Understanding the structure-property correlations of materials is at the heart of a Materials Science and Engineering research program. In TMI, new innovations are explored for the characterization using advanced instrumentation. This includes the integration of new direct electron detectors, utilization of techniques in new ways to manipulate atoms and characterize atoms, air-free cryo-processing of sensitive samples like batteries, and developing new surface science analysis methods for understanding elemental bonding in 3D. Materials Characterization research is an area that combines hardware and computational data analysis to see atomic structure at higher resolutions, with greater 3D mapping, and the ability to measure properties of materials with accurate and sensitivities beyond conventional approaches.

Associated Graduate Program Faculty

Deji Akinwande
Carbon-based nano electronics, wireless flexible electronics, medical electronics.

Filippo Mangolini
In situ analytical techniques for investigating oil/substrate interfaces in tribological systems; in situ thermally-induced structural evolution of amorphous carbon surfaces; mechano-chemistry of solid and liquid lubricants.

David Mitlin

Jamie Warner

Yuebing Zheng
Development of a new class of heat-mediated optical manipulation techniques that break existing bottlenecks in optical tweezers and exhibit multiple advantages: enhanced functionality, expanded working mode and environment, low optical power, reduced sample damage, simple optics, and easy operation, which enable new measurements in cell biology and nanoscience.
Development of optothermal-driven metamaterial-enhanced chiroptical spectroscopy, which enables label-free ultrasensitive enantiodiscrimination of chiral molecules for in situ space life detection, pharmaceutical quality control, and point-of-care testing of chiral biomarkers of diseases.
By exploiting new optical tweezers and machine learning, we develop four-dimensional adhesion frequency assay for full profiling of receptor-ligand interactions on cells, and intelligent microscopy for high-resolution volumetric imaging and classification of organisms.