UMass Amherst Takes Lead Role in New $7.5 Million Project to Develop Photomechanical Materials

Ryan Hayward

Ryan Hayward, Polymer Science and Engineering, is lead investigator for a five-year, $7.5 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant from the Office of Naval Research to support fundamental research needed to design molecules and material architectures that efficiently convert photon energy into mechanical work. He says, “This new project is an exciting opportunity to bring together people with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills to really rethink how light-responsive materials are designed and fabricated.” The project includes a team of with team of researchers at UMass Amherst, the University of California, Riverside, Stanford University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, Kent State University, and the California Institute of Technology. It will merge theory, modeling and simulations with synthesis, processing and characterization of new materials and systems across length-scales ranging from single molecules to bulk materials. The researchers hope to ultimately develop working, light-driven devices. Read more.