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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Mark Hersam (IRG1/IRG3) has been selected as a US Science Envoy by the US Department of State. More>

Robert Chang (IRG2) and his team have demonstrated a new scheme to control infrared plasmons, opening a new door for transmitting massive amounts of information much faster. More>

Chad Mirkin (IRG3) receives the prestigious international Dan David prize. More>

Chad Mirkin (IRG3), Samuel Stupp (SuperSeed) and Richard Van Duyne (IRG3) have been inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's College of Fellows (2016). More>

Teri Odom (IRG3) has been elected as a Fellow of Materials Research Society (2016).

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1,3) and PREM collaborators have created atomically thin metallic boron that expands the family of 2D materials beyond graphene. More>

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1,3) and Tobin Marks (IRGs 1,2) have developed encapsulation layers that protect carbon nanotubes from environmental degradation and enable the long-standing goal of realizing carbon nanotube integrated circuits. More>

Mercouri Katnazidis (IRG2) has been awarded the 2016 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award in Inorganic Chemistry. More>

Jiaxing Huang (SuperSeed) has developed a model system of clay sheets that stack to form proton conductions. More>

Tobin Marks (IRGs 1,2) has been recognized internationally by the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Italian Chemical Society with awards honoring his work in inorganic chemistry and materials science. More>

Mercouri Kanatzidis (IRG 2) has been awarded the 2015 ENI Award for the "Renewable Energy Prize" category. More>

Richard Van Duyne (IRG 3), Chad Mirkin (IRG 3), and Mercouri Katnazidis (IRG 2) have received prestigious honors from the Royal Society of Chemistry in the U.K. More>

Mark Hersam (IRGs 1, 3), Lincoln Lauhon (IRG 1), and Tobin Marks (IRGs 1, 2) have accomplished a new step forward in electronics that could bring brain-like computing closer to reality . More>

The Materials Science Exhibit, an outreach initiative with Chicago Musuem of Science and Industry, opened on March 19, 2015. More>

Danna Freedman (SEED) has received a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for 2015 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. More>

Derk Joester (SEED) deciphered the material composition and structure of enamel, leading to better understanding of tooth decay process and early detection. More>

NU-ACCESS collaboration reveals new details of Gauguin's creative process. More>

2014 REU participant, Edward Peng, awarded Churchill Scholarship. More>

Works from MRSEC REU student's project, in collaboroation with NU-ACCESS, are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago. More>

MRSEC Director, Mark Hersam (IRGs 1 and 3) and UTSA PREM partners, Arturo Ponce and Miguel Jose Yacaman, report a new process for isolating atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides in Nature Communications. More>

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

NU-ACCESS materials scientist studies blue's invention and reinvention throughout history. More>

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>

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>


Materials Science Exhibit @ MSI


More Highlights>


Graphene Booth @ Google Geek Street Fair



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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