Welcome Dr. Phil Barletta!

We are excited to welcome Dr. Phil Barletta to the RTNN! Dr. Barletta will serve as Director of Operations for NC State’s Nanofabrication Facility (NNF). Dr. Barletta is a graduate of NC State (Ph.D. ‘06, M.S. ’99) who has spent the majority of the past decade at RTI International, where he was focused on the MOCVD growth of Bi2Te3-based thin-film materials and the processing, packaging, and testing of record-breaking Bi2Te3-based thin-film thermoelectric devices.  During his career, Dr. Barletta has also studied bulk thermoelectrics, photovoltaics, long-wavelength IR detection, and solid-state lighting. His diverse research background includes publications regarding thermoelectrics, III-V material growth, and diamond-like carbon.

Dr. Barletta is eager to start improving and expanding the capabilities of NNF and is looking forward to successful collaborations with all of RTNN in the coming months and years.  He can be reached by phone (919-513-1976) or email (pbarlet@ncsu.edu).

Analytical Instrumentation Facility Announces Best Paper Awards

The 2016 Awards for “Best Papers” utilizing the Analytical Instrumentation Facility (AIF) were announced in November and went to Yanqi Ye from the group of Zhen Gu (BME) for a publication in Advanced Materials introducing a microneedle-based cell therapy and Kelly Stano from the group of Philip Bradford (TECS) for work published in Small on nanotube networks. Congratulations to these authors on their excellent work! Previous award winners can be found here.

Image Contest Winner – Yaewon Park

Congratulations to our image contest winner, Yaewon Park, for her entry, CaCO3 mineralized poly(vinyl alcohol) nanofibers.

This picture shows a Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) image of CaCO3 nanoparticle clusters encrusting electrospun poly(vinyl alcohol) nanofibers. This structure resembles bone structure which consists of collagen fibrils and hydroxyapatate crystals attached along them.

My current research is on surface coating of nanofibers with CaCO3 particles by mimicking bone formation process. My research is expected to give a light on environmentally friendly coating of functional textiles and water filtration materials. Nanofibers were dipped in CaCl2 solution and Na2CO3 solution alternatively for 10 times. This image shows that spherical CaCO3 particles surrounded the circumference of nanofibers. This interesting structure is similar to human bone structure.

Honorable Mention Images:
img-2-coral-reefJoshua Zhou: Coral Reef The viewing window of a scanning electron microscope halts before a field of “coral reef”, ordered clusters of vanadium oxide nanorods. Another rod rests on their surface, like a fish seeking shelter from predators. Characterizing the shape of vanadium oxide nanomaterials can account for changes in their thermochromic properties.

This work aimed to form a titanium oxide-vanadium oxide composite doped with magnesium in order to increase the infrared blocking capability of thermochromic films. Efficient thermochromic films can be used in smart windows to block heat-bearing infrared radiation on hot days, while phase-shifting in cold weather to allow warmth in from sunlight. Phase shifts are temperature dependent and rely on no external supply of electricity. This can help reduce air-conditioning bills while maintaining room comfort.

mn3Yanqi Ye: Smart Melanoma Patch Fluorescence imaging of a representative microneedle patch that contained FITC-aPD1 loaded NPs for melanoma treatment. Despite recent advances in melanoma treatment through the use of anti-PD- 1 (aPD1) immunotherapy, the efficacy of this method remains to be improved. Here we report an innovative self-degradable microneedle (MN) patch for the sustained delivery of aPD1 in a physiologically controllable manner. Moreover, this administration strategy can integrate with other immunomodulators (such as anti-CTLA- 4) to achieve combination therapy for enhancing anti-tumor efficacy.



2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded for Nano-Machines

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three scientists for their work in the creation of “nano-machines.” Jean-Pierre Sauvage of the University of Strasbourg, Sir Fraser Stoddart of Northwestern University, and Bernard Feringa of the University of Groningen. Sauvage demonstrated the ability to flexibly link molecules, Stoddart discovered how to make the molecules move, and Feringa determined how to power them. The combination of these discoveries resulted in molecular machines, nano in size, whose movements are controllable. These nano-machines can be used to perform specific tasks and are being explored for use in numerous fields including medicine, computing, and energy.

For more information about their exciting discoveries please visit the Nobel website.

New NSF Program to Train Leaders at Nexus of Big Data and Materials Science

We are pleased to announce a new data-enabled science and engineering traineeship program for PhD students, sponsored by the NSF. The program will train students at the intersection of statistics, big data, and materials characterization. The new methods developed by these trainees will dramatically enhance our ability to understand materials structure with newfound fidelity at and below the nanoscale. A press release describing this exciting program can be found here.

National Nanotechnology Agencies Announce Initiative for Water Sustainability

Yesterday, during the White House Water Summit, the federal agencies that comprise the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) announced the launch of a new Nanotechnology Signature Initiative (NSI): “Water Sustainability through Nanotechnology: Nanoscale Solutions for a Global-Scale Challenge.” This NSI will focus on research and development of nanoengineered materials that reduce stress on the national water supply and support sustainable water usage. The goal of NSIs is to speed innovation through interagency cooperation. The properties of nanomaterials are advantageous for the development of more efficient purification systems and more durable infrastructure. More information can be found on the NNI website, White House blog, and White House fact sheet.

NC State launches $1M fund for entrepreneurs

With an alumnus donation, NC State is launching a new $1M fund to support NC State student entrepreneurs. The program will begin awarding grants to start-ups this spring. Awardees will also participate in a three month boot camp, the Andrews Launch Accelerator, where they will get advice and coaching from local entrepreneurs, office space, and pro bono legal services. A press release describing the program can be found here. The fund will be managed by the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic housed in the Poole School of Management. For more information and to apply for the grant, please visit the fund website.