Spring 2019

Quantum Information Science Research for Fusion Energy Sciences

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 12 March 2019

Research to be supported by this program will include, among other potential efforts, the use of quantum computing to solve important fusion and plasma science problems; the development of quantum sensing approaches that can enhance diagnostic capabilities for plasma and fusion science; and the application of high energy density laboratory plasmas to develop novel quantum materials at ultra-high pressures.

Sangyeop Lee's Research on ab initio Phonon Thermal Transport Published in Materials Today Physics

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 12 March 2019

Sangyeop Lee is co-author of a recent article, “Survey of ab initio phonon thermal transport” in Materials Today Physics (vol. 7, 2018, pp. 106-120, DOI 10.1016/j.mtphys.2018.11.008). This article provides a comprehensive survey of first-principles Peierls-Boltzmann thermal transport as developed in the literature over the last decade, with particular focus on more recent advances. This review will demonstrate the wide variety of calculations accessible to first-principles transport methods (including dimensionality, pressure, and defects), highlight unusual properties and predictions that have been made, and discuss some challenges and behaviors that lie beyond.

Dr. Lee, who joined Pitt in 2015, studies nanoscale thermal transport in solid materials, and his research is currently focused on hydrodynamic phonon transport in graphitic materials and thermal transport in fully or partially disordered phase. His group utilizes Boltzmann transport theory, Green's function method, and molecular dynamics simulation, all of which use interatomic force constants calculated from density functional theory. He earned his BS and MS in mechanical and aerospace engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and PhD in mechanical engineering from MIT. 

Written by Paul Kovach. 

Read more here

A look inside the black box of scientific publishing

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Matteo Cavalleri
Dates: 
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 10:00am

Publishing the results of one’s research is an integral part of the scientific process, yet scholarly journals are often seen as black boxes by researchers. What happens to a paper after it is submitted? Who is deciding on its fate? What is the role of the journal editor and the editorial office? How does the peer-review process work, and are its core principles still relevant in today’s changing publishing landscape? 
In this talk I will discuss these questions in an attempt to de-mystify the peer review process from an editor's perspective, and provide advice for getting your...

Tavis Jacobs utilize electron microscopy to measure adhesion properties of nanoparticles

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 5 March 2019

To advance the understanding of micro- and nano-surfaces and to engineer more stable nanoparticles, the National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Pittsburgh’s Tevis Jacobs a $500,000 CAREER Award, which supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Dr. Jacobs, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, will utilize electron microscopy to directly study and measure adhesion properties of nanoparticles and their supporting substrates.

Dr. Jacobs noted that current processes to counter nanoparticle coarsening utilize stabilizing materials, but matching the most effective stabilizer to a nanoparticle is a time-consuming and costly trial-and-error process. The CAREER award will enable Dr. Jacobs and his lab group to develop new methods to measure the attachment and stability of nanoparticles on surfaces under various conditions, allowing researchers to enhance both surfaces and nanoparticles in tandem to work more effectively together.

Written by Paul Kovach.

Read more here

Phase-field Modeling of Polar States in Ferroelectric Heterostructures

Speaker(s): 
Long-Qing Chen
Dates: 
Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 4:00pm

This presentation will discuss the applications of the phase-field method to understanding and discovering new mesoscale polar states that might emerge from nanoscale ferroelectric heterostructures subject to different mechanical and electric boundary conditions. As an example, the determination of thermodynamic conditions and geometric length scales leading to the formation of ordered polar vortex lattice as well as mixed states of regular domains and vortices in ferroelectric superlattices of PbTiO 3 /SrTiO 3 using phase-field simulations and analytical theory will be presented. Switching of these vortex lattice states might produce other transient polar states such as polar skyrmions. It is shown that the stability of these vortex lattices involves an intimate competition between long-range electrostatic, long-range elastic,
and short-range polarization gradient-related interactions leading to both an upper- and a lower- bound to the length scale at which these states can be observed. We further predicted the periodicity phase diagrams that show excellent agreements with experimental observations by collaborators.

My escape from the lab: scientific publishing

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Matteo Cavalleri
Dates: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019 - 4:00pm

Across the world and across disciplines, numbers reveal that the term “alt-ac” – referring to positions within higher education and research alternative to the professoriate – is a misnomer. Permanent academic jobs are, in fact, the “alt-ac”. In this talk, I’ll share my (happy) experience going from a computational chemistry lab to my current career on the “other side” of scientific publishing, and explores roles for STEM Ph.D.s in the publishing industry.

Daniel Lambrecht receives a Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award

  • By Huiling Shao
  • 19 February 2019

Prof. Daniel Lambrecht has been selected to receive a 2019 Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award. The Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes teaching excellence by members of the University of Pittsburgh's faculty. Teaching is defined broadly and includes all activities that faculty members engage in to facilitate learning by undergraduate, professional, or graduate students: lecturing; clinical teaching; conducting seminars, tutorials, or recitations; etc. This award consists of a cash prize to the faculty member and a grant to support the faculty member's teaching activities. Daniel will be publicly recognized at the 2019 Honors Convocation.

Read more here

Phase-Change Photonics for All-Optical Memory and Computation

Speaker(s): 
Dr. Nathan Youngblood
Dates: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 12:00pm

Phase-change materials have been used commercially as an optical storage medium in the last few decades owing to their high optical contrast and long-term stability, but only recently has a fully integrated photonic device been demonstrated. This approach not only enables all-optical memory on-chip, but also allows multilevel data storage with improved SNR, low switching energy, and high speed operation. In this talk, an overview of integrated, non-volatile photonic memory based on the phase-change material Ge2Sb2Te5 (GST) will be presented, together with...

Pages