“Science Outside the Lab” brings a small cohort of graduate student scientists and engineers to Washington, D.C. to explore the relationships among science, innovation, policy, and societal outcomes. This customized free one week version (June 3 – 9, 2018), sponsored by the Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW), will investigate the context of nanotechnology decision-making in government and business at the local, state, federal, and international levels. During the week-long workshop participants meet and interact with groups of people who fund, regulate, shape, critique, publicize, and study nanotechnology and other emerging technologies. This includes people like congressional staffers, lobbyists, funding agency officers, regulators, journalists, academics, museum curators, and others.
A recent article by Joe Magno, executive director of the North Carolina Center of Innovation Network (NC-COIN) highlighted the growth of nanotechnology in NC. Magno describes how RTNN helps to support and sustain this growth through its outreach programs like Kickstarter. The article in its entirety can be found here.
In early January, the NCSU Nanofabrication Facility (NNF) hosted a grand reopening. Dr. John Muth, Assistant Vice Chancellor Jon Horowitz (ORIED), and Dean John Gilligan (COE) opened the event, emphasizing the unique role of NNF on the NC State campus. NNF Director of Operations Phil Barletta then discussed some of the changes and improvements that are being initiated at the NNF including new equipment, a staff increase, and major building renovations. Nicole Hedges also highlighted NNF’s new website, which provides up to the minute lab conditions. Dr. Patrick Wellenius, an engineer at Protochips, and Mr. Wei-Yi Chang, a graduate student in Dr. Xiaoning Jiang’s group, spoke about the work they conduct in NNF and the support they receive from facility staff. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed pizza, refreshments, and each others’ company.
Researchers at NC State have developed a technique to create nanoparticles with a unique structure: a core of nickel embedded in a silica shell with small orbs of nickel surrounding the core. This leads to an increased nickel surface area, making more of this metal available for catalysis. For more on this work, please see the NC State press release.
Authors: Brian B. Lynch and Joseph B. Tracy, North Carolina State University; Bryan D. Anderson, North Carolina State University and Air Force Research Laboratory; W. Joshua Kennedy, Air Force Research Laboratory
Published: Nov. 28, Nanoscale
Abstract: Ni nanoparticles (NPs) catalyze many chemical reactions, in which they can become contaminated or agglomerate, resulting in poorer performance. We report deposition of silica (SiO2) onto Ni NPs from tetraethyl orthysilicate (TEOS) through a reverse microemulsion approach, which is accompanied by an unexpected etching process. Ni NPs with an average initial diameter of 27 nm were embedded in composite SiO2-overcoated Ni NPs (SiO2-Ni NPs) with an average diameter of 30 nm. Each SiO2-Ni NP contained a ~7 nm oxidized Ni core and numerous smaller oxidized Ni NPs with diameters of ~2 nm distributed throughout the SiO2 shell. Etching of the Ni NPs is attributed to use of ammonium hydroxide as a catalyst for deposition of SiO2. Aliquots acquired during the deposition and etching process reveal agglomeration of SiO2 and Ni NPs, followed by dissociation into highly uniform SiO2-Ni NPs. This etching and embedding process may also be extended to other core materials. The stability of SiO2-Ni NPs was also investigated under high-temperature oxidizing and reducing environments. The structure of the SiO2-Ni NPs remained significantly unchanged after both oxidation and reduction, which suggests structural durability when used for catalysis.
Last week, three RTNN faculty members highlighted the monthly RTP 180° event: Tori Miller (NC State), Daphne Klotsa (UNC), and Claudia Gunsch (Duke). RTP 180° is held at The Frontier and features people from triangle universities, local companies, and the community at-large who take the stage to speak passionately about what matters to them. Drs. Miller, Klotsa, and Gunsch related their work in nano to a packed house. Dr. Klotsa kicked off the evening, highlighting her work in modeling nanoparticle packing. Dr. Gunsch emphasized the importance in studying the unintended effects of silver nanoparticles in the environment. Dr. Miller closed the evening talks, giving an overview of her work in metallurgy.
If you missed the opportunity to see the event live, you can see a recording of the event here.
Malvern PANalytical and the RTNN hosted a “Non-ambient X-ray Diffraction (XRD)” workshop at NC State November 8-9. The event brought together 48 attendees from 17 different universities and organizations to explore the research potential of non-ambient diffraction and practical advice for collecting accurate and useful data. On the evening of November 8, attendees learned more about on-going research during a poster session.
The picture shows Dr. Tom Blanton, the executive director of International Centre for Diffraction Data (ICDD), presenting his work on ‘Materials Characterization using the ICDD PDF-4+’.
On November 10, the Carolina Science Symposium (CSS) was held at NC State’s McKimmon Center. This event brought together over one hundred people from universities, non-profits, and industry. Attendees learned about ongoing work in diverse scientific disciplines in a series of talks and a student poster session. Dr. Yong Zhang from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte opened the symposium. He discussed his work in light effect transistors for high speed and low energy switching. Dr. Jacqueline Cole (UNC/NC State Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering) highlighted her research in the role of vascular structure and perfusion in bone mechanics and health. Ian Haehnlein from Starfire Industries described the technique of high power impulse magnetron sputtering and its capabilities. Dr. Michael Daniele (NC State Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering) talked about his work in wearable biosensors and bioelectronic systems. These invited speakers were joined by students from across North Carolina: Islam Sayed (NC State), Michael Dryzer (Elon University), Ryan Fox (UNC), and Manish Sharma (North Carolina A&T State University).
Over $2,000 was awarded in prizes. Winners for best student oral presentations were Ryan Fox and Islam Sayed. Awardees for best poster included Michael Spencer, Zhihui Cheng, Tasso von Windheim, and Ashish Kapoor. Hanhan Zhou took home the Hans Stadelmaier Award. The AIF Best Paper awards went to Kate Marusak and Nathalia Ortiz.
A photo contest was held in honor of Mike Rigsbee. Tasso von Windheim won for the black and white image, “Happy Accidents,” depicting molybdenum oxide crystals formed using a microwave plasma chemical vapor deposition process (left). Sahil Tahiliani won in the color competition with the image, “Blood Trapped in a Vessel,” showing blood cells (false colored red) in a vessel within a lung tissue section from a mouse exposed to ceria nanoparticles (right).
This annual event occurs each November. If you are interested in learning more or hearing about upcoming events, please contact email@example.com.
Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility will soon be home to a new cryo-transmission electron microscope: the FEI Krios. The microscope joins the FEI Talos Arctica (located at the the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIEHS) as part of the Molecular Microscopy Consortium (MMC) in the Research Triangle. This consortium is a partnership between NIEHS, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The mission of the MMC is to enable the use of single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) and other tools in molecular microscopy to researchers across North Carolina. Cryo-EM is increasingly being used to determine the structure of macromolecules at atomic resolution. There is also emerging interest in applying the technology to the ultrastructure analysis of cellular compartments. The MMC was established to meet the growing demand for instrumentation and expertise in this area.
Director Mario Borgnia leads the MMC and is supported by a Core Team of expert personnel from each participating institution. The MMC functions as a space where projects are carried out as scientific collaborations with members of the Core Team. The following types of projects are currently being pursued:
- Structural biology groups with an established cryo-EM expertise seeking access to imaging equipment or processing pipelines
- Collaborative projects in which the lead is a structural biology group seeking to be trained and gain expertise in cryo-EM
- Long term collaborative projects with non-structural groups where the MMC provides expertise by solving structures using cryo-EM
- Collaborative projects in which there is a need for significant development of new techologies in cryo-EM
Researchers interested in using the MMC should contact Mario Borgnia (919-541-3120; firstname.lastname@example.org) for details regarding the application process. The MMC is open to applications from academic institutions in the Triangle and surrounding regions.