Home  /  Archive


How Do You Like Your Materials – with Multi-functionality and Reconfigurability or Just Lightweight? Additive Manufacturing of 3D-Architected Materials with Professor Julia R. Greer, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Medical Engineering, and Mechanics; Fletcher Jones Foundation Director, Kavli Nanoscience Institute

Imagine a world where body organs and tissues can be easily replaced after injury, where water can be collected directly from atmosphere even in arid environments, and where energy and power can be easily delivered to point-of-need. In our research, we design and fabricate materials that will eventually enable such a world. These materials are designed to have an extra level of organization, a three-dimensional architecture, that is bigger than the atomic scale but is often below 1 micrometer, which causes the emergence of superior and often tunable chemical, optical, biological, and mechanical properties at extremely low mass densities. The fabrication and chemical synthesis of these so-called "3D-architected materials" represent the underlying foundation of additive manufacturing (AM), i.e. a process that builds versatile geometries in a layer-by-layer fashion. Dominant properties of AM'd materials are driven by their multi-scale nature: from characteristic microstructure (atoms) to individual constituents (nanometers) to structural components (microns) to overall architectures (millimeters+). The focus of this IDEAS lecture is on additive manufacturing of 3D nano and micro-architected metals, ceramics, metal oxides, shape memory polymers, hydrogels, and biomaterials via function-containing chemical synthesis. The properties of such chemically-derived materials are governed by the interplay of architecture, constituent materials, and microstructural detail. I will finish by demonstrating their potential in some real-use biomedical, photocatalytic, and energy storage applications and will describe how the choice of architecture, material, and external stimulus can elicit stimulus-responsive, reconfigurable, and multifunctional response.

Inaugural IDEAS Lecture - Point of Care, Everywhere! with Professor Axel Scherer, Bernard Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics and Physics

Health has traditionally been monitored in doctors' offices or in hospitals by observing symptoms or extracting samples from patients and testing these using complex and expensive instruments. This centralized diagnostic method of diagnosis has served us well in the past, enabling modern healthcare in the western world, but suffers from delays and logistical challenges, especially when overburdened as we have experienced in the current Covid-19 crisis. Here, we show the trend towards more distributed point of care testing, leading ultimately to continuous patient testing. Through automation and miniaturization of testing systems, technology will enable individual health monitoring that can result in early detection of pathogens as well as chronic diseases.