The MOMA (Modeling integrated nano structured energetic Materials) PUF project, based on a partnership between University of Texas at Dallas and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, has led to significant discoveries relating to the modelling of energetic materials, a new international lab focusing on nanotechnology, and gathered a team of 16 French and American faculty members and 26 students.
The project was coordinated by Dr. Alain Estève, Researcher at the Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems (LAAS), a CNRS research unit in Toulouse, France, and by Dr. Yves Chabal, who is Professor of Materials Science, director of the Laboratory for Surface and Nanostructure Modification (LSNM) and Head of the department of Material Sciences and Engineering at the University of Texas at Dallas. Since its inception in 2009, MOMA has united an interdisciplinary group of 42 French and American chemists, physicists, material scientists, and electrical engineers from CNRS-University of Toulouse, UT Dallas, and University of Southern California to launch new research platforms for nanotechnology in the 21st century.
PUF funding from 2009-2013 allowed for this transatlantic exchange around research and education and has also supported much international travel essential to the partnership. Twelve members of the teams embarked on international exchanges that enhanced collaboration, and allowed them to perform experiments and produce publications as a cohesive group.
The partnership has already produced five international joint publications, with one in Nature Materials and another in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. MOMA also received a Chateaubriand grant from the French Embassy. One of the main outcomes of this partnership is the creation of ATLAB (Atomically Precise Nano-Engineering Laboratory), an International Associated Laboratory (CNRS program), in 2013. This “laboratory without walls” will help the teams pursue their joint nanotechnology research in order to shed light on the possibilities for expansion of nanoenergetic systems.
Their collaboration will also be supported through a competitive NSF-ANR grant, which will allow the teams to push their important work on nonlaminate reactive interfaces forward.