Women in Quantum Science and Engineering Lecture Series: Noa Marom

Who: Noa Marom, Carnegie Mellon University
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 -
11:00am to 12:00pm
Allen Hall 321

Upcoming Talk: Tuesday, March 21 at 11:00 a.m.

Success by Design: Noa Marom

An artist her entire life, today Noa Marom turns her attention to designing better materials

As a child growing up in Israel, Assistant Professor Noa Marom always had an interest in science and the natural world. Her father, an engineer, encouraged this passion. “Sometimes, instead of telling me a bedtime story, my dad would answer my questions about nature. I would ask about clouds, volcanoes, earthquakes, dinosaurs, and— when I was a bit older—atoms, stars, and relativity,” Marom recalls. “This scientific education was never forced on me. I was a curious child and always had a million questions about the world around me. I was fortunate to have someone with the patience to answer these questions.”

At the same time, Marom always loved to draw. “I’ve been creating art since I was old enough to hold a crayon,” she says. Today, her website at MSE (www.noamarom.com) is populated with her whimsical and inventive drawings. While she once dreamed of being an artist or fashion designer, now Marom has found the perfect application for her dual passions: designing custom materials for specific applications.

This energetic professor, who joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering back in June, uses computer simulations to predict the properties of materials, based solely on the knowledge of their elemental composition and the laws of quantum mechanics.

A great deal of a product’s performance depends on the materials it is composed of,” Marom explains. “For example, if you’re trying to design the highest-performing solar cell, you need to begin with a material that absorbs as much of the solar spectrum as possible. My research is focused on optimizing the structure and properties of materials so they contribute to a stated performance goal.”

This research dovetails perfectly with her natural curiosity and creativity. “What I love about my work is the high level of intellectual challenge and the chance to explore interesting problems,” says Marom. “I am constantly thinking about new materials strategies and asking ‘what if’ questions.”

Read the original article here.

Fluctuations of the mind:

In light summer wind

white curtain fluttered its wings

A thought came and went

Biography: Noa Marom

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
Noa Marom received a B.A. in Physics and a B.S. in Materials Engineering, both Cum Laude, from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 2003. From 2002 to 2004 she worked as an Application Engineer in the Process Development and Control Division of Applied Materials. In 2010 she received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science. She was awarded the Shimon Reich Memorial Prize of Excellence for her thesis. She then pursued postdoctoral research at the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. From 2013 to 2016 she was an Assistant Professor in the Physics and Engineering Physics Department at Tulane University. In 2016 she joined the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University as an Assistant Professor. She holds courtesy appointments in the Department of Physics and the Department of Chemistry. While at Tulane, she organized a successful seminar series entitled Women Leaders in Physics and Engineering that contributed to a sustained effort to improve the climate for female students by enhancing their interaction with faculty and with external role-models. 


Effect of Crystal Packing on the Electronic Properties of Molecular Crystals

Molecular crystals have applications in nonlinear optics, organic electronics, and particularly in pharmaceuticals because most drugs are marketed as crystals of the pharmaceutically active ingredient. Molecular crystals are held together by van der Waals (vdW) interactions (also known as dispersion interactions) between molecules. Unlike chemical bonds, van der Waals interactions do not involve overlap of electron densities. Rather, they arise from quantum fluctuations of the electron density that lead to the formation of dipoles and higher order multipoles. The electrostatic interaction between these generates a weak but long-ranged attractive force.
Owing to the weak nature of van der Waals interactions, a given molecule may crystallize in more than one structure. This is known as polymorphism. Polymorphic forms of the same molecule may possess markedly different physical and chemical properties. Crystal structure may profoundly influence the bioavailability, toxicity, manufacturability, and stability of drugs. In the context of technological applications, crystal structure affects the electronic and optical properties.
We use computer simulations to perform structure prediction and design of molecular crystals from first principles, based solely on the knowledge of their elemental composition and the laws of quantum mechanics. We develop genetic algorithms, which are guided to the most promising regions of the configuration space by the evolutionary principle of survival of the fittest. Offspring are generated by combining structural “genes” of the fittest structures in the population to propagate desirable features, while random mutations are employed to maintain diversity. We are particularly interested in optimizing crystal packing for high-performance organic electronics and solar cells.

Women in Quantum Science and Engineering Lecture Series

All talks are held at 11:00 a.m. and are open to the public.
Susan Fullerton (University of Pittsburgh)
Tuesday, February 7, O'Hara Student Center

Jeanie Lau (Ohio State University)
Tuesday, February 28, Allen Hall 321

Laura Greene (Florida State University)
Tuesday, March 7, Allen Hall 321

Noa Marom (Carnegie Mellon University)
Tuesday, March 21, Allen Hall 321

Nicole Benedek (Cornell University)
Wednesday, April 5, Benedum Hall 102

Anastassia Alexandrova (University of California Los Angeles)
Tuesday, April 11, Eberly Hall 307

Jill Millstone (University of Pittsburgh)
Tuesday, April 18, Eberly Hall 307