News


Investigating Bond-Breaking in Unstrained Rings with Quantum Chemistry

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 9 November 2016

Although synthetic chemists typically regard carbon-carbon single bonds as inert, they have used metal catalysts to spring open C–C bonds in strained rings, such as cyclopropanes and cyclobutanes. Performing a similar transformation with less strained but more common five- and six-membered rings, however, has proven more difficult.

Now, synthetic and theoretical chemists report a way of opening up C–C bonds in aryl substituted cyclopentanones to produce α-tetralones. The reaction was developed by University of Chicago’s Guangbin Dong and Ying Xia, and at Pitt, Peng Liu and his post doc Gang Lu studied the mechanism from a quantum chemical point of view with DFT (Density Functional Theory) calculations.

The results are published in the online issue of Nature.


Judith Yang Named Fellow of the American Physical Society

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 7 November 2016

The American Physical Society (APS) has elected Judith Yang to the position of Fellow. APS President Homer Neal cited Yang’s selection: “For seminal contributions to in situ environmental transmission electron microscopy, the fundamental understanding of metal oxidation and the application of nanomaterials and catalysis.” Yang joined 14 other members of the APS Division of Materials Physics to be named Fellows this year. The APS caps the number of new Fellows elected each year to one half of one percent of its 51,000 members internationally. The Fellowship committee evaluates each nomination based on a criteria of exceptional contributions to the physics enterprise, including outstanding research, application, leadership or service and contributions to education related to the field of physics.

I feel honored in becoming a Fellow of the American Physical Society, but I also look forward to the attention and recognition it will bring to the University of Pittsburgh,” said Yang. “We have only recently been able to see the dynamic processes of oxidation at the nanoscale by using environmental transmission electron microscopy; we are starting to gain a new fundamental understanding of oxidation that challenges classical theories.


2016 Behrend Computational Materials Meeting, November 19, 2016

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 1 November 2016

The Behrend Computational Materials Meeting 2016 will be held Saturday, November 19 from 10 am to 4 pm at Penn State Behrend (Erie, PA). The focus of the meeting will be on Atomic Level Methods and Applications

There is no participation fee, and lunch will be provided. To officially register, please fill out the form below. Registration deadline is Wednesday Nov. 9, 2016. (Early registrations preferred).

Questions or concerns?  Please e-mail Blair Tuttle at brt10@psu.edu


Noa Marom Receives DOE INCITE Award

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 31 October 2016

Noa Marom's proposal "Materials and Interfaces for Organic and Hybrid Photovoltaics" has been selected for a 2017 Department of Energy (DOE) Innovative and Novel Computation Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award. This particular award allows use of 160,000,000 CPU hours on Mira at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility. INCITE supports computationally intensive, large-scale research projects with large amounts of dedicated time on supercomputers at DOE's Leadership Computing Facilities.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science provides a portfolio of national high-performance computing facilities housing some of the world’s most advanced supercomputers. These leadership computing facilities enable world-class research for significant advances in science.


The Calisthenics of Surface Femtochemistry

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 27 October 2016

Application of a femtosecond spectroscopy technique to a copper surface has allowed the desorption of carbon monoxide molecules to be tracked with unprecedented detail.

In this view point article, Hrvoje Petek comments on the work of Ken-ichi Inoue et al. on the multidimensional nonequilibrium dynamics of CO as it desorbs from a Cu(100) surface.  He opens by saying that "it has long been a chemist’s dream to catch a chemical reaction in the act", with the aim "to observe and interfere with this process in mid-course and thereby control its outcome".


IEEE-NANO 2017

  • By Aude Marjolin
  • 12 October 2016

The 17th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2017) will be held July 25-28, 2017 at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center, 112 Washington Place, Pittsburgh, USA. Bill Stanchina will act as the Organizing Chair of the conference.

Several topics rganging from nanoelectronics to nanomaterials to spintronics will be broached. Visit the website for more information about the conference as well as important dates for abstracts and paper submissions.


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/.

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