Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC): Multifunctional Nanoscale Material Structures

The Northwestern University Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) develops and supports collaborative, interdisciplinary research and education in the science and engineering of nano-scale multifunctional material structures.

MRSEC Director:
Mark C. Hersam

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MRSEC core facility, NUCAPT, was featured in the C&EN cover story "Microscopy Method Goes Deep" on atom-probe tomography. More>

MRSEC Director, Mark Hersam (IRGs 1 and 3) was named a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. More>

MRSEC Educational Outreach Director, Kathleen Stair, was selected to the NU 2013-14 Associated Student Government Faculty and Administration Honor Roll.

Center Director, Mark Hersam (IRGs 1, 3) testified about nanotechnology before Congress and called for "coordinated, predictable, and sustained federal funding" for research". More>

The Jerome B. Cohen X-ray Diffraction Facility, along with the latest NU-MRSEC materials education outreach initiative, Materials iLab, have been featured in The Bridge - Rigaku materials analysis newsletter. More>

Published in Nature, Vinayak Dravid (IRG 2) and collaborators discovered surprising material best at converting waste heat to electricity. More>

Jiaxing Huang (Superseed) has been named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. More>

Monica Olvera de la Cruz (IRG 3) and Chad Mirkin (IRG 3) developed a new method of building near-perfect single crystals out of nanoparticles and DNA. More>

Nano Letters features in their December cover article a new templating method of oxide nanostructures on graphene proposed by Bedzyk (IRGs 1, 2), Hersam (IRGs 1, 3) and their Argonne collaborators. More>

Peter Voorhees (IRG 2) led a Chicago-based consortium that has been awarded $25 million over five years by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to establish a new center of excellence for advanced materials research and to help anchor Chicago to become high-tech hub. More>

Center Director, Mark Hersam (IRGs 1,3), represented MRSEC in a roundtable discussion on the State of the Illinois innovation economy chaired by US Congressman Dan Lipinski and attended by NU President, Morton Schapiro, and Argonne National Laboratory Director, Eric Issacs. More>

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1,3) discovered a new method of growing graphene on silver that can enable improved interfacing of graphene with other 2D materials. More>

NU-MRSEC, in collaboration with University of Texas, San Antonio, hosted the 2013 PREM symposium on Friday, November 15. More>

NU-MRSEC co-sponsored the Ceradrop Materials Printing Workshop on Wednesday, November 13, 2013. More>

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1,3), Lincoln Lauhon (IRG 1), and Tobin Marks (IRGs 1,2) have taken a significant step towards fabricating complex nanoscale electronics by integrating two atomically thin materials to create a p-n heterojunction diode. More>

Chad Mirkin (IRG 3) has been named a 2013 Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate in the annual pre-Nobel Prize "Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobel Laureates" study. More>

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1 and 3) has been selected as the ACS:PMSE Arthur K. Doolittle Award recipient. More>

Published in Nature Nanotechnology, Bartosz Grzybowski (Seed) and MRSEC Fellow, David Walker, tested a new method for achieving the molecular properties they seek by changing the geometry of the surface to which molecules are bound. More>

Published in Phys. Rev. Lett., Matthew Grayson (IRG 2) leads breakthrough in thermoelectrics. His former REU student, Karen Heinselman, is a co-author of this work. More>

Chad A. Mirkin (IRG 3) has been selected to receive the 2013 Linus Pauling Medal Award from the Oregon, Portland and Puget Sound local sections of the American Chemical Society. More>

Tobin Marks (IRGs 1 and 2) is ranked among top local inventors by Crain's Chicago Business. More>

The Hamburg Centre for Ultrafast Imaging (CUI) has awarded Tamar Seideman (SEED) the 2013 Mildred Dresselhaus Award for her outstanding work in theoretical and numerical research. More>

The Royal Society of Chemistry's (RSC) Analytical Division will award Rick Van Duyne (IRG 3) the 2013 RSC Sir George Stokes Award. It is awarded for identifying the origins of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy and for making pioneering contributions based on localized surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy.

The Royal Society of Chemistry's (RSC) Faraday Division will award George Schatz (IRG 3) the 2013 RSC S. F. Boys-A. Rahman Award. It is awarded for his seminal work on the quantum theory of chemical reactions, computational electrodynamics and molecular self-assembly.

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) will award Chad Mirkin (IRG 3) the 2013 Chemistry World Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This award recognizes an individual's contribution to the commercialisation of research. More>

Published in Nature, researchers collaborated with MRSEC shared facility, NUCAPT, to get an atom-level view of Silicon nanowire doping as a promising nanotech materials More>

Laurence Marks (IRG 3) and collaborators produced 3-D images and videos of a tiny platinum nanoparticle at atomic resolution that reveal new details of defects in nanomaterials that have not been seen before. More>

A set of experiments by Peter Voorhees (IRG 2) was launched into space this month on the SpaceX Drage vessel. His crystal formations will undergo a series of carefully regimented tests that cannot be conducted on Earth. More>

In the fight against cancer, Monica Olvera de la Cruz (Seed) developed a mathematical model that sheds light on the defect in misshapen cell nuclei are frequently observed in the cells of people with cancer and other diseases. More>

Vinayak Dravid (IRG 2) and partners in India recently developed a new method for amplifying signals in graphene-based electrochemical sensors, a step that could make the sensors more sensitive at lower detection ranges. More>

Chad Mirkin (IRG 3) received the Walston Chubb Award for Innovation from the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.

Matthew Grayson (IRG 2) was named Scientist of the Month for November by the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Women in Science.

MRSEC Graduate Fellow, David Walker, has been has been awarded the 2012 Distinguished Student Award by the Foresight Institute, a leading think tank that advances transformative technologies. More>

Michael Bedzyk (IRGs 1 & 2) has been elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for innovative experimental and theoretical contributions to the physics of materials, using novel synchrotron X-ray scattering and spectroscopy techniques impacting several scientific and technological fields. More>

Archive News>

Materials Research Highlights


How Doppler Cooling Works


Design of Bifunctional Oxide Multilayers


Template-free Synthesis of Nanoporous Metals


Correlating the Structure, Optical Spectra, and Electrodynamics of Single Silver Nanocubes


X-ray Characterization of Self-Assembled Nanoscale Dielectrics

More Highlights>


2014 MRSEC Seed Proposal Call

NU-MRSEC is currently soliciting proposals for Seed projects that aim at developing and characterizing new materials with novel properties. Seed funding is designed to be short-term, thus allowing the investigator to procure sufficient preliminary results to attract long-term funding either within the MRSEC (e.g., joining a pre-existing IRG or nucleating a new IRG) or from other external funding sources.

For more information, please contact
Proposal Deadline: Friday, August 8, 2014


Materials Research Facilities Network


NU-MRSEC is part of the Materials Research Facilities Network (MRFN). The primary goal of the program is to maximize the use of advanced characterization facilities within the greater scientific community. Users are invited to submit short proposals requesting access to the state-of-the-art instrumentation distributed throughout the network. Limited financial support may be available to supplement user fees, such as equipment time and travel costs. Please visit MRFN for comprehensive information.

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) is supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Number DMR-1121262. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
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