Georgetown Team Wins NSF Major Research Instrumentation Grant

MRI Team (from top left to bottom right): Profs. Kai Liu (Physics), Rhonda Dzakpasu (Physics & Pharmacology and Physiology), Styliani Alimperti (Biochemistry & ISM), Mak Paranjape (Physics & ISM), Jeff Urbach (Physics & ISM), Ed Van Keuren (Physics & ISM), Nag Gavvalapalli (Chemistry & ISM), Dan Blair (Physics & ISM), Emanuela Del Gado (Physics & ISM), Peter Olmsted (Physics & ISM), Paola Barbara (Physics), Gen Yin (Physics)

A Georgetown University team led by Kai Liu has received a new grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Major Research Instrumentation program. The MRI program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations.

The interdisciplinary team consists of faculty members from Physics, Chemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology, Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, and Institute for Soft Matter Synthesis and Metrology, including Rhonda Dzakpasu, Stella Alimperti, Mak Paranjape, Jeffrey Urbach, Edward Van Keuren, Nagarjuna Gavvalapalli, Daniel Blair, Emanuela Del Gado, Peter Olmsted, Paola Barbara, and Gen Yin.

This award will allow the acquisition of a 3-dimensional (3D) nanolithography instrument, which will enable ground-breaking materials research projects to take place on the Georgetown University campus. Undergraduate and graduate students will have unprecedented access to hands-on learning experiences where they can help create innovative 3D miniature structures. The instrument could potentially lead to breakthroughs in ultralow power information storage, novel types of memory and brain-inspired computing circuitry, filtration media, biomimetics, biomedical scaffolding for tissue repair, and nanophotonics. It will leverage other shared facilities, including the Georgetown Nanoscience & Microtechnology Laboratory (GNuLab), and help to transform the campus research infrastructure.

Users will extend beyond students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty in the Georgetown community to include HBCUs and other academic institutions, national labs, and professionals in the technology and medical industries. The instrument will be a major step forward in making state-of-the-art research tools accessible to under-resourced groups in STEM fields in the greater DC area.