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
Nanocubes Get in a Twist : Competing forces coax nanocubes into helical structures August 11th, 2014
Self-assembly of gold nanoparticles into small clusters August 4th, 2014
Carnegie Mellon Chemists Create Nanofibers Using Unprecedented New Method July 31st, 2014
Berkeley Lab researchers create nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in 1 minute June 9th, 2014
A new, tunable device for spintronics: An international team of scientists including physicist Jairo Sinova from the University of Mainz realises a tunable spin-charge converter made of GaAs August 29th, 2014
Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014
New analytical technology reveals 'nanomechanical' surface traits August 29th, 2014
New Vice President Takes Helm at CNSE CMOST: Catherine Gilbert To Lead CNSE Children’s Museum of Science and Technology Through Expansion And Relocation August 29th, 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
Rice physicist emerges as leader in quantum materials research: Nevidomskyy wins both NSF CAREER Award and Cottrell Scholar Award August 20th, 2014
Oxford Instruments Asylum Research Receives the 2014 Microscopy Today Innovation Award for blueDrive Photothermal Excitation August 18th, 2014
AQUANOVA receives Technology Leadership Award 2014 FROST & SULLIVAN honors NovaSOL® Technology again August 12th, 2014
Focal blood-brain-barrier disruption with high-frequency pulsed electric fields August 12th, 2014
Nanoscale assembly line August 29th, 2014
The channel that relaxes DNA: Relaxing DNA strands by using nano-channels: Instructions for use August 20th, 2014
Сalculations with Nanoscale Smart Particles August 19th, 2014
Interaction between Drug, DNA for Designing Anticancer Drugs Studied in Iran August 17th, 2014