Ken Jordan Organizes Session at the ACS Spring 2016 Meeting

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 11 February 2016

The 251st American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition will be held from March 13-17, 2016 at San Diego, CA. The theme this year is "Computers in Chemistry", and PQI faculty Ken Jordan is co-organizing a session entitled Metastable Electronic States: Recent Advances In Theory and Experiment

Paul Leu Recieves NSF-CAREER Award for his Work on Flexible Metals

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 27 January 2016

PQI faculty Paul W. Leu is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, a prestigious award for junior faculty who exemplify outstanding research, teaching, and their integration. The five-year, $500,000 award will support research into the manipulation of metals at the micro- and nanoscale to develop thin yet flexible crystalline silicon for high efficiency, low cost solar cells. 

Linda Peteanu Named Acting Head of the Department of Chemistry at CMU

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 21 January 2016

PQI faculty Linda A. Peteanu has been named acting head of Carnegie Mellon University's Department of Chemistry, effective January 1, 2016.

A member of the Carnegie Mellon faculty since 1993, Peteanu is well known for her expertise in applying fluorescence-based methods, including microscopy and electric-field effects, to condensed-phase systems. A current research focus involves measuring the morphology and electronic properties of molecules used to make light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and photovoltaic cells. Peteanu also applies fluorescence-based methods to the study of nucleic acids as a member of Carnegie Mellon’s Center for Nucleic Acids Science and Technology.

Ted Corcovilos Develops Portable Device to Test for Lead in Water

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 January 2016

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority officials will re-examine the treatment used to limit lead in customers' water as levels approach a federal warning threshold and a drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich., intensifies worries across the country. Lead can cause irreversible brain damage in children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency say there is no safe level of lead exposure for children.

A team of local researchers includig PQI faculty Ted Corcovilos has developed a device to test for the presence of lead in water. This portable device is called Leadglow and is powered by two nine-volt batteries. Part of it was made on a 3D printer.

Hrvoje Petek Receives Medal Following Alexander von Humboldt Lecture.

  • By Workstudy User
  • 16 December 2015

PQI faculty Hrvoje Petek receives a medal from Professor Hajo Freund following the Alexander von Humboldt lecture at the Ringberg Castle in Germany on September 21, 2015. Professor Petek was the recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in 2000, which allowed him to spend eight months at the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society in Berlin.

This fall, he was invited to give the Alexander von Humboldt lecture, which was entitled “Chemisorption on 1D surfaces”, to his host institution. In his talk, Professor Petek described the ongoing collaborative research with Hajo Freund and his department at the Fritz Haber Institute.

Confining the State of Light to a Quantum Manifold by Engineered Two-Photon Loss

  • By Workstudy User
  • 15 December 2015

Dynamical systems, whether classical or quantum, usually require a method to stabilize performance and maintain the required state. For instance, communication between computers requires error correction codes to ensure that information is transferred correctly. In a quantum system, however, the very act of measuring it can perturb it.

Vincent Liu Awarded Grant to Investigate Condensed Matter and Atomic-Optical Physics

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 15 December 2015

PQI faculty Wensheng Vincent Liu has received a five-year $1.42 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to predict and understand topological phases of quantum atomic matter (i.e., a cold ensemble of interacting atoms) under novel conditions, well beyond the standard regimes. 

While the research is theoretical in nature, the findings are expected to motivate and guide ongoing and future experiments in atomic, molecular, and optical physics, as well as provide the models for engineering novel electronic materials of the desired quantum properties in condensed matter physics. The acquired new knowledge has the potential to find applications in the future generation of precision quantum-based devices and possibly topological quantum computers and communication technology.

Quantum-Engineered Catalysts that Turn Excess Atmospheric CO2 into Liquid Fuel

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 December 2015

PQI faculty Karl Johnson and his team recently identified the two main factors for determining the optimal catalyst for turning atmospheric CO2 into liquid fuel. The results of the study, which appeared in the journal ACS Catalysis, will streamline the search for an inexpensive yet highly effective new catalyst.

Imagine a power plant that takes the excess carbon dioxide (CO2) put in the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels and converts it back into fuel. Now imagine that power plant uses only a little water and the energy in sunlight to operate. The power plant wouldn't burn fossil fuels and would actually reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere during the manufacturing process. For millions of years, actual plants have been using water, sunlight, and CO2 to create sugars that allow them to grow. Scientists around the globe are now adopting their energy-producing behavior.