Home > Press > Keck Foundation awards NYU $1.2 million grant for soft condensed matter physics
New York University's Center for Soft Matter Research has received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to address questions of self-assembly involving the organic materials that are at the heart of the emerging discipline of soft matter science.
Keck Foundation awards NYU $1.2 million grant for soft condensed matter physics
New York | Posted on February 1st, 2007
While the replication of biological systems, such as cells, has been widely studied and is already well understood, little is known about how non-biological systems can reproduce themselves. Under the Keck Foundation Grant, NYU's Center for Soft Matter Research will design and construct materials that have sufficient information coded in their chemical and physical interactions to self replicate and self assemble. Research in this area holds the potential to unlock significant technological advances, possibly leading to the creation of smaller, cheaper sensors, detectors, and communications devices.
The research will be directed by NYU physics professors Paul Chaikin, David Grier, and David Pine, who head NYU's Center for Soft Matter Research, as well as chemistry professor Nadrian Seeman.
"We're all extremely excited about this research," says Grier, chair of NYU's department of physics. "Research in the area of the self-replication of non-biological systems is a totally new field, and this research is unique to NYU."
The interdisciplinary research will emphasize the self-replication of microsystems. According to Grier, although nanotechnology can assemble very small units into precise structures through chemical approaches, integrating them into larger systems presents substantial problems. Since the individual units of microsystems are so small, replicating each unit within the system manually is prohibitively time consuming and costly. However, if the researchers are able to discover the rules that allow something to copy its organization—to self-replicate—they will be able to make industrially relevant quantities of specifically structured microsystems in short periods, possibly a few hours or days.
Their hope is that within five to 10 years, the research will provide industry with helpful new technologies. These developments may include cheaper and more effective chemical sensors, such as tiny iridescent chips that can be packaged with perishable goods, and alert consumers and vendors when a product is no longer fit for consumption by changing color. Over the longer term, the researchers aim not only to have non-biological systems self-replicate, but also to evolve. This evolution, which could only occur in a controlled laboratory or factory setting, could lead to important technological advances that cannot yet be fully imagined.
"Our gratitude to the Keck Foundation is matched only by our pride in the faculty who are leading this effort," says Richard Foley, dean of NYU's Faculty of Arts and Science. "Soft matter science is an emerging cross disciplinary field of enormous long-term significance; and the recent hires of Paul Chaiken, David Grier, and David Pine, combined with outstanding faculty talent already here, for example, Ned Seeman of chemistry, have catapulted NYU to the forefront of this exciting new field."
About Keck Foundation
Based in Los Angeles, the W. M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W. M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company. The Foundation's grant making is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science, and engineering.
For more information, please click here
Copyright © New York University
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Preparing for Nano
Durnham University's DEEPEN project comes to a close September 26th, 2012
Technical Seminar at ANFoS 2012 August 22nd, 2012
Nanotechnology shows we can innovate without economic growth April 12th, 2012
Thailand to host NanoThailand 2012 December 18th, 2011
Nanotubes self-organize and wiggle: Evolution of a nonequilibrium system demonstrates MEPP February 10th, 2015
Engineering self-assembling amyloid fibers January 26th, 2015
Revealed: How bacteria drill into our cells and kill them December 2nd, 2014
Live Images from the Nano-cosmos: Researchers watch layers of football molecules grow November 5th, 2014
CiQUS researchers obtain high-quality perovskites over large areas by a chemical method March 4th, 2015
Arrowhead to Present at 2015 Barclays Global Healthcare Conference March 4th, 2015
Nanosorbents Increase Extraction, Recycling of Silver from Aqueous Solutions March 4th, 2015
Black phosphorus is new 'wonder material' for improving optical communication March 3rd, 2015
2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015
OCSiAl supports NanoART Imagery Contest January 23rd, 2015
EnvisioNano: An image contest hosted by the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) January 22nd, 2015
Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Announces AFM Image Contest Winners January 11th, 2015
Rice's Stephan Link honored for nanoscience research: The Welch Foundation honors ‘rising star’ with $100,000 Hackerman Award February 26th, 2015
Cutting-edge technology optimizes cancer therapy with nanomedicine drug combinations: UCLA bioengineers develop platform that offers personalized approach to treatment February 24th, 2015
QD Vision Named Edison Award Finalist for Innovative Color IQ™ Quantum Dot Technology February 23rd, 2015
Rosetta Team Wins the National Space Society's Science and Engineering Space Pioneer Award February 23rd, 2015
Untangling DNA with a droplet of water, a pipet and a polymer: With the 'rolling droplet technique,' a DNA-injected water droplet rolls like a ball over a platelet, sticking the DNA to the plate surface February 27th, 2015
Bacteria network for food: Bacteria connect to each other and exchange nutrients February 23rd, 2015
Building tailor-made DNA nanotubes step by step: New, block-by-block assembly method could pave way for applications in opto-electronics, drug delivery February 23rd, 2015
Better batteries inspired by lowly snail shells: Biological molecules can latch onto nanoscale components and lock them into position to make high performing Li-ion battery electrodes, according to new research presented at the 59th annual meeting of the Biophysical Society February 12th, 2015