The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) at the University of Minnesota (UMN) unites established senior and promising junior faculty from six departments and two other universities in a multidisciplinary program to address fundamental issues spanning a broad spectrum of materials research. The research mission of the Center is founded upon four Interdisciplinary Research Groups (IRGs):
IRG-1: Engineered Multiblock Polymers implements powerful synthesis and processing strategies for advanced materials based on self-assembly of multiblock copolymers. These new materials may be used for controlled porosity membranes and drug delivery.
IRG-2: Organic Optoelectronic Interfaces is developing a comprehensive understanding of structure-property relationships in a new generation of electronic materials.
IRG-3: Magnetic Heterostructures explores spin transport, spin transfer torque, and novel highly polarized materials in precisely engineered heterostructures. This may lead to new magnetic memory devices and new paradigms in computation.
IRG-4: Nanoparticle-based Materials is creating environmentally benign nanoparticle-based materials for applications in luminescence and photovoltaics.
The UMN MRSEC manages an extensive program in education and career development. Center research activities are integrated with educational programs, providing interdisciplinary training of students and postdocs. The summer research program features four distinct efforts, two of which, Faculty-Student Teams; Native American Fellowships, target Tribal Colleges. The Research Experiences for Undergraduates and Research Experiences for Teachers programs also attract a significant population of female and underrepresented minority undergraduates to the University.
MRSEC faculty and student participate in numerous K-12 outreach activities that include a program of summer camps for high school students and working with the Science Museum of Minnesota in developing exhibits, providing demonstrations, and staffing booths.
The MRSEC is bolstered by a broad complement of over 35 companies that contribute directly to IRG research through intellectual, technological, and financial support in a collaborative and pre-competitive environment through the Industrial Partnership for Research in Interfacial and Materials Engineering (IPRIME) and the Center for Micromagnetics and Information Technologies (MINT). International research collaborations and student exchanges are pursued with leading research labs in Asia and Europe. The UMN MRSEC benefits from an extensive suite of materials synthesis, characterization and computational facilities.