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Permanent Magnetic Materials Discovery

Permanent magnetic materials find wide applications in energy generation. The materials providing best performances (e.g., high energy product), such as NdFeB, contains a large weight percentage of rare earth metals. As rare earth materials are critical materials and is projected to face a shortage in supply, DOE has invested considerable resources to find substitute materials for the rare earth based permanent magnetic materials in a recent APRPA-E REACT call.

Neuroregenerative and Neurorepair Strategies

This highly interdisciplinary project seeks to develop approaches to facilitate repair and regeneration of the damaged nervous system. We will use a combination of biomaterials in the form of polymer conduits and/or scaffolds, adult stem cells seeded on the biomaterials, and use of physical, chemical, biological and/or electrical cues to orient cell growth, control stem cell differentiation and facilitate neuroregeneration using in vitro models.

Mesoporous Block Copolymer Membranes for Bioseparations

We are investigating innovative membrane design to be applied to a variety of bioseparations relevant to the metabolic production of high-value chemicals. The membranes consist of percolating networks of 5-20 nm diameter pores in a block polymer matrix, fabricated via self-assembly. The surface-to-volume ratio is ~1000 mml-1, and consequently transport will be dominated by surface interactions. Accordingly, pore-wall functionalization should tune the selectivity to promote or retard the transport of specific classes of chemicals. 

3D printing comes to Critical Materials Institute

3D printing technology, which has captured the imagination of both industry and consumers, enables ideas to  move quickly from the initial design phase to final form using materials including polymers, ceramics, paper and even food. But the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) will apply the advantages of the 3D printing process in a unique way: for materials discovery. By doing so, researchers can find substitutes to critical materials-- ones essential for clean energy technologies but at risk of being in short supply.



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