Peter's research interests lie in the convergence of advanced nanomaterials synthesis and advanced characterization to solve the global challenges of energy, water, and healthcare required to sustainably support a population rising above 10 billion.
Peter's graduate work centered around synthesis to enable the study of emergent properties from mesostructured electronic and magnetic materials. He also worked - and continues to work - extensively on in situ synchrotron x-ray characterization of the formation processes for such materials, with the goal of understanding the pathways to structure formation to enable more advanced syntheses.
Superconductors with gyroidal mesoscale crystallographic order are expected to exhibit several interesting emergent properties, including angle-dependent forces as field lines align with the pore axes of the material, increased critical fields, and potentially novel flux pinning behavior. Exploration of this area has been extremely limited, however, due to extreme difficulty in preparing such materials. In early 2016, Peter and a team of colleagues from Cornell published the first report of a block copolymer-derived synthesis of such materials in Science Advances. He has worked in recent years to expand the synthesis approach to use the commercially available Pluronics family of block copolymers and use understanding from in situ x-ray studies to improve the synthesis in other ways.