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IRG-1 IRG-2 Seeds

IRG-1: Ionic Control of Materials

The goal of IRG-1, Ionic Control of Materials, is to understand mechanisms, capabilities, applications of electrostatic and electrochemical gating. Our vision is to transform the understanding of mechanisms, capabilities, and applications of electrolyte-based electrostatic and electrochemical gating, realizing electrical control over an extraordinary range of electronic phases and function.


The IRG-1 senior investigators and their primary areas of expertise are:

Chris Leighton (CEMS) Leader: Synthesis, electronic and magnetic properties, scattering, electrolyte gating
Turan Birol (CEMS): Density functional theory (DFT), dynamical mean field theory (DMFT)
Rafael Fernandes (PHYS): Microscopic and phenomenological modeling
C. Daniel Frisbie (CEMS): Organic electronics, ionic liquids and gels
Martin Greven (PHYS): X-ray and neutron scattering, nonlinear magnetic response, superconductivity
Bharat Jalan (CEMS): Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), oxide semiconductors
Andre Mkhoyan (CEMS): Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS)
Xiaojia Wang (ME): Thermal transport, ultrafast pump-probe techniques, time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR)


IRG-1 researchers:

Tathamay Basu: Postdoctoral Researcher — Greven/Leighton
Rohan Chakraborty: Graduate Student — Ferry/Leighton
Vipul Chaturvedi: Graduate Student — Leighton/Greven
Rashmi Choudhary: Graduate Student — Jalan/Greven
Jaeyub Chung: Postdoctoral Researcher — Frisbie/Mahanthappa
Bhaskar Das: Postdoctoral Researcher — Leighton/Frisbie
Ezra Day-Roberts: Graduate Student — Fernandes/Birol
John Dewey: Graduate Student — Leighton/Jalan
Supriya Ghosh: Graduate Student — Mkhoyan/Jalan
Sajna Hameed: Graduate Student — Greven/Leighton
Shutong Li: Graduate Student — Birol/Jalan
Will Postiglione: Graduate Student — Leighton/Greven
Anil Rajapitamahuni: Postdoctoral Researcher — Jalan/Mkhoyan
Chiou Yang Tan Graduate Student — Greven/Leighton
Hwanhui Yun: Postdoctoral Researcher — Mkhoyan/Birol
Chi Zhang Graduate Student — Wang/Leighton/Jalan
Yingying Zhang Graduate Student — Wang/Leighton/Jalan



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IRG-2: Mesoscale Network Materials

The focus of IRG-2, Mesoscale Network Materials, is to discover and exploit scale-invariant shape-filling amphiphile (SFA) motifs to robustly assemble functional nets and to understand how processing impacts their properties


The IRG-2 senior investigators and their primary areas of expertise are:

Mahesh Mahanthappa (CEMS) Leader: Amphiphile/polymer synthesis, thermodynamics, scattering
Frank Bates (CEMS): Polymer synthesis, thermodynamics, mechanics
Michelle Calabrese (CEMS): Rheology/mechanics, in situ scattering, dynamics
Kevin Dorfman (CEMS): Mesoscale simulations, theory
Christopher Ellison (CEMS): Thin film self-assembly, polymer processing
Vivian Ferry (CEMS): Nanophotonics and metamaterials, nanofabrication, electromagnetic simulation/modeling
Timothy Lodge (CEMS/CHEM): Polymer characterization, scattering, dynamics
Theresa Reineke (CHEM): Amphiphile/polymer synthesis, self-assembly
Ilja Siepmann (CHEM): Molecular simulations, model development


IRG-2 researchers:

Liwen Chen: Postdoctoral Researcher — Lodge/Mahanthappa
Pengyu Chen: Graduate Student — Dorfman/Mahanthappa
Guo-Kang (GK) Cheong: Graduate Student — Dorfman/Bates
Bryan Cote: Graduate Student — Ferry/Dorfman
McKenzie Coughlin: Graduate Student — Lodge/Bates
Soumi Das: Postdoctoral Researcher — Reineke/Calabrese
Michael Hyatt: Postdoctoral Researcher — Mahanthappa/Bates
William Lenart: Postdoctoral Researcher — Ellison/Dorfman
Ke (Lucas) Luo: Postdoctoral Researcher — Siepmann/Mahanthappa
Lucy Liberman: Postdoctoral Researcher — Bates/Lodge
Jinwoo Oh: Postdoctoral Researcher — Ellison/Dorfman
Sojung Park: Postdoctoral Researcher — Dorfman/Bates
Zhengyuan Shen (Don): Graduate Student — Siepmann/Lodge
Karthika Suresh: Postdoctoral Researcher — Calabrese/Bates, Ellison
Szu-Ming Yang: Graduate Student — Ellison/Reineke



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Seed Projects: Foster Innovation and Promote MRSEC Growth

The Center operates an ambitious Seed program designed to foster innovation and promote Center growth and evolution.

Awards are made to individual faculty members or small clusters in support of high risk projects or research in emerging areas.


The current seed investigators and projects are:

Ognjen Ilic (ME): High-fidelity Photonic Reconfigurability with Phase-Change Metamaterials

Jessica Lamb (CHEM): Switchable Cationic and Anionic Polymerization

Rafael Fernandes (PHYS), Turan Birol (CEMS), Fiona Burnell (PHYS), Vlad S. Pribiag (PHYS), Ke Wang (PHYS): iSuperSEED: Bridging the 2D and 3D Worlds with Transition Metal Dichalcogenides continuing as Investigation of Anisotropic, Nodal and Topological Material Properties in 2D Superconductors (see below)

Ke Wang (PHYS), Fiona Burnell (PHYS), Vlad Pribiag (PHYS): Investigation of Anisotropic, Nodal and Topological Material Properties in 2D Superconductors

David Poerschke (CEMS), Turan Birol (CEMS): Discovery of Stable, Low Thermal Expansion Oxides for High Temperature Thermostructural Applications

Christy Haynes (CHEM), Renee Frontiera (CHEM): Photonic Properties of Chiral Nanostructures

Stefano Gonella (CEGE), Ellad Tadmor (AEM), David Flannigan (CEMS): Understanding Nanoscale Waves in 2D Materials: A Multi-Scale Approach Enabled by Mechanical Metamaterial Proxies

Michelle Calabrese (CEMS): Controlling polymer self-assembly with transient magnetic fields

Boya Xiong (CEGE): Reinventing antimicrobial surfaces: Host defense peptide embedded materials

seed project archive


Current Seed researchers:

Moon-Ki Choi: Graduate Student — Tadmor
Eeshani Godbole: Graduate Student — Poerschke
Jiayi He: Graduate Student — Haynes
Brett Heischmidt: Graduate Student — Pribiag
Saumitran Kasturirangan: Graduate Student — Burnell
Daniel Kindem: Graduate Student- Ilic
Grace Kresge: Graduate Student — Calabrese
Amartyajyoti Saha: Graduate Student — Birol
Caleb Widstrand: Graduate Student — Gonella
Ziwei Yu: Graduate Student — Frontiera



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National Science Foundation

Funded by the National Science Foundation through the University of Minnesota MRSEC under Award Number DMR-2011401


Contact Information

UMN MRSEC

435 Amundson Hall, 421 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55455

P: 612-626-0713 | F: 612-626-7805