We are pleased to send you the 16th issue of the NCCR MARVEL newsletter!
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Newsletter - June 27, 2019

Dear MARVEL'ers,

Please find below our latest newsletter, with all the news, highlights, feature stories, and events related to the MARVEL community.

In terms of research, this month you can read about advances made in the characterization of dielectric constants of MOFs, a potentially critical step towards developing the next generation of electronics, as well as an unprecedented view of the so-called wet electron. 

Finally, you have a chance to experience the Many Electron Collaboration Summer School—held recently at the Simons Foundation—vicariously through the first-hand accounts of the five MARVEL students who received sponsorships to attend.  

Scientific highlights

MARVEL researchers investigate how MOF structures affect dieletric properties

The modern microelectronics industry has a huge need for highly efficient electric insulators. Structures built around the medium with the lowest possible dielectric constant, that is, a vacuum, or air, may be their best bet. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) feature, among other advantages, large pores and poorly correlated scaffolding and so may serve this purpose well. Despite the huge potential, few studies have pursued either systematic experimental measurements or simulations to estimate the dielectric constant of MOFs. This lack of data makes it difficult to link properties and performance and hinders the design of an optimal structure–property correlation. NCCR MARVEL researchers looked to fill this gap in knowledge with a study into how the atomic and electronic structures of MOFs affect their dieletric properties. The results of their work were recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. 

Hybrid functional molecular dynamics give unprecedented view on the nature of the wet electron

The hydrated electron has been widely studied, but the atomistic mechanism leading to its formation and the nature of the precursor states remain poorly understood. One of those states, the wet electron, has been used to explain certain spectroscopic observations, but its binding energy and atomic structure have been difficult to characterize. Now, using hybrid functional molecular dynamics simulations, NCCR MARVEL researchers have unveiled the ultrafast solvation mechanism that leads to the hydrated electron. The picture gives an unprecedented view of the nature of the wet electron, instrumental to understanding the properties of this fundamental species in liquid water. The research has been published in Chemical Science.

Read MARVEL Highlights here.


MARVEL students have "absolutely amazing" experience at the Many Electron Collaboration Summer School

Five PhD students involved in NCCR MARVEL projects recently travelled to the 2019 Many Electron Collaboration Summer School held at the Simons Foundation in New York. The students spent a week attending lectures on topics ranging from Many Body Physics to Topological Quantum Chemistry to Machine Learning Methods. Participant Sara Fiore, a PhD student at ETH Zurich summarizes their experience, and each of the students gives his or her own take on the school below.

Upcoming event: register now!

CCMX-MARVEL Materials Science Day 2019

Oct 08, 2019, from 9:00 until 17:30, Welle 7, Bern

NCCR MARVEL and CCMX, the Competence Centre for Materials Science and Technology, are co-organizing their third Materials Science Day where both experimental and modeling approaches will be addressed. The morning will be dedicated to MARVEL projects related to Materials for Energy, including modeling and first experimental validation. During the afternoon, we will present progress with ongoing CCMX Materials Challenges. Participants from industry and academia are welcome to discover new projects, make new contacts and initiate collaborations.

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