Kun Luan’s Mosquito Captures “Most Unique Capability” Prize in National Image Competition

SEM image of a mosquito stylet

Thank you to everyone who voted for the RTNN images in the NNCI-wide image competition. Our hearty congratulations to Kun Luan for his winning image Elegant Mosquito Fascicle that reveals the micro-anatomy of a mosquito stylet. The image shows how the mosquito can bite through human skin by using its proboscis. Kun will receive $1,000 in travel support from the NNCI. Check out the other winners and honorable mentions here.

RTNN Sweeps 2020 NNCI Awards

Our congratulations go out to Carrie Donley, Justin Gladman, and Nicole Hedges for winning national awards from the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) in all award categories: User Support (Donley), Technical Staff (Gladman), and Education and Outreach (Hedges).

Photograph of Carrie Donley

Carrie, currently a spectroscopist in the Chapel Hill Analytical and Nanofabrication Laboratory (CHANL), has made extraordinary contributions to the NNCI, RTNN, and CHANL over the past several years. As the former director of CHANL, Carrie spearheaded its interactions with the NNCI and RTNN. Her efforts included the coordination of a workshop for community college teachers, establishment of remote SEM sessions for rural North Carolina schools, and development of course material and video recordings for a Coursera online course “Nanotechnology: A Maker’s Course”. Within CHANL, Carrie is responsible for instruments including XPS, XRD, FTIR, microspectrophotometry, AFM-IR, and ESEM. Since 2013, she has trained more than 550 users on these tools. Moreover, in the last year alone, she has provided trainings and technical guidance for 61 research groups and 112 users. Carrie’s user interactions extend beyond the lab to detailed interpretation and analysis of data, resulting in her inclusion as a co-author on nine peer-reviewed journal articles with CHANL users over the past five years.

Photograph of Justin Gladman

Justin is a Research and Development Engineer at Duke University’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility. In this position, he created a dynamic MicroCT imaging and analysis infrastructure that serves a broad spectrum of users from traditional shared facility disciplines like microelectronics to non-traditional disciplines such as evolutionary anthropology and human anatomy. For example, he developed MicroCT techniques to help a research group study tiny vasculatures in the head to get a better understanding of concussion effects. He has developed and continued to support a national and international user base. Nationally, our MicroCT users come from all across the country, including Arizona, Iowa, New York and Louisiana in addition to various regions within North Carolina and Virginia. Internationally, Justin has collaborated with researchers from Germany, France, and Canada for MicroCT imaging and analysis. Last year the MicroCT had 80 different users and averaged greater than 40 hours per week of usage for the entire year. Justin has created clear and useful operating procedures, and offers excellent training and support for the operation of the MicroCT and the visualization and analysis of the resulting images.

Photograph of Nicole Hedges

As the Business and Education manager of the NC State University Nanofabrication Facility (NNF), Nicole has been instrumental in developing educational content that aligns with the goals of the RTNN and NNCI. These efforts include the RTNN’s annual Nanotechnology Workshop for Community College Educators, a series of industry-focused short courses on wide bandgap power devices, an NNF/Durham Technical Community College short course focused on workforce training for Cree technicians, and NNF photolithography and atomic layer deposition short courses. The NNF and RTNN are heavily dependent on Nicole for the successful planning and execution of these short courses, as she provides significant expertise in logistical strategy and technical content. Furthermore, Nicole has done a fantastic job coordinating lab work for the NC State undergraduate and graduate courses that take place within NNF: Integrated Circuit Technology and Fabrication (ECE 442/538) and Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Device Fabrication and Technology (ECE 792-047). Nicole once again provides logistical and technical input to ensure that these classes run smoothly, efficiently, and effectively.

Keep up the good work!

Congrats to our 2020 Image Contest Winners

A big thank you to everyone who submitted an image in the 2020 Image Competition. We are excited to announce the winners. Thanks to all who voted for these amazing images in the NNCI Image Contest, There’s Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom. Congratulations to Kun Luan for winning the national competition!

Most Stunning

Scyphosphaera apsteinii

Erin Meyer, University of North Carolina at Wilmington

The coccolithophore (single-celled algae) S. apsteinii grown in seawater with elevated concentrations of Sr. The elevated Sr disrupted the calcification of their calcite structures (coccoliths), resulting in a malformed morphology.

Most Unique Capability

Elegant Mosquito Fascicle

Kun Luan, NC State University

Elegant Mosquito Fascicle reveals the micro-anatomy of mosquito stylet. It can explain how the mosquito bites through human skin by using proboscis. The information conveyed from the image were used to engineer non-insecticide barriers, which can mechanically prevent the mosquito bite.

Most Whimsical

Nanoscale Star Wars

Phil Barletta, NC State University

This image shows a Au nanoparticle on a SiC sample surface. It has a striking resemblance to the Death Star! The NNF staff, along with a colleague in CBE, took some liberties in Photoshop to add the appropriate details to the image. This sample was fabricated and imaged at NNF.

Take-out Science Relaunch on National Nanotechnology Day

SEM image

Join us for a special Take-out Science Session as we celebrate National Nanotechnology Day on October 9th. We will give a quick introduction to length scales and nanotechnology, find out more about a clean room, and observe various samples on our scanning electron microscope. We will go live at 1 pm (EDT). Submit your nano-inspired questions for our experts in the comments section below or email us at rtnanonetwork@ncsu.edu.

RTNN Celebrates 5 Years Supporting Nano with a Successful Renewal

We recently marked 5 years of programming focused on raising awareness of nanotechnology and the core facilities that support innovative nanoscience research. While celebrating these efforts, we learned that the RTNN is one of sixteen sites nationwide renewed for an additional five years of funding. NSF will invest a total of $84 million in the renewal of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI). NSF established NNCI in 2015 with an $81 million investment.

More information about the award can be found on the NSF Award Website. News articles from the NSF, UNC, Duke, and NC State highlight the impact and success of the RTNN and broader NNCI.