visualization of a multi-colored structured lattice A lattice composed of columns of squares that represent repeating molecular structures, one rotated clockwise (blue) and another counterclockwise (orange) with respect to each other. Such new symmetries also arise in helical structures such as DNA, proteins, and sugar crystals. (Photo Credit: Gopalan Group, Penn State)

The Center supports collaborative, interdisciplinary research efforts in the area of nanoscale materials. The research themes of the Center are focused broadly on nanomaterial synthesis and fabrication, complex oxide thin films, nano- and micro-motors, low-dimensional electronic nanostructures, and integrated optical metamaterials. These research themes are integrated with major efforts in educational and industrial outreach. The activities of the Center involve over fifty students and postdoctoral fellows, an approximately equal number of faculty from eight academic departments at Penn State University and a number of external academic and industrial partners. The Center for Nanoscale Science was established in September 2002. Currently the Center is composed of four Interdisciplinary Research Groups: Designing Functionality into Layered Ferroics (IRG1), Powered Motion at the Nanoscale (IRG2), High-Pressure Enabled Electronic Metalattices (IRG3), and Multicomponent Assemblies for Collective Function (IRG4). Common themes of complex materials synthesis and length scale dependent physical phenomena permeate all four of the IRGs. The MRSEC links current materials research and the faculty and students who perform the research to a range of educational outreach activities at the K-12, college, and postgraduate levels. MRSEC science and engineering is also well integrated with industry through research collaborations, personnel exchanges, workshops, and technology transfer.

Interdisciplinary Research Groups

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Support for the Center for Nanoscale Science is provided through the NSF Grant DMR-08-20404, part of the NSF MRSEC Program. Additional support is provided by Penn State University, Materials Research Institute, and by Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Development Fund.
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