News


Paul Leu featured as one of the 22 young Pittsburgh leaders in technology field

  • By Ke Xu
  • 14 August 2018

Paul Leu is featured as one of the 22 young Pittsburgh leaders paving the way in Pittsburgh's technology field. The honorees are selected by The Incline website in the Who's Next series, which is a monthly series honoring under-40 professionals making Pittsburgh a better place. Paul Leu is awarded for his work on making solar energy economical with new materials for solar cells that are more efficient, lighter, flexible and less expensive. 
 


Mostafa Bedewy Wins $330K NSF Grant to Study “Nanotube Forests”

  • By Ke Xu
  • 7 August 2018

Mostafa Bedewy has been awarded a new research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for $330,000 as a single principal investigator (PI).  The award, titled “Functionally Graded Carbon Nanotubes by Dynamic Control of Morphology during Chemical Vapor Deposition”, will fund research in the NanoProduct Lab (Bedewy Research Group) for three years focusing on studying and controlling the catalytic activation and deactivation during the chemical synthesis of vertically aligned nanotubes.

Manufacturers use carbon nanotubes in a variety of commercial products from baseball bats and bicycle frames to aerospace structures. Attributes such as a tensile strength 20 times higher than steel and an electrical conductivity 10 times that of copper have caused the global carbon nanotube market to soar to $3.43 billion in 2016, and it is projected to double by 2022.

Bedewy will employ a combination of experimental and modeling techniques to reveal the kinetics of activation and deactivation in large populations of carbon nanotubes known as “nanotube forests.”


Quantized Ballistic Transport of Electrons and Electron Pairs

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 25 July 2018

Recently published paper in the Journal of Nano Letters, Jeremy Levy and his group have reported quantization of ballistic transport of electrons and (non-superconducting) electron pairs within quasi-1D structures at LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface using a conductive atomic-force microscope (c-AFM) lithography technique. They have shown single-mode (1D) to three-dimensional (3D) nature of transport of electrons though the ballistic nanowires, depending on the applied magnetic field and gate voltage.


Low‐power electrochemically tunable graphene synapses for neuromorphic computing

  • By Ke Xu
  • 24 July 2018

Feng Xiong and his group developed an “artificial synapse” that does not process information like a digital computer but rather mimics the analog way the human brain completes tasks. 

For applications in neuromorphic computing, Xiong and his team focuses on the design of computational hardware inspired by the human brain and built graphene-based artificial synapses in a two-dimensional honeycomb configuration of carbon atoms. Graphene’s conductive properties allowed the researchers to finely tune its electrical conductance, which is the strength of the synaptic connection or the synaptic weight.

Their work was published in the recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials. Other co-authors include Mohammad Sharbati (first author), Yanhao Du, Jorge Torres, Nolan Ardolino, and Minhee Yun.


Giannis Mpourmpakis named as one of 25 Emerging Investigators

  • By Ke Xu
  • 17 July 2018

Giannis Mpourmpakis named as one of 25 researchers around the world as Emerging Investigators in a special issue of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data.

Mpourmpakis leads the Computer-Aided Nano and Energy Lab (CANELA) where his group researches the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials with potential applications in diverse nanotechnological areas ranging from energy generation and storage to materials design and catalysis.

Mpourmpakis contributed his paper “Understanding the Gas Phase Chemistry of Alkanes with First-Principles Calculations” to the ACS special issue. 


Noa Marom selected to lead an Aurora exascale system project

  • By Ke Xu
  • 10 July 2018

Noa Marom has been selected as the leader of a data science project that's part of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s (ALCF) Aurora Early Science Program (ESP). 

The program’s goal is to prepare key applications, libraries, and infrastructure for the architecture and scale of exascale computing. 

Marom’s project will combine quantum-mechanical simulations with machine learning and data science, to advance physical understanding of singlet fission and discover materials to create more efficient organic solar cells.


Research from John Keith's lab featured on the back cover of Chemical Science

  • By Ke Xu
  • 10 July 2018

An artistic depiction of research from John Keith's lab was featured on the back cover of Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science. Yasemin Basdogan, a PhD student in Keith’s lab, designed the back cover image, which shows several molecules reacting in a cross-shaped container slowly filling with a liquid.

Their study titled “A paramedic treatment for modeling explicitly solvated chemical reaction mechanisms” analyzed a very complex chemical system called the Morita-Baylis Hillman reaction. Basdogan and Keith brought improvements to the modeling that allows better understanding of these types of chemical reactions that will impact areas of chemical engineering and chemistry. 


Giannis Mpourmpakis applies high-performance computing to the problem of viscosity creep

  • By Ke Xu
  • 3 July 2018

Giannis Mpourmpakis is collaborating with with Lubrizol Corporation, a specialty chemical manufacturer, on a project applying high-performance computing simulations to address a problem known as viscosity creep, a phenomenon which affects the performance of lubricating fluids.

Mpourmpakis focuses much of his research on the properties and potential applications of nanomaterials, employing Pitt CRC clusters for high-performance computation to create molecular level simulations. 

The results were published in June in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.


Ultrafast Microscopy of Spin-Momentum Locked Surface Plasmon Polaritons

  • By Leena Aggarwal
  • 27 June 2018

The recently published paper in journal of ACS NANO on Ultrafast Microscopy of Spin-Momentum Locked Surface Plasmon Polaritons is an essential research for designing optical elements to control spin-polarized SPP (surface plasmon polaritons) fields on the nano femto scale. Hrvoje Petek and his colleagues have shown two-photon photoemission electron microscopy images formed by coupling and propagation of longitudinal and transverse components of SPP fields of light. Further, they have also shown the spin-momentum locked SPP wave packets launched with circularly polarized excitation propagate at the same phase and group velocities as for the linearly polarized excitation using time-resolved experiments.

 

 


Qi Li Receives Award from the International Precious Metals Institute

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 26 June 2018

Qi Li has received the Bright Futures Student Award from the International Precious Metals Institute for his work on gold nanoparticles. The $5,000 prize sponsored by the Gero Family Trust will be presented this month at the institute's annual conference in Texas.

Li, who works in the lab of Rongchao Jin, also has researched different models of "doping" gold nanoparticles, a process where a small amount of another metal is added to the nanoparticle.

Congratulations!
 

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