University of Maryland professor Ichiro Takeuchi received a two-year, $215,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP) to support the development of new high-throughput characterization equipment used to identify materials with unique and valuable properties.
Takeuchi, a member of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Maryland NanoCenter, directs the university’s Combinatorial Synthesis Lab, which houses one of the largest collections of tools in the world for rapid exploration of novel functional materials.
The DURIP grant augments an existing ONR Multidisciplinary University Initiative (MURI) program, called Topological Decompositions and Spectral Sampling Algorithms for Element Substitution in Critical Technologies. The MURI team, headed by Stefano Curtarolo (Duke University) and of which Takeuchi is a member, develops new algorithmic and theoretical approaches to designing and developing advanced materials for a variety of technological areas. The group is particularly focused on materials that could replace expensive elements with limited availability, such as indium and dysprosium.
Some of the materials the team is working on include transparent conductors to be used in future smart phones, and topological insulators, which are predicted to play an important role in quantum computation. One of Takeuchi’s key contributions to the project is his use of the combinatorial synthesis strategy to carry out rapid experimental validation of materials predicted with computational modeling.
According to Takeuchi, the new instrumentation will allow automated measurements of a large number of devices fabricated on combinatorial thin film libraries.
“This equipment will substantially enhance the overall capabilities of the Combinatorial Synthesis Lab,” he says, “and it will allow us to extend the scope of our investigation to many new areas, including energy materials.”
June 9, 2015