News


Tevis Jacobs Awarded NSF Grant to Enable Visualization of Atomic Structure

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 26 September 2016

Tevis Jacobs received an NSF grant to observe and measure nanoscale contact inside an electron microscope, enabling for the first time the visualization of the atomic structure of the component materials while they are in contact.

Jacobs will serve as principal investigator of the study, “Collaborative Research: Understanding the Formation and Separation of Nanoscale Contacts,” which received $298,834 over three years.

He and his team will collaborate with the University of California-Merced. As the electron microscopy examines the materials’ surfaces, the experiments using molecular dynamics computer simulations will be replicated to reveal atomic-scale.


New Nature Partner Journal: npj 2D Materials and Applications

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 23 September 2016

npj 2D Materials and Applications is an online-only, open access journal that aims to become a top-tier interdisciplinary platform for scientists to share research on 2D materials and their applications. Part of the Nature Partner Journals series, npj 2D Materials and Applications is published in partnership with FCT NOVA, Lisbon, with the support of the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS).

In terms of policy making and impact, the journal responds to the pressing requirements of translating robust research based on this new class of materials into systems and devices that deliver sustainable solutions for a wide range of applications.

 


Venkat Viswanathan Awarded Funding to Stop Dendrite Formation in Li-ion Batteries

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 19 September 2016

Energy expert Venkat Viswanathan have received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to study the use of dendrite-blocking polymers in lithium-ion batteries. 

When charged repeatedly, lithium-ion batteries run the risk of overheating, and even catching fire. This is due to the formation of dendrites, or microscopic fibers of lithium that can form during the charging cycle. Over time, these dendrites can grow long enough that they connect the battery’s electrodes to one another, causing the battery to short-circuit and become a potential hazard. In order to fully implement future lithium-ion battery technologies, which could greatly increase the battery power of our smartphones, electric vehicles, and more, engineers need to find a way to stop these dendrites from forming.


Engineering Tenure-track Assistant Professor Position at Princeton University

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 19 September 2016

The Department of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University has an open tenure-track position at the Assistant Professor level.  The search is open to all areas of Electrical Engineering, with particular interest in: Biological & Biomedical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electronic Materials and Devices, Information Sciences and Systems, Photonics, Power and Energy, Quantum Engineering, Robotics and Cyber-Physical Systems, and Solid State Physics. Interested candidates should have a commitment to teaching and a demonstrated ability to pursue a high impact research program. The Department is especially interested in applicants from groups underrepresented in Engineering.

Interested candidates should apply on-line at: https://apply-ee.princeton.edu/.


Hrvoje Petek and Jin Zhao Awarded $675,000 Grant From NSF

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 September 2016

Hrvoje Petek and Jin Zhao received a $675,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a proposal entitled “TiO2 photocatalysis: the coupling of electrons, plasmons, polarons, and molecules by ultrafast photoemission spectroscopy and theory.”

This is a continuation of Petek’s and Zhao’s joint experimental/theoretical studies on femtosecond time scale photoinduced dynamics in the photocatalytically active material TiO2. In this iteration of the continuing research effort, the focus is on how plasmonic excitations and ionic lattice response influence the interaction of photoexcited electrons with adsorbed molecules.


USTC Day 2016 at PQI

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 31 August 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016, 9 AM. One dozen physics students, who are both undergraduate and graduate level, arrive at the PQI office for the kickoff of the first annual PQI & USTC Day, where they are greeted by PQI Director, Jeremy Levy.

The University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), which is located in Heifei, is one of China’s leading universities. USTC recently made international headlines due to the work of physics professor Jianwei Pan, the chief scientist on the project that culminated with China’s recent launch of the first quantum satellite.

Over the last several years, USTC and PQI have been establishing strong ties and collaborations. In recent years a number of USTC graduates have joined the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) physics departments to work in the groups and labs of PQI faculty. Some PQI faculty are themselves USTC alumni, and other PQI groups often welcome USTC undergraduate students for summer internships or research projects.


Sangyeop Lee co-PI on NSF GOALI Grant to Develop Fast Computational Modeling for Additive Manufacturing

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 23 August 2016

As additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, becomes more commonplace, researchers and industry are seeking to mitigate the distortions and stresses inherent in fabricating these complex geometries. The proposal, “Novel Computational Approaches to Address Key Design Optimization Issues for Metal Additive Manufacturing,” is a three-year, $350,000 GOALI (Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry) grant funded by the NSF’s Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation.

The team includes Principal Investigator Albert To, and co-PIs Sangyeop Lee and Stephen Ludwick. Aerotech, Inc. will partner with Pitt by providing designs and evaluation. The group’s research is an extension of previous funding from the Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania program (RAMP).

Read the original article here.


David Waldeck Receives WCC Award for Encouraging Women into the Chemical Sciences

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 23 August 2016

David Waldeck is one of this years recipients of the Women Chemists Committee Award for Encouraging Women into the Chemical Sciences. This award recognizes significant accomplishments by individuals, male or female, who have stimulated or fostered the interest of women in chemistry, promoting their professional developments as chemists or chemical engineers.

The mission of the Greater Pittsburgh Area Women Chemists Committee (WCC) is to be leaders in attracting, developing and promoting women in the chemical sciences.


Quantum Chemistry Helps Identify New Treatment to Prevent Kidney Stones

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 15 August 2016

A natural citrus fruit extract has been found to dissolve calcium oxalate crystals, the most common component of human kidney stones, in a finding that could lead to significantly improving kidney stone treatment, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Houston, and Litholink Corporation, among which is Giannis Mpourmpakis.

In a study published Aug. 8 in the journal Nature, the researchers offer the first evidence that the compound hydroxycitrate (HCA) effectively inhibits calcium oxalate crystal growth and, under certain conditions, is able to dissolve the crystals. HCA shows “promise as a potential therapy to prevent kidney stones,” the researchers wrote. 

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