Thrust 1

Hierarchical Structures with Controlled Optical and Magnetic Properties

Overall Scientific Challenge

The overall scientific challenge for Thrust 1 is to develop the fundamental computational and experimental science to guide the development of hierarchical materials that exhibit designed optical and magnetic properties not attainable in current materials.

Thrust Co-leaders: Stephen Foulger (MSE & Bioengineering, Clemson) and Hanno zur Loye (Chem, USC)

Contributing Faculty: Fatima Amir (Phys, Winthrop); Thomas Crawford (Phys, USC); Maria Gelabert, (Chem, Winthrop); Rachel Getman (ChemE, Clemson); Sophya Garashchuk (Chem, USC); Andrew Greytak (Chem, USC); Clifton Harris (Chem, Winthrop); Andreas Heyden (ChemE, USC); Joseph Kolis (Chem, Clemson); Jie Ling (Chem, Claflin); Thomas Mefford (MSE, Clemson); Vitaly Rassolov (Chem, USC); Sapna Sarupria (ChemE and Biomol Engr, Clemson); Linda Shimizu (Chem, USC); Paul Wagenknecht (Chem, Furman); Hui Wang (Chem, USC)

Affiliated Faculty: Robin Lammi (Chem, Winthrop); Marion Martin (Chem, Furman); Alem Teklu (Phys, CofC)

The overall scientific challenge for Thrust 1 is to develop the fundamental computational and experimental science to guide the development of hierarchical materials that exhibit designed optical and magnetic properties not attainable in current materials. Thrust 1 will develop the fundamental science from which new functional materials with collective response will emerge. It will build upon existing expertise in crystal growth, synthesis of functionalized nanoparticles, and directed self-assembly of 3D structures to control and modify the collective magnetic and optical properties exhibited by structures ranging from Angstroms in atom-based structures to hundreds of nanometers. The overall goal of this thrust is to create the knowledge needed to assemble 3D structures in a controlled and predictive fashion, applying theory and modeling to deliberately alter their properties, and developing the ability to assemble nanoparticle building blocks into hierarchically organized 3D structures with targeted optical and magnetic properties.

The collective properties specifically targeted in these assembled hierarchical materials are magnetism/multiferroic behavior and optical properties. These materials have applications ranging from permanent magnets and multiferroic systems to phosphors, scintillation detectors, lasers, and nonlinear optics. Quantum mechanics calculations will estimate optical and magnetic properties by interrogating band structures, energy levels, energetics and structural stability of the building blocks and interfaces, and molecular dynamics will guide the assembly of larger scale structures with the desired properties. Hierarchical structures will be assembled using small, functional building blocks to create 3D crystal structures exhibiting bulk properties such as long-range magnetic order or unique optical properties. These building blocks can be classified according to their size into two main groups: (1) at the smallest scale, assembled structures with atoms as building blocks will determine the observed intrinsic properties; and (2) at larger scales, using nanoparticles as building blocks with their own intrinsic properties, new 3D crystal structures will be assembled with collective behavior unachievable with a single particle. These assemblies in turn can be scaled to the bulk or mesoscale. Results from simulations will inform the design of second generation materials in advanced years of the project.