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Our Activities

The Center activities are designed to address two Grand Challenges: synthesis - utilizing materials to make systems of arbitrary composition and designed structure, and far-from-equilibrium systems - the oldest and most pervasive ones in nature. Here the synthetic capabilities of Grzybowski, Mirkin, Stoddart, Stupp, Weiss, and Whitesides groups will employ both the "imagination" and the "control" ideas that animate the Grand Challenge document to create and investigate a broad range of systems. This work will be supported - and often guided- by the efforts of the theory core (Bishop, Glotzer, Grzybowski, Olvera, Ratner, Schatz, Szleifer) to construct accurate, predictive models of these physical systems, and, in particular, of their energetics and structures.

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Our Mission

To understand self-organization in dissipative, far-from-equilibrium systems and to use this knowledge to synthesize adaptive, reconfigurable materials for energy storage and transduction.

Our overreaching goal is to combine the theory of such systems with cutting edge nanotechnology and/or self-assembly to synthesize, characterize and understand, in quantitative detail, fundamentally new classes of adaptive, reconfigurable materials that, while structurally robust, will have the ability to change and optimize their own performance (in energy processing, catalytic activity, etc.) in response to external/environmental stimuli.

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NERC Events

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 

NERC Student/Postdoc Meeting

Time:  5-6:30pm
Location:  Tech L251
Refreshments will be served.


Tuesday, March 25 

NERC Monthly PI Meeting

Time: 5-7pm
Location: Tech K242 (Conference Room)
Refreshments will be served



Methods to develop nanostructures and nanostructure assemblies that utilize plasmonically active materials in energy generation, storage, and conversion.

Subgroup Leader: Chad A. Mirkin

Contributing Senior Investigators: Bartosz A. Grzybowski, Monica Olvera de la Cruz, George Schatz, J. Fraser Stoddart, Emily Weiss

Methods to develop materials capable of converting mechanical energy into other forms of energy and vice versa.

Subgroup Leader: J. Fraser Stoddart

Contributing Senior Investigators: Bartosz A. Grzybowski, Chad A. Mirkin, Mark A. Ratner, George Schatz, Samuel I. Stupp, Emily Weiss

Methods to understand the characteristic reactivity and mutual influence of functional groups of organic molecules for efficient organic synthesis.

Subgroup Leader: Bartosz A. Grzybowski

Contributing Senior Investigators: Kyle Bishop, George M. Whitesides

Theory, modeling and simulation efforts on the fundamentals of non-equilibrium research that help explain and guide the experimental efforts.

Subgroup Leader: Mark A. Ratner

Contributing Senior Investigators: Monica Olvera de la Cruz, Sharon Glotzer, Bartosz A. Grzybowski, George Schatz, Igal Szleifer