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Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures

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Materials Research Science and Engineering Center: Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures  (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) Quantum and Spin Phenomena in Nanomagnetic Structures (QSPINS) at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) is one of a nationwide network of MRSEC’s sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  MRSEC’s are centers of excellence that support interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality in our nation.

QSPINS conducts collaborative research on new magnetic structures and materials at the nanometer scale, with the aim of developing fundamental understanding of their properties and related phenomena. Nanomagnetic structures have potential applications in areas such as advanced electronics, computing, data storage, energy production, handheld electronic devices, sensors and medical technologies. QSPINS fosters interactions with industrial companies to leverage the expected scientific innovations for potential technological advances.

Education & Outreach

The integration of research with education and outreach is an important ingredient of the QSPINS mission aimed at preparing the future work force of materials scientists and engineers. The center’s programs provide undergraduate research opportunities, graduate student training, outreach to K-12 students and teachers, and the community.

A special enhanced Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program funded by NSF recruits two or more faculty/student pairs from regional four-year colleges and universities to engage in summer research with QSPINS faculty, with the goal of providing a research experience that benefit both the participants and QSPINS projects. The center also hosts an NSF-funded Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program. Participants work on a research program during the summer and conduct cutting-edge research. K-12 outreach efforts take various forms, such as faculty visits to classrooms lab tours for classes. These exchanges provide hands-on science activities and show students the world of materials and nanoscience research.

QSPINS actively encourages underrepresented groups to consider materials science. Faculty members contribute to Women in Science programs such as Women in Science Day, which brings about 100 high-school students (and their teachers) from Nebraska and neighboring states to UNL to promote the many opportunities that exist for women in science. QSPINS also actively recruits students from low-income and underrepresented ethnic groups to participate in MRSEC research. The office of Multicultural Affairs and the NU Office of Graduate Studies assist MRSEC faculty members in arranging trips to institutions that serve these underrepresented groups. UNL has reciprocal exchange agreements with Grambling State University, Alcorn State University, New Mexico Highlands University, and other institutions.

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  • Image from an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).
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