Zauscher Lab | Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University


RT-MRSEC and Zauscher Win Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education!

The Graduate School created the Dean’s Award for Inclusive Excellence in Graduate Education to acknowledge extraordinary achievements by departments and programs that help create an environment of inclusive excellence in graduate education.
See more details here:

and watch a video here:


The Research Triangle Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (RT-MRSEC), based in the Duke Pratt School of Engineering, was launched in September 2011 as a national resource for materials science and engineering research and education. The NSF-funded center includes faculty and students from Duke University, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

Since its founding, MRSEC has set and met ambitious targets for diversity and inclusion that exceed the targets of the average center funded by the NSF. Over the last five years, the center has:

  • Successfully attracted and recruited a diverse cohort of Ph.D. students. Of the 28 graduate students who voluntarily reported in 2015 through, nine (32 percent) were female and four (14 percent) were from underrepresented groups. Cumulatively, from 2011 to 2016, an impressive 46 percent of the graduate students and postdocs within the RT-MRSEC were either female or identified as being from an underrepresented group.
  • Strategically hired promising postdocs and research faculty from underrepresented groups.
  • Recruited a diverse cohort of participants to its Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Of the 43 students who have participated in MRSEC’s REU program since 2012, 20 (47 percent) identified as belonging to an underrepresented group. A number of past REU participants have gone on to join Ph.D. programs in sciences and engineering.
  • Extensively collaborated with Texas State University—a Hispanic-serving institution—through the National Science Foundation Partnerships for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) program. The collaboration includes mutual working visits, the participation of Texas State students in MRSEC’s REU program, and MRSEC postdocs traveling to Texas State for mock faculty interviews.
  • Increased the diversity of the center participants at all levels and the diversity of STEM participants in general, through sustained, individual efforts by the MRSEC director and investigators.
  • Organized and participated in numerous outreach efforts to increase the diversity of participants in STEM and, more specifically, in materials research-related activities.

CR-AFM Paper Published in ACS-Nano!

Congratulations to the team of authors, the paper “Quantitative Subsurface Atomic Structure Fingerprint for 2D Materials and Heterostructures by First-Principles Calibrated Contact-Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy,” just got published in ACS-NANO!



Congratulations to Yaying Feng, Dan French, and Luis Navarro!
They passed their qualification examinations with flying colors.

Review on Nanopatterned Polymer Brushes!

Qian Yu, Linnea K. Ista, Renpeng Gu, Stefan Zauscher, and Gabriel P. López, “Nanopatterned Polymer Brushes: Conformation, Fabrication and Applications,” Nanoscale, in press, 2015.

New predictive insights into the morphology of diblock-co-polymer micelles

Li, N.K., Fuss. W.H., Tang, L., Gu, R., Chilkoti, A., Zauscher, S., Yingling, Y. G. “Prediction of solvent-induced morphological changes of polyelectrolyte diblock copolymer micelles,” Soft Matter, 2015, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C5SM01742D



Stefan Zauscher becomes Director of the NSF Research Triangle MRSEC

On September 1, Prof. Zauscher became PI of the Research Triangle MRSEC (Materials Research Science and Engineering Center) and took over the directorship of the center from Prof. Gabriel Lólgthumb_triangleMRSECpez.


Zauscher CV August 2015

Click for: CV_Zauscher_2015.


Lab Hike June 2015


Congratulations to Qing Tu!

Congratulations to Qing for passing his prelim with flying colors. Looking forward to the next phase of research!


Congratulations to Dr. Eric Zhang!

Eric passed his dissertation defense today!
His dissertation is entitled: Conformational and Mechanical Characterization  of Organic Tin Films on Surfaces by Neutron Reflection and Atomic Force Microscopy
Congrats Eric!