REU: Nanohybrid Functional Materials

Join our summer program and participate in interdisciplinary research in Nanohybrid Functional Materials!

For information contact

Dr. Natale Ianno
Professor in Electrical  and Computer Engineering
Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials
2015 Nanohybrid Functional Materials summer scholars
2015 Nanohybrid Functional Materials summer scholars

Application Dates

Nov 15 2015 App opens
February 1 Priority deadline
March 1 App closes
April 1 Decisions complete

Program Dates

June 5 2016 Arrival day
June 6 Program begins
August 10 Program ends
August 11 Departure day

Who should apply

Related fields

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Materials Science
  • Most engineering disciplines


Participation in the Nebraska Summer Research Program is limited to students who meet the following criteria:
  • U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • Current undergraduate with at least one semester of coursework remaining before obtaining a bachelor's degree

See Eligibility for more information.

How to apply

Follow the application steps to submit the following materials.

About the Program

The NSF-supported Nebraska Research Infrastructure Improvement program (2010-2015) supports major research centers in nanomaterials including the Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials.  

The Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials (CNFM) offers a 10-week summer research fellowship which provides undergraduate students with an opportunity for interdisciplinary training in a nanohybrid materials laboratory on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. The Center for Nanohybrid Functional Materials summer research REU includes faculty mentors from the following University of Nebraska-Lincoln departments:  Biological Systems Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Electrical Engineering, and Physics & Astronomy. The fellowships will carry a $5,000 stipend for ten weeks of research in Lincoln.
A summer scholar works on a project in the Pannier lab.
A summer scholar works on a project in the Pannier lab.


  • Competitive stipend: $5,000
  • Double-occupancy room and meal plan
  • Travel expenses to and from Lincoln
  • Campus parking and/or bus pass
  • Full access to the Campus Recreation Center and campus library system
  • Wireless internet access

Learn more about academic and financial benefits.


  • Department seminars and presentations
  • Professional development workshops (e.g., applying to graduate school, taking the GRE)
  • Welcome picnic
  • Day trip to Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  • Canoe and camping trip
  • Research symposium

Mentors and Projects

Synthesis and Application of Novel Amphiphiles as Coatings and Linking Agents for Nanohybrid Materials

This undergraduate research experience will focus on the design and synthesis of new classes of amphiphiles, and their application in conjunction with collaborators in the Center for Nanohybrid Functional Material.The REU participants will gain experience in organic synthesis, isolation and purification of organic materials (extraction; chromatography, including thin-layer, column-, and high-performance liquid chromatography), characterization of organic products (1D and 2D  nuclear magnetic resonance techniques, low- and high-resolution mass spectrometry), methods for characterization of the stability of organic materials (DSC/TGA) and, investigation of the structure and stability of derived films and coatings (characterization of passivated layers using a hybrid electrochemical/ellipsometric technique,  AFM and STM of amphiphiles-coated materials.

Dr. David Hage, Dr. Eva Schubert, and Dr. Tino Hofmann Chemistry and Electrical Engineering

Nanomaterial-based Supports for Rapid Chromatographic Separations

REU students in this project will participate in research that focuses on the creation and use of novel supports for chromatographic-based separations that employ nanomaterials in their construction. Through this research, REU students will be introduced to the areas of liquid chromatography (LC) and chemical separations and will be trained by and work with graduate students or postdoctoral fellows to learn about methods for the creation of these novel supports and for their characterization (e.g., by chromatographic or optical methods).

Dr. Ming Han Electrical Engineering

Microfluidic Refractometer Based on π-Phase-Shifted fiber Bragg Gratings Fabricated on Microstructure Fibers

The fiber-optic refractive index (RI) sensor has attracted great interests for its advantages in immunity to electromagnetic interference, compact size, simple structure, robust operation and high sensitivity. In this REU program, the students will learn to fabricate and characterize such devices and further functionalize the sensor to achieve a novel fiber-based temperature-insensitive biochemical sensor.

Dr. Tino Hofmann and Dr. David Hage Electrical Engineering and Chemistry

Highly-Ordered 3-Dimensional Nanostructures for Polarization Discriminating Optical Detection

The REU student in our lab will participate in a research project which is focused on the development of optical instrumentation that combines transmission birefringence imaging detection schemes based on ellipsometric measurement principles with ultra-thin layer liquid chromatography where highly-oriented 3-dimensional nanostructures are used as supports. The goal of this research is to develop and evaluate instrumentation that allows for label-free and rapid ultrathin-layer imaging chromatography with sub-pg/μm2 detection limits.

Dr. Rebecca Lai Chemistry

Immobilization of Redox Proteins on Gold-modified GLAD Structures for Enhanced Bioelectrocatalysis

The REU student in the Lai lab will participate in a research project that focuses on the use of gold-modified titanium GLAD structures for immobilization of redox proteins such as myoglobin and cytochrome c (Cyt c). In the 10-week REU period, the student will (a) learn to prepare gold-modified GLAD structures via electrodeposition (week 1-3), (b) study the effect of different parameters on protein immobilization (week 4-6), and (c) investigate the bioelectrocatalytic ability of the optimized sensor (week 7-10). Through these studies, the student will receive training on basic electrochemistry, biosensor design and fabrication, in addition to learning about the various approaches used to modify and functionalize GLAD structures.

Dr. Angela K. Pannier Biological Systems Engineering

Nanostructured Thin Films as Biomaterial Interfaces for Enhanced Substrate-mediated Gene Delivery

The Pannier Lab is currently developing an innovative strategy for substrate-mediated gene delivery that  takes advantage of novel nanostructured, slanted columnar thin film (SCTF) surfaces that can enhance transfection. The REU student in the Pannier Lab will be involved with fabrication of these nanostructured surfaces, using glancing angle deposition principles, as well as preparation and characterization of the DNA complexes that will be loaded within the void spaces of the columns.  Once the substrates and complexes are prepared and combined, the REU student will use a variety of techniques to monitor DNA loading within SCTFs and subsequent release.  Finally, the REU student will seed a cells onto  these DNA-loaded SCTFs and assay for biocompatibility as well as for successful DNA transfer (transfection) that can be observed using confocal microscopy.

Dr. Eva Schubert Electrical Engineering

Hybrid Nanoscale Materials for Applications in Highly Efficient Organic Photovoltaic Devices

REU students working in our lab will receive training in modern techniques of hybrid material fabrication combining glancing angle deposition (GLAD) for highly porous nanostructured thin film fabrication and spin coating for polymer infiltration. The REU student will obtain first experiences from working with ultra high vacuum technology systems, which includes equipment maintenance and deposition process control. Besides technological and practical training the REU student will be introduced to the concept of highly efficient organic photovoltaic devices.