News


Jennifer Laaser to be Among Participants of the 2017 CSC New Faculty Workshop

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 May 2017

Jennifer Laaser has been selected to participate in the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative (CSC) New Faculty Workshop that will take place in Washington, DC in the ACS National Offices on August 3- 5, 2017.

The CSC, in partnership with the Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA) and the American Chemical Society, is implementing a New Faculty Workshop program to improve the penetration of research-validated pedagogies in chemistry departments around the country.

This program is designed to aid newly-hired faculty in the Chemical and Physical Sciences at research intensive universities to develop strong research and teaching programs. The workshop will focus on effective time management, new teaching practices, and integrating teaching and research.


National Nanotechnology Initiative Multimedia Contest

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 May 2017

Federal agencies funding research and development activities in nanotechnology under the auspices of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), with support from the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office (NNCO), are working to highlight the accomplishments of and build community around the NNI, and to educate the general public about nanotechnology. 

Share your thoughts and ideas on nanotechnology by submitting a short video for the Nano Film contest or an image for the EnvisioNano contest.

THE PQI VIDEO TEAM CAN HELP YOU!


NSF FY 2018 Budget Request to Congress

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 24 May 2017

National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today publicly presented President Donald J. Trump's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 NSF budget request to Congress.

The FY 2018 NSF budget request of $6.65 billion reflects NSF's commitment to establishing clear priorities in areas of national importance and identifying the most innovative and promising research ideas that will yield the highest return on investment for the nation. It supports fundamental research that will drive the U.S. economy, support our nation's security, and keep the U.S. a global leader in science, engineering and technology.

NSF expects to evaluate over 50,000 proposals in FY 2018 and, through its competitive merit review process, make nearly 11,000 awards, including 8,000 new research grants. 


Pitt's Dean of Engineering Gerald Holder to Return to Faculty in 2018

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 17 May 2017

Marking the culmination of more than two decades of leadership, Gerald D. Holder, the U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering in the Swanson School of Engineering, has announced his intention to vacate his position and return to the faculty in the fall of 2018. Holder, a distinguished service professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, has served as dean of the Swanson School since 1996 and been a member of the faculty since 1979.

Two words come to mind when I look back on Jerry’s incredible career as dean of our Swanson School of Engineering: tremendous growth,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Under Jerry’s leadership, our Swanson School has seen record enrollment levels, and total giving to the school has topped $250 million. The school has also expanded academically to support new knowledge in areas like energy and sustainability — and also new partnerships, including a joint engineering program with China’s Sichuan University. And while I will certainly miss Jerry’s many contributions as dean, I am grateful that he will remain an active faculty member and continue to strengthen our Swanson School’s bright future,” Gallagher said.


PQI2017 Poster Award Winners

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 10 May 2017

Congratulations to the PQI2017 Poster Award Winners!

Ms. Amy Carlson (Evanseck Group, Duquesne Chemistry), Ms. Megan Briggeman (Levy Lab, Pitt Physics), Mr. Cheng Fang (Liu Group, Pitt Chemistry), Ms. Xing Yee Gan (Millstone Group, Pitt Chemistry), Mr. Devashish Gopalan (Hunt Group, CMU Physics),  and Mr. Gregory Houchins (Viswanathan Group, CMU Engineering/Physics) won a $1,000 travel award to a conference in 2017.

We warmly thank all the poster participants and judges as well as all the attendees for participating in this event!


Hot Electrons at the Interface between Silver Nanoparticles and a Graphite Substrate

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 May 2017

The interface between nano-sized precious metal clusters such as Silver (Ag) and a semiconductor such as graphite (Gr) is called a heterojunction (Ag/Gr). Heterojunctions have great promise in enhance solar energy conversion due to their unique and enhanced optical, electronic, and chemical properties. When excited with laser pulses, electrons in the system acquire a mean energy higher than its thermal equilibrium value and are referred to as "hot electrons". In fact, graphitic materials are model systems for the study of hot electron dynamics. An ineffective screening within the layers of graphite allows the hot electrons to reach temperatures comparable to that in the solar photosphere!

In a study supported by the Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit recently published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Hrvoje Petek and his group modified the Gr surface with Ag nanoclusters (NC)s to investigate how the excitation of the plasmonic resonance of the Ag/Gr heterojunction affects the generation, spatial distributions, and relaxation processes of hot electrons. Plasmonic resonance is a prominent feature of precious-metal nanoparticles; it is a sharp and intense absorption band in the visible range that arise from a collective resonant oscillation of the free electrons of the conduction band of the metal called plasmon.


Graphane as an Efficient and Water-Free Hydrogen Fuel Cell Membrane

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 May 2017

Hydrogen powered fuel cell cars, developed by almost every major car manufacturer, are ideal zero-emissions vehicles because they produce only water as exhaust. However, their reliability is limited because the fuel cell relies upon a membrane that only functions in when enough water is present, limiting the vehicle’s operating conditions. 

Karl Johnson and his group have found that the unusual properties of graphane – a two-dimensional polymer of carbon and hydrogen – could form a type of anhydrous “bucket brigade” that transports protons without the need for water, potentially leading to the development of more efficient hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles and other energy systems. Graduate research assistant Abhishek Bagusetty is the lead author on their paper “Facile Anhydrous Proton Transport on Hydroxyl Functionalized Graphane”, recently published in Physical Review Letters. Computational modeling techniques coupled with the high performance computational infrastructure at the University’s Center for Research Computing enabled them to design this potentially groundbreaking material. 


Paul R. Cohen Named Founding Dean of School of Computing and Information at Pitt

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 May 2017

Paul R. Cohen is the founding dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information. The first new school or college established at Pitt since 1995, the School of Computing and Information is a multidisciplinary environment that supports discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship driven by data and technology. It is a key element in Pitt’s strategy to support research in data and computation-intensive fields across the University. The school will begin operations on July 1 and will enroll its first students in the fall 2017 term.Cohen’s deanship begins on Aug. 1, 2017.

Paul is a visionary leader who will quickly drive our School of Computing and Information to the forefront of academic excellence,” said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “He is also an expert collaborator and a leading authority on utilizing data, technology and information in new ways to solve some of the most challenging and complex issues facing society today.”


APS Topical Group on Quantum Information Becomes Division of Quantum Information

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 5 May 2017

The Topical Group on Quantum Information has officially become the Division of Quantum Information.

The mission of the Topical Group on Quantum Information is to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge concerning the physics of quantum information, computing, fundamental concepts, and foundations. The Topical Group will serve as a focus for theoretical and experimental research in these and related areas. Research topics of direct interest include quantum entanglement, quantum communication, quantum cryptography, quantum algorithms and simulations, physical implementations of qubits, quantum error correction, fault-tolerant quantum computation, quantum measurements, open quantum systems, quantum coherence, control of quantum dynamics, the quantum-classical correspondence, and the conceptual and mathematical foundations of quantum theory.

For more information, visit GQI’s official APS-based website. If you are already a member of the American Physical Society, you can join the Topical Group on Quantum Information here, and find out how to join the American Physical Society here.

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