The United States economy has benefited from a constant flow of innovative materials from its leading research laboratories for many decades. The 2009 report by the National Research Council, Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology, outlined areas of concern and recommended steps to ensure future global competitiveness. A 2003 report from the DOE "Design, Discovery and Growth of Novel Materials For Basic Research: An Urgent U.S. Need" laid the foundation for this report. Both reports acknowledge that the research activities defining the discovery and growth of crystalline matter (DCGM), and indeed materials research in general, are performed by a large number of groups with a huge diversity of information and experiments. Among both report’s recommendations is the creation of a materials network that would provide an internet-enabled means to connect these groups.
The UCSC-hosted Materials by Design Website is a step towards realizing this network. Whether the task is locating a sample for a particular measurement, finding someone who can perform a particular measurement on your sample, or having a quick chat with a grower or measurere, the site seeks to provide the needed contact.