collapse phenomenon. Designing these materials to have desired properties —moduli, optical properties, high-temperature stability—would open doors to a range of new types of functions.

  1. Magneto-resistive materials.  Materials that demonstrate the “giant magneto resistive effect” (GMRE) are important to the future of high-density magnetic information storage devices. These materials will most certainly find wide use in the read-elements of sensors for such devices. At this time, the GMRE materials that have been studied are heterogeneous mixtures and alternating layered structures of ferromagnetic and conducting metals. The origin of the GMRE is not fully understood at this time. Establishment of a sound theoretical basis for the origin of the effect will provide chemists with the information necessary to rationally design materials with the range of properties required for use in the sensor elements of storage devices and will allow rapid optimization of these properties. The panel encourages support of work that will provide a theoretical foundation for and an understanding of the materials-properties relationships in this new and interesting class of materials. The search for organic and metal-organic analogues could prove rewarding.

A number of advances are required in basic science to accomplish the design of materials.

  1. Crystal engineering.Many applications of materials require unique crystalline states. The ability to design (or control) a molecular crystal by designing the molecules from which it is formed is just beginning to develop. Substantial work is also required in understanding the science and technology of the growth of high-quality single crystals.

  2. Parallel computation. Computation and simulation of the properties of extended solids or glasses—especially of complex organic molecules—is limited by the quality of the potential functions that are available and by the speed of the computation. Both would benefit from a much improved capability to use parallel computation. Basic studies in the design of new algorithms for parallel computation relevant to the simulation of solid and glass structures represent an area of special opportunity.

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