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RII Track-1: Arkansas Advancing and Supporting Science, Engineering, and Technology (ASSET) III - Multifunctional and Tunable Nanostructured Surfaces

Stanley, Steve; Zou, Min
Arkansas Science & Technology Authority
Start date
End date
Non-technical Description
This Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) Track-1 award establishes a Center for Advanced Surface Engineering (CASE) which will engage several academic institutions and industries in Arkansas (AR). An interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and computational science will focus on engineering material surfaces to address performance of machining/cutting tools, impermeable packaging of food and selective filtering of contaminants, detection of radiation and pollutants, and control of neural cell growth. CASE will prepare a diverse future workforce with skills needed to strengthen AR industries in the areas of manufacturing, forestry, agriculture oil & gas, aerospace & defense, and healthcare. Continuing education workshops, certificate programs on surface science and engineering, and education-level appropriate outreach activities will be offered to train industry professionals, K-12 teachers and students across AR. Existing statewide cyber-infrastructure will be used to support research and expand education across the state to enhance technology-based economic prosperity in AR.

Technical Description
The proposed research focuses on the design, fabrication, and study of nanostructured surfaces that change color, self-sharpen, lubricate, or change pore size as needed for specific applications. The project team will explore a wide range of material surface innovations inspired by nature (for example, lotus leaves for water repulsion, sea shells for their load bearing capacity, and chameleons for changing skin color) and controlled by external stimuli. Modeling and simulation based surface design will guide experiments and provide fundamental understanding of meso- to nano-scale material behavior. The project will leverage statewide research involving ten AR higher education institutions to produce novel materials and a database of their properties, which can be shared with industries to accelerate product innovations. CASE researchers will educate graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, prepare curricular materials to train industry professionals, and develop a cross-institutional certificate program in surface science and engineering.
Funding Source
United States Nat'l. Science Fndn.
Project source
View this project
Project number
Chemical Contaminants
Education and Training
Packaging Residues