Visualizing Crystal Structures

Joanna Millunchick, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, is working to change the way people visualize crystal structures. Using an app that centers on virtual and augmented reality, technology more frequently used for video games, Millunchick and her development partner Duncan Abbot, CEO of Gwydion, Inc., are creating a new affordable platform that will be available to anyone worldwide with a printer and a smart phone.

Professor Millunchick's general research interests involves manipulating matter on the nanoscale in order to enable the design of new electronic materials for optoelectronic and photovoltaic applications. Specifically, she is fascinated by the details of atomic surface structure of compound semiconductors, self assembly of epitaxial nanostructures, and in situ characterization. More recently, Millunchick has taken her expertise in nanotechnology to move into a new line of work that involves the manipulation and characterization of nanowires. For the past few years, Millunchick has also conducted pedagogical research examining the efficacy of internet-based resources in student learning.

Gwydion ( is a Ann Arbor based startup that was founded in 2016 by a group of students at the University of Michigan.