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Center for Research on Interface Structures & Phenomena

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MRSEC: Materials Research Science and Engineering Center for Research on Interface Structures and Phenomena  (Yale University)

Research Focus & Anticipated Benefits

The Center for Research on Interface Structures & Phenomena (CRISP) at Yale University is a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). MRSECs support interdisciplinary materials research and education of the highest quality while addressing fundamental problems in science and engineering that are important to society.

CRISP's mission is to carry out collaborative, multifaceted research on the composition, structure, properties and potential applications of solid–solid and solid–gas interfaces. The focus of the Center is complex oxide interfaces. CRISP chooses to focus on complex oxide interfaces because of the wealth of new science and new applications they offer. For example, the Center has already shown that at oxide–ferroelectric interfaces, penetration of the electric field into the oxide can dramatically change electronic properties in controllable ways. CRISP will explore new manifestations of this effect, uncover the underlying mechanisms, and evaluate possible chemical, magnetic and electronic applications. CRISP scientists will then exploit their demonstrated ability to produce and switch tiny ferroelectric domains to achieve nanoscale patterns of desired electronic or surface chemical behavior. In all of these studies, possible applications will be evaluated in areas such as magnetic storage, “spintronics”, chemical sensing and electronic devices.

Education & Outreach

CRISP uses materials science as a vehicle for enhanced scientific literacy from kindergarten through post-graduate levels. Outreach includes public lectures, interactive museum displays, and science courses for humanities majors. The educational outreach goals of the Center include providing research experiences to local high-school teachers engaged in South Connecticut State University's (SCSU) Master in Science Education program, as well as extending research opportunities to undergraduates. In addition, the Center will stimulate students to become science majors, especially those from under-represented populations, and will increase the science literacy of future political leaders. This outreach is a coordinated effort involving Yale and two demographically diverse institutions, the New Haven school system and SCSU, a metropolitan comprehensive institution specializing in teacher education.

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