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IRG-1 IRG-2 Seeds

IRG-1: Ionic Control of Materials

Our goal is to understand the mechanisms, capabilities, and applications of electrostatic and electrochemical gating. Our vision is to transform the understanding 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)
Jeff Walter (Augsburg U, Physics): Sulfides, synthesis, electronic and magnetic properties, electrolyte gating
Xiaojia Wang (ME): Thermal transport, ultrafast pump-probe techniques, time-domain thermoreflectance (TDTR)


IRG-1 researchers:

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
John Dewey: Graduate Student — Leighton/Jalan
Supriya Ghosh: Graduate Student — Mkhoyan/Jalan
Dominique Gautreau: Graduate Student — Birol/Wang
Sajna Hameed: Postdoctoral Researcher — Greven/Leighton
Issam Khayr: Graduate Student — Leighton/Greven
Shutong Li: Graduate Student — Birol/Jalan
Sreejith Nair: Graduate Student — Jalan/Birol
Will Postiglione: Graduate Student — Leighton/Greven
Anil Rajapitamahuni: Postdoctoral Researcher — Jalan/Mkhoyan
Prachi Sharma: Postdoctoral Researcher — Fernandes/Birol
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
Karen Lozano (UTRGV Mech. Eng.): Processing internally structured nanofibers from network-forming soft materials
Theresa Reineke (CHEM): Amphiphile/polymer synthesis, self-assembly
Ilja Siepmann (CHEM): Molecular simulations, model development


IRG-2 researchers:

Pengyu Chen: Graduate Student — Dorfman/Mahanthappa
Bryan Cote: Graduate Student — Ferry/Dorfman
McKenzie Coughlin: Graduate Student — Lodge/Bates
Shuquan Cui: Postdoctoral Researcher — Lodge/Bates
Soumi Das: Postdoctoral Researcher — Reineke/Calabrese
Michael Hyatt: Postdoctoral Researcher — Mahanthappa/Bates
Joseph Jaye: Postdoctoral Researcher — Reineke/Lodge
William Lenart: Postdoctoral Researcher — Ellison/Dorfman
Lucy Liberman: Postdoctoral Researcher — Bates/Lodge
Ke (Lucas) Luo: Postdoctoral Researcher — Siepmann/Mahanthappa
Jinwoo Oh: Postdoctoral Researcher — Ellison/Dorfman
Sojung Park: Postdoctoral Researcher — Dorfman/Bates
Camila Perales Rodriguez: Graduate Student — Mahanthappa/Lodge
Zhengyuan Shen (Don): Graduate Student — Siepmann/Lodge
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 and Electrically Biased 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

Stefano Martiniani (CEMS): Structure design of cyclically sheared colloidal systems via differentiable molecular simulation

seed project archive


Current Seed researchers:

Saumitran Kasturirangan: Graduate Student — Burnell
Yujie Luo: Graduate Student — Ilic
Rebeca Rodriguez: Graduate Student — Haynes
Amartyajyoti Saha: Graduate Student — Birol
Arghya Sarkar: Graduate Student — Frontiera
Aaron Shih: Graduate Student — Martiniani



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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