NASA has awarded FIU $3 million for research that will address some of the most important challenges of exploring the “final frontier” – creating materials that can withstand the extreme environment of space.

Daniela Radu, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering in FIU’s College of Engineering & Computing, will lead the Center for Research and Education in 2D Optoelectronics (CRE2DO). CRE2DO researchers will explore novel two-dimensional (2D) functional materials, which consist of a single or few layers of atoms. These nanomaterials are both extremely strong and have high flexibility and conductivity as well as a tremendous energy storage capacity, which makes them ideal for space.

CRE2DO’s primary goal is to develop cutting-edge technologies that integrate 2D materials in space-resilient infrastructure materials, communication devices, and small satellite technology. The nanomaterials enhance reliability of mechanical and electrical components in spaceship devices and wearable electronics. The superconductor materials developed by CRE2DO aim to eliminate the need for battery power, while the material composites could be used in the infrastructure for spaceship components destined for Mars, and on wearable electronics placed inside space suits to enable high-speed communication by astronauts back to the space station. Read more at FIU News.