Seeds

Materials Systems for Controlling Extra- and Intracellular Assembly and Function

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigator

Wendy Crone
Professor, Engineering Physics
crone@engr.wisc.edu

Co-Investigators

Timothy Kamp
Professor, Medicine/Cell and Regenerative Biology
Wisconsin Institute for Medical Research

Lih-Sheng Turng
Professor, Mechanical Engineering

Students

Alana Stempien, astempien@wisc.edu

Molecularly Doped Topological Photonic Materials

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigator

Randall Goldsmith
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Co-Investigators

Paul Campagnola
Professor, Biomedical Engineering

Zongfu Yu
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Students & Postdocs

  • Samuel Alkmin, alkmin@wisc.edu
  • Michael Mattei, mattei2@wisc.edu
  • Lei Ying, lying8@wisc.edu
  • Ming Zhou, mzhou34@wisc.edu

Synthetic Soft Matter Inspired by Behaviors of Bacterial Communities

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigators

David Lynn
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Helen Blackwell
Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Co-Investigator

Reid Van Lehn
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Students & Postdocs

  • Harshit Argawal, hagarwal3@wisc.edu
  • Lawrence Chen, lmchen@wisc.edu
  • Curran Gahan, cgahan@wisc.edu
  • Kayleigh Nyffleler, nyffeler@chem.wisc.edu
  • Benjamin Ortiz, bortiz@wisc.edu
  • Samarthaben Patel, spatel46@wisc.edu
  • Thomas Polaske, polaske@wisc.edu
  • Fengrui Wang, fwang82@wisc.edu
  • Korbin West, khwest@wisc.edu
  • Ke Zhao, kzhao29@wisc.edu

Potential Energy Landscape, Two-Level System and Boson Peak in Silica

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigator

Bu Wang
Asisstant Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering
bu.wang@wisc.edu

Co-Investigator

Isabel Szlufarska
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering

Students

Zheng Yu, zheng.yu@wisc.edu

Machine Learning Algorithms for High-Throughput Materials Data

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigator

Victor Zavala
Associate Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering
victor.zavala@wisc.edu

Co-Investigator

Reid Van Lehn
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biological Engineering

Students

  • Shengli Jiang, sjiang87@wisc.edu
  • Alexander Smith, adsmith23@wisc.edu

Complex Oxides Nanomembranes: Synthesis, Assembly, and Order-from-Disorder Transitions in Confined Geometries

Funding Period: April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

Principal Investigators

Francesca Cavallo
Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Co-Investigator

Christoph Deneke
Professor, Applied Physics, Universidade Estadual de Campinas – UNICAMP

Students

  • Divya Jioty Prakash, University of New Mexico, dprakash@unm.edu
  • Vijay Saradhi Mangu, University of New Mexico, vjsaradhimangu@unm.edu

Seed Highlights

  • (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.

  • Newly Awarded Superseed and Seed Projects Will Forge Research Paths for MRSEC

    Two Superseed projects and one Seed project have been awarded funding to pursue research as part of the Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Education Center (MRSEC). The collaborative Superseed and Seed projects will enhance the ongoing materials research of the Center and support the exploration of transformative new directions.

  • Calls for Seed and Superseed Proposals Funded by MRSEC

    The Wisconsin Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) seeks proposals for interdisciplinary, collaborative Superseed and Seed projects.

  • (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.

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