Stuart Rowan, The University of Chicago
Using Dynamic Chemistry to Access Stimuli-Responsive and Adaptive MaterialsThe dynamic bond can be defined as any class of bond that selectively undergoes reversible breaking and reformation, usually under equilibrium conditions. The incorporation of dynamic bonds (which can be either covalent or non-covalent) allows access to structurally dynamic polymers. Such polymers can exhibit macroscopic responses upon exposure to an environmental stimulus, on account of a rearrangement of the polymeric architecture. In such systems, the nature of the dynamic bond not only dictates which stimulus the material will be responsive to but also plays a role in the response itself. Thus, such a design concept represents a molecular level approach to the development of new stimuli-responsive materials. We have been interested in the potential of such systems to access new material platforms and have developed a range of new mechanically stable, structurally dynamic polymer films that change their properties in response to a given stimulus, such as temperature, light or specific chemicals. Such adaptive materials have been targeted toward applications that include healable plastics, responsive liquid crystalline polymers, chemical sensors, thermally responsive hydrogels, shape memory materials and mechanically dynamic biomedical implants. Our latest results in this area will be discussed.
Sophie Martin, PhD, University of Lausanne
How to mate once and only once: Yeast gamete fusion rapidly reconstitutes a bi-partite transcription factor to block re-fertilization
Erez Berg, University of ChicagoHost: Philippe Guyot-Sionnest
Andrew Ferguson, PhD, UIUC Materials Science and Engineering Department
Machine learning in soft and biological materials: Engineering self-assembling colloids and viral phase behaviorData-driven modeling and machine learning have opened new paradigms and opportunities in the understanding and design of soft and biological materials. Colloidal particles with tunable anisotropic surface interactions are of technological interest in fabricating soft responsive actuators, biomimetic polyhedral encapsulants, and substrates for high-density information storage. In the first part of this talk, I will describe our applications of nonlinear manifold learning to determine low-dimensional "assembly landscapes" from computer simulations and experimental particle tracking data for self-assembling patchy colloids. These landscapes connect colloid architecture and prevailing conditions with emergent assembly behavior, informing how to engineer the stability and accessibility of desired aggregates. Empirical models of viral fitness present a means to rationally design antiviral therapeutics by revealing vulnerabilities within the viral proteome. In the second part of this talk, I will discuss the translation of clinical sequence databases into spin glass models of viral fitness that reveal an interesting connection with statistical thermodynamics in which a data-driven fitness model of HIV admits an "error catastrophe" – mutational meltdown of the viral quasispecies induced by an elevated mutation rate – isomorphic to a first order phase transition. Our work informs new antiviral control strategies and provides a rationale for why HIV can live on the precipice of the error catastrophe with impunity.
Closs Lecture-Martyn Poliakoff, University of Nottingham
The Tuesday JFI Seminar - Matteo Cargnello, Chemical Engineering Department, Stanford University
Tackling Big Challenges Using Tiny CrystalsABSTRACT: The understanding that fossil fuels are not endless and that their extensive use is causing irreversible climate changes prompted us to realize that we are in urgent need of sustainable energy generation processes, energy vectors, and solutions to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite replacing fossil fuels while maintaining or improving the current standards of living with a growing population is one of the biggest challenges that we have to face, the solution might lie in tiny pieces of matter: nanocrystals. Nanocrystals have been known for a long time but it is only recently that we have been able to better study and control their properties. The advent of nanotechnology and its associated tools allowed indeed to manipulate the composition, size, shape, functionalization and assembly of nanocrystals and to create nanoarchitectures and macroscopic devices with novel properties and unrivaled performance. In this talk, the use of uniform and tailored nanocrystals for energy and environmental applications will be presented, with emphasis on how to precisely control the nanostructures to understand and exploit interactions between well defined building blocks. Applications include hydrogen generation through photocatalysis, reduction of methane emissions, pollution control, and fundamental understanding of reaction mechanisms. It is expected that advancements in the preparation and use of these tiny crystals can bring immense benefit for making big challenges more approachable. Host: Dmitri Talapin, 4-2607 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons with a disability who may need assistance please contact Brenda Thomas at 2-7156 or by email at email@example.com.
Cary Forest, University of Wisconsin
IME Distinguished Colloquium Series: Daniel Loss
Spin Qubits in Semiconductors: An Overview and OutlookThis talk will provide an overview of spin qubits in semiconducting nanostructures such as quantum dots and nanowires for electron and hole spins from a theorist's point of view. Despite enormous experimental efforts in many labs worldwide over the last twenty years, progress has been slow due to many challenges posed by complex material issues and the related many-body physics limiting the coherence of spin qubits. Nevertheless, the field has evolved steadily, in theory and experiment, and there is a strong belief in the community that the ultimate goal of building a powerful quantum computer most likely will be reached with spin qubits in semiconductor material which have the advantage of being inherently small and fast: In principle, it is possible to fit a billion spin qubits on a square centimeter and have them function at a clock speed of GHz. I will mention recent development and challenges for implementing surface code structures, in particular for Si or Ge hole-spin qubits in combination with superconducting striplines. If time permits, I will mention some recent theoretical ideas on hybrid systems which aim at combining topological qubits, such as Majorana fermions and parafermions, with spin qubits.
Jacob Bean, University of ChicagoHost: Mel Shochet
The Tuesday JFI Seminar - Alan Aspuru-Guzik, Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, Harvard University
Billions and Billions of MoleculesMany of the challenges of the twenty-first century are related to molecular processes such as the generation and storage of clean energy, water purification and desalination. These transformations require a next generation of more efficient, chemically stable, and non-toxic materials. Chemical space, the space of all possible synthesizable molecules,is practicallyinfinite and promises to have relevant candidate functional molecules to address these
challenges. One of the main goals of my research group is to develop understanding and tools for the exploration chemical space in order to accelerate the discovery of organic materials. Our design cycle is sped up by the constant interaction of theoreticians and experimentalists, the use of high-throughput computational techniques,machine learning, and the development of specialized big data tools. We have had recent successes in theoretically predicting and experimentally confirming in record times top performers in the areas of organic electronics, organic flow batteries and organic lightemitting diodes. In this talk, I will discuss what I consider are the key factors related with a successful high-performance screening approach as illustrated by these three different applications. I will end by discussing the future prospects and challenges associated with developing appropriate metrics for the cartography of chemical space. Polina Navotnaya, 2-6066 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Persons with a disability who may need assistance please contact Brenda Thomas at 2-7156 or by email at email@example.com.