Interfaces:  the Newsletter of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience

Fall 2012 Interfaces Newsletter

INTERFACES Winter 2011-12

Archived News

*See homepage for most recent news.

*Jump to 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009


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» Science fuels Rebecca Lai's fascination with fireworks. Lai has incorporated some of the history and science behind fireworks into "A Muggle's Guide to Harry Potter's Chemistry" (CHEM 192H), an undergraduate course she created at UNL. see more... » Xiao Cheng Zeng (with Shuang Chen) and his research group achieves 8th highlight (of his research over my 21-year tenure at UNL) in the April 28 issue of ACS's Chemical and Engineering News see article.... and in the Journal of the American Chemical Society see article.... » Xiao Cheng Zeng co-authored an article in Chemistry World entitled, "Boron Nitride Pringle predicted to be frequent flapper." (6/5/14)

» S. Ducharme and V. Fridkin, Ferroelectricity at the Nanoscale: Basics and Applications. (Springer, Berlin, 2014). ISBN 978-3-642-41007-9 Hardcover

» UNL textiles scholar
Yiqi Yang has partnered with researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center to develop a novel mesh that will reduce complications associated with hernia repair surgeries. see more....

» Corey Kruse, a mechanical and materials engineering graduate student, received a 2014 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship. The honor includes $68,000 in annual funding, renewable up to three years.  In Sidy Ndao's lab, Kruse conducted experimental research on Leidenfrost temperature shifts for multiscale micro/ nanostructured surfaces, with findings published in the June 2013 edition of the journal Langmuir. Kruse built the experimental set-up, collected the data, wrote the paper and published it with minimal supervision. see more.... » University of Nebraska engineers and doctors are teaming up across campus lines to advance bioengineering research. The Angela Pannier and Andrew Dudley team is one of three UNL/UNMC collaborations funded through the Bioengineering for Human Health Grants Initiative.

» 1st place - Pinkai Mukherjee "Nano Bonica" 2014 Science Art Competition.

» Ground Flour Pharmaceuticals Inc., a startup company that grew from technology developed by UNL's Stephen G. DiMagno, has won a $726,000 National Science Foundation grant to expand its research and product development.  see more...; also see the Scarlet article

» See NanoDays photos on NCMN Facebook page. Secrets of Nanoscience were revealed at the fourth annual Nanodays 2014 Saturday, April 5th at Gateway Mall.» Physics Professor Tim Gay and Dennis Molfese, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior joined other expert witnesses at the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing. Concussions and other brain injuries in sports was the topic of discussion on Capitol Hill - March 13. see more...

» A team led by
Alexandar Sinitskii develops chemical solution for graphene challenges "Instead of starting with a large sheet of graphene and trying to cut it down to something small — the essence of a top-down approach — we decided to use a bottom-up approach, making small graphene nanoribbons by coupling even smaller organic molecules," Sinitskii said. see more...

» UNL, LPS program ignites interest in science - Sir Issac Newton helped take nearly 160 fifth graders for a spin as the 41st year of Saturday Science opened Feb. 1 in UNL’s Jorgensen Hall. see more...

» Jinsong Huang is working to develop an alternative method for thin film coatings of semiconductor materials that could be used to develop transparent flexible flat-panel displays and sensor technologies. Journal Star reports: UNL-supported research could revolutionize electronics.

» The next wave of electronics led in part by NCMN member, Jinsong Huang using organic thin film transistors instead of silicon, is gaining momentum with new research by engineering faculty at UNL and Stanford University. see more...


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» NCMN welcomes four new faculty members: Christopher Cornelius (Chem./Biomolec. Eng.), Alexey Kovalev (Physics), Stephen A. Morin (Chemistry) see: Morin Group, and Xiaoshan Xu (Physics) see: Xu Group.

» Thirteen UNL faculty members have been selected for the 2013-14 Research Development Fellows Program.

Physics team assisted Nobel-winning discoveries. UNL team includes faculty members Ken Bloom, Dan Claes, Aaron Dominguez and Ilya Kravchenko, plus several other researchers working in Lincoln.

Nominations for honorary degrees are being accepted for the current academic year. Honorary degree recipients are individuals who are not only highly accomplished, but also nationally visible such that honor will be brought to UNL as well as to the recipients.

David J. Sellmyer book» Highly Downloaded Book—Springer Publishing has announced that a book edited by D.J. Sellmyer and colleagues, Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Applications has had a total of 14,498 chapter downloads.  The 6,621 chapter downloads in 2013 place it in the top 25% most downloaded eBooks in the relevant Springer eBook collection in 2013.

» Jennifer Brand named 2013-14 ELATE Fellow. more...

» From Yongfeng Lu's LANE group (Laser Assisted Nano Engineering)... Matt Mitchell’s work is classified. The Omaha native and recent UNL graduate works for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency. He credits his UNL studies with giving him the skills, engineering background and confidence the agency seeks.

» The Office of Research and Economic Development invites faculty to provide information by Sept. 27 for the 2013 Major Sponsored Program and Faculty Awards booklet. This annual publication highlights UNL's major research, scholarly and creative achievements from July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013.

» Xiao Cheng Zeng group research on the cover of the Royal Society of Chemistry Journal. Like diamond or graphite, a carbon nanopeapod is a hybrid form of carbon allotropes with the "pod" being a carbon nanotube and the "peas" being a line of fullerenes (such as buckyballs) trapped inside the nanotube. ...more

» Shadi F. Othman research on the cover of Journal of Neurotrauma: In Vivo Imaging of Viscoelastic Properties of the Mouse Brain after Controlled Cortical Impact.

» The Art of Nanoscience Exhibit - Art exhibit showing the month of September at the Burkholder Gallery, 719 P Street, Lincoln, Nebraska. In celebration of the aesthetic appeal and creativity of nanoscience an exhibit of images have been captured based on calculations, imaging data, and conceptual models from nanoscience research at the University of Nebraska.

» Learn about solar energy and engineering with Jinsong Huang, assistant professor of mechanical and materials engineering at UNL. Huang is working on thin, flexible, polymer solar cells that could be cheaper and more efficient than current technology, and maybe someday could be incorporated into clothing or backpack coverings to power electronic devices.

» 2013 NCMN/Bright Lights Camp (middle school camp: grades 6-8)

» On NOVA's "Making Stuff" with David Pogue... Making Stuff Smaller - Materials

» An international research study led by Xiao Cheng Zeng is featured on the cover of the June issue of the Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation.

» The Spring 2013 NANO ART Competition prints are currently on display in the Nebraska Union Rotunda Gallery.

» Jinsong Huang along with Fawen Guo and Zhengguo Xiao, reported the develop- ment of an organic photodetector that has the ability to function at low light levels.

» Angela Pannier, a UNL biological systems engineer, is using nanotechnology to develop a gene delivery tool.

» UNL physicists to lead $7 million research collaboration. Alexei Gruverman; Peter Dowben, CNFD associate director; Kirill Belashchenko; Xia HongEvgeny Tsymbal, CNFD director, and Christian Binek.

» Brian Robertson "was minutes from the marathon finish" reports the Scarlet." see article on NCMN Facebook.

» UNL team discovery yields supertough, strong nanofibersYuris Dzenis and colleagues developed an exceptionally thin polyacrilonitrile nanofiber, a type of synthetic polymer related to acrylic, using a technique called electrospinning. The process involves applying high voltage to a polymer solution until a small jet of liquid ejects, resulting in a continuous length of nanofiber.

» Individual Entry Winners of The Spring 2013 Science Art competition announced!

1st Place – Tyler Holm & 2nd Place – Zhanping Xu  (SEE FACEBOOK PHOTOS)
Honorable Mention - Alexey Lipatov, Qingfeng Dong, PremKumar Thirugnanam, Gilbert Mbah & Thomas Smith, Scientist/Artist Pair Group - Wei Xiong & Joel Brehm – 1st Place


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The book Simple Models of Magnetism by Ralph Skomski, first published in 2008, is now available in paperback format. The book has been welcomed by the scientific community as a "highly readable and thorough account" and of "great use to graduate students and experts in the field alike". The original set of printed copies has been sold out, although hardback orders are still being accepted by Oxford University Press and produced from a laser printer. The 2012 paperback edition differs from the hardcover edition by various minor additions and corrections, most notably two added special-topic sections on the "new" quantum mechanics involving the Berry phase and on orbital-free density-functional theory.

The Berry phase is a phase factor in the quantum-mechanical wave function that was overlooked until 1984 and now penetrates many areas of physics, including magnetism. Orbital-free density functional theory (OF-DFT) or "true" density-functional theory is a quantum-mechanical approach without wave functions.

Evgeny Tsymbal co-edited a book "Multifunctional Oxide Heterostructures" which is published by Oxford University Press. The book is written by world-recognized scientists working in the field of complex oxides.


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NanoDays has been announced in Lincoln Journal Star. Organized by UNL's MRSEC, NCMN and Nebraska EPSCoR, NanoDays is planned for Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m at Westfield Gateway Shopping Mall.

Evgeny Tsymbal and his group members Yong Wang, Karolina Janicka, and Manish Niranjan were involved in research on complex oxide heterostructures that was published in Science and Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. This research is featured at UNL News Releases and Lincoln Journal Star.

Nebraska EPSCoR awarded a $3.3 million joint grant with Puerto Rico to create cyberinfrastructure and explore nanomaterials for energy efficiency. Evgeny Tsymbal is the chief scientist at University of Nebraska on this project.

Recent Student Awards - Rhitankar Pal, a grad student in the Zeng Lab, has been selected to receive a 2011 Outstanding Graduate Research Assistant Award Honorable Mention. Congrats Rhitankar! Nan Shao, a former member of the Zeng Lab, has been selected to receive the 2011 Folsom Distinguished Dissertation Award. Congrats Nan! Jennifer Gerasimov, a grad student in the Lai Lab, has been selected to receive a 2011 Folsom Distinguished Master's Thesis Award Honorable Mention. Congrats Jennifer!

NCESR awards grants to engineering faculty The Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research announced Energy Research Grants for 2011: Joseph Turner, professor and chair of the Department of Engineering Mechanics, was awarded $70,000 for “Development of Combinaorial Approaches to Enhance Ethanol Production Efficience from Switchgrass Using Micro/Nanoscale Quantification Methods.” Dale Tiller, assistant professor with the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, was awarded $50,000 for “Residential electricity Management and Control Mediated by Occupancy Sensor Networks.”
Song Ci, associate professor with the Computer and Electronics Engineering Department, was awarded $15,000 for “Self-X: An Intelligent Large Scale Battery System for Renewable Energy Storage.” Siu Kit Lau, assistant professor with the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, was awarded $15,000 for “A Two-Phase System for Solar Domestic Water Heating.”

Hole-channel conductivity in epitaxial graphene determined by terahertz optical-Hall effect and midinfrared ellipsometry, T. Hofmann, A. Boosalis, P. Kühne, C. M. Herzinger, J. A. Woollam, D. K. Gaskill, J. L. Tedesco, and M. Schubert, Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 041906 (2011), Vir. J. Nan. Sci. & Tech., Volume 23 , Issue 5 (2011)

Nebraska EPSCoR awarded a $3.3 million joint grant with Puerto Rico to create cyberinfrastructure and explore nanomaterials for energy efficiency. Evgeny Tsymbal is the chief scientist at University of Nebraska on this project.


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Nebraska MRSEC Review and Symposium, October 18 - 19, 2010

Li Tan awarded a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the thin fibers of conjugated polymer nanoparticles to enhance photon-toelectron conversion and improve energy efficiency in thin solar films.

K.P. 'Raju' Rajurkar wins the Hideo Hanafusa Outstanding Investigator Award, 2010 International Symposium on Flexible Automation for “seminal contributions in the areas of non-traditional machining processes and equipment in particular process modeling, surface integrity and monitoring and control of macro and micro Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM), Electro Chemical Machining (ECM) and Ultra-Sonic Machining (USM).”

INTERFACES - Fall 2010 The Newsletter of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln

DOE grant funds innovative nanotechnology research at UNL. Nanoscientists David Sellmyer, Director, NCMN and George Holmes University Distinguished Professor, Ralph Skomski, Research Associate Professor and Jeff Shield, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at UNL have received a prestigious grant to develop new magnetic materials that could help reduce global warming and the nation's dependence on foreign resources.

Steve Ducharme, at UNL's Department of Physics & Astronomy is quoted in Chemistry World about ferroelectrics.

Jinsong Huang received the 2010 Young Investor Program (YIP) Award from Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) to study a novel high quantum efficiency mechanism in organic photodetector.

Jinsong Huang in Mechanical Engineering is one of 14 Assistant Professors Chosen for Research Fellows Program - 7 are Engineering Faculty.


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P. Frazer Williams, UNL's Lott Distinguished Professor Emeritus with the Department of Electrical Engineering, is one of 360 journal reviewers receiving the American Physical Society's Outstanding Referee designation, a lifetime honor, in 2009. The APS has 47,000 physicist members worldwide.

Dr. Sitaram Jaswal, UNL's Professor Emeritus with the Department of Physics & Astronomy, is one of 360 journal reviewers receiving the American Physical Society's Outstanding Referee designation, a lifetime honor, in 2009. The APS has 47,000 physicist members worldwide.

DOE funds Ravi Saraf's work to engineer electronic interface between living cell and nanodevice

Shireen Adenwalla, NCMN member involved in a newly awarded $3 million, five-year grant from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Xiao Cheng Zeng's research highlighted on NSF's Science 360 News Service for web and email (See "Live from Studio 8")

Yuris A. Dzenis part of $7.5M Army grant to develop fibers for stronger defense materials.

NCMN welcomes new member: Jinsong Huang, Mechanical Engineering and the following new members since July 2009: Rebecca Lai Chemistry, Shadi Othman Biological Systems Engineering, and Angela K. Pannier Biological Systems Engineering.

Shadi Othman, assistant professor, biological systems engineering, and Joseph Turner, professor, engineering mechanics are one of twelve fellows and senior faculty mentors selected for the Inaugural Research Development Fellows Program, an initiative to help pre-tenure faculty successfully compete for grants.Yongfeng Lu leads research team working with self-aligning carbon nanotubes.

Karolina Janicka, Julian P. Velev, and Evgeny Tsymbal's "Quantum Nature of Two-Dimensional Electron Gas Confinement at LaAlO3/SrTiO3 Interfaces" makes the cover of PRL 102

Timothy J. Gay has joined the select list of Outstanding Referees of the Physical Review and Physical Review Letters journals, as chosen by the journal editors for 2009!

UNL Laser-Assisted Nano-Engineering Lab researchers led by Yongfeng Lu, professor of electrical engineering, uses a laser to create self-aligning carbon nanotubes. Nanotechnology Jan. 14 Cover Story, LaserFocusWorld, Nanowerk and

Xiao Cheng Zeng Research gives clues for self-cleaning materials, water-striding robots

Stephen DiMagno (Chemistry) Elected Vice-Chair/Membership of the ACS Division of Fluorine Chemistry, 2009

Gerard Harbison (Chemistry) Bomb detection research featured at the March 2009 American Chemical Society national news conference.