The planned program for this Layer-by-Layer: Science and Technology Conference offers a comprehensive and high level expert coverage of new fundamental advances and applications in the field of layer-by-layer assembled materials. Emphasis on the participation of industrial scientist and engineers promises to effectively enhance academy-to-industry transference of expertise. The training of future practitioners and leaders in the field is afforded by the encouraged participation of postdocs and graduate students.
Intellectual Merit. The funding provided by the NSF was used to support participation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in the conference "Layer-by-Layer (LbL) Assemblies: Science and Technology," held June 23-25, 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ. The conference engaged 108 researchers from 13 countries (USA, Brazil, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, China, and Australia) to discuss the latest fundamental and technological developments in the field of sequentially adsorbed, LbL-processed thin film materials. The conference provided in-depth discussion of fundamentals of LbL assembly within 2D and 3D structures, and addressed emerging applications of LbL films, including tissue engineering, drug delivery, optoelectronics and separation technologies, antibacterial protection of biomedical implants, fire retardant materials and flexible electronic packaging. Major distinguishing features of the conference included: (1) emphasis on increased participation of young faculty, postdoctoral associates and graduate students; (2) in-depth discussions of fundamentals of LbL assembly, as well as broad representation of applications and transformative research; and (3) major representation of recent developments in LbL-assembled materials in Asia in Europe. The conference provided a forum for scientists and engineers involved in polymer synthesis, inorganic/organic materials, and applications to share the advances made in this rapidly expanding field over recent years. Broader impact. The conference brought together leading materials scientists and engineers working in the interdisciplinary area of LbL assembly. The conference website (www.stevens.edu/ses/conference/lbla) greatly assisted in advertising the event to a broad audience. A significant feature of the conference was encouraged participation of graduate students, postdoctoral students and assistant professors. The conference created an intellectually vibrant, welcoming atmosphere which allowed many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to freely interact and learn from other participants and leading scientists in the field. Through support from NSF, 10 U.S. graduate students and 2 postdoctoral fellows received partial financial compensation toward their registration fees and/or travel expenses. Another aspect of the broader impact of this conference was strong participation of industrial scientists and engineers. Strong representation of industry at conferences is critical for developing future university-industry partnerships for transferring significant recent developments in the LbL field to applications.