News


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. 


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.

Pages