To identify the combinations of components that will produce the most interesting materials, the scientists will use high-throughput experiments and data-mining techniques to screen and analyze the vast number of possible combinations of nanostructures, biomolecular linking elements (the peptides) and assembly conditions.
"One of our goals is to contribute to the fundamental understanding of how the spatial arrangement of nanoscale components in materials affects their optical, magnetic and plasmonic properties," Prasad said. "The high-throughput techniques we are using were pioneered in the field of bioinformatics, but also have extraordinary promise in the exploration of advanced materials."
Zhang said, "The computational capabilities offered by informatics and data mining will enable us to maximize the value of our data regarding the nanoassemblies, to generate and to construct new assemblies that span a wide range of inorganic and bimolecular components so as to achieve desired combinatorics-based properties."
To process the enormous amounts of information the study will generate, the scientists will rely on the computational capabilities of UB's supercomputing center, the Center for Computational Research (CCR).
The project demonstrates UB's increased success in attracting large multidisciplinary research grants, Swihart said. In recent years, the university has encouraged interdisciplinary collaboration under the umbrella of eight broad areas known as the UB 2020 Strategic Strengths. The new research engages faculty in two of these strengths: Information and Computing Technology, and Integrated Nanostructured Systems, which Swihart leads.
"This project is an example of the enormous research opportunities at the intersection of materials science and informatics," sa
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University at Buffalo