The primary goal of PEAQS is to create a diverse, welcoming, inclusive community that focuses on advancing cutting edge material science research. PEAQS research activities and projects are tightly integrated with the education and broadening participation goals of the partnership.

The PREM for functional nanomaterials research focuses on understanding and utilizing the interplay of atomic- and nanoscale structure with functionality in several research projects, providing a diverse set of opportunities for student involvement in different stages and facets of material science research.

Each research project makes progress and tracks milestones on the cycle of material science research, iterating from design to functional characterization. By bringing specialists and developing capabilities for each step in the cycle of material research within PEAQS, student researchers are exposed to a wide variety of research areas within material science research.

The current projects being advanced by highly integrated PEAQS community for innovation are:

Precision growth and characterization of quantum and non-linear crystalline materials (Leads: Temple, Raschke)

Novel emergent physical properties in complex crystalline materials are a promising route to novel technologies, including quantum devices. PEAQS researchers are developing techniques to grow and characterize crystalline ferroic oxides, topologiccal insulators, and non-linear optical crystals such as CaFe2O4, CuBi2O4, CuPd2O4, and Bi1.5Sb0.5Te1.8Se1.2.


Increasing thermoelectrics device efficiency through nanostructuring (Leads: Jessing, Hernandez-Charpak, Regan)

Nearly 70% of the energy generated in the U.S. is wasted as heat. Novel nano-engineered thermoelectric devices that can recycle wasted heat into electricity hold a promising route to make a lasting impact on the energy consumption worldwide. However, the cost of fabrication and low efficiencies have prevented their large-scale adoption. Researchers at PEAQS are developing novel techniques to integrate and characterize thermoelectric coolers and generators with nanoscale dimensions in their components.


Characterization of microparticles and live cells in fluids (Leads: Li, Jessing, Rashke)

Live cell and microparticle sorting and characterization is critical for biomedical applications.  PEAQS researchers are developing ultrafast imaging and sorting technologies for live cells and microparticles in fluids using microstructured devices, micro-raman, and high-speed imaging.

Developing substrates for Lung-on-a-chip research and biological SEM imaging (Leads: Jessing, Blake, Schreiner)

The ability to image in high resolution live tissue is critical for future biomedical and biophysics technologies. Based on biomimiquery approaches, PEAQS researchers are developing and characterizing sample platforms that would emulate biological structural and mechanical properties of alveolar-capillary interface of human lungs to grow and study live lung cells.

Developing layered nanosensor arrays for brain functional imaging (Leads: Yoon, Murnane)

Imaging of fast electrical network activity in the nervous system is a major goal in current neuroscience. Fast electrical impedance tomography (f-EIT) is 2D and 3D imaging of brain function with high temporal resolutions. PEAQS researchers are developing, fabricating, and characterizing novel arrays of layered nanoscale probes to measure fast brain activity with high-throughput.