MATERIALS RESEARCH SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING CENTER
Michael D. Ward
A few words about the Center
“Perform world-class research that cannot be performed by individual investigators alone, instill an interdisciplinary culture that prepares graduate students and postdocs for thriving careers, and cultivate excitement in STEM among young scientists and engineers.”
The substantial and sustained investment in the sciences at NYU, the founding of NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, and the inaugural MRSEC award in Y2008 have created a dynamic environment for interdisciplinary materials research that is on a steep upward trajectory. The second generation of the Center unites investigators from Chemistry, Physics, Chemical and Civil Engineering, the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and the NYU College of Dentistry in a program encompassing two Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs), a technology-focused Seed component that capitalizes on New York’s thriving entrepreneurial culture, and a comprehensive education program that captures learners at all levels. The goals of the NYU MRSEC are straightforward – perform world-class research that cannot be performed by individual investigators alone, instill an interdisciplinary culture in graduate students and postdocs for thriving careers, and cultivate excitement in STEM among young scientists and engineers.
The research mission of the NYU MRSEC revolves around two IRGs and Seed projects:
IRG 1: Driven and Active Matter combines researchers from Chemistry, Civil and Chemical Engineering, Mathematics and Physics to investigate new principles related to the structures and correlations that arise in granular, multicomponent and active materials under external and internal driving. Understanding their self-organization seeks to optimize material properties such as their yield strength and photonic band structure, and to develop active materials such as optically reconfigurable colloids, swimmers, and active extensile viscoelastic liquids. These materials can respond to environmental queues, such as temperature or concentration gradients, giving rise to
mechanisms of assembly allow for programmability in the sequence in which the constituents assemble, such that complex, hierarchical architectures can be accessed. This line of research opens the path for macroscopic objects to be spontaneously built by carefully designed colloidal particles. For example, the self-assembly of photonic crystals, optical filters, paints and coatings with a particular geometry, is within reach.
IRG 2: Molecular Crystal Growth Mechanisms assembles a team from Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics to investigate the fundamental science of molecular crystal growth, an area of vital interest for pharmaceuticals, organic electronics, and other technologies. While crystal growth of metals, semiconductors, and binary oxides is highly developed, understanding of basic elements of molecular crystal growth is lacking. The IRG advances the understanding of essential aspects of crystal growth science and engineering, investigating nucleation, dislocation generation and structure, multi-step assembly at the unit cell level, and origins of non-classical morphologies in molecular crystals. IRG 2 combines theoretical modeling, computer simulation, and experiment to develop predictive models of crystal structure and free energy and to investigate the dynamic aspects of crystal growth.
Seeds: During Year 1, the Center made four Seed awards aimed at investments in junior faculty and at emerging proto-IRGs, including (i) Multi-Scale Biomaterials, (ii) One-Dimensional Nickel and Cobalt Wires: Synthesis and Characterization, (iii) Hyperbranched nanoparticles from Reverse Micelles, (iv) Spectroscopic measurement of site- and depth-resolved electronic structure inside battery electrodes during charge cycling.
Wesley Francillon, MRSEC Administrator 212-998-3719
Dr. Michael D. Ward, MRSEC Director 212-998-8439
Dr. David Grier, MRSEC Associate Director 212-998-7744
Molecular Design Institute
Brown Building, 5th Floor
29 Washington Place
100 Washington Square East, Room 1001
New York, NY 10003
Support for the NYU MRSEC is provided through NSF Grant DMR 1420073, part of the NSF MRSEC program. Additional support is provided by New York University.