The CNC team intends to weave innovation into all aspects of the Center. The research program is inherently interdisciplinary, deeply integrating synthesis, functionalization, predictive and interpretive theory, advanced characterization, and property measurement with an established track record of two, three, and four-fold collaboration and cross-training of students. The initial discovery of carbon nanothreads, now reinforced by the successful synthesis of threads of other compositions provides a compelling arena of discovery that will spark ever farther-reaching trans-disciplinary interactions over time. Our education and professional development program deploys explicit mechanisms to instill a trans-disciplinary research mindset in the next generation of researchers.
Pending specific interest amongst Center students, postdocs, and faculty (encouraged and facilitated by Center leadership and the preparatory activities outlined above), select CNC members will pursue 8-week entrepreneurship boot camps at the TechCelerator that train participants in Lean Startup methodology. In addition to the transdisciplinary entrepreneurship and industrial collaboration opportunities, our mentorship model will highlight interdisciplinary training and the development of leadership capabilities.
To imagine a structure and then express it in material form is one of the most satisfying of human activities. It is pervasive throughout the arts and crafts and it is one of the defining features of architecture. It is also at the heart of synthetic chemistry ( Angew. Chem. 57,4177 (2017)).
Nanothreads have natural resonance with the public: the discovery paper received extensive media coverage and was first in online audience metrics in Nature Materials. The CNC will exploit this resonance to engage the general public through several complementary channels that make use of three distinct modalities of interaction: hands-on, conversational, and online. For example, each university (NYU, Brandeis, Penn State, Cornell) will host one or more conversational public events per year exploring the chemistry of nanothreads and related structures under the theme of “Chemical Architecture”.
Diversity efforts will be woven into all Center activities, as noted above for informal science communication and sample provision. Faculty will present at diversity-focused graduate recruiting events, for example.