Signature Topics in Materials Research

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What is Materials Science?

It's about designing a better world.

Soft Matter and Biomaterials

Ongoing interests include the molecular design of soft materials, nanomaterials, immune-active materials, scaffolds for tissue engineering, and basic investigations into the complex mechanisms by which materials engage biology.
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Computational Materials Science

Accelerating the discovery of new materials by creating computational models based upon the theories of molecular dynamics or quantum mechanics—enabling the prediction and modification of fundamental materials properties.


Duke is home to a globally-recognized group of researchers dedicated to the exploration of artificially structured materials and their potential impact across a broad range of technologies.
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Energy Materials

Our approach to the development of energy materials solutions is to couple basic chemistry and materials design into high-performance prototypes of new devices and applications.

Electronic, Photonic and Quantum Materials

A research area that has the potential to address many of the grand challenges currently facing society, including better diagnostic tools, creating better chemical and gas sensors, and other novel electronic and photonic technologies.

Sustainable Materials

Duke environmental engineers collaborate with scientists from the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment (#8 globally, U.S. News & World Report) and the Duke Superfund Research Center to focus on understanding current and emerging threats by materials to human and environmental health.