Researchers have found a way to use polymer printing to stretch and flatten twisted molecules so that they conduct electricity better. A team led by chemical and biomolecular engineers from the University of Illinois report their findings in the journal Science Advances.

Prof. Virginia Lorenz and graduate student Wenrui Wang. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

I-MRSEC IRG1 faculty member Virginia Lorenz, along with David Cahill and collaborators, recently reported a new result in the journal Nature Communications.

Read more in the below article (link to research paper: ):

I-MRSEC IRG-2 Investigator Pinshane Huang was selected as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

You can read more in the following press release:

Photo by L. Brian Stauffer


Graduate students presenting lesson on two dimensional materials to a group of Cena y Ciencias participants. Photo by Elizabeth Innes, I-STEM.

As part of I-MRSEC’s outreach through Cena y Ciencias (Spanish for “Supper and Science”), a group of mostly Hispanic K–5 students and their families followed a supper of free pizza at Urbana’s Dr. Preston Williams Elementary School with a visit to the Materials Research Lab (MRL) for the second and equally-as-fun part of the evening—some science. During the April 1st event, the visitors not only participated in a variety of materials-related, hands-on activities, but they also got to interact with Illinois students and staff.

Professor Catherine J. Murphy and Chancellor Robert Jones have been elected fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Election to the American Academy is an honor that acknowledges the best of all scholarly fields and professions. Among the academy's more than 200 other new fellows are former first lady Michelle Obama, Professor Susan Goldman, co-director of University of Illinois at Chicago's Learning Sciences Research Institute and professor of psychology. They will be inducted October during ceremonies at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Professor Ying Diao in a lab

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dr. Ying Diao has been named a winner of the College of Engineering Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research. The award is given annually to a handful of engineering faculty in recognition of their research. She will be honored at the college’s faculty awards ceremony on April 29.

MRL staff member assists middle school student using the scanning electron microscope (Photo by E. Innes, I-STEM)

On February 25th, Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students took a break from their science textbooks to experience some real-world, high-tech science first hand during a visit to MRL (the Materials Research Lab), home of I-MRSEC (the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center). The field trip was one of the highlights of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism,” a multi-disciplinary curriculum that used rap and music to expose students to materials science and magnetism.

Middle school students recording a song they wrote.

It’s not your mother’s science class…or music class, for that matter! The goal of I-MRSEC’s “Musical Magnetism” curriculum was to expose Franklin STEAM Academy eighth grade students to materials science and magnetism, but also to another of the center’s main emphases: scientific communication. What’s unique about the lesson plans is that they embraced a medium today’s kids can probably get into: hip hop or rap. So, after a number of Illinois researchers, students, and staff, who also served as role models, had exposed the students to multidisciplinary lessons in several related areas, the kids teamed up to create then present raps about specific areas of magnetism.

MechSE Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande recently won the prestigious Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for his research on two-dimensional material heterostructures.

Three MRL faculty have been named to the 2018 list of Highly Cited Researchers by Clarivate Analytics: Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande, Assistant Professor Pinshane Huang, and Professor of Chemistry and Associate Director of MRL Catherine Jones Murphy.