News


Mostafa Bedewy and colleagues made a transparent flexible material of silk and nanotubes

  • By Ke Xu
  • 13 November 2018

Bedewy and colleagues discovered that silk combined with carbon nanotubes may lead to a new generation of biomedical devices and so-called transient, biodegradable electronics. They used microwave irradiation coupled with a solvent vapor treatment to provide a unique control mechanism for the protein structure and resulted in a flexible and transparent film comparable to synthetic polymers but one that could be both more sustainable and degradable. These regenerated silk fibroins and carbon nanotube films have potential for use in flexible electronics, biomedical devices and transient electronics such as sensors that would be used for a desired period inside the body ranging from hours to weeks, and then naturally dissolve. 

Their work was featured on the Oct. 26 cover of the American Chemistry Society journal Applied Nano Materials.


Susan Fullerton receives award from AAAS for making extraordinary contributions in the field of Chemical Science

  • By Ke Xu
  • 30 October 2018

Susan Fullerton receives 2019 Marion Milligan Mason Award from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Susan is one of only five recipients nationwide recognized for “extraordinary contributions through their research programs and demonstrate a commitment to move their fields forward.”

First awarded in 2015, the award was made possible by the Marion Milligan Mason Fund, who provides grants of $50,000 every other year to women researchers engaged in basic research in the chemical sciences. In addition to research funding, the program provides leadership development and mentoring opportunities. 


The next technology talent shortage predicted to be in the area of Quantum Computing

  • By Ke Xu
  • 24 October 2018

The New York Times featured a story that predict the next tech talent shortage to be in the area of Quantum Computing. A growing concern among American businesses and universities is that unless policies and priorities change, they will have trouble attracting the talent needed to build quantum technology. Last month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invited experts from government, industry and academia to Washington for a daylong policy meeting dedicated to quantum technologies. Several attendees expressed concern that the current administration’s immigration policies could affect quantum research in academia and corporations.


Randall Feenstra receives 2019 Davisson-Germer Prize for pioneering developments of spectroscopic scanning tunneling microscopy

  • By Ke Xu
  • 23 October 2018

Randall Feenstra receives 2019 Davisson-Germer Prize, which recognizes outstanding work in atomic physics or surface physics. Randy was awarded for pioneering developments of the techniques and concepts of spectroscopic scanning tunneling microscopy. The prize consists of $5,000 and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient or recipients. This Prize was established in 1965 by AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent Technologies) and with additional support from the Chope Family Trust.
 


Science2018 Poster Award Winners

  • By Ke Xu
  • 20 October 2018

Congratulations to the Science2018 Poster Award Winners!

Yasemin Basdogan (Keith group, Pitt Chemical and Petroleum Engineering), Xi Cao (Hatridge Group, Pitt Physics), Tejal Sawant (McKone Group, Pitt Chemical and Petroleum Engineering), Dengyu Yang (Levy Group, Pitt Physics), Amanda Dumi (Jordan Group, Pitt Chemistry), Matthew Grasinger (Dayal Group, CMU Civil and Environmental Engineering) won the poster awards ($1,000 travel award plus Echo Dot or Google Home mini).

Scott Crawford (Millstone Group, Pitt Chemistry), Lu Chen (Levy Group, Pitt Physics), Xing Yee Gan (Millstone group, Pitt Chemistry), Jierui Liang (Fullerton group, Pitt Chmemical and Petroleum Engineering) won the veteran awards (choice of Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home mini).

PQI undergraduate students Phillip Shenk (Levy group, Pitt Physics) won the best undergraduate award (choice of Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home mini).

Also, special thanks to the poster judges for participating in this event. 

 


Karl Johnson and his team discovered a new material that remove carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into useful chemicals

  • By Ke Xu
  • 12 October 2018

Karl Johnson and his team worked with a class of nanomaterials called metal-organic frameworks or “MOFs,” which can be used to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and combine it with hydrogen atoms to convert it into valuable chemicals and fuels.

Their findings were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journal Catalysis Science & Technology. The journal featured their work on its cover, illustrating the process of carbon dioxide and hydrogen molecules entering the MOF and exiting as CH2O2 or formic acid—a chemical precursor to methanol. 


John Keith and collaborators discovered a liquid polymer capable of freezing water at room temperature

  • By Ke Xu
  • 9 October 2018

John Keith and collaborators discovered the unique behavior of a liquid polymer capable of freezing water at room temperature. When a particular polymer—known as polyoxacyclobutane (POCB)— is mixed with water, it raises the mixture’s freezing point from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Keith and colleagues used computer modeling to find a stable hydrate structure where water molecules thread themselves throughout the polymer to form hydrogen bonds that hold the material together like tiny zippers. Their findings are published in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Macromolecules.


Kenneth Jordan will be honored at the Spring 2019 ACS Meeting with a two-day symposium

  • By Ke Xu
  • 2 October 2018

Kenneth Jordan will be honored for his contributions to Computational and Theoretical Chemistry in a two-day symposium, Electron-Molecule & Molecule-Molecule Interactions. The symposium is co-sponsored by the COMP and PHYS divisions of ACS and will be held during the Spring 2019 ACS meeting in Orlando, FL. The symposium will be for two full days from March 31 to April 1, 2019.


Zachary Ulissi developed a machine learning system to discover new materials for electrocatalysis

  • By Ke Xu
  • 18 September 2018

Zachary Ulissi and his team developed a machine learning system to search through millions of intermetallics to discover new materials for electrocatalysis.

Typically, catalysts are discovered through trial and error coupled with chemical intuition. Now, an automatic machine-learning framework has been developed that can guide itself to fnd intermetallic surfaces with desired catalytic properties.

Through their study, published in Nature Catalysis, they have a list of materials and intermetallic combinations that experimentalists should try, both for hydrogen evolution and carbon dioxide reduction. The experiments will then determine what will make good electrocatalysts for the large scale.


Hrvoje Petek won the 2019 Ahmed Zewail Award in American Chemical Society

  • By Ke Xu
  • 18 September 2018

Hrvoje Petek has won the 2019 Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology of the American Chemical Society.

The award, which has been given yearly since 2005, recognizes outstanding and creative contributions to fundamental discoveries or inventions in ultrafast science  and technology in areas of physics, chemistry, biology, or related fields.

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