New York University Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Sub Navigation

NYU Receives $7.2 Million NSF Grant for Center to Develop New Materials by Exploring & Controlling the Assembly of Designer Particles

September 22, 2008
N-52, 2008-09

New York University has received a $7.2 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation to create a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), where NYU scientists will develop new materials through the exploration and manipulation of molecular particles. This grant was awarded based on a proposal spearheaded by faculty in the recently created Molecular Design Institute in NYU Chemistry and Center for Soft Matter Research in NYU Physics.

NYU’s center is one of 31 MRSECs in the country. These NSF-backed centers employ interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary materials research to address fundamental problems in science and engineering. For more, go to http://www.mrsec.org/.

The NYU MRSEC unites NYU’s departments of chemistry and physics, its Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, its College of Dentistry, and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU as well as Princeton University. Its primary focus will be colloidal architecture—how microscopic particles are arranged and how they may be controlled to develop new materials to create better classes of consumer products.

In addition, NYU’s MRSEC will operate an Industrial Partners Program, in which businesses and corporations will become center members to collaborate with each other and NYU faculty in non-competitive research. Members will also work with NYU faculty in proprietary research.

Colloids, or microscopic particles suspended in liquids, are commercially important materials for product coatings, inks, and ceramics. As better control over the quality and kinds of materials that can be used has improved, colloids are increasingly finding applications in composite dental and medical materials as well as photonics for optical computing and digital displays.

The NYU MRSEC revolves around an Interdisciplinary Research Group (IRG) that combines theory, computation, structural characterization, and property evaluation, which are essential to innovation in materials research. Specifically, its work in colloidal architecture merges investigators with expertise in experimental and theoretical condensed matter physics, colloid science, synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, solid-state chemistry, and biomaterials. These researchers develop principles for the creation of materials by manipulating particle shape, size, and interactions, with the aim of obtaining and improving specific structures and their functions.

In addition to IRG research, the NYU MRSEC operates a Seed program designed to cultivate junior faculty and bolster emerging areas of interdisciplinary research-both with the aim of promoting the vitality and growth of the MRSEC. This aim is reinforced by the recent merger of NYU and Polytechnic University, which has created the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, a school of engineering and technology that will be integrated with the sciences at NYU.

The center will also create a program aimed at creating K-12 and post-secondary education activities while broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These efforts will include the “Scientific Frontiers” program, which introduces curricular materials to elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City.

In a partnership with NYU’s Faculty Resource Network, the center will offer summer research opportunities to undergraduates and faculty from four-year colleges and minority-serving institutions.

This Press Release is in the following Topics:
Graduate School of Arts and Science, Research

Type: Press Release


Search News



NYU In the News

NYU Offers Financial Aid to Undocumented Students

The Wall Street Journal reported that NYU will begin offering scholarship aid to undocumented students for the school year beginning next September.

NYU Adopts Lean LaunchPad Program to Teach Entrepreneurship

Startup guru Steve Blank, in a Huffington Post blog, described how NYU adopted the Lean LaunchPad model to teach entrepreneurship to students and faculty at NYU.

Biology Professor Jane Carlton Examines Wastewater for the City’s Microbiome

The New York Times’ Science Times column “Well” profiled Biology Professor Jane Carlton and her research project to sequence microbiome of New York City by examining wastewater samples.

Steinhardt Professors Use a Play as Therapy

The New York Times wrote about a play written by Steinhardt Music Professor Robert Landy about the relationship between Adjunct Professor Cecilia Dintino, a clinical psychologist in the Drama Therapy Program, and a patient, former Broadway actress Jill Powell.

NYU Public Health Experts Urge Strengthening Local Health Systems to Combat Ebola

Dean Cheryl Healton of the Global Institute of Public Health and Public Health Professor Christopher Dickey wrote an op-ed in the Huffington Post saying international health agencies need to strengthen their presence in countries at the local level to prevent future ebola outbreaks.

NYU Footer