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.

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.

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.

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".