New materials are typically created using the most basic building blocks of matter - atoms of the different elements in the periodic table. The Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids -- led by Columbia University in partnership with City College of New York, Harvard University, Barnard College, and the University of the Virgin Islands -- seeks to create novel materials from two new types of building blocks: atomically thin sheets stacked into layered structures; and precisely defined clusters of atoms linked together into bulk solids. The Center research will provide better understanding of low-dimensional materials and their interactions. This understanding will aid in the design and discovery of new materials with better applications in electronic/magnetic devices, optoelectronic systems, and thermoelectrics. The Center provides interdisciplinary graduate research training and opportunities for undergraduate research; includes research partners in industry, national laboratories, and internationally; and will build new shared instrumentation facilities available to the research community. The Center includes a comprehensive program to improve and support science education through partnerships with three local K-12 schools, and a new pilot program at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Technical Abstract

This Center seeks to utilize atomically precise building blocks to create new materials and structures. The first research thrust will utilize two-dimensional sheets such as conducting graphene, insulating boron nitride, semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides, and a large family of other materials with a wide variety of properties. New techniques developed by the research team will be used to combine these materials into layered heterostructures with unprecedented size, perfection, and complexity. These will be used to understand properties in a protected, ultralow-disorder environment, and to achieve emergent electronic phenomena at interfaces. The second research thrust will assemble atomically defined clusters into new classes of functional materials with new forms of inter-cluster chemical bonding. This approach will enable independent tuning of cluster properties and interaction to achieve designer materials with unprecedented levels of complexity and functionality. Three areas of focus are: independent control over magnetism and conductivity; independent control over thermal and electrical transport properties for thermoelectrics; and superatom assemblies that can have electronic phase transitions that may be induced by optical, mechanical, thermal, and other stimuli. The Center provides interdisciplinary graduate research training and opportunities for undergraduate research; includes research partners in industry, national laboratories, and internationally; and will build new shared instrumentation facilities available to the research community. The Center includes a comprehensive program to improve and support science education through partnerships with three local K-12 schools, and a new pilot program at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
Type
Cooperative Agreement (Coop)
Application #
1420634
Program Officer
Daniele Finotello
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2014-11-01
Budget End
2020-10-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$4,950,000
Indirect Cost
Name
Columbia University
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10027