A Giant Tool to See the Tiniest Things

The cryo-TEM housed in Duke’s Shared Materials Instrumentation Facility was recently featured in Duke’s Research News. This instrument helps researchers resolve the complex structures of proteins. The cryo-TEM can capture hundreds of thousands of images of these small molecules, and power software is employed to reconstruct the structures in three-dimensions. To learn more, read the full news article.

Celebrate Nano at the NC Science Festival

As part of the NC Science Festival, the RTNN will be at the Chapel Hill Public Library on Saturday, April 13th from 1-3 pm. Get a crash course on nanotechnology using a portable scanning electron microscope (SEM) and light microscopes to examine bugs, flowers, and other materials up close. Participants are encouraged to bring their own samples to view. Other hands-on activities will help visitors relate to nanoscale phenomena and get an idea of techniques used to make things on this size scale. Join us to make nano ice cream, try on a clean room suit, design a photomask and more!

For more information, visit the event page on the NC Science Festival Website.

Undergraduate Internship Opportunity at Smart Material Solutions

Smart Material Solutions, Inc. (SMS) is seeking two REU students for 10 week paid summer internships. SMS is a small NC State startup in Raleigh, NC that is developing an advanced nanomanufacturing process called nanocoining. The patented process can seamlessly nanopattern drum molds for roll-to-roll manufacturing hundreds of times faster than competing technologies like electron-beam lithography.

Internship 1: Nanocharacterization This intern will use SMS’s molds to create nanostructured polymer films and perform nanocharacterization to compare the 3D shapes of the nanofeatures in the diamond die, indented mold, and replicated polymer film. This student will receive training on several characterization techniques such as SEM, AFM, and confocal microscopy. SMS prefers a student with a background in materials science, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, or a related field.

Internship 2: Thermal Control System The second REU student will create a temperature control system for SMS’s custom ultrasonic resonant actuator. SMS is interested in hiring a student with a strong background in mechanical engineering, thermal systems, and data acquisition.

For more information, please review this flier. To apply, send your resume to miller@smartmaterialsolutions.com and specify which internship interests you.

RTNN Researchers Develop Nanocrystal Factories for Quantum Dot Manufacturing

NC State researchers are now using a microfluidic system to create quantum dots across the visible light spectrum. The use of microfluidics significantly reduces manufacturing costs and enables real-time process monitoring. Quantum dots can be used in a variety of applications including LED displays and solar energy. For more information, visit the NC State News Release or the original paper in Advanced Functional Materials (details below).

“Facile Room Temperature Anion Exchange Reactions of Inorganic Perovskite Quantum Dots Enabled by a Modular Microfluidic Platform”

Authors: Kameel Abdel-Latif, Robert W. Epps, Corwin B. Kerr, Christopher M. Papa, Felix N. Castellano and Milad Abolhasani, North Carolina State University

Published: March 15, Advanced Functional Materials

Abstract: In an effort to produce the materials of next-generation photoelectronic devices, post-synthesis halide exchange reactions of perovskite quantum dots have been explored to achieve enhanced band-gap tunability. However, comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted halide exchange reactions has been inhibited by their vast relevant parameter space and complex reaction network. In this work, we present a facile room temperature strategy for rapid halide exchange of inorganic perovskite quantum dots. We provide a comprehensive understanding of the halide exchange reactions by isolating reaction kinetics from precursor mixing rates utilizing a modular microfluidic platform, QDExer (Quantum Dot Exchanger). We illustrate the effects of ligand composition and halide salt source on the rate and extent of the halide exchange reactions. Our fluidic platform offers a unique time- and material-efficient approach for studies of solution phase-processed colloidal nanocrystals beyond those studied here and may accelerate the discovery and optimization of next-generation materials for energy technologies.