DES First Light

One of the first images from the DECam (the half-gigapixel camera of the Dark Energy Survey) showing the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365. Penn faculty and staff play a prominent role in leading the DES effort.

Nanoscale Electronic Nose

Prof. Charlie Johnson's group at Penn have coupled olfactory receptor proteins from mice to carbon nanotubes to create a prototype electronic nose. Olfactory receptors are embedded in nanodiscs that mimic the environment of the olfactory cell membrane.  Odorant molecules bind to the receptor, which produces an electrical response in the carbon nanotube (gray cylinder).

 

DNA-Carbon Nanotube Hybrid

Single-stranded DNA and carbon nanotubes are chemically compatible and readily self-assemble into DNA-carbon nanotube hybrids (pictured here).  These materials have applications in nanoelectronics, medicine, environmental safety and homeland security.  Dr. Robert R. Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania has used computer simulation to study the structure of these nanomaterials.

 

Jamming and the Glass Transition

Professor Andrea Liu's group studies the theory of jamming - the phenomenon wherein a system that normally flows much like a liquid (as with foams) become solid-like when subjected to shear stress.

 

MRSEC Research at Penn

The P&A department plays a large role in the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM). One focus of LRSM research between faculty from different departments and schools is soft matter and how it conforms, assembles, and reconfigures in response to the geometry and chemistry of bounding surfaces and interfaces.

 

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