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Columbia University - 2016

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Research Description

Research Description By Graduate Engineering Department

Applied Physics & Applied Mathematics

The Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics includes undergraduate and graduate research in the fields of applied physics, applied mathematics, and materials science and engineering.

The graduate program in applied physics includes research in plasma physics and controlled fusion; solid-state physics; optical and laser physics; medical physics; atmospheric, oceanic, and earth physics; and applied mathematics.

Biomedical Engineering

Mirroring our undergraduate and graduate curriculum, our research areas are generally associated with three research tracks: biomechanics, cell and tissue engineering, and biomedical imaging. However, it is in the overlap between these broad and diverse areas that our true strength lies.

Cell and tissue engineering includes the study of cellular mechanics and cell signaling, mechanotransduction, biosystems engineering and computational biology, nanotechnology, microfluidics, bioMEMS and gene chips, functional tissue engineering and biomaterials, tissue structure-function and cell-matrix interactions.

Biomedical imaging encompasses biophysics of image formation from molecules to tissues, signal detection and formation, image and signal processing using quantitative analysis, modeling the physical and biological processes, and performance evaluation. Specialty areas include MRI, ultrasound, biophotonics, microscopy, EEG, and medical imaging processing.

Biomechanics includes the topics of musculoskeletal mechanics, cardiac mechanics, mechano-electrochemical responses of soft and hard tissues, cell-matrix interactions, cellular biomechanics, functional tissue engineering, image-based functional anatomy, and computer-assisted surgery and surgical planning. See here for individual labs.

Where these fields intersect, we have established particular expertise and resources dedicated to a growing number of research fields including:

Cardiac research: Cardiac biomechanics, cardiac tissue engineering and state-of-the-art in vivo cardiac imaging.
Neuroengineering: Computational modeling of neural systems, in vivo clinical and pre-clinical neuroimaging, neurotrauma and repair research, neuronal tissue engineering.
Stem cell research: Functional tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research using stem cells.

Microscale engineering and nanotechnology: Cell positioning and molecular design, MEMs and lab-on-a-chip diagnostic devices, micro- and nano-fabrication techniques combined with advanced microscopy.
Orthopedics research: Musculoskeletal biomechanics, cellular and molecular bone biomechanics, bone and tissue interface tissue engineering, in vivo imaging of osteoarthritis.

Chemical Engineering

Molecular Design and Modification of Material Surfaces:
There is much current interest in developing polymer surfaces that are adaptive and responsive to various stimuli. The goal of this research is to create surface-active polymers that deliver various photoactive functional groups and polymers to the surface.

Biophysics and Soft Matter Physics:
Soft matter denotes polymers, gels, self-assembled surfactant structures, colloidal suspensions, and many other complex fluids. These are strongly fluctuating, floppy, fluidlike materials that can nonetheless exhibit diverse phases with remarkable long-range order. In the last few decades, statistical physics has achieved a sound understanding of the scaling and universality characterizing large length scale properties of much synthetic soft condensed matter. More recently, ideas and techniques from soft condensed matter physics have been applied to biological soft matter such as DNA, RNA, proteins, cell membrane surfactant assemblies, actin and tubulin structures, and many others.

Genomics Engineering:
Genomic research is focused in five areas: human disease mapping, bioinformatics approaches to enhancing disease gene discovery, improvement in the chemistry and engineering of genomic technologies, whole genome sequencing and characterization, and post-genomic technologies.

Interfacial Engineering and Electrochemistry:
We are interested in a large number of problems that are often characterized as belonging to "electrochemical engineering" as well as the emerging field of microfludics. Applications in electrochemical engineering include electrochemical metallization processes, corrosion, fuel cells, batteries, and waste-treatment processes. Applications in the area of microfluidics include sensors and "labs on a chip." Research efforts are focused mainly on basic issues concerning the design and control of electrochemical systems. A particular application involves studies of both feature and wafer scale phenomena in the copper metallization process that has been introduced into the computer industry for advanced, on-chip interconnects.

Protein and Metabolic Engineering
Research in protein engineering involves the enhancement of proteins and peptides for the improvement of specific applications using a variety of molecular biology tools and techniques. Metabolic Engineering refers to the modeling and improvement of networks of enzymes that function together in a metabolic pathway.

Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

The research performed in our department is determined primarily by the interests of our faculty. All of our faculty are well known and respected by their peers for the high quality of their research.


Strategic management and decision making of global engineering and construction organizations. Emerging engineering and construction markets. Engineering and construction risk allocation and management. Innovative construction technologies, methods, and techniques.


Analysis and design of a large range of structures, including buildings and bridges subjected to seismic loading. Active, passive, and hybrid control of structures. Seismic risk analysis and loss estimation of structural systems and lifelines. Geographical information systems. Geotechnical earthquake engineering, soil liquefaction.


Urban storm water and waste management. Modeling of hydraulic and pollutant transport. Analysis and design of watershed flows including reservoir simulation. Estuaries and flushing analysis of coastal embayments. Unsaturated zone hydrology. Geo-environmental containment systems and site remediation. Water and waste management for developing communities. Applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


Reliability and fatigue of aging aircraft. Mechanics and thermal science of composite materials, thin films, and coating for aircraft and aerospace applications. Active vibration control. Multifunctional materials for unmanned air vehicles.


Fluid and contaminant transport through porous media and fractured rock. Multiphase flow systems. Nano-, micro-, and macro-flow fields. Flow field visualization.


Soil behavior, constitutive modeling, centrifuge modeling, reinforced soil structures, geotechnical earthquake engineering, liquefaction, and numerical analysis of geotechnical systems.


Development and application of decision support systems for infrastructure asset management. Strategic indicators of infrastructure performance and service. Economically sustainable strategies for provision of civil infrastructure systems and services. Portfolio approaches to infrastructure development, operation, and management. Procurement processes and project delivery systems. Risk allocation and management of integrated facility delivery and system-wide operation and maintenance contracts.


Development of modern building materials that are environmentally friendly and compatible with sustainable development. Use of recycled materials such as waste glass and carpet fibers in concrete. Beneficial use of highly contaminated dredged material and waste incinerator ash. Architectural concrete and gypsum products. Efficient material handling and production technologies. Fiber-reinforced cement slurries for oil-well construction.


Research opportunities in risk assessment and risk management of the civil infrastructure subjected to natural and man-made hazards including earthquakes, floods, wind and blasts. Infrastructure components include buildings, bridges, aboveground and underground transportation facilities, lifelines, etc.


Research opportunities in computational stochastic mechanics, stochastic finite element methods, simulation of stochastic processes and fields, linear and nonlinear stochastic dynamics.


Mathematical modeling of the constitutive behavior of cementitious materials, including fiber-reinforced cement composites. Damage mechanics and low-cycle fatigue behavior. Response of reinforced concrete members to strong cyclic loads.


Nonlinear elasticity; constitutive modeling of solids at large strains, numerical analysis of static and wave propagation problems. Viscoelasticity and plasticity; nonlinear creep, non-isothermic dynamic visco-plasticity; constitutive equations for geomaterials. Mechanical properties of coated fabrics. Failure criteria for composite materials. Fracture mechanics; fracture under dynamic loading, large strain effects in fracture of elastic solids. Continuum damage mechanics.


Today, buildings and bridges are built capable of monitoring their condition, diagnosing weaknesses and providing, if needed, corrective actions for performance improvement and/or prognosis for maintenance planning and resource allocation. These emerging areas are becoming more and more popular in civil engineering structures thanks to powerful computational resources and advances in inexpensive sensing, often employing multi-tiered wireless networks. In the department, today, research is conducted on identification of linear and nonlinear dynamical systems, with particular emphasis on development of techniques for damage detection. By using information about the structure's response to known and unknown input, it is possible to derive sophisticated models of the structures that allow to pinpoint locations where possible damage has occurred. For this task, it is important to have a reliable model of the structure and researchers in this department have been conducting extensive studies on the development of algorithms for the identification of linear and nonlinear structural models. Among the recent projects, the identification of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (New York) and of the new Carquinez Bridge (California). Still in the area of suspension bridges, researchers in this department are involved in a major research project on the monitoring of the corrosion in the main cable of suspension bridges: this project, sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, has the goal of developing an innovative multi-sensor system that will be embedded in a main cable of suspension bridges and provide an online estimate of the remaining cable strength.


Dynamic fluid-structure interaction; acoustic scattering and radiation from submerged shells, use of alternate surface expansion functions. Dynamics of fluid-filled shells. Behavior of structures under wind loading. Ocean structures subjected to wind-induced waves. Dynamic response of inelastic structures at large deformations. Nonlinear dynamic finite element analysis. Nonlinear vibrations and chaos: stability bifurcations, effects of tensile failure under periodic loading. Active, passive and hybrid control of structures under dynamic loading in the time and frequency domain. Floor design for vibration control by passive and active damping systems.

Computer Science

For more information about research areas, please visit:
Research groups include:
•Asynchronous Circuits and Systems Group
•Autonomous Agents Lab
•Columbia Automated Vision Environment
•Columbia Vision and Graphics Center
•Computational Biology
•Computer Architecture Laboratory
•Computer Graphics Group
•Center for Computational Learning Systems
•Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Laboratory
•Database Research Group
•Digital Libraries
•Distributed Computing and Communications Laboratory
•Distributed Network Analysis Research Group
•Information-Based Complexity
•Internet Real-Time Laboratory
•Intrusion Detection Systems
•Languages and Compilers Group
•Machine Learning
•Natural Language Processing Group
•Network Computing Laboratory
•Network Security Laboratory
•Programming Systems Laboratory
•Reliable Computer Systems
•Robotics Laboratory
•Systems Security Center
•Spoken Language Processing Group
•Theory of Computing Group

Earth and Environmental Engineering

Research at EEE lies at the intersection of scientific advancement, technological innovation, and environmental problem solving. A sampling of current research projects is provided here, grouped according to our three thematic concentration areas:

Environmental Health Engineering focuses on identifying, evaluating, and rectifying environmental problems that have a discernable impact on public health. The central idea is that many threats to human health are related to the environment, and the most effective way to alleviate the threat is to prevent or remediate the underlying environmental problem. Projects following this theme strive to pinpoint the environmental causes of disease occurence, and develop engineering solutions to these causal factors.

Sustainable Energy and Materials focuses on innovative ways to provide energy and material resources to society, in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. The central task is to build and shape the energy and industrial infrastructure of the 21st century. Many projects focus on treating the inefficiencies and by-products of traditional production in novel ways, such as carbon sequestration, zero-emission coal, catalysis, and recycling technologies. Other projects focus on developing viable alternative energy sources, such as waste-to-energy.

Water Resources and Climate Risks focuses on the movement, availability, and quality of water throughout the Earth, on scales ranging from individual rivers and watersheds to the entire globe. Providing this valuable resource for society is the overarching goal, and the risks posed by climate variability, extremes, and change is an important and inherent part of all research projects. Specific projects range from the management of available supplies to forecasting future availability to underlying scientific mechanisms, and span a number of disciplines such as hydrology, hydroclimatology, water resources engineering, atmospheric dynamics, and land-atmosphere interaction.

Electrical Engineering

Information on research being done by the Electrical Engineering Department can be accessed through five general categories:

•Signal and Information Processing
This area focuses on representation, processing, analysis, and communication of signals and information in various forms, including audio, image, video, biological data, and signals from other sensory sources. The research scope encompasses study of new paradigms and methodologies for signal modeling, coding/compression, content analysis/understanding, pattern detection/recognition, signal detection/estimation, and multimedia transport. Faculty and students are actively engaged in development of new theories, algorithms, tools, systems and emerging international standards. They also enjoy close collaboration with researchers and practitioners from other schools and many technology companies in the neighborhood.

•Networking and Communications
Columbia University prides itself in having one of the top networking research groups in the world. Most of the research is organized around a number of centers and research groups. These include: COMET Group, Columbia Networking Research Center, and Center for Resilient Networks.

A wide range of research studies is pursued within the networking and communications area. Broadly, they span existing technologies and include exciting, new, and still evolving networking technologies. The methodologies at play vary from empirical and experimental approaches to mathematical modeling and analysis.

•Integrated Circuits and Systems
This area focusses on the integration of circuits and systems on semiconductor chips. It encompasses design, analysis and simulation of analog, RF, digital, and mixed signal VLSI circuits and systems, and expands into the related areas of semiconductor device modeling and signal processors. Research activities in this area are carried out at the Columbia Integrated Systems Laboratory (CISL).

•Systems Biology
This research thrust aims at understanding the structure and dynamics of biological networks within cells and cells complexes that give rise to emergent properties. It also addresses questions of information coding, representation, and processing in living systems. The research is centered on the following areas:
-Analysis and simulation of genetic and biochemical networks
-Gene regulatory and signaling pathways
-Reverse engineering of networks from microarrays
-Time encoding and information representation by sensory systems
-Spike processing and computation in the cortex
-Genetic, structural, functional, and plasticity principles of the cortical microcircuit

•Micro Devices, Electromagnetics,Plasma Physics, Photonics

This area of the department is concerned with the physical basis of electrical engineering. The faculty members are involved in understanding and applying the fundamental princples of new electronic, sensing and optical devices. Our research therefore involves many diverse areas such as growth and exploration of new electronic materials, new electromagnetic design algorithms for photonic circuits, ultrafast laser techniques, fabrication of quantum device structures, and plasma processing. Much of the work is distinctly "hands-on" involving state-of-art instruments and computers. The research activities here engage Ph.D. graduate studies in a dynamic research environment. Research is carried out with outside groups and industries, which is facilitated by the large concentration of high-tech companies located near Columbia University.

Industrial and Operations Research

The IEOR Department is constantly and consistently producing prominent research. In particular, research is conducted in the area of logistics, routing, scheduling, production and supply chain management, inventory control, revenue management, and quality control. New developments are being explored in operations research; in particular, mathematical programming, combinatorial optimization, stochastic modeling, computational and mathematical finance, queueing theory, reliability, simulation, and both deterministic and stochastic network flows.

In finance, research is conducted in portfolio management; option pricing, including exotic and real options; computational finance, such as Monte Carlo simulation and numerical methods; as well as data mining and risk management.

Projects are sponsored and supported by leading private firms and government agencies. In addition, our students and faculty are involved in the work of these research and educational centers: the Center for Applied Probability (CAP), the Center for Financial Engineering (CAP) and the Computational Optimization Research Center (CORC). Both CAP and CORC are supported principally by grants from the National Science Foundation. CAP is a cooperative center involving the School of Engineering and Applied Science, several departments in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the Graduate School of Business. Its interests are in four applied areas: mathematical and computational finance, stochastic networks, logistics and distribution, and population dynamics.

Mechanical Engineering

Current research activities in the Department of Mechanical Engineering are in the areas of controls and robotics, energy and micropower generation, fluid mechanics, heat/mass transfer, mechanics of materials, manufacturing, material processing, MEMS, nanotechnology, and orthopedic biomechanics.

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Columbia Engineering is at the forefront of many strategic areas of research, from environmental sustainability and the human genome to infrastructure sensors, nanotechnology, and data sciences. Our professors and students collaborate with other leading experts not only within the Columbia research community but also at other world-renowned universities and institutions, bringing together the best minds from myriad disciplines to tackle and solve the most challenging problems in society, technology, the environment, infrastructure, and more.

Research Description By Engineering Research Center

Center for Advanced Information Management

The Center for Advanced Information Management at Columbia University helps companies achieve technical and economic success from their products and processes. We strive to provide effective, targeted assistance and to utilize the university’s intellectual strength and comprehensive infrastructure. We offer flexible approaches to solving industry’s problems. Our goal is to enable our industry partners to grow and prosper and to commercialize Columbia-developed technologies.

Center for Applied Probability

The objective of the Center is to provide an umbrella under which diverse research and educational activities in probability and its applications can be focused and supported, especially at Columbia University, but with a view to local, national, and international visibility.

CAP's focal areas for building research and educational programs include four application areas (mathematical and computational finance, stochastic networks, logistics and distribution, and population dynamics), and four methodological areas (control and optimization, stochastic analysis, numerical methods, and statistical inference), with extensive cross linkage.

Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

C2B2 researchers are using advanced computational methods to investigate a wide range of biological phenomena. Key areas of research include:

•Prediction of protein structure, function and localization.
•Study of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.
•Gene expression analysis and prediction of regulatory network structure.
•Study of complex inherited traits.
•Image analysis and interpretation.
•Biomedical ontology development.
•Knowledge extraction from scientific literature and medical reports.
•Evidence integration.
A diverse set of analytical approaches are being applied to address these research problems combining methods from Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Signal processing, Statistics, Computational learning and Bioinformatics. In addition, leveraging collective expertise in computer systems research, interoperability, complex database technologies and modern software engineering methodologies, C2B2 members are making their research available to the public through software systems that accelerate and enrich biological data analysis.

Center for Computational Learning Systems

Businesses, institutions and individuals are generating and collecting data at an astonishing rate, growing faster than our ability to understand it, predict patterns or results, or use the information to achieve needed outcomes. The Center for Computational Learning can harness this data for greater human understanding as well as for very specific business applications. To do this, our world-class researchers in machine learning and data mining, focus on the specific goals and challenges of our clients, including private and public companies, medical centers, public utilities, government agencies and academic institutions.

The Center’s projects have focused on a wide-range of challenges in such areas as energy and public utilities, medical and biological research, systems and tools for translating languages and dialects, human learning and cognition, machine learning, and security systems. Although focusing on different types of challenges, all CCLS projects share a common goal: to understand, predict and produce the outcomes needed by each client. CCLS research scientists working in all project areas analyze massive amounts of data by research scientists using computational machines that organize data to “learn” about patterns, causes and predictability, i.e. “machine learning.”

Center for Financial Engineering

The Center for Financial Engineering was established at Columbia University with the goal of encouraging interdisciplinary research on financial engineering and mathematical modeling in finance and promoting collaboration between Columbia faculty and financial institutions, through the organization of research seminars, workshops and the dissemination of research done by members of the Center.

Center for Integrated Science and Engineering

The Center presently supports multi-disciplinary research in the Departments of Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering and Physics.

Center for Life Cycle Analysis

The Center for Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Columbia University was formed in the spring of 2006 with the objective of conducting comprehensive LCAs of energy systems. LCA provides a framework for quantifying the potential environmental impacts of material and energy inputs and outputs of a process or product from "cradle to grave". The mission of the Center is to guide technology and energy policy decisions with data-based, well balanced and transparent descriptions of the environmental profiles of energy systems.

Center for Neuroengineering and Computation

The Columbia Nanocenter is motivated by two key propositions. The first proposition is that theminiaturization of silicon-based electronics will stagnate in the early part of the 21st century. The second proposition is that the desire for exponential improvement of device performance (as measured by clock speed, circuit density, computing power in mips, etc.) - that is, Moore's Law - will extend into the foreseeable future. Our program is directed toward the expectation that individual molecules provide an attractive alternative to silicon circuitry for carrying out logical operations. Thus we seek to establish the foundation for new paradigms for information processing through the development of fundamental understanding of charge transport phenomena unique to the character of nanoscale molecular structures. Beyond electronics applications, the fundamental studies of molecular transport in the Columbia Nanocenter have the potential to impact other disciplines such as photonics, biology, neuroscience, and medicine.

Center for Particulate and Surfactant Systems

Particulate and surfactants systems are vital to virtually every major industry including pharmaceuticals, detergents, cosmetics, liquid crystals, micro-electronics, advanced materials, energy, minerals, biotechnology, photography, and paints and coatings. Most applications involve the use of dry or wet particulate systems and natural or synthetic surfactants whose effectiveness depends on the synergistic or competitive interactions with each other. Better understanding of the interplay between particles and surfactants will lead to products and processes such as better detergents, faster acting drugs, multimodal contrast agents for early disease detection, and advanced separation technologies.

CPaSS faculty, staff and students are currently conducting, or plan to undertake, research projects in the following areas that have been identified by the Center researchers and industry partners.

•Cosmetics and Health care Products
•Targeted drug delivery systems
•Cohesive Powder Flow
•Dispersion of Soft and Hard Solids
•Advanced Particulate/Mineral Separations
•Filtration and Dewatering of Fines
•Waste Minimization, Reuse, and Remediation
•Toxicity of Nanostructures/Nanoparticles

Columbia Center for Integrated Science and Engineering

One focus of MRSEC research is in developing novel ways of making nanocrystals, particularly metal oxide nanocrystals. We are pursuing new ways of synthesizing different types of particles by colloidal methods, such as iron oxide nanoparticles (gamma-Fe2O3, TEM figure 1) and HfZrO2 nanoparticles and nanorods (figure 2). We are also investigating the synthesis of CeO2-y and ternary nanocrystals such as CeZrO2 by room temperature liquid phase methods, and of vanadium oxide nanorwires by hydrothermal methods (figure 3). The synthesis of iron oxide nanocrystals was a collaboration with Chris Murray of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center (currently at the University of Pennsylvania). The TEM in figure 2 is the result of a collaboration with Yimei Zhu at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Columbia Networking Research Center

Organic and hybrid materials offer potential for low cost, large area, manufacturable solar-cells. Although there are multiple problems associated with these material systems, for example stability and lifetime, the primary issue at this point in time is that they simply have not offered operating efficiencies at an acceptable level. The Columbia EFRC is founded on the belief that improving photovoltaic efficiency for these systems requires fundamental and quantitative understanding of the energy flow through the system from the light absorption process to the power delivery process. The EFRC will focus on using the tools of nanotechnology and ultrafast science to achieve a deeper understanding of the fundamental efficiency limits of organic and hybrid solar cells at each step in the energy conversion cascade. We will apply this knowledge to the design and implementation of new, high efficiency solar-cell systems. Building from this understanding, we will explore material design for the creation of innovative and scalable architectures tailored to optimize charge extraction and transport. Furthermore, single junction organic and hybrid solar-cell systems are subject to the Shockley-Queisser (SQ) limitations for conversion efficiency. Many concepts for going beyond SQ have been proposed, but very little success has been reported so far for organic and hybrid systems. In particular the concept of carrier multiplication or multi-exciton generation (MEG) is attractive, but a deeper understanding of these processes is required to evaluate the potential for this concept. Thus our research program will examine extensively these concepts both theoretically and experimentally based on optimized nanomaterials created through cutting-edge synthesis capability

Computational Optimization Research Center

CORC researchers carry out advanced studies in the solution of difficult, large-scale optimization problems, with special focus on state-of-the-art implementation of modern algorithms. We are primarily interested in the solution of problems with practical relevance, and we actively seek collaboration with industrial partners.

Data Science Institute

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University is training the next generation of data scientists and developing innovative technology to serve society. With nearly 200-affilated faculty working in a wide range of disciplines, the Institute seeks to foster collaboration in advancing techniques to gather and interpret data, and to address the urgent problems facing society. The Institute works closely with industry to bring promising ideas to market.

Earth Engineering Center

The Earth Engineering Center (EEC) was formed in 1995 by the Earth Institute, the School of Applied Science and Engineering (SEAS), and the Henry Krumb School of Mines of Columbia University. Its original mission was to direct engineering research on processes and products that balance the increasing use of materials, the finite resources of the Earth, and the need for clean water, soil, and air. The Center was also dedicated to the advancement of industrial ecology: The physical and social sciences for reconfiguring industrial and societal activities with full knowledge of their environmental consequences. EEC introduced the teaching of Industrial Ecology of Earth Resources at Columbia University, was the first engineering unit of Columbia's Earth Institute, and co-organized the 1997 Global Warming International Conference (GW8), held at Columbia University.

The EEC has concentrated on advancing the goals of sustainable waste management in the U.S. and globally. Economic development has resulted in the annual generation of billions of tons of used materials which are a considerable resource and, when not managed properly, constitute a major environmental problem both in developed and developing nations. This research has engaged many M.S. and Ph.D. students on all aspects of waste management.

EFRC: Re-Defining Photovoltaic Efficiency Through Molecule Scale Control

The Columbia EFRC is creating enabling
technology to re-define efficiency in
nanostructured thin-film organic and
hybrid photovoltaic devices through
fundamental understanding and through
molecule-scale control of charge
formation, separation, extraction, and

EnHANTs Center

The Environmental Molecular Sciences Institute was established in October 1998 as an interdisciplinary research center formed to study fundamental scientific and engineering issues related to subsurface/interfacial contaminant problems.

Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Studies in Novel Surfactants

The IUCS conducts an interdisciplinary research program. Some of the projects conducted at the Center are:

• Studies on the interactions of surfactants with bacteria and biosurfaces.

• Characterization of environmentally benign alkyl (poly)glucoside surfactants.

• Studies on the surface and colloidal properties of novel surface-active solvents such as the alkyl pyrrolidones. These have shown interesting potential for flocculation of coal dispersions.

• Investigation on surfactant clusters for control of chemical reactions in polymerization, crystallization, habit formation, corrosion, and electrodeposition.

• Experimental and theoretical studies on the phase behavior of mixed surfactant and surfactant-polymer systems.

• Surfactants and polymers for dispersion and flocculation of particulate matter and flotation of minerals.

• Understand surface properties of polymeric thin films.

• Development of spectroscopic methods for determination of molecular, micro and nano-structures at interfaces.

• Novel polymeric nanoparticles for extraction and release of drugs and fragrance.

MRSEC: Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids

The PAS3 led by Columbia University in partnership with City College of New York, studies materials composed of atomically precise low-dimensional building blocks: two-dimensional atomic sheets and zero-dimensional molecular clusters. The interdisciplinary team comprises faculty from materials science, chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering. The research of the center is strengthened by collaborations with academic and industrial researchers, partnership with Brookhaven National Laboratory, and international partners. Support for the center is provided through the NSF Grant DMR-1420634, part of the NSF MRSEC Program. Additional support is provided by Columbia University.

NSEC: Center for Electron Transport in Molecular Nanostructures

Our interdisciplinary program pursues the synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of three different types of nanoscale molecular systems in intimate contact with electrical contacts: (1) single walled carbon nanotubes, (2) two-dimensional molecular systems and (3) single molecules. The Nanocenter program brings a common intellectual approach to create a fully integrated multidisciplinary program built upon these molecular systems.