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Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology (2009)

Chapter: Appendix A: Charge to the Committee

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Charge to the Committee." National Research Council. 2009. Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/12640.
Page 145

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Appendix A Charge to the Committee The purpose of this study is to: 1. Define the research area of the discovery and growth of crystalline materials, framing the activities in the broader context of the condensed-matter and materials sciences. 2. Assess the health of the collective U.S. research activities in new materials and crystal growth. 3. Articulate the relationship between synthesis of bulk and thin-film materi- als and measurement-based research; identify appropriate trends. 4. Identify future opportunities for new materials and crystal growth research and discuss the potential impact on other sciences and society in general. 5. Recommend strategies to address these opportunities, including discussion of the following issues: a.  Existing efforts to improve accessibility to and distribution of samples b.  Technology transfer from basic research to commercial processes c.  Essential elements of nationally-coordinated crystalline matter dis­covery capabilities d.  Comparisons to levels of effort in other countries The study will place the need for new crystalline materials in a larger context of materials synthesis. The scope would include not only amorphous metals and nanoscale materials, but also glasses, plastics, composites, and granular media—all of which garner the attention of basic research. 145

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For much of the past 60 years, the U.S. research community dominated the discovery of new crystalline materials and the growth of large single crystals, placing the country at the forefront of fundamental advances in condensed-matter sciences and fueling the development of many of the new technologies at the core of U.S. economic growth. The opportunities offered by future developments in this field remain as promising as the achievements of the past. However, the past 20 years have seen a substantial deterioration in the United States' capability to pursue those opportunities at a time when several European and Asian countries have significantly increased investments in developing their own capacities in these areas. This book seeks both to set out the challenges and opportunities facing those who discover new crystalline materials and grow large crystals and to chart a way for the United States to reinvigorate its efforts and thereby return to a position of leadership in this field.

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