The need for reconfigurable photonic and electronic materials underpins many recently announced DOE and DOD research programs. A recent DOE roundtable on Neuromorphic Computing and upcoming AFOSR workshop on Reconfigurable Electronics further echo the potential for transformative technological breakthroughs enabled by basic science research into reconfigurable materials and devices. The breadth of potential applications (e.g., neuromorphic computing, programmable photonic devices, adaptive and self-regulating sensors, electromagnetic lenses, beam steering, antennas, directed energy transfer, and evolutionary bio-mimicking machines) reflects the promise of reconfigurable materials and the importance of assembling interdisciplinary research teams that can attack a single problem from diverse directions.
The PIs will leverage the Challenge Grant funds to meet with program managers at the DOE and DOD agencies to cultivate scientific relationships to ultimately identify and assist in defining future MURI funding initiatives. The PIs will also host a number of workshops at UCSB to pull in collaborators and down-select between funding targets. Lastly, the Challenge Grant funds will be used for teaching relief taken to run the workshops and prepare the grant proposals.