ACS Launches Chemistry Preprint Server

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 15 August 2016

Authors can deposit draft chemistry papers in online archive before publication. The American Chemical Society announced today that it will create a preprint server for chemistry research to promote sharing of early scientific results.

Preprint servers allow researchers to publish draft papers or preliminary data online to get feedback from the larger research community before a paper goes through a journal’s more formal peer review process. “A preprint server dedicated to chemists will help speed the dissemination of research results, solicit valuable feedback, and foster international collaboration,” says Kevin Davies, a vice president in ACS’s Publications Division who is spearheading the effort.

ACS is currently seeking collaborators to join in development of the server, which is tentatively called ChemRxiv. The joint undertaking between two of ACS’s divisions—CAS and Publications—is expected to launch in the next few months.

Giannis Mpourmpakis Awarded $550,000 in NSF Funding to Design Metal Nanoparticles That Capture Carbon Dioxide

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 August 2016

Building upon their previous research, Giannis Mpourmpakis and collaborators at Pitt and CMU were awarded grants from the National Science Foundation to develop a novel computational framework that can custom design nanoparticles. In particular, the group is investigating bimetallic nanoparticles to more effectively control their adsorption properties for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The three-year grant, “Collaborative Research: Design of Optimal Bimetallic Nanoparticles,” is led by Giannis Mpourmpakis, with Götz Veser, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at Pitt and Chrysanthos Gounaris, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University as co-investigators. The NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) awarded $350,395 to Pitt and $199,605 to CMU to support computational research and targeted experiments.

Karl Johnson and Jill Millstone Awarded 1.5 M Grant to Identify and Destroy Hazardous Chemicals

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 8 August 2016

Karl Johnson and Jill Millstone will collaborate with Pitt chemistry professor Nathaniel Rosi and Temple chemistry professor Eric Borguet on research funded by a grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's (DTRA) Joint Science and Technology Office (JSTO) within the United States Department of Defense. They will investigate the use of multifunctional metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with plasmonic cores that can be used to detect and destroy chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals. The $1.5 M award comes with a 1 M dollar 2 year option period after the initial 3 years. The collaborative team will develop and study new MOF-nanoparticle hybrid materials for the selective detection and destruction of toxic chemicals.

Spin Selective Charge Transport in Quantum Dots

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 21 July 2016

The latest study in David Waldeck's group, published in ACS Nano Letters, demonstrates that chiral imprinted CdSe quantum dots (QDs) can act as spin selective filters for charge transport.

Semiconductor quantum dots remain an attractive material for photovoltaics because of their solution processability and potential for multiple exciton generation; enabling a promising route for the realization of low cost, high efficiency solar cells. In addition, previous experiments have shown that spin selective charge transport can enhance the photoconversion efficiencies of organic bulk heterojunctions. The present work therefore explores whether chiral induced spin selectivity (CISS) can be used as an alternative approach to affect charge transport through quantum dot films and demonstrates that quantum dot thin films composed of chiral semiconductors preferentially transmit electrons with a particular spin orientation.

Hrvoje Petek Awarded Grant from NSFC for Research on Ultrafast Dynamics on TiO2 Surfaces

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 21 July 2016

Hrvoje Petek and his collaborator Jin Zhao of the Department of Physics at the University of Science & Technology of China recieved a Natural National Science Foundation of China (NSFC) Keystone Project funding of 3,000,000 yuan (approximately $450,000) for a joint international research project on "Ultrafast Dynamics on TiO2 Surfaces".

The grant will start on the first day of 2017 and will cover a period of five years until December 31, 2021.

Energetic Molding of Chiral Magnetic Bubbles

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 21 July 2016

When it comes to computers, people never look for “bigger and better,” but rather “smaller and faster.” How do we continue to keep up with that demand, making technology smaller, faster, and more energy-efficient? According to Vincent Sokalski, the answer may be in the fundamental origins of magnets—the spin of electrons.

Sokalski and his group studied the interaction of electron spins in magnetic materials poised for use in next-generation cellphones and computers and discovered how to better measure and predict the changing magnetic state of those materials. This new understanding, recently published in Physical Review B under the title "Energetic Molding of Chiral Magnetic Bubbles", is exciting for the future of computing technology because it will allow scientists to explore and develop materials that are more energy-efficient and faster than traditional semiconductor-based materials.

Large Anomalous Hall Effect in a Half-Heusler Antiferromagnet

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 20 July 2016

Recently a team of researchers from MIT, the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR), Carnegie Mellon University, and the Beijing Institute of Technology have experimentally demonstrated a "hybrid material" solution to this problem. They studied a compound of three elements, gadolinium, platinum and bismuth, known together as a ternary compound. In their compound, gadolinium supplies the magnetic order while the platinum-bismuth components support a topological electronic structure. These two components acting in concert make a correlated material that is more than the sum of its parts, showing quantum mechanical corrections to electrical properties at an unprecedented scale. Their results were reported July 18 in Nature Physics.

The theoretical aspect of the collaborative effort was with professors Di Xiao of Carnegie Mellon University and Wanxiang Feng of Beijing Institute of Technology, who provided first principles electronic structure calculations based on the experimental data taken at MIT, NCNR, and the NHMFL to determine the underlying electronic character of this new materials system.

Quantum Physicist Professor Rainer Blatt on the Second Quantum Revolution

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 1 July 2016

Is quantum technology the future of the 21st century?

On the occasion of the 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, this is the key question to be explored today in a panel discussion with the Nobel Laureates Serge Haroche, Gerardus 't Hooft, William Phillips, and David Wineland. In the following interview, Professor Rainer Blatt, internationally renowned quantum physicist, recipient of numerous honours, Council Member and Scientific Co-Chairman of the 66th Lindau Meeting, talks about what we can expect from the "second quantum revolution".

Giannis Mpourmpakis Awarded Grant from ACS for Modeling Petrochemical Reactions

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 22 June 2016

Giannis Mpourmpakis received a $110,000 grant from the American Chemical Society (ACS) for computer modeling research to investigate the conversion of ethane, propane, butane and other alkanes used in the petrochemical industry.

The study, “Identifying Structure-Activity Relationships for the Dehydrogenation of Alkanes on Oxides,” will look to gain a fundamental understanding of the dehydrogenation of small hydrocarbons to olefins on metal oxides under experimental conditions.

Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium 2016 hosted at CMU

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 15 June 2016

The Non-Volatile Memory Technology Symposium will be hosted at Carnegie Mellon University, October 17-19, 2016.

Vincent Sokalski will act as chair for this year's conference, along with Professor Lu-Ping Shi of Tsinghua University.

The NVMTS is an eminent forum for exchanging information on state-of-the-art technological advances on non-volatile memory among researchers and engineers from both academia and industry. NVMTS 2016 focuses on both emerging and existing non-volatile memory technologies instead of a singular technology, so as to encourage cross-pollination of ideas. They aim to create an interactive environment for discussing various significant aspects of advanced memory technologies.