Tevis Jacobs,assistant professor of mechanical engineering and material science at the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering, received a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to observe and measure nanoscale contact inside of an electron microscope-enabling for the first time visualization of the atomic structure of the component materials while they are in contact. The team's project will measure surface roughness of tiny particles and characterize the fundamental relationship between adhesion and roughness at small sizes.
National Science Foundation (NSF) has made a $4.8M award to the University of Pittsburgh under the Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) program. Sergey Frolov will be the Director of new PIRE. Hrvoje Petek, Michael Hatridge and David Pekker are other PQI co-PIs for this project. The duration of the program is 5 years.
This PIRE will establish a multidisciplinary partnership between universities, research centers and corporations in the U.S. and France, led by the University of Pittsburgh. The aim of the partnership is the discovery and investigation of materials that hold exceptional promise for fundamental quantum physics and quantum device engineering. In particular, the focus will be on hybrid materials which combine disparate materials kinds, such as semiconductors and superconductors, in a single structure.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Director France A. Córdova today publicly presented President Donald J. Trump's Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 NSF budget request to Congress.
The FY 2018 NSF budget request of $6.65 billion reflects NSF's commitment to establishing clear priorities in areas of national importance and identifying the most innovative and promising research ideas that will yield the highest return on investment for the nation. It supports fundamental research that will drive the U.S. economy, support our nation's security, and keep the U.S. a global leader in science, engineering and technology.
NSF expects to evaluate over 50,000 proposals in FY 2018 and, through its competitive merit review process, make nearly 11,000 awards, including 8,000 new research grants.
New mid-scale instrumentation program: Two Platforms, one at Pennsylvania State University (2DCC-MIP) and another led by Cornell University (PARADIM-MIP), focus on advancing the discovery of new two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials in thin film and bulk crystal form, with 2DCC focusing on chalcogenide materials and PARADIM-MIP focusing on heterostructures that include oxides, chalcogenides, graphene and other materials that enable novel electronic and magnetic functionalities. These two initial Platforms focus on 2D materials for electronic applications and will serve as a nexus of expertise where users will gain access to not only mid-scale level tools, but expertise in synthesis, characterization, and theory to help design and conduct experiments. Access to the Platforms are via a three page scientific proposal reviewed by external experts.
National Strategic Computing Initiative: On July 29, 2015, a Presidential Executive Order created a National Strategic Computing Initiative (NSCI). The overarching goal of NSCI is to maximize the benefits of high-performance computing (HPC) research, development, and deployment. NSCI strongly couples to the “The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution” Big Idea at NSF. Specifically, Objective 3 of NSCI centers around materials development for quantum science and engineering to enable quantum-based computation. Objective 4 revolves around ecosystems, and also includes training the new “quantum workforce.” Objective 5 encourages the close collaboration of industries and research required for deployment of quantum technologies.
Giannis Mpourmpakis' proposal "Designing synthesizable, ligand-protected bimetallic nanoparticles and modernizing engineering curriculum through computational nanoscience " was recently selected for an NSF CAREER award.
Although scientists can chemically synthesize metal nanoparticles (NPs) of different shapes and sizes, understanding of NP growth mechanisms affecting their final morphology and associated properties is limited. With the potential for NPs to impact fields from energy to medicine and the environment, determining with computer simulations the NP growth mechanisms and morphologies that can be synthesized in the lab is critical to advance NP application.
Because this is a relatively new field, traditional core courses in science and engineering lack examples from the nanotechnology arena. In addition to improving the research, the award will enable Giannis Mpourmpakis and his students to modernize the traditional course of Chemical Thermodynamics by introducing animation material based on cutting-edge nanotechnology examples, and developing a nanoscale-inspired interactive computer game.
John Keith's proposal "Unlocking local solvation environments for energetically efficient hydrogenations with quantum chemistry" was recently selected for an NSF CAREER award. The project addresses the production of carbon-neutral liquid fuels via electrocatalytic reduction of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) to methanol.
Peng Liu has been selected to receive a National Science Foundation CAREER award based upon his proposal, entitled "Computational Studies of Transition-Metal-Catalyzed Reactions in Organic Synthesis."
In this CAREER project funded by the Chemical Structure, Dynamic & Mechanism B Program of the Chemistry Division, Professor Peng Liu of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh is developing new strategies to use computational tools to investigate mechanisms and effects of ancillary ligands in transition-metal-catalyzed reactions of unactivated starting materials, such as C-C and C-H bonds, and unactivated olefins. The goal of this research is to reveal the fundamental reactivity rules of common organometallic intermediates in these transformations and to develop new models to interpret ligand effects on reactivity and selectivity. This proposal’s educational and outreach plan aims to maximize the power of computations to enhance learning of organic chemistry concepts and to facilitate synthetic organic chemistry research. Professor Liu’s team will develop virtual reality (VR) software and educational materials to visualize three-dimensional molecular structures and reaction mechanism videos in an interactive and immersive environment.