Fall 2017

Interview with Dr. Pedram Roushan

Pedram Roushan was born and raised in Iran. In 2001, he moved to the US as a religious refugee and attended Pitt, where he graduated summa cum laude in 2005. During his years at Pitt, he worked at the laboratories of X. L. Wu and W. Goldberg, focusing on the dynamics in 2D fluids. He received his PhD in 2011 from Princeton University, performing the first scanning tunneling microscopy on the surface of topological insulators in the lab of A. Yazdani. After three years of post-doctoral studies in the J. Martinis lab at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2014 he joined the Google quantum hardware lab aiming on making a quantum computer. The current focus of his research is on simulating condensed matter systems with engineered quantum platforms.

Jill Millstone has Joined ACS Nano as an Associate Editor

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 3 January 2018

Congratulations to Jill Millstone on her new position as Associate Editor at ACS Nano. She has been an extremely active ACS Nano author and advisor, since even before she joined their editorial advisory board. In 2011, she joined the Chemistry Department at the University of Pittsburgh, where she has received awards including the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the ACS Unilever Award and the Cottrell Research Scholar Award. She is also a member of the editorial advisory board of ACS Nano, beginning January 2016. Her group studies the chemical mechanisms underpinning metal nanoparticle synthesis, surface chemistry, and optoelectronic behaviors. She acted as a mentor and instructor at the Cottrell Scholar Collaborative supported workshop for new faculty as well as a mentor at the Global Young Academy Women in Science Leadership Initiative, the first workshop hosted by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) in the fall of 2016.


Central Research Development Fund (CRDF) - Fiscal Year 2019

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 3 January 2018

The primary goal of the CRDF Small Grants Program is to enhance opportunities for faculty, especially early career faculty, at the University of Pittsburgh to engage in high-quality research, scholarship, and creative endeavors. Awards may range from $2,000 to $16,000. This year, applicants who integrate undergraduate research experiences into their proposed work may request an additional $2,000. The maximum dollar amount that may be awarded this year is $18,000. 

Expression of Interest (Recommended): Monday, January 8, 2018 (12 P.M.)

Full Proposal (Required): Monday, February 26, 2018 (12 P.M.)

Overview of NETL Cross Cutting Research Program and Funding Opportunities

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 3 January 2018

Overview of NETL Cross Cutting Research Program and Funding Opportunities with Dr. Briggs White, Technology Manager, Cross Cutting Research NET will be held on Thursday, January 04, 2018 between 12:00 PM  and 01:00 PM at 102 Benedum Hall. Dr. Briggs White is an experienced engineering management professional with a demonstrated history of working in the research industry. Currently, Dr. White is serving as Crosscutting Technology Manager at NETL. 

The program serves to accelerate R&D progress and develop concepts and technologies that enable improvements in fossil-based power generation.  Energy technology platforms include advanced coal combustion, gas turbines, advanced power cycles, solid oxide fuel cells, and modular gas conversion reactors. The program's scope includes fostering R&D in sensors and controls, cybersecurity, modeling and simulation, high-performance materials, innovative combustion concepts, and water management. The program leverages technology trends in smart and advanced manufacturing, process intensification, high-performance computing, IoT, data analytics, and machine learning.

Enabling Quantum Leap: Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 24 December 2017

To extend our fundamental knowledge of the quantum world to enable the development of novel, transformative technologies, and opportunity to train students in this area is available via the “Quantum Information Science and Engineering.

  • Opportunity for Graduate Student, Faculty Member (PI), PLUS Industrial Partner (TRIPLETS)
  • Level of Support:  $10,000/year to AUGMENT (not replace) a student’s current stipend
  • Application by:  Graduate Student
  • Application Deadline: January 5, 2018
  • Apply here!

Quantum Computing Summer School Fellowship

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 20 December 2017

The Quantum Computing Summer School is an immersive 10-week curriculum that includes tutorials from world-leading experts in quantum computation as well as one-on-one mentoring from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) staff scientists who are conducting cutting-edge quantum computing research. Summer school fellowship recipients will be exposed to the theoretical foundations of quantum computation and will become skilled at programming commercial quantum computers, such as those developed by D-Wave Systems and IBM. Ten students will be awarded a fellowship from LANL that covers travel, living expenses in Los Alamos, and salary, with a fellowship value ranging from $7,500 to $13,000, based on academic rank (junior, senior, 1st year graduate student, etc.).

Understanding the Link Between Photonic and Electronic Performance of 2D Semiconducting Layers

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 20 December 2017

Susan Fullerton and her colleagues wrote a scientific report on deconvoluting the photonic and electronic response of two-dimensional (2D) materials for the case of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). What are the main criteria which provide evidence that the material is “high quality”? Are the photonic properties or electronic performance? Susan Fullerton and her colleagues have studied the MoS2 materials and their devices to answer this question and to find the correlation between electronic and optical properties in 2D materials. In their study, they used Raman, photoluminescence (PL), time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (HR-STEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), field effect transistors (FET) fabrication electrolyte gate application methods to characterize MoS2.

Philip Feng (Case Western): Atomic Layer Semiconductor 2D Nanoelectromechanical Systems (NEMS)

Atomically thin semiconducting crystals derived from new classes of layered materials have rapidly emerged to enable two-dimensional (2D) nanostructures with unusual electronic, optical, mechanical, and thermal properties.  While graphene has been the forerunner and hallmark of 2D crystals, newly emerged 2D semiconductors offer intriguing, beyond-graphene, attributes.  The sizable and tunable bandgaps of compound and single-element 2D semiconductors offer attractive perspectives for strong multiphysics coupling and efficient transduction across various signal domains.  In this presentation, I will describe my research group’s latest efforts on investigating how mechanically active atomic layer semiconductors and their heterostructures interact with optical and electronic interrogations, and on engineering such structures into new ultrasensitive transducers and signal processing building blocks.  Using single- and few-layer transition metal di-chalcogenide (TMDC) crystals, we demonstrate multimode resonant 2D nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) with extraordinary electrical tunability.  We have also found remarkably broad dynamic range (DR~70 to 100dB) in these 2D NEMS, via deterministic measurement of device intrinsic noise floor and onset of nonlinearity.  I will describe spatial mapping and visualization of mode shapes and Brownian motion in these 2D multimode resonators, along with their applications in resolving intrinsic anisotropy and structural asymmetry.  I shall then discuss emerging device applications, from classical information processing technologies to 2D NEMS operating in their quantum regime. 

Discovery of a Mechanism for Dislocation Nucleation and Migration Driven by Surface Segregation

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 6 December 2017

Judith C. Yang and her colleagues answered the question of how dislocations nucleate and migrate at heterointerfaces in dissimilar-material systems on their recently published article on Nature Materials. n this study, Judith Yang and her colleagues showed that atomic segregation acts as a source for generating dislocations for the first time. They have used Cu–Au alloy system for studying surface segregation. Real-time transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to both spatially and temporally resolve the transition of the coherent, dislocation free interface between a Cu3Au-segregated surface and a Cu(Au) crystal substrate into a semi-coherent structure through the nucleation and subsequent migration of misfit accommodating dislocations. They combined their experimental study with the teory by using density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. They discovered a mechanism for dislocation nucleation and migration driven by surface segregation of solute atoms in a solid solution. Their results show that the surface-segregation-induced composition variations act as the source of strain/stress that drives the nucleation and migration of misfit dislocations, and demonstrate how the surface segregation phenomenon of an alloy constituent can be employed for developing atomistic insight into understanding the formation processes of misfit-accommodating dislocations.

Structure-Property Relationships in Nanostructured Materials: Aqueous Semiconductor Interfaces

Mark S. Hybertsen
Friday, December 8, 2017 - 11:30am

Understanding structure-property relationships in fields as diverse as nanoscale electronic junctions, heterogeneous catalysis, electrochemistry and energy storage often starts by meeting the challenge of identifying key structure motifs. For the theorist this is followed by tackling the problem of calculating the relevant functional characteristics, also challenging, particularly for excited state properties. I will discuss the modern toolbox for these problems, including a brief outline of the basic physical ingredients of modern manybody perturbation theory which enables studies of excited state properties. I will then discuss its application in the context of the search to develop new materials for use in photocatalysis. In particular, I will discuss the search for key structural motifs at semiconductor-water interfaces and the connection to electrochemical energy level alignment.