In the news

Mostafa Bedewy Wins $330K NSF Grant to Study “Nanotube Forests”

  • By Ke Xu
  • 7 August 2018

Mostafa Bedewy has been awarded a new research grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for $330,000 as a single principal investigator (PI).  The award, titled “Functionally Graded Carbon Nanotubes by Dynamic Control of Morphology during Chemical Vapor Deposition”, will fund research in the NanoProduct Lab (Bedewy Research Group) for three years focusing on studying and controlling the catalytic activation and deactivation during the chemical synthesis of vertically aligned nanotubes.

Manufacturers use carbon nanotubes in a variety of commercial products from baseball bats and bicycle frames to aerospace structures. Attributes such as a tensile strength 20 times higher than steel and an electrical conductivity 10 times that of copper have caused the global carbon nanotube market to soar to $3.43 billion in 2016, and it is projected to double by 2022.

Bedewy will employ a combination of experimental and modeling techniques to reveal the kinetics of activation and deactivation in large populations of carbon nanotubes known as “nanotube forests.”

Low‐power electrochemically tunable graphene synapses for neuromorphic computing

  • By Ke Xu
  • 24 July 2018

Feng Xiong and his group developed an “artificial synapse” that does not process information like a digital computer but rather mimics the analog way the human brain completes tasks. 

For applications in neuromorphic computing, Xiong and his team focuses on the design of computational hardware inspired by the human brain and built graphene-based artificial synapses in a two-dimensional honeycomb configuration of carbon atoms. Graphene’s conductive properties allowed the researchers to finely tune its electrical conductance, which is the strength of the synaptic connection or the synaptic weight.

Their work was published in the recent issue of the journal Advanced Materials. Other co-authors include Mohammad Sharbati (first author), Yanhao Du, Jorge Torres, Nolan Ardolino, and Minhee Yun.

Giannis Mpourmpakis named as one of 25 Emerging Investigators

  • By Ke Xu
  • 17 July 2018

Giannis Mpourmpakis named as one of 25 researchers around the world as Emerging Investigators in a special issue of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Journal of Chemical & Engineering Data.

Mpourmpakis leads the Computer-Aided Nano and Energy Lab (CANELA) where his group researches the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials with potential applications in diverse nanotechnological areas ranging from energy generation and storage to materials design and catalysis.

Mpourmpakis contributed his paper “Understanding the Gas Phase Chemistry of Alkanes with First-Principles Calculations” to the ACS special issue. 

Noa Marom selected to lead an Aurora exascale system project

  • By Ke Xu
  • 10 July 2018

Noa Marom has been selected as the leader of a data science project that's part of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s (ALCF) Aurora Early Science Program (ESP). 

The program’s goal is to prepare key applications, libraries, and infrastructure for the architecture and scale of exascale computing. 

Marom’s project will combine quantum-mechanical simulations with machine learning and data science, to advance physical understanding of singlet fission and discover materials to create more efficient organic solar cells.

Research from John Keith's lab featured on the back cover of Chemical Science

  • By Ke Xu
  • 10 July 2018

An artistic depiction of research from John Keith's lab was featured on the back cover of Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science. Yasemin Basdogan, a PhD student in Keith’s lab, designed the back cover image, which shows several molecules reacting in a cross-shaped container slowly filling with a liquid.

Their study titled “A paramedic treatment for modeling explicitly solvated chemical reaction mechanisms” analyzed a very complex chemical system called the Morita-Baylis Hillman reaction. Basdogan and Keith brought improvements to the modeling that allows better understanding of these types of chemical reactions that will impact areas of chemical engineering and chemistry. 

Giannis Mpourmpakis applies high-performance computing to the problem of viscosity creep

  • By Ke Xu
  • 3 July 2018

Giannis Mpourmpakis is collaborating with with Lubrizol Corporation, a specialty chemical manufacturer, on a project applying high-performance computing simulations to address a problem known as viscosity creep, a phenomenon which affects the performance of lubricating fluids.

Mpourmpakis focuses much of his research on the properties and potential applications of nanomaterials, employing Pitt CRC clusters for high-performance computation to create molecular level simulations. 

The results were published in June in the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.

Qi Li Receives Award from the International Precious Metals Institute

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 26 June 2018

Qi Li has received the Bright Futures Student Award from the International Precious Metals Institute for his work on gold nanoparticles. The $5,000 prize sponsored by the Gero Family Trust will be presented this month at the institute's annual conference in Texas.

Li, who works in the lab of Rongchao Jin, also has researched different models of "doping" gold nanoparticles, a process where a small amount of another metal is added to the nanoparticle.

Congratulations!
 

2018/2019 GSR Award Winners

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 19 June 2018

Congratulations to the 2018/2019 PQI Graduate Student Research Award Winners!

Ms. Azarin Zarassi  (Frolov Lab, Physics), Ms. Arailym Kairalapova (Jordan Group, Chemistry), Ms. Shreya Ghosh (SaxenaGroup, Chemistry), Mr. Shouvik Mukherjee (Snoke Group, Physics), Mr. Chenxu Liu (Pekker and Dutt Lab, Physics), and Mr. Minh Nguyen Vo (Johnson Group, Chemical Engineering) each won one term of graduate funding for the year 2018/2019.
 

Mukund Bapna Receives Graduate Student Research Award

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 19 June 2018

Mukund Bapna received the 2018 Guy C. Berry Graduate Student Research Award. He was presented with the prize at the Mellon College of Science Graduate Student Town Hall in April.

He was working under the supervision of Sara Majetich on magnetic tunnel junction nanopillars, nanostructures. 

Bapna received his Ph.D. in May and is now heading off to Portland, Oregon, to work for the research and development team at Intel.

There he will be developing smart interconnects for nodes under 20 nanometers in size for next-generation processors.

Jill Millstone Selected as the Kavli Emerging Leader Speaker for 2019

  • By Burcu Ozden
  • 19 June 2018

The Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lecture is awarded to an outstanding chemical scientist who is highly regarded by her or his peers for significant contributions to an area of chemistry or related multidisciplinary area of chemistry. 

Jill Millstone has been selected as the Kavli Emerging Leader Speaker for 2019. Her seminar will be on Monday, August 20 at the Boston ACS Meeting.

Congratulations!

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