The Functional Materials Laboratory, has expanded widely from its original focus of designing atomically perfect complex materials. In each case, funded subgroups have emerged to solve national security (chemical weapons detection, secure precision time and frequency) or existential (personal protective armor) problems.
The primary research areas fit into three categories:
- Complex Functional Materials. How do we create complex materials with sufficient atomic and crystalline ordering (99%+) to determine their intrinsic properties and use them in functional electronic systems?
- Airborne Chemical Sensing. How do we identify toxic and industrial chemicals (chemical weapons, explosives, opiates) at trace levels quickly and accurately, to keep warfighters, homeland security, and law enforcement safe?
- Precision Time and Frequency. How do we overcome deficits in both training and cybersecure technology, enabling autonomous vehicles and safeguarding reliant defense, finance, telecommunication, and energy interests?