disordered, amorphous thin films. They have demonstrated controlled crystal growth at desired locations either from seeds of the same material (homoepitaxy) or seeds of a different material (heteroepitaxy). This work is an important step toward general control of oxide crystals and new applications.

  • (2019) Predicting Surface Diffusion from Molecular Structures

    Many kinds of materials, including thin films, are created by adding atoms or molecules to a surface. As a result, understanding how molecules move along a surface is an important part of making new materials. In general, diffusion and crystal growth are much faster on the surface of glasses than in the interior. How much faster depends on how big the molecules are, and how many hydrogen bonds the surface molecule has to the bulk, as MRSEC researchers have recently discovered. This model works for many different molecules, giving a quick and easy way to predict surface motion and guide the synthesis of new materials.

  • (2019) Mechanical Properties of Structure-TunableVapor-Deposited TPD Glass

    Creating glassy thin films of organic molecules at different temperatures changes both their stability in the glassy state – their density, and how hard they are to melt – and it changes how the molecules in the films are arranged – whether they tend to lie down flat on the surface or stand straight up. Wisconsin MRSEC researchers have shown that these changes in stability and average molecular orientation also change the mechanical properties of the film, including how stiff it is and how hard it is.

  • (2018) Seed: Synthetic soft matter created and inspired by communal behaviors of bacteria

    This Seed project engaged underrepresented minority students in STEM through the MRSEC-sponsored summer REU program at UW-Madison. Doris A. Vargas Valentin, an undergraduate student from the University of Puerto Rico—Mayaguez, learned how to use dynamic light scattering and surface and surface tensiometry to characterize the self-assembly of smallmolecule amphiphiles in solution, analyze her experimental results, and present the results of her work in a formal setting during an eight-week stay in Madison. This experience also provided opportunities for Benjamin J. Ortiz, a senior graduate student who is also an underrepresented minority student in the Wisconsin MRSEC, to develop and hone his mentoring skills.

  • (2018) Seed: Synthetic soft matter created and inspired by communal behaviors of bacteria

    Many bacteria have evolved dynamic networks of amphiphilic molecules that form a chemical "language" that they use to communicate and regulate group behaviors. This communication, in turn, governs the synthesis of bacterial biofilms and the production of other chemical goods, including other amphiphilic or redoxactive species, that are unique to large groups or communities of bacteria typically associated with bacterial infections. Researchers at the Wisconsin MRSEC are investigating the self-assembly of this chemical alphabet, and the properties of the nanostructures that form in solution and at interfaces, to design new types of synthetic and responsive soft materials that can respond to or “communicate” selectively with bacterial communities in ways that are distinct from those of existing materials, which are generally designed to interact with or kill individual bacterial cells.

  • (2018) Strain engineering of Heusler thin films and heterostructures

    SEED-funded graduate students led scientific demonstrations for the general public during the 2018 Engineering Expo, hosted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Kawasaki group also hosted a local middle school teacher as part of the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program of the Wisconsin MRSEC.

  • (2018) Electronic structure of thermoelectric Heusler compounds

    Heusler compounds are a promising class of thermoelectric materials that can convert waste heat into electricity. Importantly, they are composed of Earth-abundant elements. Their efficiency depends sensitively on electronic structure, however, challenges in preparing high quality single crystalline samples have inhibited such measurements. Now, as part of a SEED project within the Wisconsin MRSEC, scientists have directly measured the electronic structure of high electron mobility (500 cm2/Vs) FeVSb thin films, using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES). Surprisingly, the valence band of this material is narrower and the effective mass is higher than predicted by density functional theory calculations. These results call for a re-examination of our understanding of the electronic structure in these materials, and in particular, the potential role of electron-electron correlations.

  • (2018) Industry Outreach Efforts of the Wisconsin MRSEC

    Industry outreach efforts of the Wisconsin MRSEC are facilitated by the Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium (AMIC).

  • (2018) Broader Impacts of Wisconsin MRSEC Shared Instrumentation Facilities

    The Wisconsin MRSEC's fourth annual Facilities Day Open House, held on April 12-13, 2018n engaged 165 scientists, engineers, students, instrument vendors, and employees of local companies.

  • (2018) Impact of the Wisconsin MRSEC Shared Instrumentation Facilities

    The Share Instrumentation Facilities of the Wisconsin MRSEC provide access to and training on over 100 state-of-the-art instruments for fabrication and characterization of m materials. They are widely used by University of Wisconsin students and staff, researchers from other universities, and representatives of companies throughout the region.

  • (2018) Machine Learning and Materials: Wisconsin MRSEC and the Informatics Skunkworks

    The “Informatics Skunkworks” is a group dedicated to engaging undergraduates in realizing the potential of informatics for science and engineering. Skunkworks participants work together in project-based research, learning critical skills in teamwork, presentation, project management, software development, and applied data science, as well as driving data-centric approaches poised to transform the future of science and engineering. Everyone is welcome.

  • (2018) Wisconsin MRSEC Researchers and Teachers Collaborate to Create Digital Educational Games

    The Wisconsin MRSEC has developed research-inspired educational digital games that are each being played over 1900 times/week. Atom Touch teaches students about atom behavior, bonding, and forces. Crystal Cave lets students explore how molecules form repeating patterns to grow into large crystals. During development, local K-12 teachers provided input on how to make the games more engaging for student learning.

  • (2018) Wisconsin MRSEC teaches Improv for Science Communication for the Materials Research Society

    Over 90 people attending the 2017 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fall meeting practiced their science communication skills during two interactive, improv-based workshops presented by the Wisconsin MRSEC. The workshops were based upon the highly successful Improv to Improve Science communication and Teaching course for graduate students that Wisconsin MRSEC members co-developed with a Madison theater company and teach at UW-Madison. The workshops were designed to help MRS members practice communication skills, interact with audiences, and collaboratively develop an elevator pitch for their own research projects. The workshop can be adapted to various time constraints, workshop objectives, and numbers of attendees and has been presented over a dozen times at UW-Madison.

  • (2018) IRG2: Lanthanide Atomic-Layer Deposition: Towards New Oxide Compositions and Geometries

    Creating thin films using novel synthesis techniques is a key step in expanding the functionality of metal oxide materials. It is particularly important to create these oxides in new geometrical forms and with new compositions. Researchers and the Wisconsin MRSEC have developed ways to create new oxides by first synthesizing them in the amorphous form and subsequently crystallizing the deposited material, a process known as solid-phase epitaxy (SPE).

  • (2018) IRG2: Lateral Solid-Phase Epitaxy of a Perovskite Complex Oxide

    Three-dimensional metal oxide crystals with Madison MRSEC complex structures or compositions are challenging to prepare because it is difficult to control nanoscale phenomena underlying crystal nucleation and growth. Researchers at the Wisconsin MRSEC have now made important steps in establishing this control in so-called “perovskite” complex oxide crystals, a class of materials with useful optical and electronic properties.

  • (2018) IRG1: Broader Impacts of Research on Organic Glasses with Tunable Liquid-Crystalline Order

    Graduate students from IRG1 of the Wisconsin MRSEC used MRSEC-developed educational materials in two Wisconsin outreach programs: Pre-college Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) and Science Expeditions. These programs provide experiences that help students become scientifically literate citizens and explore careers in science and engineering. The PEOPLE program has a proven record of increasing the rate at which minority and low-income high school students matriculate to colleges and universities.

  • (2018) IRG1: Organic Glasses with Tunable Liquid- Crystalline Order

    Glasses are usually isotropic, with the molecules oriented in all directions, but anisotropic glasses with a preferred molecular orientation are better for applications such as organic electronics. Liquid crystals (LCs) can have strong preferred orientation, but it has not been possible previously to take full advantage of that order in solid, glassy materials.

  • (2018) IRG1: Increased stability of CuZrAl metallic glasses prepared by physical vapor deposition

    One of the main drawbacks of metallic glasses is their low thermodynamic stability, which limits their formability and service life. Recently, experiments by members of the Wisconsin MRSEC showed that organic glasses with high thermodynamic stability can be synthesized via physical vapor deposition (PVD) onto a substrate at a controlled temperature. Now, this team of researchers has used molecular dynamics simulations to predict that the same PVD methods can enhance the stability of metallic glasses.

  • (2017) Industrial Outreach: Industry Outreach Efforts of the Wisconsin MRSEC

  • (2017) Facilities: Broader Impacts of Wisconsin MRSEC Shared Facilities

  • (2017) Student Seed: Computational Search for Materials for Commercializable High-efficiency Solar Cells

  • (2017) Seed: Ultra-Thin ZnO Nanosheets Grown by Adaptive Ionic Layer Epitaxy at Liquid-Liquid Interfaces

  • (2017) Seed: Nucleation and Growth Kinetics of Amorphous SrTiO3: A Step Towards New Architectures

  • (2017) Seed: Computing the Shapes and Dynamics of Deformable Bodies in Nematic Liquid Crystals

  • (2017) Education: MRSEC Members Teach the Public about Materials Science during the Wisconsin Science Festival

  • (2017) Education: UW MRSEC Researchers, Teachers, and Game Developers Create Materials Science Digital Games

  • (2017) IRG 3: Molecular Replicas of “Point” Defects Reveal them to be “Rings”

  • (2017) IRG 3: Synthesis of Non-Spherical Particles using Partially-Filled Polymeric Shells

  • (2017) IRG 2: Controlling Molecular Ordering in Glasses

  • (2017) IRG 1: Controlling Metastable Complex Semiconductors through Chemistry

  • (2016) IRG 1: Full Circle of Innovation in Instrumentation: Atomic Level Imaging

  • (2016) IRG 1: Expanding the Palette of Useful Semiconductors

  • (2016) IRG 3: Templating Nanomaterials from Defects in Liquid Crystals

  • (2016) Education: Wisconsin MRSEC Outreach Impacts 255,000 People This Year!

  • (2016) Facilities: MRSEC Shared Facilities: A Vital Resource

  • (2016) Interdisciplinary Computational Group: Undergraduates Apply Informatics Tools to Transform Materials Science in the “Informatics Skunkworks”

    MRSEC researchers are working together to integrate machine learning and other informatics tools with materials science while simultaneously providing project-based hands-on learning for undergraduates in cutting edge interdisciplinary science. The “Informatics Skunkworks” (http://skunkworks.engr.wisc.edu/) initiated by …

  • (2015) IRG 1: Atom-Scale Distribution of Solute in New Bi-Containing Semiconductors

  • (2015) IRG 2: Donor-Fullerene Interface Electrostatic Profiles

  • (2015) IRG 2: Exceptional Exciton Spectroscopy

  • (2015) IRG 3: Complex Fluids Make Non-Spherical Particle Synthesis Easy!

  • (2015) Interdisciplinary Computation Group: Genetic Algorithm Optimisation of Defect Cluster in Crystalline Materials

    By: Amy Kaczmarowski, Shujiang Yang, Izabela Szlufarska, and Dane Morgan Collaboration between groups within the Interdisciplinary Computational Group in the University of Wisconsin MRSEC program has led to the development of a real-space genetic algorithm tool …

  • (2015) Seed: AtomTouch: A Molecular Simulation App to Change the Way Students Learn About Atoms

  • (2014) Education: The UW MRSEC Teaches High School Students to Synthesize Graphene by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD)

  • (2014) Facilities: Cameca LEAP Atom Probe at UW Madison

  • (2014) IRG 1/Interdisciplinary Computation Group: GaAs1-y-zPyBiz – New Near Lattice-Matched Materials to GaAs

  • (2014) IRG 1: Atomic-level Incorporation Kinetics in GaAs1-yBiy

  • (2014) IRG 2: Formation of Large Area Aligned Arrays of Semiconducting Carbon Nanotubes

  • (2014) IRG 2: Structured Monolayers of Molecular Donors

  • (2014) IRG 3: Bioinspired Design of Reconfigurable, Anisometric and/or Patchy Particles

  • (2014) IRG 3: Ordering and Wetting Transitions of Liquid Crystals “Caged” Within Partially-Filled Polymeric Capsules

  • (2014) Industrial Outreach: Advanced Materials Industrial Consortium (AMIC)

  • (2014) Interdisciplinary Computation Group: Multiscale modeling of III-V semiconductor materials

  • (2014) Seed: Enhancement of Sensitivity in Piezoelectric Systems: Experiment

  • (2014) Seed: Influence of Structure on Glass Forming Ability of Metallic Alloys

  • (2014) Seed: RecA Binding to Anionic Membranes: Interplay between Electrostatics and Hydrophobic Insertion

  • (2014) Seed: Strongly-coupled Organic-Inorganic Composites for Singlet Fission Devices

  • (2013) IRG3: Colloid-in-Liquid Crystal Gels Formed via Spinodal Decomposition

    By: Emre Bukusoglu, Juan de Pablo, and Nicholas L. Abbott Colloidal gels are formed by aggregation of particles into a percolating network in liquid media. Although colloidal gels exhibit self-supporting, solid-like properties that underlie the design …

  • (2013) Facilities: Industrial Outreach: Regional Partnering of Wisconsin MRSEC with Industry

    By: Jon McCarthy and Nicholas L. Abbott An industrial consortium coordinated by the Wisconsin MRSEC has now grown from a single member in 2007 to six large international companies, three mid-size, thirteen small companies, one venture …

  • (2013) IRG 1: Self-Catalytic Growth of GaAs1-yBiy using Chemical Vapor Deposition

    By: S.E. Babcock, T.F. Kuech, L. J. Mawst The presence of chemical species on a surface can radically change the surface chemical kinetics associated with atom placement and crystal growth. Recently, IRG1 researchers at the Wisconsin …

  • (2013) IRG 1: Determination of Bi Concentration at the Atomic-level in GaAs1-yBiy

    By: S.E. Babcock, A.S. Brown, T.F. Kuech The nanoscale structural and compositional features of molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)-grown GaAs1−yBiy films have been successfully characterized with unprecedented precision by researchers of the Wisconsin MRSEC using high-resolution x-ray …

  • (2013) IRG 2: Controlling the Conductivity of ZnO Thin Films using Surface Chemistry

    By: J. W. Spalenka, P. Gopalan, H. E. Katz, and P. G. Evans Solution deposited ZnO films are technologically promising materials with potential applications in large-area electronics on flexible substrates, as transparent circuit elements, and as …

  • (2013) IRG 2: Monolayers of Organic Semiconductors with High Hole Mobility

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