Venkat Viswanathan and his collaborator, MIT materials science professor Yet-Ming Chiang, are developing a new battery specifically designed for an advanced hybrid plane. Their work was recently featured in an article in Swarajya magazine and in MIT Technology Review. Rather than focusing their efforts on developing improved materials, the pair are working with magnetic forces to facilitate the improved movement of lithium ions within their batteries, accelerating electrical discharge. Their ultimate goal is to create a 12-seat plane that can fly more than 600 kilometers on a full charge.
In the news
Bedewy and colleagues discovered that silk combined with carbon nanotubes may lead to a new generation of biomedical devices and so-called transient, biodegradable electronics. They used microwave irradiation coupled with a solvent vapor treatment to provide a unique control mechanism for the protein structure and resulted in a flexible and transparent film comparable to synthetic polymers but one that could be both more sustainable and degradable. These regenerated silk fibroins and carbon nanotube films have potential for use in flexible electronics, biomedical devices and transient electronics such as sensors that would be used for a desired period inside the body ranging from hours to weeks, and then naturally dissolve.
Their work was featured on the Oct. 26 cover of the American Chemistry Society journal Applied Nano Materials.
Susan Fullerton receives 2019 Marion Milligan Mason Award from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Susan is one of only five recipients nationwide recognized for “extraordinary contributions through their research programs and demonstrate a commitment to move their fields forward.”
First awarded in 2015, the award was made possible by the Marion Milligan Mason Fund, who provides grants of $50,000 every other year to women researchers engaged in basic research in the chemical sciences. In addition to research funding, the program provides leadership development and mentoring opportunities.
The New York Times featured a story that predict the next tech talent shortage to be in the area of Quantum Computing. A growing concern among American businesses and universities is that unless policies and priorities change, they will have trouble attracting the talent needed to build quantum technology. Last month, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy invited experts from government, industry and academia to Washington for a daylong policy meeting dedicated to quantum technologies. Several attendees expressed concern that the current administration’s immigration policies could affect quantum research in academia and corporations.
Randall Feenstra receives 2019 Davisson-Germer Prize, which recognizes outstanding work in atomic physics or surface physics. Randy was awarded for pioneering developments of the techniques and concepts of spectroscopic scanning tunneling microscopy. The prize consists of $5,000 and a certificate citing the contributions made by the recipient or recipients. This Prize was established in 1965 by AT&T Bell Laboratories (now Bell Laboratories, Alcatel-Lucent Technologies) and with additional support from the Chope Family Trust.
Karl Johnson and his team worked with a class of nanomaterials called metal-organic frameworks or “MOFs,” which can be used to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and combine it with hydrogen atoms to convert it into valuable chemicals and fuels.
Their findings were published in the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) journal Catalysis Science & Technology. The journal featured their work on its cover, illustrating the process of carbon dioxide and hydrogen molecules entering the MOF and exiting as CH2O2 or formic acid—a chemical precursor to methanol.
Kenneth Jordan will be honored for his contributions to Computational and Theoretical Chemistry in a two-day symposium titled "Electron-Molecule & Molecule-Molecule Interactions". The symposium is co-sponsored by the COMP and PHYS divisions of ACS and will be held during the Spring 2019 ACS meeting in Orlando, FL. The symposium will be for two full days from March 31 to April 1, 2019.
Zachary Ulissi and his team developed a machine learning system to search through millions of intermetallics to discover new materials for electrocatalysis.
Typically, catalysts are discovered through trial and error coupled with chemical intuition. Now, an automatic machine-learning framework has been developed that can guide itself to fnd intermetallic surfaces with desired catalytic properties.
Through their study, published in Nature Catalysis, they have a list of materials and intermetallic combinations that experimentalists should try, both for hydrogen evolution and carbon dioxide reduction. The experiments will then determine what will make good electrocatalysts for the large scale.
Hrvoje Petek has won the 2019 Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science and Technology of the American Chemical Society.
The award, which has been given yearly since 2005, recognizes outstanding and creative contributions to fundamental discoveries or inventions in ultrafast science and technology in areas of physics, chemistry, biology, or related fields.
Giannis Mpourmpakis is part of a collaborative research team studying the corrosion behavior of glass containers often used to store nuclear waste. Its goal is to find solutions to reduce or avoid the degeneration of the containers. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $800,000 to the project, titled “Formation of Zeolites Responsible for Waste Glass Rate Acceleration: An Experimental and Computational Study for Understanding Thermodynamic and Kinetic Processes.”