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
Berkeley Lab researchers create nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in 1 minute June 9th, 2014
Design of self-assembling protein nanomachines starts to click: A nanocage builds itself from engineered components June 5th, 2014
Molecular self-assembly scales up from nanometers to millimeters June 5th, 2014
Nano world: Where towers construct themselves: How physicists get control on the self-assembly process June 2nd, 2014
Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014
Bruker Awarded Fourth PeakForce Tapping Patent: AFM Mode Uniquely Combines Highest Resolution Imaging and Material Property Mapping July 22nd, 2014
NIST shows ultrasonically propelled nanorods spin dizzyingly fast July 22nd, 2014
Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014
Japanese gold leaf artists worked on a nano-scale: Study demonstrates X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is a non-destructive way to date artwork July 3rd, 2014
Harry Potter-style invisibility cloaks: A real possibility next Christmas? Forget socks and shaving foam, the big kids of tomorrow want an invisible cloak for Christmas December 19th, 2013
Chicago Awareness Organization First Not-for-Profit to Sponsor Dog Training to Detect Ovarian Cancer Odorants December 12th, 2013
ZEISS Microscopes used to create images for Art Exhibit at Midway Airport: Art of Science: Images from the Institute for Genomic Biology October 25th, 2013
Researchers create vaccine for dust-mite allergies Main Page Content: Vaccine reduced lung inflammation to allergens in lab and animal tests July 22nd, 2014
EPFL Research on the use of AFM based nanoscale IR spectroscopy for the study of single amyloid molecules wins poster competition at Swiss Physics Society meeting July 22nd, 2014
Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014
Albany NanoCollege Faculty Member Selected as Editor-in-Chief of the Prestigious Journal of Electronic Materials July 1st, 2014
Production of Non-Virus Nanocarriers with Highest Amount of Gene Delivery July 17th, 2014
Physicists Use Computer Models to Reveal Quantum Effects in Biological Oxygen Transport: The team solved a long-standing question by explaining why oxygen – and not deadly carbon monoxide – preferably binds to the proteins that transport it around the body. July 17th, 2014
Tiny DNA pyramids enter bacteria easily -- and deliver a deadly payload July 9th, 2014
Artificial cilia: Scientists from Kiel University develop nano-structured transportation system July 4th, 2014