Russell J. Composto receives NSF Special Creativity Award

Russ CompostoRussell J. Composto, professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Creativity Award from the Division of Materials Research in recognition of "excellent research on dispersion and assembly of gold nanorods confined to polymer nanolayers." This program offers the most creative investigators an extension on a current NSF project to attack adventurous, high-risk research opportunities.

The overarching goal of Composto's project, "Nanorod Assembly in Polymeric Matrices," is to understand the fundamental principles that drive nanorod assembly when spatially confined. An underlying aim is to control the location, alignment and packing of nanorods to optimize the optical properties of polymer nanocomposite coatings. The research builds upon longstanding strengths in nanotechnology characterization techniques and recent expertise in synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles, modeling and theory of nanocomposites, and optical adsorption/plasmonic coupling.

In addition to research, the award reflects the broader impacts of the proposed research reflecting technological importance of polymer nanocomposites for coatings and device applications; participation of undergraduates as well as high school teachers and students in research; outreach to middle school science programs; and a long term partnership that supports an innovative Materials Science course at Central High School in Philadelphia.

To learn more about Composto and his research, view his faculty profile.

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