The Center of Excellence in Materials Research and Innovation* (CEMRI) at the Yale University Center for Research on Innovative Structures and Phenomena (CRISP) discovers and develops novel engineered materials with emphasis on the unique opportunities that arise from designing man-made transition metal oxides at the atomic scale and from structuring amorphous metals down to nanometer dimensions. Two Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs) lead the research effort. The Atomic Scale Design, Control, and Characterization of Oxide Structures IRG investigates the novel chemical, electronic, and magnetic properties that emerge at interfaces between oxides. The research addresses three grand challenges: the design of new oxides with unique physical properties; the creation of new devices based on the novel properties of oxide interfaces; and the understanding and manipulation of the interactions between electrons that give rise to novel properties. The Multi-Scale Surface Engineering with Metallic Glasses IRG focuses on the grand challenge of controlling surface properties of metals by structuring their surface topography over length scales of nanometers to centimeters. This IRG has the unique ability to pattern and shape metallic glasses using methods developed for plastics while retaining the superior properties of metals. Based on this capability, it aims to gain a fundamental understanding of the behavior of metallic glasses as they approach atomic length scales and then to devise hierarchical surface patterns (as often found in nature) to create unique properties. CRISP research impacts a wide range of technologies spanning computation, communication, energy, and medical applications. CRISP research is tightly integrated with an Education and Outreach (EO) program that leverages local EO successes in economically distressed, urban public schools that have a large population of students from underrepresented groups. There are two signature initiatives that evolve based on quantitative assessments. The first focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) recruitment and retention through professional development of teachers in order to impact the largest number of students. The second employs team-based research where the entire spectrum of STEM members (teachers, students, postdocs, and faculty) work together on multi-disciplinary IRG research projects. Collaborations with industry, national laboratories, and state and local governments play an important role in augmenting CRISP research and EO efforts and providing a pathway for broadening CRISP's impact. Key national laboratory collaborations enable joint development of new characterization methods at national user facilities. Industrial partners provide unique facilities, summer internships, and faculty development grants (e.g., IBM) as well as materials and processing equipment (e.g., PX Group). A partnership with the New Haven Public School system provides teacher assessment data used to develop and assess the impact of CRISP's teacher development initiatives. CRISP houses unique thin film growth and atomic-scale characterization and imaging tools that are not only essential to its success, but also provide a novel contribution to the national network of materials research facilities. The Center welcomes outside users to work with CRISP scientists on new research projects that take advantage of these unique capabilities.
*An NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)