IAMDN - Request for Proposal - Small Instrumentation

Small instrumentation (approximately $10K) can be critical to moving a program forward. Funding opportunities for such equipment are infrequent. To meet this need in the Rutgers materials community, IAMDN is pleased to announce a request for proposals for small instrumentation.

Review Criteria:

  • Impact and Need:  Relevant to current or proposed nanotechnology project
  • Strategic Importance:  Alignment with the vision/goals of IAMDN
  • Participation:  Number of research groups who will use the instrument
  • Leverage:  As it relates to future proposals
  • Commitment:  Instrument maintenance plan and facilitate use by others

Eligibility: Current Rutgers researchers actively involved in interdisciplinary research aligned with the science and engineering goals of IAMDN.

Format: In 2 pages or less, detail the instrument, its need and use, and how the acquisition will meet all the review criteria.  A supplementary document indicating the instrument price (e.g. a quote) should accompany the two pages. Please indicate where the instrument will be located and how the instrument will be accessible to other users (if appropriate). 

Total Funding: 9 to 12 awards

Deadline: Monday, April 10, 2017, 5PM

Award Start Date: July 1, 2017

Submission: Email a single PDF file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Selection Process: A committee of senior faculty will review and rank submissions.

This call, funded by IAMDN, highlights the advantage of a university wide institute that cultivates Rutgers materials science research and can direct resources to specific needs among the materials community.

Professor Manish Chhowalla is elected to class of 2017 MRS Fellows



Prof. Manish Chhowalla has been elected to the class of 2017 Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellows. According to MRS: "The title of MRS Fellow honors those MRS members who are notable for their distinguished research accomplishments and their outstanding contributions to the advancement of materials research, world-wide. The maximum number of new Fellow appointments each year is limited to 0.2% of the current MRS regular membership. Thus, the distinction is highly selective. We are fortunate to have received a large number of excellent nominations each year, which always makes the work of the selection committee extraordinarily demanding, but reflects very positively on the Fellow program, as well as on MRS."

An-Noor Academy tours microscopes at Rutgers

IMG 8369 CopyAn-Noor Academy visited Rutgers on Wednesday, October 26 so their students could see up close our advanced microscopes. Led by IAMDN (Maureen Lagos Paredes), MSE (Arya Tewatia), and LSM (Slava Manichev), the students were split into three groups and viewed the UltraSTEM and HIM (Helium Ion Microscope). They were able to apply what they learned in the classroom to real life experiments and research. The visit was organized by Neivein Mahmoud who is the head of the science department at An-Noor Academy. 

If you would like to schedule a visit with us, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Professor Manish Chhowalla's Group Produce High-Quality Graphene Using Microwaves

Rutgers University engineers have discovered a simple way to produce high-quality graphene that will be used in energy storage, catalysis, and flexible and printable electronics. The method is to bake the compound in a microwave oven, which leads to "exceptionally high quality graphene with properties approaching those in pristine graphene," said Manish Chhowalla (Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, as well as director of the Rutgers Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology).

The Rutgers engineers’ research was funded by the National Science FoundationRutgers Energy InstituteU.S. Department of Education and Rutgers Aresty Research Assistant Program.

The study’s lead authors are Damien Voiry, a former Rutgers post-doctoral associate in Chhowalla’s Nano-materials & Devices Group who is now at the University of Montpellier in France, and Jieun Yang, a post-doctoral associate in Chhowalla’s group. Other authors include Jacob Kupferberg, who will be a Rutgers senior this fall; graduate student Raymond Fullon; Calvin Lee, who graduated in 2015; Hu Young Jeong and Hyeon Suk Shin from the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea; and Chhowalla.

Click here for the full article in Rutgers Today.

Click here for the report published in Science.

Click here for the public release in EurekAlert!

Click here for the article in Phys.org.


Featured Faculty: Professor Elena Galoppini

Professor Elena Galoppini is a Professor in the Department of Chemistryelena galoppini at Rutgers - Newark. She received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Chicago and joined Rutgers in 1996. Elena's research interests include:

  • Designing and studying rigid molecular linkers for the functionalization of semiconductor nanoparticles (TiO2 ZrO2 and ZnO) with dyes, chromophores and redox active groups
  • Investigating simple molecules to complex supramolecular assemblies

The nanoparticle-linker-donor systems allow fundamental studies of dye-nanoparticle electronic interactions as well as more practical applications for photovoltaics (solar cells), sensors and other devices.

Click here to visit The Galoppini Group.

Click here to see her latest publications.

NSF-Sponsored Summer REU Program

In partnership with the Rutgers Research in Science and Engineering (RiSE) program, the Rutgers Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting an NSF-sponsored summer REU program for the fourth year in a row, with funding assured through 2018.  Applicants to these programs include talented students who are interested in condensed matter, materials, chemistry, and various topics in engineering.  If you would be interested in meeting with the summer 2016 RiSE and REU scholars, or in mentoring students on relevant projects in future summers, please contact Dr. Evelyn Erenrich (RiSE director) and/or Dr. Andrew Baker (REU director).  Summer research programs are wonderful experiences for the undergraduates themselves, serve as successful recruitment vehicles for future graduate students, and represent useful CV items in terms of outreach and broader impacts.  Funding for first-year graduate students who are RiSE/REU alumni is available through the SUPER Grad (SUmmer Pipeline to Excellence at Rutgers Graduate) Fellowship program, an initiative of the New Brunswick Strategic Plan.

IAMDN - Request for Proposal - Small Instrumentation

Small instrumentation (<$30K) can be critical to moving a program forward. Funding opportunities for such equipment are infrequent. To meet this need in the Rutgers materials community, IAMDN is pleased to announce a request for proposals for small instrumentation.

Review Criteria:

  • Impact and Need:  Relevant to current or proposed nanotechnology project
  • Strategic Importance:  Alignment with the vision/goals of IAMDN
  • Participation:  Number of research groups who will use the instrument
  • Leverage:  As it relates to future proposals
  • Commitment:  Instrument maintenance plan and facilitate use by others

Eligibility: Current Rutgers faculty actively involved in interdisciplinary research aligned with the science and engineering goals of IAMDN.

Format: In 2 pages or less, detail the instrument, its need and use, and how the acquisition will meet all the review criteria.  A supplementary document indicating the instrument price (e.g. a quote) should accompany the two pages. Please indicate where the instrument will be located and how the instrument will be accessible to other users (if appropriate). 

Total Funding: Up to $100,000

Deadline: Monday, May 2, 2016, 5PM

Award Start Date: July 1, 2016

Submission: Email a single PDF file to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Selection Process: A committee of senior faculty from the IAMDN Executive Committee will review and rank submissions.

This call, funded by IAMDN, highlights the advantage of a university wide institute that cultivates Rutgers materials science research and can direct resources to specific needs among the materials community.

Featured Faculty: Professor Jaeseok "J" Jeon

Professor Jaeseok "J" Jeon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Eletrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California (Berkeley) and joined Rutgers in 2011. Jaeseok's research interests include:

  • Nanoelectronic Materials, Devices, and Processing Technologies
  • Nano-/Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (N/MEMS)

J is an expert in MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and is applying this expertise to a range of technological problems, from ultra low energy consuming devices to neuromorphological systems applicable to brain research.

Click here to visit his group, called the Rutgers Device Group.

Click here to see his latest publications.

Professor Assimina Pelegri awarded from U.S. Army!

Congratulations to Professor Assimina Pelegri of the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering on her award from the U.S. Army for $225,000 for the project "Experimental and Computational Studies of Single High Performance Aramid Fiber Failure". The award period is from March 2016 to December 2016. 

Congratulations Mina!

Professor Eva Andrei publishes in Nature Physics!

Professor Eva Andrei and her group, as well as with collaborators from Belgium and Japan, have discovered a new way to control and guide electrons in graphene by removing a single carbon atom from its perfect honeycombed lattice. The article, titled "Realization of a tunable artificial atom at a supercritically charged vacancy in graphene", was published in Nature Physics on February 22, 2016.

Click here to read the article published in Nature Physics

Click here to read the news article from Nanotechnweb.org

Professor Mehdi Javanmard awarded from NSF IDBR!

Congratulations to Professor Mehdi Javanmard of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering on his award from NSF IDBR for $344,942 for the project "The ThruProt Analyzer: Bringing Proteomics to the Field Using a Sample-to-Answer Electronic Multiplexed Platform". The award period is three years. 

Congratulations Mehdi!

Click here for the full article.

IAMDN teaches Teaneck students about nanotechnology

IAMDN visited Thomas Jefferson Middle School in Teaneck to give students a hands-on demonstration about ferrofluids and oil spills. Johanna Bernstein, the executive program manager of IAMDN, and Arya Tewatia, a graduate student of the Materials Science & Engineering Department, visited the school on March 9 to help students perform experiments in order to decide whether it would be possible to use ferrofluids (which is magnetized iron broken into nanosized particles and suspended in liquid) to clean up oil spills. This is a partnership initiated by Antoinette Bush who is a seventh grade science teacher at the middle school, and one that she and IAMDN plan to continue. The hands-on laboratory experiments with the students were a success, and one of the students said that she plans to go to Rutgers to study nanotechnology.

Click here for the full article. Image and article information are copyright the Teaneck Suburbanite.


Manjari Bhamidipati is awarded 1st Place in J&J Showcase Graduate Student Poster Competition

Manjari Bhamidipati, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Department, wins first prize in the J&J Engineering Showcase Graduate Student Poster Competition.  Her work, "Biomedical Imaging Using SERS Tags: The Future Beyond Fluorescent Dyes” is part of a larger project with Professor Laura Fabris, which plans to achieve the use of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) in clinical imaging and to identify cell phenotype modifications which can be correlated to disease progression.  Manjari is focusing her thesis project on the development of a spectroscopic method for the multi-marker identification of circulating tumor cells in blood. Congratulations Manjari!

You can read the full article here.

Featured Faculty: Professor Seongshik Oh

Professor Seongshik Oh is a member of the Condensed Matter Experiment group within the Department of Physics & Astronomy, and an early member of IAMDN.

His group, the Rutgers MBE Group, explores unknown scientific territories in thin film quantum materials using state-of-the-art Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) combined with various characterization probes. Their custom-designed MBE system has unique capabilities that facilitate atomic-scale engineering of novel quantum systems. Utilizing these unique capabilities, they are actively investigating advanced materials including topological insulators, 2D materials, complex oxides and heterostructures. Such quantum heterostructures could yield new physics and devices that are intriguing both intellectually and technologically. His research establishes Rutgers as one of the global leaders in thin film quantum materials.

Click here to visit the Rutgers MBE Group website.

Professor KiBum Lee awarded from QED Proof-of-Concept Program!

Congratulations to Professor KiBum Lee of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology on his award from QED Proof-of-Concept Program for $600,000. He is currently building an innovative platform for programming human patient-derived stem cells for use in stem-cell therapies in people with debilitating and incurable diseases and disorders. His strategy is unconventional since it does not rely on the use of viruses in order to modify the cell's genes.

Congratulations KiBum!

Click here for the full article.

Click here for more information about the QED Program.

Professor Laura Fabris' paper is chosen as 2015 Highlight in Journal of Optics!

Professor Laura Fabris' paper, "Gold-based SERS tags for biomedical imaging", has been selected as a 2015 Highlight by the editors in the Journal of Optics, a publisher of new experimental and theoretical research across all areas of pure and applied optics, both modern and classical. The article can be accessed online by clicking here. These highlights are only given to a few of papers each year.


The use of SERS tags in biomedical imaging is described. SERS tags are a novel entity that has recently emerged in the SERS community, mainly spurred by the necessity of carrying out experiments in the biomedical and clinical fields, where the heterogeneity and constant evolution of the environment hamper the application of direct SERS sensing concepts. Direct sensing would in fact require the use of nanoparticles with bare metallic surfaces to allow for intense signal responses; however, the high salt contents typical of physiological conditions and issues such as fouling lead the nanoparticles to aggregate and precipitate out of solution, thus limiting reproducibility and quantitative target identification. As a consequence, the concept of indirect detection has gained importance, in which the SERS signal provided by the SERS tag indirectly provides identification and localization of the target. In this brief review, aimed both at the expert scientist and the novice, the anatomy of a SERS tag is first described, which includes the gold nanoparticle, Raman reporter molecules, a coating layer, and targeting moieties, and the concept of hot spot is explained. A brief overview of the most recent imaging applications in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo is also provided, along with specific recommendations toward the synthesis of effective SERS tags that could find application in the biomedical field, and meet specific needs of the clinical community. Major emphasis is placed on the concept of multiplexing, which is perhaps the most important feature of SERS tags that could render their clinical application a reality.

Congratulations Laura!

Featured Faculty: Professor Tewodros "Teddy" Asefa

Professor Tewodros "Teddy" Asefa holds appointments in the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology and the Chemical & Biochemical Engineering Department, and is supported by IAMDN. Teddy earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and was a postdoctoral fellow at McGill University from 2003-2005. His research interests include:

  • Nanoparticles and Core-Shell Nanoparticles with Novel Structures and Multifunctional Groups and Their Applications
  • Multifunctional Self-Assembled Monolayers on Surfaces and Nanoparticles and their Self-Assembled Structures
  • Catalysis and Nanocatalysis
  • Multifunctional Nanoporous and Mesoporous Materials for Drug-Delivery
  • Nanomaterials in Cancer Treatment
  • Dye-Sensitized Solar Cell

His research group, the Asefa Nanomaterials Research Group, focuses on (1) the design, synthesis, and self-assembly of novel inorganic nanomaterials and organic-inorganic hybrid nanostructured and nanoporous materials and nanobiomaterials; (2) catalysis and nanocatalysis; (3) nanomaterials for biological, medical, and biosensing applications; and (4) nanomaterials for solar cell applications.

Click here to visit the Asefa Nanomaterials Research Group website.

Professor Leonard Feldman Elected to IEEE Fellowship

Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for election to IEEE Fellowship. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation. It is our great pleasure to inform you that, at its November 2015 meeting, the IEEE Board of Directors elected Dr. Feldman to IEEE Fellowship, effective January 1, 2016 "for contributions to semiconductor-dielectric interfaces for MOS technologies".feldman5

Len is now a Fellow of the IEEE, the Materials Research Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Vacuum Society and the American Physical Society. A group of organizations that are representative of the interdisciplinary science associated with IAMDN.

Featured Faculty: Dr. Deirdre O'Carroll

Dr. Deirdre O'Carroll is currently an Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, the Materials Science & Engineering Department, and supported by IAMDN. Dr. O'Carroll received her B.E. and Ph.D. from the University College Cork in Ireland, and was a postdoctoral scholor at the California Institute of Technology. Her research interests include:deirdre

  • Nanophotonics
  • Optical and plasmonic nanoantennas coupled to semiconductor materials
  • Organic (conjugated) polymer nanostructures
  • Surface-plasmon-enhanced organic opto-electronic devices
  • Nanoscale lasers and surface plasmon amplification by stimulated emission of radiation

Her research group, the O'Carroll Research Group, studies light generating and light harvesting processes in organic polymer semiconductor materials and plasmonic nanostructures. Their research contributes to light management in thin-film organic opto-electronic devices, optically-active electrodes, nanoscale optical devices, and environmentally-friendly electronics and photonics. 

Click here to visit the O'Carroll Research Group website.

Featured Faculty: Dr. Danny Bubb, Rutgers University-Camden

Dr. Daniel-Dennis McAlevy Bubb is currently a Professor and Chair of the Department of Physics at Rutgers University-Camden. He has been at Rutgers University-Camden since 2005, and also has worked at Seton Hall University and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC. Danny received his M.S. in Physics at Florida Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. His research interests include:

  • Laser processing
  • Laser-materials interactions
  • Thin film deposition and characterization
  • Non-linear optical properties of nanoparticles and nanocomposites
  • Ferroelectricity, superconductivity and properties of novel oxides

Dr. Bubb has earned the Outstanding Alumni 2005 award from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, as well as the Alan Berman Research Publication Award from the Naval Research Laboratory. 

Danny recently led an IAMDN Focus Topic session on time resolved transmission electron microscopy, an advanced technology to investigate excited state solids.

Professor Charles Dismukes publishes in Energy & Environmental Science!

Professor Charles Dismukes' manuscript, "Structural Basis for Differing Electrocatalytic Water Oxidation by the Cubic, Layered and Spinel Forms of Lithium Cobalt Oxides", describing the Rutgers patented spinel OER catalyst LiCo2O4 has been accepted for publication in EES, the highest impact journal in the field of energy sciences. This is a joint publication with our collaborators at Proton OnSite. The manuscript can be accessed online by clicking here.

This material has been tested in an alkaline exchange membrane electrolyzer. It will be tested for use opposite our Rutgers patented HER nickel phosphide catalyst, NixPy, as the cathode material in a noble metal free AEM electrolyzer.

Future tests will examine this OER anode catalyst for use with a new class of CO2 reducing cathode catalysts for electrocatalytic conversion of CO2 and water to C1 and C2 hydrocarbons (renewable natural gas).

The basis for a hydrogen economy requires large-scale production of hydrogen many times the level supported by steam reforming. It has been proposed that the electrolysis of water can yield a supply on par with the worlds energy needs. However, efficient water splitting requires electrocatalysts that help to lower the total energy input closer to the thermodynamic minimum. These electrocatalysts are typically based on platinum group metals that cannot be produced at such scale. In membrane-based electrolyzers, the implementation of catalysts based upon earth-abundant metals has not been realized because they mostly operate under highly acidic conditions afforded by the proton exchange membrane Nafion. With the development of anion exchange membranes, non-PGM metal catalysts can be used and the high-efficiency of membrane-based electrolyzers can be attained without non-scalable catalysts. In this study, we show that LiCoO2 transforms through in situ delithiation to the cubic spinel LiCo2O4, forming a highly active and stable oxygen evolution reaction (OER) catalyst that works at both the lab scale and in a membrane-based electrolysis configuration relevant to larger scale commercial applications of hydrogen production via water splitting.

Dr. Leonard Feldman wins United Silicon Carbide Inc. award!

feldman5Congratulations to Dr. Leonard Feldman on his award with United Silicon Carbide Inc. for $50,000 for the project "Advanced High-Voltage Silicon Carbide Power Devices". The total award will be $150,000 over a period of 3 years. Congratulations Dr. Feldman!


NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

Dear Colleagues: 

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 16-1) has been issued.  

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016.  Significant changes include: 

  • Enforcement of 5 p.m. submitter’s local time across all NSF funding opportunities;
  • Implementation of NSF's Public Access Policy;
  • Submission of proposal certifications by the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) concurrently with proposal submission;
  • NSF’s implementation of the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences on Dual Use Research of Concern;
  • Provision of Collaborators and Other Affiliations information as a new single-copy document, instead of as part of the Biographical Sketch;
  • Submission of Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support separately for each senior personnel;
  • Electronic signature and submission of notifications and requests by the AOR only;
  • Revision of timeframe for submission of final project reports, project outcomes reports and financial closure of awards to 120 days after the award end date; and
  • Numerous clarifications throughout the document.

Given the number of important revisions, the community is strongly encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.   

A webinar to brief the community on the new PAPPG will be held on October 29th at 2 PM EST.  Registration is required at https://nsfevents.webex.com/nsfevents/onstage/g.php?d=747703895&t=a 

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 25, 2016, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 15-1) continue to apply.  We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.  

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on x8243 or by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  


Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

For more information, please visit: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf16001/

Boris Yakshinskiy (1948-2015)

Boris Yakshinskiy, a long term member of our department, suffered a devastating heart attack last Thursday. He was found unconscious in a parking lot close to the Werblin center, never regained consciousness and died at St. Peter's hospital on Saturday.

Boris was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1948. He obtained his M.S. (1972) and Ph. D. (1986) degrees from the Ioffe Institute in his hometown, where we subsequently held several research positions. His thesis work involved stimulated desorption experiments from tungsten surfaces. This led to his coming to Rutgers in 1996, first as a post- doc to work with Ted Madey. While most of his time then was concerned with UHV based surface science, his best known work is a Nature paper on alkali desorption from moon rocks, as part of a project to probe how alkali atoms are produced in tenuous planetary atmospheres.

After Madey passed away, he worked with Bob Bartynski studying resist materials and photon- and electron-induced chemistry on mirror surfaces for EUV lithography applications. Later, he was in charge of the Rutgers Tandem lab and performed elemental analysis for many different groups, at Rutgers and elsewhere. His most recent notable achievement was the development, with Len Feldman and others, of a technique to detect and quantify hydrogen content in ultrathin films, with a sensitivity of a hundredth of a monolayer, orders of magnitude better than competing techniques.

Boris was an experimentalists experimentalist, with superb "hands" and an ability to make experiments work, and work correctly. He guided the research of many graduate students and post-docs, and made sure they exerted the same rigorous standards to their data as he did.

His wife, daughter and granddaughter survive him.

Research Associate position - Condensed Matter Physics Group

The Rutgers Physics Department is searching for a research associate to work with Professor Gabriel Kotliar and the theoretical condensed matter physics group.  We are looking with a candidate with excellent credentials in electronic structure calculations (including full command of LDA+DMFT) and great familiarity with tools for computer assisted material design.  The overarching theme of the research program is to develop tools for material design exploiting strong correlation physics. The candidate must have excellent knowledge of quantum many body theory and electronic structure.  70 % of the time of the research associate will be devoted to pursuing his/her own research in the areas described above. 30 % of the time will be devoted to assisting Professor Kotliar in supervising graduate students, developing and presenting teaching material and designing and writing research grants. Superb command of written and spoken English is a must.  A Ph.D. is required for this position and candidates should be capable of working independently or with others, leading small teams, and preferably have a strong record of publication.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, publication list, and a brief (2-3 page) description of research interests and accomplishments should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please indicate in your cover letter when you would be available to begin employment.  Applicants should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address.  Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer.  Qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, military service or any other category protected by law.  As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment.

Professor Tewodros (Teddy) Asefa is awarded NSF grant!

Teddy AsefaTewodros Asefa (Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology) received a National Science Foundation award for $358,202 for the project titled “SusChEM: Rational Design and Synthesis of Stable Strain- and Defect-Rich Cu/Ceramic Nanocomposites for Efficient CO2 Reduction” The goal of this proposed project is to develop a range of robust, core-shell nanostructurescomposed of ceramic materials for thermo-catalytic reduction of CO2 into methanol (a synthetic liquid fuel), and then to investigate the materials' structure-stability and structure-catalytic activity relationships. This project is awarded from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2018. Congratulations Teddy!

KiBum Lee's patent-pending technology highlights IAMDN's nano-bio efforts

Ki BumDr. KiBum Lee, an early IAMDN member, is a Professor in the department of  Rutgers Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences. In collaboration with IAMDN and RBHS, he has developed patent-pending technology that highlights IAMDN's efforts in the nano-bio field. Professor KiBum's group members Sahishnu Patel and Perry Yin (PhD candidates) developed the patent-pending "NanoScript".  It is the first developed nanoparticle-based, artificial transcription factor (TF) protein that can implement the regeneration of cells and the growth of new tissue to treat spinal-cord injuries and diseases like Parkinson's and heart disease. TF is a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences and play a key role in regulating stem cell differentiation and gene regulation.

ACS Nano, a publication of the American Chemical Society (ACS), has published Lee’s research on NanoScript. The research is supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).NIH

Continuing efforts to test genes with NanoScript is underway in collaboration with RBHS Professor Dr.Zhiping Pang. In describing this collaborative project, Professor Kibum Lee said, "With further optimization, Nanoscript will be an excellent tool that can eventually be used by scientists and clinicians for gene therapy-based applications because of its versatility and non-viral features.


Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Funding

GradFund assists graduate students with identifying and applying for merit-based research grants and fellowships to support graduate study and research.  IAMDN encourages graduate students work with GradFund to learn how to integrate extramural funding into your graduate career.

To learn more about graduate student fellowship opportunities at Rutgers, please visit GradFundhttp://gradfund.rutgers.edu/GradFund offers individual meetings to discuss funding opportunities with graduate students, as well asworkshops, presentations and mentoring programs throughout the year. 

Public Private Partnership Opportunities

Rutgers seeks to encourage private and public partnership between academia, corporate and the government. The Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology collaborates with both federal agencies and companies to conduct research to create products and disseminate knowledge.

To see University Industry Demonstration Partnership's (UIDP) list of federal programs, please click here.

Rutgers Chemistry team develops patent-pending Sustainable Energy compound "Ni5P4"

Greenblatt DismukesRutgers team of scientists have developed a compound, Ni5P4 (nickel-5 phosphide-4), that has the potential to replace platinum in two types of electrochemical cells: electrolyzers that make hydrogen by splitting water through hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) powered by electrical energy, and fuel cells that make electricity from combining hydrogen and oxygen. Rutgers' Chemistry Professors Charles Dismukes and Martha Greenblatt, published their findings on the patent-pending technology in the March edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Energy & Environmental Science. Joining Professor Dismukes and Greenblatt as co-authors of the article were Postdoctoral researchers Drs. Anders Laursen, Mariana Whitaker, Maria Retuerto, and Tapati Sarkar, and undergraduate Kelly Patraju, all of Rutgers; Dr. Nan Yao of Princeton University; and Professor Kandalam Ramanujachary of Rowan UniversityHERcatalystSchematic.

The researchers believe that Ni5P4 should lower the material costs of both electrolyzers and fuel cells, while maintaining the efficiencies of these technologies for electrical conversion.

In related work, scientists from Rutgers and Proton OnSite are partnering with members of the Solar Fuels Institute (SOFI) of Telluride, Colo. on a demonstration project that seeks to build a solar-powered mobile electrolyzer for making public demonstrations showing the production of a renewable liquid fuel using only sunlight, water and carbon dioxide as inputs.

Funding for the Ni5P4 research was provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, NATCO Pharma Ltd. and Rutgers, while the OER research is now being funding by the Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


Research Associate-Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University invites applications for a Research Associate position in solid state physics and device physics of hybrid (organic-inorganic) and organic semiconductors. The appointee will be encouraged to carry out research in collaboration with Prof. Vitaly Podzorov and other members of the Rutgers condensed matter and surface science groups. Topics of particular interest include the electrical transport measurements of: (a) organic field-effect transistors, (b) hybrid perovskites and (c) strongly-correlated inorganic oxides. A Ph.D. is required for this position and candidates should be capable of working independently or with others, leading a small team, and preferably have a strong record of publication.

The initial appointment will be for 1 year with possible renewal for a 2nd year. The position offers competitive salary and benefits.

Applications consisting of a cover letter, curriculum vitae, publication list, and a brief (2-3 page) description of research interests and accomplishments should be sent by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please indicate in your cover letter when you would be available to begin employment. Applicants should also arrange for three letters of recommendation to be sent to the same address. Review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, military service or any other category protected by law. As an institution, we value diversity of background and opinion, and prohibit discrimination or harassment on the basis of any legally protected class in the areas of hiring, recruitment, promotion, transfer, demotion, training, compensation, pay, fringe benefits, layoff, termination or any other terms and conditions of employment.

Published March 23, 2015

Nanoscience tops basic research priorities in Presidential FY16 budget

President Obama released his FY 2016 budget request on February 2nd, a submission to Congress which contains many bipartisan ideas but also requires significant changes in top level spending caps to be realized.   

The budget request presents a mostly positive agenda for research and education organizations, both by proposing increases for core funding agencies and by launching new initiatives and emphasis areas, such as an increase in the maximum Pell grant award and programs in the food‐energy‐water nexus, precision medicine and infectious diseases, agricultural research, and disaster resilience.  Moreover, several of the biggest topics for investment and opportunity reflect areas of bipartisan support, such as cybersecurity and exascale computing, advanced manufacturing, and neuroscience.  The President has also re‐ proposed a major new investment in public infrastructure, building on successful programs used in the economic stimulus legislation five years ago to enable states and local communities to derive new capital for major infrastructure needs.  Initiatives such as this, an emphasis on expanded trade authority for the Asia‐Pacific region, and proposed changes to higher education financing come in a year when Congress is expected to consider related legislation, increasing the likelihood that some of these proposals will be accepted.   

In parallel, the request continues to place pressure on the performance of institutions through previous proposals to make substantial cuts to provider payments such as indirect medical education in favor of new policies associated with health care delivery, the request would squeeze defense basic research accounts in favor of more applied or translational initiatives, and the request continues to emphasize college access and completion as part of changes proposed for higher education.

In contrast to the last two years in which Congress and the President had adhered to overall defense and domestic discretionary spending levels, the FY 2016 budget request is being presented to a Congress which has not yet decided how to account for budgetary caps agreed to in a bipartisan 2011 budget deal.  The existing caps, along with sequester levels, would disallow substantial new funding as proposed by the President above FY 2015 levels.  Reflecting a tone set by the President in his most recent State of the Union speech, the Obama Administration’s budget request reflects funding thresholds that assume sequestration is largely offset by changes in tax policy and other savings requiring congressional approval.  These changes requested by the White House are meant to alleviate overall budget pressures and foster an environment for new legislation by Congress to increase the existing spending limits.  While the Congress may disagree with several of his proposed savings, the debate over the overall spending levels is expected to occur early in 2016 and will have significant implications on how many of the proposed increases Congress can provide for individual agencies, accounts, or programs in the annual appropriations process.

Regardless, the annual budget request reflects months of planning and negotiations by the White House and provides a telling window into forthcoming plans and priorities.  The proposed increases for research, education, and infrastructure reflect areas of emphasis for the remaining two years of the Obama Administration and benchmarks for which congressional champions will advocate throughout the appropriations process.

For more information, please visit:

pdf Nanoscience tops basic research priorities in Presidential FY16 budget

Big Data in Materials Research and Development: Summary of a Workshop

Early this year the Defense Materials Manufacturing and Infrastructure Standing Committee, acting under the auspices of the National Research Council, convened a two-day workshop to examine “the impact of big data on materials and manufacturing.” A 77-page report was recently issued summarizing the discussions of the 50 workshop participants. Challenges and potential improvements in the following six themes were discussed: “data availability; data size: ‘big data’ vs. data; quality and veracity of data and models; data and metadata ontology and formats; metadata and model availability; and culture.”

In summarizing the workshop’s objective, the report states: “Much of the workshop discussion was driven by an overarching assumption: The materials science community would benefit from appropriate access to data and metadata for materials development, processing, application development, and application life cycles. Currently, that access does not appear to be sufficiently widespread, and many participants captured the constraints and identified potential improvements to enable broader access to materials and manufacturing data and metadata.”

For more information, please visit:

President Obama Launches Competitions for New Manufacturing Innovation Hubs and American Apprenticeship Grants

In case you haven’t seen, President Obama earlier today announced the next two competitions for Manufacturing Innovation Institutes under the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).  The new institutes will be in the following areas:

·         Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute on Smart Manufacturing: Advanced Sensors, Controls, Platforms, and Modeling for Manufacturing – supported by the Department of Energy (DOE)

·         Flexible Electronics – supported by the Department of Defense (DOD)

Funding of $70 million will be available for each Institute with matching funding required.  Details for the competitions are not yet available; Lewis-Burke will provide an analysis when the solicitations are published.

The White House announcement of the new Manufacturing Innovation Institutes is available at:



Binxing Yu received 2nd place award for the MRS Focus on Sustainabiilty Poster-Competition at Fall 2014 Meeting.

Binxing Yu3IAMDN sponsored student received 2nd place award for his poster at the MRS hosted, one-day Focus-on-Sustainability program at the 2014 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston. Binxing is a PHd student in the department of Chemistry & Chemical Biology, The program was designed to raise the awareness of the nexus between materials, materials research and sustainable practice and created opportunities for stakeholders to interact and build a community of practice—to bolster participation in, research and education focusing on sustainability and the key role that materials play.Sustainability20at20My20School20Poster20Winners1

The poster competition was a key component of the program and was aimed at future researchers (current graduate students).

Read more about the MRS award 

Former ECE Graduate Student Rajesh Kappera Awarded Graduate Student Gold Award at MRS 2014 Fall Meeting

Kappera Rajesh Photo 1Gold Award Plaque KapperaIAMDN sponsored, former Rutgers Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student Rajesh Kappera received the Graduate Student Gold Award at the 2014 MRS Fall Symposium at Boston, MA, for his paper titled, "High performance MoS2 transistors using phase engineered low resistance contacts." Raj worked under the supervision of  Dr. Manish Chhowalla, Professor in Department of  Material Science and Engineering, in the School of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Kappera now works at Applied Materials in Santa Clara, CA. in the heart of Silicon Valley.

The student awards for the Fall 2014 symposium were highly competitive; out of 251 top applicants from all over the world, 26 finalists were selected. After technical presentations and QA sessions, 7 students were chosen as gold award recipients.

Read more about the MRS graduate student awards here



Sustainable Chemistry Toolbox of the Future

 Eric Garfunkel, Associate Director at IAMDN serves on the executive council for the Center for Sustainable Materials Chemistry (CSMC), a cutting-edge, sustainable chemistry center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF - full story here). The center is focused on developing sustainable chemistry toolbox with new methods and new techniques that will advance the scientific enterprise and transform the next generation of products, while preparing students to become the next generation of green chemists. Professor Garfunkel, along with Center Director, Doug Keszler and his team in the College of Science at Oregon State University are developing electronic circuits, starting with the basic computer chip. In the manufacturing process, they want to replace bulky carbon compounds with metal oxides in order to put more transistors onto a chip. The new process would be cleaner, faster and cheaper. The CSMC is one of the NSF-funded Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI), which are focused on major, long-term fundamental chemical research challenges. The collaborative research in materials in materials chemistry is conducted across six academic --Oregon State University (headquarters), University of Oregon, Washington University at St. Louis, Rutgers University, University of California, Davis, and University of California, Berkeley.


Read more about the NSF award.

Vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope

As discussed in Nature, Philip Batson and his collaborators are now able to perform vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope, at a spatial resolution of a few nm. The technique analyzes the vibrational modes of nuclei in molecules and solids provide deep insights into the structure of the materials. Vibrational spectroscopy using infrared absorption of Raman scattering is a powerful and rather standard technique of analytical chemistry. Vibrational spectroscopy using low energy electrons is a powerful technique of surface analysis.  Making the same type of technique available in the electron microscope enhances the microscope's analytical powers very considerably.  "The energy resolution of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) performed in the electron microscope has been too poor until now", Baston said. "We have (1) improved the energy resolution of EELS carried out in the electron microscope to around 10meV, by developing a new monochromtor; (2) optimized our EELS–STEM instrument so that the electron probe incident on the sample contains a current sufficient to perform EELS experiments even when the energy width of the probe is only 10 meV and its size < 1nm; and (3) reduced the tail of the intense zero loss peak (ZLP) in the EELS spectrum so that it does not obscure the vibrational features of interest. We illuminate a thin sample with a very narrow beam of fast electrons – as small as one atom or even smaller. This makes the atomic nuclei in the sample vibrate, and we observe how they vibrate by analyzing the minute energy transfers from the fast electrons to the sample."

To read the complete nature article, please visit:

pdf Vibrational spectroscopy in the electron microscope

Professor Laura Fabris speaks at UN Forum on Climate Action

lfabris-2Professor Laura Fabris, of Rutgers Materials Science and Engineering and early member of IAMDN, participated in the Leaders Forum on Women Leading the Way: Raising Ambition on Climate Action. The forum is designed to showcase women's leadership in order to share ideas and raise visibility at the national and international levels. The events was organized by UN Women and the Mary Robinson Foundation. 

Professor Fabris was invited for her leadership role on climate change action and was asked to participate in the post-panel "learning circles". Over 130 women leaders from 54 nations gathered to discuss gender sensitive climate action. The outcomes of the Leaders' Forum's will feed into the UN Secretary-General's Climate Change Summit aimed at mobilizing action by governments, business, finance, and civil society in areas thatun women logo will enable the world to shift towards a low-carbon economy.

Easier than reading a crystal ball: Four-color theorem used to understand the crystal structure

four color theoremSang-Wook Cheong, distinguished professor of the Department of Physics and Astronomy discussed in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society a color coded map to decode a crystal's magnetic properties. If the different domain types are thought of as countries on a map, crystal domains can be colored in accordance to different versions of the color theorem. The color theorems provide an intuitive way to understand a material's complex domain topology. In turn, the domain topology is closely related to each material's magnetic properties. Specifically, the 4-colorable domains are associated with a strong pinning effect of magnetic domain walls, while the 2x3-colorable domains accompany a weak pinning of magnetic domain walls.

For more information, please visit:



Sustainable Biotechnology, Bioenergy, and Biomedicine

International Symposia and Integrating Courses: Our strategic plan identified five integrating themes to help direct our academic focus. To facilitate the incorporation of these themes into the academic life of the University, the 100-Day Initiatives include support for innovative symposia and courses in each area. A faculty selection committee lead by EVPAA Edwards evaluated proposals from across the University and approved two Integrating Symposia. The first—Global Climate Change and Inequality: Local to Global Perspectives, proposed by Professors Steven Brechin (SAS), Robin Leichenko (SAS), Karen O’Neill (SEBS), and Thomas Rudel (SAS; SEBS)—will explore climate change and related socio-environmental disasters through an interdisciplinary lens, with a focus on the differential impact on regions, nations, communities, individuals, and natural ecosystems. The symposium will examine the cultures, lives, and nations that these disasters will affect first and how best to address the environmental, economical, and political vulnerabilities of populations and states most at risk.
The second symposium will address Sustainable Biotechnology, Bioenergy, and Biomedicine. This international symposium was proposed by Professors Eric Lam (SEBS), Pal Maliga (Waksman Institute), and Eric Garfunkel (SAS), and it will be an expansion of the 9th Tripartite Workshop held by Rutgers in partnership with Ohio State University and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. The additional funding provided by the 100-Day Initiatives will ensure that colleagues from Rutgers University–Camden, Rutgers University–Newark, and RBHS have an opportunity to participate and collaborate. Faculty and graduate students from Rutgers, Ohio State, and the University of Sao Paulo will showcase their current research on the issues surrounding sustainable biotechnology, bioenergy, and biomedicine. Earlier this month, the Office of the EVPAA sent out a second call for proposals and we will continue the review process for new symposia to be developed in the next academic year.
After a review of numerous excellent proposals, the first Integrating Themes Course has been approved, and we plan to offer it beginning in spring of the 2015-2016 academic year. Proposed by Professors Deborah Carr (SAS; IHHCPAR) and Johanna Schoen (SAS; IHHCPAR), this course on Health, Culture, and Society will examine our health and well-being through an interdisciplinary lens and consider how our understanding of health varies across time, cultures, and populations. The course will draw on a range of popular and scholarly sources and look specifically at four health conditions: body weight, mental health, cancer, and HIV/AIDS. Ultimately, the course will examine how scholarship improves both medical practice and public health policy.
For more information, click here.

Professor Charles Dismukes Receives BASF Award!

Gerard C. Dismukes
Charles Dismukes, distinguished professor for Rutgers University’s SAS Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB), was awarded funds of $69,665 for the project titled “EPR Characterization of Cu-CHA”. This project was made possible by the BASF Corporation. An example of public-private partnership, the goal of this project is to implement EPR into the characterization of the current commercial Cu-CHA. The period of the project will be from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Our congratulations to Charles!

Professor KiBum Lee Awarded NSF Grant!

KiBum LeeThe National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant of $459,296 to KiBum Lee, professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the Rutgers University School of Arts and Sciences. The grant was awarded by the NSF Division of Chemistry (CHE) for the project titled “MRI: Development of multifunctional scanning probe microscope for nanofabrication and nanomaterials research”. The mission of the CHE Division is to promote the health of academic chemistry and to enable basic research and education in the chemical sciences. This aim of this project is to develop a scanning probe microscope (SPM) with an electrochemical station and optical microscope capable of doing dip-pen nanolithography (DPN). This award starts September 1, 2014 and ends August 31, 2017 and is made possible by contributions by the Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN). The project will be under the direction of PI KiBum Lee and Co-Principal Investigators Huixin He, Sagar D. Khare, Eric L. Garfunkel, and Kathryn E. Uhrich. Our congratulations to them!

Professor Assimina Pelegri Receives NSF Grant!

Congratulations to Assimina Pelegri, professor of Rutgers University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)! Professor Pelegri was awarded a grant of $254,542 by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI). The mission of the CMMI division is to fund fundamental research and education in support of the Foundation’s strategic goals directed at advances in the disciplines of civil, mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and materials design. The project, entitled “Collaborative Research: Multiscale Mechanical Models for the Aging Brain,” is a multi-scale modeling effort to relate the structural integrity of the axons to locally averaged functional properties quantified by magnetic resonance imaging. This will help explain how the age-related changes in the brain white matter are related to alterations in connectivity and mechanical coupling between neurons and glial cells as they age. This project is a collaborative effort with lead PI Prof. John Georgiadis of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This is a three year project from September 1, 2014 and ends August 31, 2017.

Professor Charles Dismukes Awarded NSF Grant!

Gerard C. DismukesCharles Dismukes, distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology (CCB) for Rutgers University’s School of Arts and Sciences, was awarded a grant of $749,997 for the project titled “Solar Hydrogen Fuel: Tunable Semiconductor/Catalyst Interfaces for Efficient Solar WaterSplitting”. This grant was awarded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET). The mission of the CBET Division is to support innovative research and education in the fields of chemical engineering, biotechnology, bioengineering, and environmental engineering, and in areas that involve the transformation and/or transport of matter and energy by chemical, thermal, or mechanical means. Much research has gone into creating new materials and processes for making solar fuels cell devices that convert and store the energy in sunlight as fuels (hydrogen and hydrocarbons) from renewable feedstocks (water and carbon dioxide). However, no commercial products of this type yet exist due to the high cost of fuel cell materials, low solar to chemical conversion efficiencies, instability and short lifetime. The grant was awarded for this project with the aim to create new nanomaterials and combine them in a special fashion to produce a new device that circumvents these limitations, while increasing the solar efficiency by a factor of 2. This project is under the supervision of Principle Investigator Charles Dismukes and Co-PIs Eric Garfunkel and Martha Greenblatt. This award starts September 1, 2014 and ends August 31, 2017.

Tewodros Asefa and Team of Researchers Develop Technology to Produce Clean Burning Hydrogen Fuel

electrolysis catalystA team of Rutgers University researchers, led by Tewodros (Teddy) Asefa, have developed technology to produce clean-burning, inexpensive hydrogen fuel – a fuel which can replace expensive and environmentally harmful fossil fuels. Tewodros Asefa, Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in the School of Arts and Sciences, said in a Rutgers Today interview,
"Hydrogen has long been expected to play a vital role in our future energy landscapes by mitigating, if not completely eliminating, our reliance on fossil fuels. We have developed a sustainable chemical catalyst that, we hope with the right industry partner, can bring this vision to life."
Tewodros (Teddy) AsefaAsefa is also an associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering in the School of Engineering. His colleagues based their new catalyst on carbon nanotubes – one-atom-thick sheets of carbon rolled into tubes 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. Asefa and his colleagues reported in a recent scientific paper published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, that their technology called “noble metal-free nitrogen-rich carbon nanotubes” efficiently catalyzes the hydrogen evolution reaction with activities close to that of platinum. Asefa’s team reports that the tubes function properly in any environment, whether basic, neutral or acidic, increasing their options for coupling with the most efficient oxygen-evolving catalysts that are important in separating oxygen and hydrogen atoms from water.
Asefa, an expert in inorganic and materials chemistry, joined the Rutgers faculty in 2009 after four years as an assistant professor at Syracuse University. Originally from Ethiopia, he is a resident of Montgomery Township, N.J. In addition to catalysis and nanocatalysis, his research interests include novel inorganic nanomaterials and nanomaterials for biological, medical biosensing and solar cell applications.

Rutgers, Auburn and Purdue Universities Partner on Silicon-Carbide Energy Efficiency Project Funded by II-VI Foundation

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 30, 2013) –Representatives of the II-VI Foundation today announced a three-year, multi-university grant among Auburn, Purdue and Rutgers Universities supporting research and education designed to reduce energy consumption through greater electronics efficiency. This Cooperative Research Initiative was announced during a ceremony at Rutgers University Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN).

II-VI Foundation_Signing-ForWebIAMDN Director Leonard C. Feldman is one of four leading scientists partnering for the advancement of silicon-carbide (SiC) based electronics, which offer the potential of far greater efficiency in transistors integral to energy production and distribution. The grant for up to $1,000,000 over the three-year period is provided by the II-VI Foundation, which will fund more than $3.5 million this year in college scholarships for science and engineering students, science camps for middle school students and over twenty graduate-level research projects like the ones being conducted at the three universities.
“An unexpected and exciting outcome from one of the Foundation’s Mini-Conferences in 2012 was a discussion among professors from Auburn, Purdue and Rutgers,” said Carl Johnson, Chairman of the II-VI Foundation. “They discovered a common interest in researching different aspects of the same topic. Commencing with the 2013 Block-Gift cycle, this first-ever II-VI Foundation Cooperative Research Initiative (CRI) will be launched. These three universities will be funded to collaborate on different approaches to a single, challenging research topic, taking advantage of the expertise of each. As with all of our Block-Gift Programs, the personal growth and skill development of the graduate students are of primary importance.”
The multi-university project will fund six graduate student researchers who will partner with faculty to achieve a better understanding of the physics and chemistry of the silicon-carbide energy interface integral to transmitting energy.
“The industrialized world is basically doubling its energy demand every 40 years and silicon- carbide based electronics offer a significant opportunity,” said Feldman, Director of IAMDN and a professor in Rutgers departments of Physics and Astronomy and Materials Science and Engineering. “Improving energy efficiency is the most important factor in having a real impact on energy consumption. Silicon-carbide based electronics offer a significant opportunity to impact utilization in energy dominant industries, particularly transportation and electricity generation and distribution.”
The principal investigators in the project include Feldman, Purdue University Professor James Cooper and Auburn University Professors Sarit Dhar and John Williams, who serves as the CRI Coordinator.
“Strongly aligned with a primary objective of the II-VI Foundation, our effort to educate and train young scientists and engineers in a leading, interdisciplinary technology development program for advanced power electronics is an investment in our country’s future,” Feldman said. “Such young people will form a pool of talent that our country must have to significantly increase the efficiency with which we use electrical energy, to hasten national energy independence and to maintain our nation’s scientific competitiveness.”
The single overall technical objective of the CRI is improving the silicon-carbide based transistors currently used for amplifying or switching electronic signals.
“The silicon-carbide transistors that are currently on the market are inefficient,” Feldman said. “We live in world of silicon technology with wonderful silicon devices, from smartphones to transistors for the switching of electronic signals. When we make silicon-carbide transistors so effective that they become a cost-effective option for industry, we will make real progress on energy consumption.”
About Rutgers University Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology
IAMDN focuses on science and technology driven by the atomic scale and nanoscale manipulation of materials. The Institute provides a research environment where students, physicists, chemists, biologists, and engineers work collaboratively in advancing the basic knowledge and the underpinning technology vital to societal needs such as communications, medicine, and energy sustainability. For more information, please visit http://iamdn.rutgers.edu.
Fred Feiner
Yankee Public Relations
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Gang Liu Receives Scholarship to Attend French Post-Graduate Seminar

Gang LiuGang Liu, a postdoctoral fellow in Rutgers University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy was chosen as one of eight students to receive a scholarship to attend the US-French Post-Graduate Seminar on Nanocharacterization: Chemical Analysis. Organized by the Office for Science and Technology of the Embassy of France in the United States, the seminar aims to enhance scientific exchanges between young researchers, increase mutual awareness of laboratories of excellence in this field and to possibly trigger collaborations between US and French laboratories through PhD students. The seminar will give PhD students the opportunity to present and discuss their work freely amongst their peers. The seminar will take place over two days at Cemes in Toulouse, France. Liu’s scholarship was one of eight granted to US PhD students to cover travel and accommodations to attend the seminar. Congratulations Gang! 

IAMDN's cross-campus collaboration

DeidreCongratulations to IAMDN's cross-campus collaborators, Dr. Piotr Piotrowiak (PI), Professor in the Department Chemistry at Rutgers Newark College of Arts and Sciences,  Dr. Laura Fabris, and Dr. Deirdre O'Carroll (CO-PIs), both Assistant Professors in the Department of  Material Science and Engineering, at the School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers, New Brunswick and IAMDN members! They are the recipients of a $510,000 award by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is funding the project titled "International Collaboration in Chemistry: Electronic and Vibrational Dynamics of Molecules and Polymers in Close Proximity to Nanostructured Metal Surfaces and Arrays".  The project is awarded from August 1, 2014 to July 1, 2017. 


Assimina Pelegri Awarded DURIP Grant

Assimina Pelegri, professor and director of Rutgers University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering received an award of $214,356 from the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP). The project, titled “Nano Impactor System for Characterization of High Performance Materials”, will provide invaluable new research and educational capabilities for the characterization of advanced multifunctional material systems (including graphene hybrid composites, nanocrystalline c-BN, films of dense nanospring arrays, and Kevlar and UHMWPE fibers) for a multitude of Department of Defense applications ranging from lightning protection systems in aircrafts to high toughness coatings and body armor. The award is granted from July 01, 2014 to June 30, 2015. 

Stephen Tse Receives DURIP Grant!

Stephen Tse, professor and Director of Outreach for the Rutgers University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received an award of $97,500 as the principal investigator for his new project. His new project, titled “High-Speed Camera for Characterization of Flame Synthesized Nano-Energetics”, supported by Defense University Research Instrumentation Program (DURIP), has combined flame and solution syntheses to produce composite nanostructures which possess strong exothermic behavior. The project will also investigate single droplets comprised of precursor/solution, whereby their combustion produces metal-oxide nanoparticles that will be used in nanoenergetic compositions, in order to study the transient behavior of such droplet combustion. The project will be supported by DURIP from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. Our congratulations to Stephen!

Keivan Esfarjani is awarded $100,000 Grant

Keivan Esfarjani, a research associate professor of Rutgers University’s School of Engineering Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering received an award of $100,000 for the project titled “Thermionic Transport across Single and Multiple Barrier Heterostructures Based on 2D Layered Materials”. The grant was awarded by the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET). This project was designed to overcome the challenges previously facing thermionic energy conversion using layered heterostructures with gate-tuning of the thermionic barrier height. This grant is awarded from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017. Congratulations Keivan Esfarjani! 

Mona Zebarjadi receives NSF grant!

Mona Zebarjadi, an assistant professor of the Rutgers University Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was awarded a grant for $216,999 through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI). The mission of the CMMI Division is to fund fundamental research and education in support of the Foundation’s strategic goals directed at advances in the disciplines of civil, mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and materials design. This project, titled “Hybrid organic-inorganic thermoelectric materials”, investigates new doping schemes (3D modulation-doping and field-effect doping) to enhance the mobility of hybrid thermoelectric materials at low temperatures. The award is granted from July 15, 2014 and ends June 30, 2017. Our congratulations to Mona!

Jaeseok Jeon Awarded NSF Grant

The National Science Foundation hereby awards a grant of $234,943 to Jaeseok Jeon, an assistant professor at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. This project, entitled "IDBR: Type A: Development of a Polymer-Probe-Based Scanning Probe Microscope for Noninvasive, High-Speed, Broadband Investigation of Live Mammalian Cell," is under the direction of search Qingze Zou, Nan Gao, Jaeseok Jeon. This award starts May 15, 2014 and ends April 30, 2017. Our congratulations to Jae!

NSF 2014 Large Facilities Workshop

Sep 11 2014 8:30AM to Sep 12 2014 2:00PM

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will host a Large Facilities operations workshop from September 11-12, 2014. This event will be held at the National Science Foundation Headquarters in Ballston.  

This workshop will provide a forum for discussing best practices and sharing lessons learned from operational experiences at NSF-funded large scientific research facilities.  

We look forward to seeing you in Arlington this September!  



Materials Genome Initiative aims to speed discovery, development & deployment of advanced materials

Materials Genome Initiative aims to speed discovery, development & deployment of advanced materials


Advanced materials are essential to human well-being and are the cornerstone for emerging industries. Yet today, it can take 10 to 20 years or more from initial research on a new material to first use. That's why in June 2011 President Obama launched the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) "to help businesses discover, develop, and deploy new materials twice as fast" and at a fraction of the cost. The MGI brings together academic institutions, small businesses, large industrial enterprises, professional societies, and government, including the National Science Foundation.

General Restrictions:

Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Videos credited to the National Science Foundation, an agency of the U.S. Government, may be distributed freely. However, some materials within the videos may be copyrighted. If you would like to use portions of NSF-produced programs in another product, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation. Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.

For more information, please visit:


Rush Holt Calls on Federal Government to Drive Innovations in Energy Technology, Climate Policy

Congressman joins industry and academic leaders to examine energy and climate issues at Rutgers Energy Institute symposium
Innovative research and technological advances can help the United States reduce its dependency on fossil fuels. But first elected officials and the public will have to overcome their reluctance to engage in energy and climate policy issues.

Rush Holt
Photo: Nick Romanenko, Rutgers University
Rush Holt
At an energy symposium at Rutgers this month, U. S. Representative Rush Holt challenged the federal government to lead the effort by making investments in science that will lead corporations and businesses to change their practices.

“If you are looking for new energy technologies, if you are looking for an understanding of climate measures, there are things that can best be done from the federal level,” said Holt, who represents New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District, which includes part of Rutgers in New Brunswick.

Holt was one of four speakers to address the 9th annual Rutgers Energy Institute Symposium, focused on the challenge of transitioning to a new world view of energy science, economics and engineering.

Federal funding does more than just pay for research, Holt said. It promotes competition among business and academic innovators to come up with the best ideas for energy technologies and climate measures.

Holt’s and the other panelists’ desires to promote sustainable energy production, efficient consumption and climate policy matches the goals of the Rutgers Energy Institute (REI), said founding director Paul Falkowski, Board of Governors professor in geological and marine science.

“We are a solutions-oriented group,” said Falkowski, highlighting the university’s expertise in technologies, such as biofuels, photovoltaics, wind energy and energy storage as well as in energy policy and urban planning. “The REI is a place where faculty across the campuses can communicate with each other, develop new courses and integrate research.”

Solar canopy over Yellow Lot
Photo: Nick Romanenko, Rutgers University
Energy from the sun helps reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. This canopy of solar panels covers the Yellow Lot near the Rutgers Athletic Center.
Other symposium presenters included utilities finance executive Frank Napolitano discussing new aspects of energy finance, Rutgers policy expert Frank Felder examining how falling electricity rates may hinder much-needed improvements in power systems, and Princeton climate and environmental expert Robert Socolow addressing the challenges of living with global warming.

The symposium also showcased winners of its annual undergraduate energy innovation contest, which encourages Rutgers students to promote energy conservation and eco-friendly practices on campus. Engineering students Joe Woo, Matthew Lu and Moiz Rauf received the first prize of $2,500 for their work on underground thermal energy storage. Rachel Alm from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences earned a second-place prize of $1,500 for her work with rooftop gardens. Sharing the third-place prize of $1,000 were engineering students Rachit Mehta and Timothy Yong, who worked on energy recycling.

“In an age where hundreds of millions of dollars are being funneled into the latest Silicon Valley innovations, it’s important to recognize that some of the most practical schemes are already right under our fingertips, said Rauf, a two-time top prize winner in the contest. “There is still plenty of low-hanging fruit when it comes to energy conservation.”

DARPA Proposers' Day


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is sponsoring a Proposers' Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of an anticipated DSO Office-Wide Broad Agency Announcement (BAA). The Proposers' Day will be held on Thursday, June 19, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, and Friday, June 20, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT) at the DARPA Conference Center (675 N. Randolph St. Arlington, VA 22203). A webcast of the meeting will be broadcast for those who would like to participate remotely. Advance registration is required. 




President Obama Signs the Consolidated Appropriations Act


On Friday, January 17, 2014, President Obama signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, funding the Federal Government through September 30, 2014. ...

The Office of Science's financial assistance awards have historically been made for three- to five-year project periods with funding provided annually in discreet budget periods. We will no longer fund awards with a project period total cost of $1,000,000 or less in this way. Any new or renewed financial assistance award with a project period total cost of $1,000,000 or less will be funded in full. 



“Inst Adv Mat Devices & Nanotechnol” is a recognized address on the Web of Science!

Publications are the currency of scientific research. Their value is often denoted in citation numbers, a measure of influence to the broader scientific community. Since research institutions aspire to publication productivity and influence each new organization is eager to "break in" and become a scientific entity known for its publications.  Inst Adv Mat Devices & Nanotechnol  is now a recognized "address" on the Web of Science (WoS). Web of Science is the most used and highly valued scientific citation index in the world.

WoS is the gold standard for research discovery and analytics. It gives access to multiple databases that reference cross-disciplinary research. The listing provides quick, powerful access to authoritative content from the highest impact journals worldwide, including, Open Access journals. It includes over 100 years’ worth of content that is fully indexed, including 2.6 million records and back files dating back to 1898.

A recent WoS listing using the   Inst Adv Mat Devices & Nanotechnol address indicates a broad array of science representing the scientific diversity of our Institute. Included in some of the most recent listings  is new research on-lattice thermal conductivity, critical to energy-applicable thermoelectric research; use of nano-materials for stem cell imaging, new aspects of photo catalysis , studies of electronic devices such as SiC based transistors for high temperature operation  and many more.

The highest cited item from the Podzorov group deals with charged carriers in organic materials –a topic of fundamental interest describing the behavior of charged carriers in organic materials and relevant to energy applications.

The earliest scientific publications from Rutgers can be dated to 1828. IAMDN was born in 2007. While it is still the new kid on the block its research impact is already being felt in the most significant journals and cited by some of our most prestigious colleagues.


It's been a season of awards. IAMDN is proud to announce that Prof. Liping Liu and Prof. Mona Zebarjadi  received young investigator awards from NSF and DoD, respectively. liu

liuLiping Liu (Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Department of Mathematics) received an NSF CAREER for $400,000 from the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation for five years.  Titled, “CAREER: Multiferroic Materials - Predictive Modeling, Multiscale Analysis, and Optimal Design” Liu’s his work will aim to establish a fundamental understanding of the mechanics and mathematics that dictates the physical behaviors of multiferroic crystals and composites. The CAREER is the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Our congratulations to Liping!



MonaMona Zebarjadian assistant professor in the department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received $360,000 for a three-year Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Award through its Young Investigator Program (YIP). This year AFOSR received 234 proposals in response to its broad agency announcement solicitation. Zebarjadi’s proposed to investigate and design 2D electron filters and to demonstrate the possibility of electron cloaking in a graphene layer with an externally imposed artificial scattering potential.  The objective of the YIP is to foster creative basic research in science and engineering, enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators. Congratulations Mona! 

New Jersey Health Foundation Awards Second Grant for Development of Improved Surgical Gloves

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.April 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of its Innovation Stage Funding Program, New Jersey Health Foundation has awarded a second grant to Dr. Tomer Davidov, assistant professor of surgery at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, to advance his work to develop a novel puncture resistant surgical glove for use by healthcare professionals.  
Dr. Laura Fabris, assistant professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Rutgers School of Engineering, who has done significant work with nanoparticles, will collaborate with Dr. Davidov, using the $20,000 in grants to advance the project.
"We became interested in working with Drs. Davidov and Fabris because needle-sticks among healthcare professionals present a significant problem," explained Dr. George F. Heinrich, vice chair and CEO of New Jersey Health Foundation.  "According to a recent survey, 99% of all surgeons have admitted experiencing needle-stick injuries during his or her lifetime." 

Analysis of the Federal Innovation and Commercialization Landscape

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – April 30, 2014


This report outlines the current federal landscape for university commercialization, innovation, and technology transfer activities, which the Obama Administration continues to emphasize as key contributors to rebuilding the U.S. economy.

Administration and congressional support for commercialization and innovation initiatives focuses on reducing barriers in translating federal research investments into new products, industries, and, ultimately, jobs across a number of sectors. The Obama Administration views partnership with industry as key to progress both in terms to define research and innovations challenges, and to leverage additional resources to federal investments. Support for universities has ranged from individual awards to cultivate new entrepreneurs to institutional awards to support regional innovation ecosystems.

In addition to ongoing agency solicitations to support entrepreneurship and commercialization, 2014 presents several new or returning special initiatives, including:

  • A new NIH accelerated innovation consortium-based centers program, modeled on the recently awarded NHLBI Centers for Accelerated Innovation, entitled Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) Awards;
  • Participation of NIH in a new effort modeled on NSF’s I-Corps program;
  • Support from the Department of Commerce for another open round of i6 Challenge grants;
  • The Department of Energy’s new efforts in 2014 and 2015 to form MOUs with universities to accelerate commercialization of university inventions arising out of DOE-supported research;
  • New NIST Centers for Excellence with universities around topics such as forensics science and carbon-based nanomanufacturing;
  • NIH’s new partnership with major drug companies and patient groups to pursue drug targets and treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and the autoimmune disorders of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus;
  • FDA’s recent announcement of a realignment around commodity-based and vertically-integrated regulatory programs and the possibility for new centers of excellence in regulatory science;
  • Department of Defense centers of excellence in planning which require partnerships with defense laboratories;
  • Current U.S.-EU and U.S.-India partnerships which emphasize commercialization and translational research components as part of the solicitations;
  • NIH and FDA’s enhanced emphasis and new initiatives around medical devices, SBIR/STTR applications for platform technologies to deliver nucleic acid therapeutics, and rare diseases;
  • Future national manufacturing institutes (NNMIs) which require very large teams and are awards on the order of $50-70 million each; and
  • Several research agencies continue to look to private industry or foundations to co-fund or design new federal investment areas. 

This document provides information on:

  • Federal agency priorities related to innovation, university-industry partnerships, and technology transfer;
  • Information on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs;
  • An update on innovation and commercialization priorities of the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration; and a
  • Detailed analysis of funding opportunities for large center public-private partnerships (Appendix A).

Read more.

Gold Atoms at Rutgers Day

Young minds_website    More than a 100 visitors, some as young as 6 years old, saw atoms at this year's Rutgers Day. The gold atoms that Prof. Batson and Dr. Lagos demo-ed had particular fascination for high schoolers who were enthusiastic about the application of such a microscope in interdisciplinary science, combining physics, chemistry and engineering.

The microscope was funded by the Recovery Act of 2009 law through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create the one-of-a-kind scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), a next-generation device optimized for the investigation of materials that are vital to energy related applications. In 2010, the White House recognized the STEM project in the report: “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.”

 Rutgers Distinguished Professor Philip E. Batson is bringing the STEM to Rutgers in partnership with Nion Company of Kirkland, Wash., who will commercialize the microscope.“The ability to visualize atomic level structure, bonding and composition is critical to advances in many areas,” said Batson, a faculty member in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Materials Science and Engineering. “This STEM represents a leap ahead in electron spectroscopy capabilities required for the further development of nanoscale science. We can now observe the function of structures that contain only a few atoms. This new capability will be invaluable to understanding materials for energy storage and production, nanoelectronics and catalysis.”

But the question de jour at Rutgers Day was from an eight year old middle-schooler who asked, "What is a nano? Is it tinier than a waffle crumb?" Give us This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.How small is a nano?                       


Policy Update: White House Report on Building a Brighter Future with Optics and Photonics

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – April 24, 2013
On April 17, 2014, the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Fast Track Action Committee on Optics and Photonics (FTAC-OP), released a report entitled, “Building a Brighter Future with Optics and Photonics.” The report identifies opportunities for federal investments and interagency cooperation in basic and applied research in optics and photonics, as well as identifying opportunities to build research capabilities in areas where there are current gaps.
As Lewis-Burke has previously reported, the FTAC-OP was established in April 2013. The committee was co-chaired by representatives of NSF and NIST, and included representatives from the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and NASA, as well as private sector input from members of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The committee was charged to build on the findings of the National Academies 2012 report, "Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for our Nation,” and develop recommendations on next steps.

Analysis of the NSF Science and Technology Centers (STC) program

The next solicitation is expected to be released later this year.



This document provides background and analysis for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Research Centers (STCs) to assist in the development of ideas and proposals for the next STC solicitation. According to the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request for NSF, the next solicitation is expected to be released in FY 2014 with awards made in FY 2016. The next solicitation is likely to follow a similar format to the most recent solicitation in terms of composition requirements; assessment will address many of the broader impact management issues outlined in the last solicitation. This memorandum overviews existing STCs as well as information from the most recent solicitation and the key issues that should be considered when developing STC proposals.

Read more.


Innovation Corps leaders converge to discuss how to build on program's success

National Innovation Network participants to plot path forward, aim to expand positive economic impact

Hands holding a peice of technology.
NSF-funded researchers learn during I-Corps whether there is a market for their technology.
Credit and Larger Version


April 8, 2014

In 2011, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program to train NSF-funded researchers to evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential.

This week, I-Corps participants from across the country will meet in Bethesda, Md., to discuss the progress made, lessons learned and opportunities for growth.


Key leaders include:

  • Steve Blank, retired serial entrepreneur, author and professor, will be the keynote speaker at the event. The I-Corps curriculum is modeled on the Lean LaunchPad entrepreneurship course Blank created at Stanford University.
  • Farnam Jahanian, NSF Assistant Director, leads the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.
  • Pramod Khargonekar, NSF Assistant Director, leads the Directorate for Engineering.
  • Phil Weilerstein, NCIIA Executive Director.

For more information, click here.


First principles approach to creating new materials

Solid-state chemistry and theoretical physics combined to help discover new materials with useful properties
crystalline motif

Laws governing physics of materials is simple, but the behavior of constituents is complex.
Credit and Larger Version

April 4, 2014

Traditionally, scientists discover new materials, and then probe them to try to better understand their properties. Theoretical materials physicist Craig Fennie does it in reverse.

"We have been rethinking the problem of materials discovery from that of the perspective of a physicist," says Fennie, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded scientist and a 2013 recipient of a prestigious MacArthur fellowship, a $625,000 no strings attached award, popularly known as a "genius" grant.

Scientists typically "make something, measure it, report it, then try to understand what they just reported. Today we are turning that approach around," he says, essentially by combining the tools of theoretical physics with those of solid-state chemistry to discover new materials with attractive and useful electrical, magnetic and optical properties. "Pioneers in my field...taught us that we (physicists) can and should do more."
For more, click here.

Rutgers University unveils $5.2 million microscope facilities

Rutgers Distinguished Prof. Philip E. Batson with the one-of-a-kind scanning transmission electron microscope, part of a new technology program supported by the Obama Recovery Act. Image: Nick Romanenko/Rutgers Univ.Funded in part by the Obama Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Rutgers University today unveiled two microscopy suites, together valued at more than $5.2 million. These instruments are the “best in the world” at producing nanoscale images that will impact scientific developments in disciplines confronting some of society’s greatest challenges, according to Leonard C. Feldman, Director of the Rutgers Institute for Advanced Materials, Devices and Nanotechnology (IAMDN).
“Rutgers has become a global leader in advanced nanoscale materials imaging, bringing to the New Jersey region a new resource for the advancement of scientific research, educational outreach and industrial partnership,” said Feldman, who also serves as Rutgers Vice President of Physical Science and Engineering Partnerships. “We have the beginning of a Rutgers imaging institute through IAMDN that will foster international scientific collaboration to significantly impact research in biomaterials, medical research of cancer and neurology, renewable energy, and telecommunications. These microscopes are without question the most advanced devices utilized in the world today to visualize the atomic structure of new nanoscale materials. The advances they support will empower researchers confronting some of the most daunting global problems today.”
The Recovery Act, the 2009 law signed by President Barack Obama designed to stimulate the economy, provided Rutgers with a nearly $2 million grant through the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create the one-of-a-kind scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM), a next-generation device optimized for the investigation of materials that are vital to energy related applications. The $831 billion economic stimulus package included direct spending in infrastructure, education, health, and energy, federal tax incentives, and expansion of unemployment benefits and other social welfare provisions. In 2010, the White House recognized the STEM project in the report: “100 Recovery Act Projects that are Changing America.”
Rutgers Distinguished Professor Philip E. Batson is bringing the STEM to Rutgers in partnership with Nion Company of Kirkland, Wash., who will commercialize the microscope. A renowned scientist in the area of microscopy, Batson came to Rutgers from IBM for the opportunity to create this cutting-edge device.
“The ability to visualize atomic level structure, bonding and composition is critical to advances in many areas,” said Batson, a faculty member in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Materials Science and Engineering. “This STEM represents a leap ahead in electron spectroscopy capabilities required for the further development of nanoscale science. We can now observe the function of structures that contain only a few atoms. This new capability will be invaluable to understanding materials for energy storage and production, nanoelectronics and catalysis.”
Feldman said that the uniqueness of the STEM device has already been noted by the U.S. Department of Energy, which has sent representatives from its Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York to discuss the possibility of their use of the STEM. “Both of these microscopes are not available anywhere else,” Feldman said. “We are confident that public and private institutions from all over the world will come to Rutgers to utilize the technology.”
NSF also provided a more than $1.6 million grant for the helium ion microscope (HIM), a vital tool to reliably perform analysis and modification of nanoscale materials, which have an enormous impact on basic and applied science.
“The helium ion microscope is a novel instrument with unprecedented capability for imaging surfaces,” said Rutgers Physics Prof. Torgny Gustafsson, principal investigator in the development of HIM. “From drug delivery to the creation of nanometer orifices to explore DNA sequencing and the formation of quantum structures for advanced computing and communications, the discoveries of new science and technologies with the helium ion microscope are limitless.”
Partnering with Batson as co-principal investigators on STEM are Rutgers faculty members Jing Li, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology; Frederic Cosandey, Department of Materials Science and Engineering; and Sang-Wook Cheong, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Nion Company President and Co-founder Dr. Ondrej Krivanek also served as co-principal investigator.
Partnering with Gustafsson on HIM as co-principal investigators are Rutgers faculty members Feldman, Departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Materials Science and Engineering; Eva Andrei, Department of Physics and Astronomy; Adrian Mann, Departments of Biomedical Engineering, and Materials Science and Engineering; and Laura Fabris, Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
IAMDN officially unveiled the technology during the Laboratory for Surface Modification’s 28th Annual Symposium, entitled Advances in Nanoscale Materials Imaging, held on the Busch Campus where the microscopes are located. The program featured presentations by some the world’s leading microscopy experts including: Professor John Silcox of Cornell University; Dr. John Notte, Director, Research and Development of Carl Zeiss Microscopy; Dr. J. Albert Schultz, President of Ionwerks, Inc.; and Krivanek.

NSF FY 2013 Performance and Financial Highlights

In FY 2013, NSF tracked progress toward its 3 strategic goals using 15 annual performance goals, and toward 3 priority goals. All programs activities within the agency were covered by the 15 goals used to monitor the 3 strategic goals. Out of the total of 18 goals, 9 were acheived and 9 were not achieved. Read more.


Rutgers Partners with United Nations on Curriculum Development Project

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) teamed up with the Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs (GAIA Centers) and the Longview Foundation to provide support for a United Nations (UN) Curriculum Development Project. With the help of educational leaders in the Highland Park School District, Piscataway Township Schools, and West-Windsor Regional School District, the project encompasses developing resources for teachers around the world to utilize when teaching about the United Nations and its four main purposes: 1) keeping peace throughout the world; 2) developing friendly relations among nations; 3) helping nations work together to improve the lives of poor people, to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy, and encouraging respect for each other’s rights and freedoms; and 4) being a center for harmonizing the actions of nations to achieve these goals. Dr. Mary Curran, Associate Dean for Local-Global Partnerships at the Teaching the World Forum on April 24, 2014, where he will give an update on the project and share how other teachers in NJ, the US, and around the world can become involved.   The Highland Park School District is working towards a comprehensive approach to global citizenship, making their teachers perfect candidates to launch the development of this new curricula. Among the UN Curriculum Development group from the Highland Park School District are GSE alumnae, Lindsey Wilson (Ed.M. Social Studies ‘08), Nikki Ferringo (Ed.M. Social Studies ‘13), and Lauren Smith (Ed.M. Reading Education ‘10). Participants in the project met at the United Nations in February and are currently working on developing the curriculum. Dr. Curran expects to complete the pilot curriculum within the year and is looking forward to seeing it used by teachers around the world. In this way, NJ educators are contributing to global efforts to teach about peace and human rights, working together to conquer our challenges and respect each other, and acting responsibly in the local and global community.   Please click here, to learn more about the GSE’s global initiatives and visit the Teach the World Forum event page for information about how to register.

Summer Session Course: Instrumental Analysis and Materials Characterization

R&D in physical sciences and engineering depends on atomic scale understanding of materials, which depend on a sophisticated array of technical and complex instrumentation. Progress is accomplished by appropriate use of analytical tools.
IAMDN is offering a course during the 2014 Summer Session. This 3 CR course provides an overview of the groundwork of basic material characterization tools and the capabilities of the various analytical techniques accompanying the instrumentation. This course is designed for physics, chemistry and engineering students. It is open to advanced undergraduate students, graduate students as well as industry professionals and will be especially useful to those involved in technology incorporating thin film materials. 
This course covers thin film materials characterization. Sessions span the range of analysis techniques from the most established to the very forefront of materials science. Numerous practical examples are included. The seminar styled lectures include some of the most experienced individuals involved in present day materials analyses. This course is open to advanced undergraduates, graduate students and science professionals. It will be especially useful to those who make use of x-ray spectroscopy, ion beam spectroscopy, electron beam scanning and transmission electron microscopy, scanning probe microscopy and optical spectroscopies. These instruments are available at Rutgers. Interested students can register online or can contact IAMDN at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.
***Laboratory visits and instrument  demonstrations included***

New strategic plan guides NSF through 2018

NSF headquarters buildingThe National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a new strategic plan in concert with the President's Budget Request to Congress for NSF in fiscal year 2015.

The plan, titled, "Investing in Science, Engineering and Education for the Nation's Future," sets goals to guide the agency through 2018.

This is the first year that all federal agencies were required to simultaneously submit revised strategic plans to Congress ...

More at http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130783&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click.


President Obama's FY15 Budget Request for the Department of Energy

President Obama's FY15 budget request for the Department of Energy for $27.9B, a 2.6% increase over last year's enacted level, includes initiatives to modernize the grid ($314M); moving forward with energy production/storage, and hazardous materials disposal (($192M); advancing R&D in advanced computing systems ($141M); promoting R&D and demonstrations of supercritical CO2 for high efficiency, low cost power generation ($57M); and, activities to strengthen the nation's cybersecurity, reducing cyber threats of the energy sector. ($300M+)
Details in the President's FY15 budget include:
  • $2.3 billion for EERE to continue a diverse suite of sustained investment in development of renewable generation technologies, sustainable transportation technologies, and advanced manufacturing technologies, as well as in improving energy efficiency in our homes, buildings and industries.
  • $325 million for the ARPA-E to continue research and development of transformational clean energy technologies.
  • $863 million for Nuclear Energy for ongoing research and development in advanced reactor and fuel cycle technologies as well as small modular reactor licensing technical support.
  • $475 million for Fossil Energy Research and Development to advance carbon capture and storage and natural gas technologies.
  • $180 million for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability grid modernization activities to support a smart, resilient electric grid for the 21st century and fund critical emergency response and grid security capabilities.
  • $123 million for the Energy Information Administration to modernize its data infrastructure and meet evolving customer needs.
  • $5.1 billion for the Office of Science including $1.8 billion  for basic energy sciences activities to provide the foundations for new energy technologies, to mitigate the environmental impacts of energy use, and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security by understanding, predicting, and ultimately controlling matter and energy.
  • $8.3 billion for Weapons Activities to maintain a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent.
  • $1.6 billion for nuclear nonproliferation activities that will continue to reduce global stocks of weapons-useable nuclear materials.
  • $5.6 billion for Environmental Management to address the legal and moral obligations to clean up the legacy of the Cold War.



National Nanotechnology Initiative

The President’s FY 2015 budget request would provide $1.5 billion for the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a slight decrease of $1 million, or 0.1 percent, from the FY 2014 enacted level.  NNI is a multi-agency initiative launched in 2001 that coordinates research and development on materials, devices, and systems in the size range of one to 100 nanometers.  Participating agencies support fundamental nanoscience, nanotechnology innovation, technology transfer, and nanomanufacturing through individual investigator awards, multi-disciplinary centers of excellence, education and training programs, and the development of new infrastructure and standards.  
The FY 2015 request notes that NNI investments continue to be guided by interagency Nanotechnology Signature Initiatives in key national priority areas.  Current initiatives include: sustainable nanomanufacturing, solar energy, sustainable design of nanoengineered materials, nanoinformatics and modeling, nanoscale technology for sensors, and nanoelectronics.  Signature initiatives are pursued, “through close alignment of existing and planned research programs, public-private partnerships, and research roadmaps.”[1]
NNI is guided by a strategic plan released on February 28, 2014.[2]  The plan continues to support the four NNI goals: (1) advance a world-class nanotechnology research and development program; (2) foster the transfer of new technologies into products for commercial and public benefit; (3) develop and sustain educational resources, a skilled workforce, and a dynamic infrastructure and toolset to advance nanotechnology; and (4) support responsible development of nanotechnology. 


Source: The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s budget request fact sheet, “The 2015 Budget: Science, Technology, and Innovation for Opportunity and Growth,” is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/Fy%202015%20R&D.pdf.  Additional details will be available in the “NNI Supplement to the President’s 2015 Budget” at http://nano.gov.  The Supplement is generally available within five weeks of the release of the budget request.

[1] http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/Fy%202015%20R&D.pdf, The 2015 Budget: Science, Technology, and Innovation for Opportunity and Growth, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, 2014 (pg. 7).

[2] http://nano.gov/sites/default/files/pub_resource/2014_nni_strategic_plan.pdf, 2014 National Nanotechnology Strategic Plan, National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology.

28th Annual LSM Symposium-Advances in Nanoscale Materials Imaging

Please join us for the Twenty-Eighth Annual Symposium
Laboratory for Surface Modification


Friday, March 28, 2014
Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Fiber Optics Auditorium

The symposium will celebrate the construction of two world leading microscopy facilities at Rutgers:

• Nion Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope equipped for ultra-high energy resolution energy loss spectroscopy - The Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) with meV resolution Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) can visualize the atomic structure of new materials, and explore composition, bonding, electronic and vibrational energy scales to enable better materials designs for efficient energy production and storage, catalysis, nanoelectronics and photonics.
• Zeiss Helium Ion Microscope for ultra-high spatial resolution ion scattering - The Helium Ion Microscope is a novel instrument for imaging surfaces with sub-nm resolution and unprecedented depth of view. Non-conducting samples can be probed without metallic coatings, and samples can be modified and new structures can be formed by ion irradiation. Potential applications include advances in fields from drug delivery and the creation of orifices to explore DNA sequencing to the formation of qantum structures for advanced computing and communications.
There will be opportunities to visit these facilities and to discuss future collaborations. The invited speakers are world renowned experts in these fields:
9:15AM   - Prof. John Silcox, Cornell University
10:30AM - Dr. Ondrej Krivanek FRS, President, Nion Corporation
1:30PM   - Dr. John Notte, Director R&D, Carl Zeiss Microscopy LLC
2:15PM   - Dr. J. Albert Schulz, President, Ionwerks Inc

Registration is free, however in order to participate, prior registration is requested. Breakfast and lunch will be provided for all attendees. Please Email Ms. Gwen Chupka to register at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Facilities tours will be given from:

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM for the Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM)

3:15 - 4:30 PM for the Helium Ion Microscope

Visitors may park in Lots 59, 60B & 60A without permits View Map

Poster session will be held from 11:45 AM - 1:30 PM presenting work on a wide range of topics concerned with experimental and theoretical studies of surfaces, interfaces and their applications, as well as nanoscale phenomena. The best student poster presentation(s) will be awarded the Theodore E. Madey Prize, which includes a $300 award and a certificate.

Final Program


New materials, particularly those developed on the nanoscale, provide critical advances required to meet many of the demanding societal problems confronting the next generations. In order to meet these challenges head-on, Rutgers IAMDN will house new tools that will bolster research for ground-breaking solutions to global challenges.

Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), the Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy (EELS) in the Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM) is a bedrock quantitative analytical technique for modern materials development that could , says PI Philip E. Baston, "provide visualization of atomic level structure, composition, and bonding at the finest level with state-of-the-art precision." This new equipment will help create new materials required for efficient energy production and storage, catalysis, nanoelectronics, photonics, and new materials yet to be created.

In addition, new experimental tools are needed to reliably perform materials characterization and modification at the nano-scale. The HE ion microscope, through the development of a versatile ion beam facility for true nano-scale ion spectroscopy, ion beam materials modification and ion beam milling the imminent construction, will analyze individual nano-particles as well as materials modification of nanostructures and ion sculpting and milling with unprecedented spatial control, involving the development of a new, heavy ion nano-beam.

PI Torgny D. Gustaffson adds, "From drug delivery to the creation of nanometer orifices to explore DNA sequencing and the formation of quantum structures for advanced computing and communications, the discoveries of new science and technologies with such a tool is limitless."

Such tools will make Rutgers a world  leader in Advanced Nanoscale Materials Imaging bringing to the New Jersey region a new resource for the advancement of scientific understanding, for educational outreach, industrial interaction, and collaboration with other national and international scientific institutions.

See the LSM Symposium Event for additional details

Podzorov’s group makes an airtight case for Organic Electronics

Date: February 3, 2012

ImagVitaly 0ine folding your 50” television screen into the size of a wallet. Or snapping your phone so that it fits around your wrist like a watch. Such innovations may soon become common place thanks to the progress in organic and flexible electronics research in the recent years. Some of the crucial advances toward practical applications in this area have been based on simple yet clever ideas that help to simplify fabrication process without impacting the cost.

The latest work from Vitaly Podzorov’s group shows how simple and fast the fabrication of high-performance organic transistors can be. Reporting the research in the journal of Advanced Materials Podzorov and three colleagues show how a simple concept – a vacuum food sealer – could apply to their research on developing flexible electronics using lightweight organic semiconductors for products such as organic transistor circuits, light-emitting displays and solar cells.

According to Podzorov, “Organic transistors utilize novel type of semiconducting materials made out of organic molecules packed in ordered crystals. These materials have certain benefits over the traditional inorganic Silicon semiconductor, including applicability of simple processing methods from vapor or solutions, intrinsic mechanical flexibility and direct band-gap in the visible spectral range. Creating a high-quality interface between these soft semiconductors and dielectric materials is crucial for achieving high-performance transistor operation.

“Inspired by such a conceptually simple process as vacuum food packaging, our latest research shows an interesting effective approach to perform this task easily and without damaging the organic semiconductor.”

Podzorov’s main research focuses on how electrical performance of organic semiconductors can be improved by using highly ordered single-crystal organic semiconductors. To read more, visit Vitaly Podzorov’s page at the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Funding for the research was provided by the U. S. Department of Energy and the Rutgers Institute for Advanced Materials and Devices for Nanotechnology.

To read more about Vitaly Podzorov's featured research, visit Rutgers Research Highlights.

On building the world's most advanced electron microscope at Rutgers' IAMDN

Date: April 9, 2012

National Science Foundation released a short video where IAMDN's Philip E. Batson and industry collaborator, NION's President, Ondrej Krivanek discuss the process of building one of the world's most advanced electron microscopes. At Rutgers, this microscope will help create new materials required for efficient energy production and storage, catalysis, nanoelectronics, photonics, and new materials yet to be created.

Funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, this equipment will help to create a one of a kind multidisciplinary research center at Rutgers that will significantly encourage the university's research community toward cutting edge discoveries, collaborations and attract up and coming as well as established in the field of nano-scale microscopy and advanced material science.

Phil Batson is an IAMDN Research Professor. To learn more about him, please visit his IAMDN webpage.