Center for Emergent Materials

“One of our goals is to increase both quantity and quality of scientists and engineers prepared to contribute to and lead research, development and commercialization in materials-related fields.”

{P. Christopher Hammel}

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) recent six-year, $17.9 million grant renewal for Ohio State’s Center for Emergent Materials (CEM), an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC), funds audacious long-term studies of forward-looking new materials on the very edge of the possible.

“This is not about short-term funding with clearly-defined achievable goals. This supports our focus on adventurous, foundational research enabling far-reaching technologies. Great science is the heart of this funding,” said P. CHRISTOPHER HAMMEL, Ohio Eminent Scholar, physics professor, CEM director.

SHAWNA HOLLEN, postdoctoral researcher at CEM, is positioning a sample for graphene growth on a copper crystal using a SPECS CreaTec low temperature scanning tunneling microscope system.

Shawna Hollen, postdoctoral researcher at CEM, is positioning a sample for graphene growth on a copper crystal using a SPECS CreaTec low temperature scanning tunneling microscope system.


After a rigorous, hyper-competitive review process, only 12 MRSECs were funded nationally.

These NSF flagship institutions form a national network of top materials research programs at top research institutions — Princeton, Harvard, MIT and Ohio State among them — capable of performing complex and ambitious multi-disciplinary sciences.  

The driving idea behind the MRSEC program is to identify and fund collaborative materials research by elite teams of leading researchers from multiple disciplines to address difficult, fundamental problems in science and engineering.

Interdisciplinary research groups (IRGs) — eminent faculty, their students and postdoctoral researchers — tackle scientific problems too large and/or complex for one person or one group to impact.  

“CEM is a prime example of how collaborative partnerships can bolster manufacturing.”

{Senator Sherrod Brown}

“This approach allows us to assemble researchers with diverse skill sets and expertise who can handle challenging multi-faceted scientific issues integrating materials synthesis and growth, characterization, novel probe development and theory and modeling,” Hammel explained.

Their main challenge is to enhance technology and improve energy efficiency through discovery of new materials, novel phases of matter and innovative spin science.

The benefits that CEM’s infrastructure investments provide Ohio State and the state of Ohio cannot be overstated.

Since its creation in 2008, 11 Ohio companies have benefited directly from the cutting-edge materials research tools that the CEM-supported NanoSystems Laboratory provides university and industrial researchers, such as Lake Shore Cryotronics in Westerville, to advance the field of magnetoelectronics.

CEM also identifies and nurtures future leaders, “One of our goals,” Hammel said, “is to increase both quantity and quality of scientists and engineers prepared to contribute to and lead research, development and commercialization in materials-related fields.”

Focused, coordinated, sustained activities are in place engaging groups from elementary school students through faculty ranks, with diversity enhancement efforts tightly interwoven into every educational and outreach activity.

“We are absolutely committed to increasing diversity in science and engineering by eliminating barriers to the success of underrepresented groups,” Hammel said.


To support the Center for Emergent Materials, visit go.osu.edu/give-asc {#314219}.
 

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