News Archive

NCMN News Archive
News Archive

Please see the homepage for the most recent news.

Shield and team look to boost heat transfer of copper

Jeff Shield Jeff Shield and colleagues have been investigating how to improve the heat transfer of copper used in pool boiling. In a new study, the team increased the surface area of copper by firing 4-picosecond-long laser pulses at it. However, this also coated the surface with oxides that curbed the otherwise improved heat transfer. So the team tried cleaning the surface with different acids, and found that citric acid worked best, but only when the number of laser pulses remained below a certain threshold. (11/15/21)

Markvicka team's design could curb overheating, up performance of soft electronics

Eric Markvicka A new study from a team led by Eric Markvicka has shown that embedding a silicone material with gallium-based droplets — and, crucially, embedding those droplets with microscopic spheres of hollow glass — can mostly retain the boost in heat dissipation without sacrificing the material’s lightweight pliability. This design could greatly impact things like the computing power of microelectronics and thermoregulatory garments. Markvicka's team included NCMN members Sangjin Ryu and Jeff Shield. (11/15/21)

NNF featured in Annual Research Report

Outside of the Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center The Nebraska Nanoscale Facility was the star of a feature story in the 2020-2021 Nebraska Research Report. The story highlights the importance of the facility for advancing academic and industry nanoscience research in the Midwest, the success the facility saw in its first five years, and the education and outreach activities that are key to the facility's mission. (11/10/21)

Nebraska students win NNCI image contest

A colorized SEM image, resembling a lotus, next to a replication with artistic effects. Title: A Micro Blooming Lotus. 'A Micro Blooming Lotus,' the image submitted by Aofei Mao and Peixun Fan to the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure's (NNCI) Plenty of Beauty at the Bottom image contest, was the winning entry in the Most Stunning category. The contest is held yearly in honor of National Nanotechnology Day and winning artists will receive up to $1,000 in travel support to a professional conference of their choice. (10/25/21)

Saraf advances work on first-of-its-kind ‘living’ transistor chip

Ravi Saraf Ravi Saraf and his team are one step closer to developing a new kind of transistor chip that harnesses the biological responses of living organisms to drive current through the device, shedding light on cellular activity at an unprecedented level of sensitivity. Eventually, this “living” chip may enable faster and simpler diagnosis of sepsis, illuminate understanding of antibiotic resistance and bolster efforts to develop neuromorphic devices, which mimic the human brain. (10/11/21)

Hong team develop technique to measure anisotropy of rhenium disulfide

Xia Hong Xia Hong and colleagues (including Evgeny Tsymbal and Stephen Ducharme) have developed a new technique allowing them to study and more precisely measure the anisotropy of a promising semiconductor - rhenium disulfide. By layering a ferroelectric polymer atop the rhenium disulfide, then flipping the polarization of a narrow sliver within the polymer, the team discovered that rhenium disulfide’s conductivity greatly depends on the orientation of the path itself. They also found the anisotropy was largest when measuring it in rhenium disulfide that was four atomic layers thick. (9/22/21)

John earns NNCI Outstanding Staff Award

Jacob John Jacob John, Coordinator and Program Manager of the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility, has been awarded a 2021 Outstanding NNCI Staff Member award in the category of 'User Support.' The awards, presented by the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), acknowledge the significant efforts by NNCI site staff members who endeavor to provide excellent service and support to all network users. (8/20/21)

Haghshenas Fatmehsari team looking at corn, soybean oil to recycle asphalt

Hamzeh Haghshenas Fatmehsari Hamzeh Haghshenas Fatmehsari and colleagues are studying the efficacy of using corn and soybean oil in the process of recycling asphalt. The rising cost and environmental impact of using crude oil in the process prompted Haghshenas Fatmehsari to explore greener alternatives. He knew that vegetable oils, specifically corn and soybean oil, were great options for recycling asphalt in the short term. Now he and his team are trying to improve the long-term performance of the recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) material containing these oils. (8/4/21)

Lu team develop method to guard carbon fiber against oxidation

Yongfeng Lu Yongfeng Lu and colleagues have developed a low-cost, scalable method of protecting carbon fibers from oxidation when exposed to extreme temperatures. They found that dipping carbon fibers into a molten salt mixture containing titanium and chromium powders triggers a spontaneous reaction that leaves the fibers with a three-layer protective coating. The coated carbon fibers remained undamaged when exposed to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and extreme environmental conditions simulated with an oxyacetylene flame. Bai Cui is also involved in this research. (7/26/21)

Sellmyer honored with endowed chair

John Woollam on left and David Sellmyer on right. David Sellmyer has been recognized for his achievements at Nebraska with an endowed faculty chair named in his honor. The David J. Sellmyer Chair in Condensed Matter Physics was established with a gift from John Woollam to the University of Nebraska Foundation. The Sellmyer Chair will be used to recruit faculty members with a strong publication record, proven effectiveness in building experimental collaborations, and success in securing collaborative grants. Additionally, the chair holder will grow the stature of the condensed-matter physics program, be dedicated to mentoring graduate students, and promote excellent physics education at all levels. (6/24/21)

Skomski receives REPM 2021 award

REPM award issued to Ralph Skomski Ralph Skomski was honored with an REPM award at the 26th International Workshop on Rare-Earth and Future Permanent Magnets and their Applications. The award recognizes Skomski for his outstanding work on the research and development of permanent magnet materials. (6/10/21)

EQUATE project feature of WebMD article

Leaders of the EQUATE project The EPSCoR-EQUATE project (funded by a $20 million NSF grant) was the topic of a recent WebMD news article. The article highlighted Nebraska's unique position in the 'Silicon Prairie' to build a qualified workforce of quantum experts between the coasts. Christian Binek was interviewed and discussed the importance of the quantum science revolution and some of the advances in electronics, lasers, and medicine this grant will support. (6/9/21)

Streubel team advances understanding, control of magnetic droplets

Robert Streubel In 2019, a team that included Robert Streubel managed to endow liquid droplets with permanent magnetism, partly by embedding them with tens of billions of iron oxide nanoparticles. Now, the team has shown the ability to tailor the magnetic properties of those droplets in multiple ways. The researchers were especially interested in learning how to tailor the magnetic properties of the droplets and, by extension, gain greater control over their movement. See the study. (6/8/21)

Recent publications: Streubel and Tsymbal

Robert Streubel (left) and Evgeny Tsymbal (right)Robert Streubel and Evgeny Tsymbal are co-authors of a perspective published in the Journal of Applied Physics titled, Magnetism in curved geometries.
Streubel is also co-author of a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA titled, Ferromagnetic liquid droplets with adjustable magnetic properties. (6/1/21)

$20 million grant for EQUATE announced

Leaders of the EQUATE project The University of Nebraska has received a five-year, $20 million award from the National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to create a research and education cluster aimed at enhancing the state’s competitiveness in the field of emergent quantum materials and technologies, and boosting the participating institutions’ research and education capacity. The Nebraska EPSCoR-Emergent Quantum Materials and Technologies (EQUATE) collaboration will revolutionize quantum science and create opportunities in education and through economic development. This announcement was also featured in the Lincoln Journal Star. (5/24/21)

Binek named Charles Bessey professor of physics and astronomy

Christian BinekChristian Binek was one of six professors recently awarded professorship from the Office of the Executive Vice-Chancellor. The Charles Bessey/Willa Cather professorship was established in 2001 to recognize faculty members with the rank of professor who have established exceptional records of distinguished scholarship or creative activity.

Binek is internationally recognized in the field of magneto-electric phenomena related to spintronics, which explores and exploits the quantum spin on atoms, molecules, or assemblies as the basis for a new generation of electronic and data storage devices. He has written 122 peer-reviewed papers, co-authored a textbook on thermodynamics, published a monograph on Ising-Antiferromagnets, three book chapters, and five patents. Binek is involved with many initiatives that pursue major grant-funded research objectives and regularly speaks at domestic and international venues, including 2018 testimony on nanotechnology before a Congressional Committee. Binek serves as director of the university’s Nebraska Nanoscale Facility and as director of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience. (5/10/21)

Morin to speak at MRS Webinar Series

Stephen MorinStephen Morin will be speaking in a webinar on 'Materials Challenges in Soft Robotics' hosted by the Materials Research Society (MRS). The webinar will take place on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 a.m. The event is free, but you must register to attend. Register here. (4/26/21)

Binek to present for W2S webinar

Christian BinekChristian Binek will present his topic, 'Voltage controlled Néel vector rotation in zero magnetic field,' as part of the Webinar series on Spintronics hosted by the National Institute of Science Education and Research Bhubaneswar in India. The webinar will take place on April 21 at 11 p.m. CST. Please contact Dr. Subhankar Bedanta at if you would like to attend. (4/20/21)

Binek, Dowben, Gruverman team makes breakthrough with antiferromagnetic material

A rendering of the opposing magnetic poles in a so-called antiferromagnet.After years of toil, a team led by Christian Binek, Peter Dowben, and Alexei Gruverman have developed a quantum material whose magnetic states can be altered by electric means alone, and above room temperature. The antiferromagnetic material - chromium oxide with a dash of boron - has properties that could make it a practical candidate for drastically improving the power consumption and speed of digital memory. The study was published in Nature Communications. (4/6/21)

Ndao article in top 100 downloads in 2020

Sidy NdaoSidy Ndao's article - NanoThermoMechanical AND and OR Logic Gates - received 2,191 downloads in 2020, placing it as one of the top 100 downloaded physics papers for Scientific Reports in 2020. The journal published more than 800 physics papers in 2020. (4/1/21)

Eun, Kim team aims for safer storage of nuclear waste

Jongwan Eun (l) and Seunghee Kim (r)Jongwan Eun and Seunghee Kim are leading a team of researchers working to develop a barrier material that will make the geological storage of spent nuclear fuels a safer proposition. Team is looking at adding an inorganic microfiber, such as glass, to bentonite to create a less-permeable and more-durable and heat-resistant material to store the spent fuel. The team has received a three-year, $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. (3/10/21)

Bao published in Nature Photonics

Wei Bao Wei Bao and colleagues recently published an article in Nature Photonics titled A non-unitary metasurface enables continuous control of quantum photon–photon interactions from bosonic to fermionic. (2/16/21)

Yang team develops system to measure resilience, breakage of cellular bridge

Ruiguo YangRuiguo Yang and his colleagues have managed to record the biomechanical behavior of mature, individual cell-to-cell junctions for the first time, as reported in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (2/3/21)

Yang team applying electric charges to cell surfaces

Ruiguo YangRuiguo Yang and colleague Jae Sung Park have received a three-year, $387,356 grant from the National Science Foundation to apply electric charges to cells and study how those charges change the flows around pores in a cell’s surface. The idea is to improve drug delivery systems that could help fight cancer, heart disease, and neurodegenerative diseases. (1/26/21)

Gay solves conundrum of football physics

Dr. Tim GayTim Gay and colleagues have discovered the answer to a football physics question that stumped him for years - when a quarterback throws a deep, well-thrown pass, why does the football point up when thrown and then down when about to be caught? The answer lay in the concept of gyroscopic stabilization. The team knew that a well-thrown football, like the high-RPM gyroscope, possesses plenty of angular momentum. But with the aid of math and computer simulations, they came to a vital conclusion: The football can adopt a precession, too. (10/5/20)

Bartelt-Hunt on team finding antibiotics in Nebraska watersheds

Shannon Bartelt-HuntShannon Bartelt-Hunt is among a team of researchers from UNL and UNMC that have discovered antibiotics used in human treatment in two Nebraska watersheds near Fremont and Lincoln. The discovery has researchers concerned about the potential impact this will have on the increasing resistance to antibiotics in humans. (9/3/20)

UNL announces NNF five-year renewal

University of Nebraska logoThe University of Nebraska has announced the five-year renewal of the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility through the NSF’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure program. “We can proudly say here in Nebraska that this is quite an elite club we are in,” said Christian Binek, director of the nanoscale facility. The national infrastructure aims to ensure “the entire country is equipped with the tools and expertise to perform nanoscience and nanotechnology. With this infrastructure we have, we are in a very good position to play an important role and compete nationwide and even internationally in this field,” Binek said. (8/28/20)

Husker team fine-tuning skyrmions to improve data storage, processing

University of Nebraska logo A team led by David Sellmyer, Balamurugan Balasubramanian, and Ralph Skomski continue to make progress on their work improving skyrmions, by making them smaller and more stable, so they can be useful in practical applications. The team was recently able to increase the magnetic ordering temperature of a skyrmion supporting material beyond room temperature while also shrinking the size of the skyrmions to ~17 nanometers. This discovery counters the conventional wisdom that only larger skyrmions can be realized at room temperature; for future applications, skyrmions would ideally be ~10 nanometers. (7/21/20)

Bartelt-Hunt on team testing wastewater for virus detection

Shannon Bartelt-HuntShannon Bartelt-Hunt and a team of researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska Medical Center have partnered with the Lincoln Wastewater System to start projects that use wastewater samples for early detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. In a study conducted at Yale University, researchers were able to predict the number of coronavirus cases seven days ahead using the amounts of coronavirus found in the samples. Bartelt-Hunt has been collecting weekly wastewater samples from Lincoln, Grand Island, and Omaha and working with researchers at UNMC on testing methods and the possibilities of sequencing and culturing the virus to learn more about its origins as well as precautions needed for utilities workers. (7/10/20)

Binek contributes to 2020 Magnetism Roadmap

Christian BinekChristian Binek was one of several scientists chosen to contribute to the 2020 Magnetism Roadmap, which offers an expose of newly relevant and highly active areas in magnetism research. Binek’s contribution is titled “Multiferroic heterostructures and magnetoelectrics.” (7/20/20)

The legacy of Sellmyer’s career and leadership

David SellmyerIn the second story of a five part series from ORED highlighting research leadership, the spotlight shined on David Sellmyer’s leadership successes during his long career. The article features much commentary from current and former colleagues praising his leadership, mentorship, management, and his knack for seeing the big picture. (5/29/20)

Top Awards from Public Sponsors, April 2020

University of Nebraska logoThese awards from public entities include all arts and humanities grants of $10,000 or more and all other grants of $200,000 or more between March 16 and April 15, 2020, as reported through NUgrant. NCMN recipients:

  • Peter and Eli Sutter; ECE/MME; $496,037, Department of Defense-Office of Naval Research; Riemann Surfaces in Layered Van der Waals Nanowires: Precision Twist Moires, Nanoscale Solenoids and Screw Dislocation Spin-Orbit Coupling
  • Ruiguo Yang (and J. Park); MME; $387,356; NSF; Nonlinear Electrokinetics at Polarizable Soft Interfaces: Implications for Cell Membrane Characterization and Nanopore Transport


Dzenis team makes breakthroughs studying high-performance fibers

Yuris DzenisYuris Dzenis and colleagues have made some new discoveries while studying the failure of high-performance fibers found in body armor and aerospace engineering. The team devised a way to analyze the failures of the polymer fibers that avoided the perturbations that invalidated measurements captured by other techniques. The study was recently featured on the cover of ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. (5/20/20)

‘Strange effect’ raises possibility of smaller, smarter optical filters

Xia HongXia Hong and colleagues have discovered a ‘strange trick’ while studying how the optical behavior of single-layer molybdenum disulfide responded when it was placed atop a ferroelectric material called lead zirconate titanate, or PZT. Instead of observing second-harmonic generation uniformly across the surface, the team noticed that certain segments were boosting the phenomenon even as others dampened it. This discovery could spur the development of smaller, more versatile optical filters that are especially adept at playing with a trick of the light. Among the co-authors were two other NCMN faculty: Yongfeng Lu and Evgeny Tsymbal. (4/29/20)

Nejati team experimenting with organic LEGOs

Siamak NejatiA team led by Siamak Nejati, including researchers from the Colorado School of Mines, Harbin Institute of Technology, and the University of Pennsylvania, have discovered a way to synthesize a special type of organic solids, known as porphyrin-based covalent organic frameworks (POR-COFs). COFs are porous, lightweight and durable; the researchers compare them to LEGO bricks for their ability to be assembled in defined ways and relatively quickly to form a variety of larger structures. (4/14/20)

Alexandrov receives CAREER Award

Vitaly AlexandrovVitaly Alexandrov has received a $520,244 CAREER Award to advance basic understanding of how nanocrystals dissolve in aqueous environments. (3/2/20)

Yang on team developing smart bandages

Ruiguo YangRuiguo Yang has been working with Ali Tamayol (former Husker, now at University of Connecticut) to develop smart bandages, which feature an array of tiny needles that can help heal chronic wounds by delivering therapeutic drugs directly to damaged tissue. “By plunging past the dead surface-level tissue that can persist for months in people with Type 2 diabetes, those needles could administer drugs to help close wounds, reduce infection, stimulate cell growth and potentially restore blood flow. Limiting the duration of such wounds, the researchers said, could also help dethrone them as the leading non-traumatic cause of amputations.” (2/27/20)

Binek gives CAS Inquire Lecture

Christian BinekChristian Binek presented his CAS Inquire lecture, The Rise of Nanotechnology: Small Machines with Big Impact, on January 28. A video of the lecture can be viewed here. (1/29/20)

The Sutters team adds twist to van der Waals heterostructures

Peter & Eli SutterPeter and Eli Sutter, along with colleagues from Aalto University and the University of Wyoming, have discovered that by adding sulfur they could directly synthesize twisted stacks of van der Waals heterostructures. (1/15/20)

Binek to give CAS Inquire Lecture

Christian BinekOn January 28, Christian Binek will be delivering the first CAS Inquire lecture of the new year. Binek’s topic is “The Rise of Nanotechnology: Small Machines with Big Impact.”

The CAS Inquire program builds around a college-wide series of public lectures centering on a new theme each year. The lecture series serves as a touchstone for the college—giving students, staff, and faculty a focal point and shared topic for conversations and further inquiry. All lectures will be at 5:30 p.m. in the Nebraska Union Auditorium. (1/15/20)

Negahban team working to redirect sound waves

Mehrdad NegahbanMehrdad Negahban, working with colleagues from Peking University, has developed a wave-altering prototype that can dynamically redirect the sound waves passing through its surface. The prototype could lead to applications ranging from magnifying signals to disorienting adversaries. (11/14/19)

Binek named Director

Christian BinekChristian Binek has been named director of the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility and interim director of the Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience, succeeding David Sellmyer, George Holmes University Distinguished Professor of physics.

“As a veteran leader of interdisciplinary research within NCMN, as well as in the university’s NSF-funded MRSEC, Christian is ideally positioned to advance the center’s mission,” said Bob Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. “This leadership experience, combined with Christian’s nationally regarded research expertise in magnetoelectric materials and spintronics, will help him elevate the center as Nebraska’s premier site for materials research.”

Binek’s appointment became effective October 4. (10/11/19)

Centurion earns $2M grant

Martin CenturionMartin Centurion has been awarded a $2 million grant from the Department of Energy for a project that aims to capture moving images of single molecules in chemical transformations triggered by light. Centurion will work in collaboration with researchers from Kansas State University, Louisiana State University, and Brown University; the researchers will focus on molecules with possibilities for industrial chemistry and for solar energy conversion and storage. (10/21/19)

Lu team develops “shipyard on a ship”

Yongfeng LuYongfeng Lu and his team have developed a laser system that prevents and repairs corrosion on aluminum-sided ships. Supported by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the team is now ready to test the laser on a fully operational Navy ship, and will do so this fall. (10/2/19)

NNF Outreach featured in RAIN Newsletter

NNF LogoThe Remotely Accessible Instruments for Nanotechnology (RAIN) quarterly newsletter highlighted the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility’s (NNF) summer outreach partnership with the Extension Office and 4-H. Fourteen schools and programs in the Omaha area participated in the Engineering with Nano Power experience. During these programs, participants were able to examine a variety of materials using the remote capabilities of NNF’s XRF. (10/2/29)

Pannier earns Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists & Engineers

Angela PannierAngela Pannier was one of two UNL faculty members to be awarded the most prestigious governmental award for early career researchers. Pannier was nominated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her work on over ten projects relating to biomaterials and gene delivery systems. Congratulations, Prof. Pannier! (7/5/19)

A look at Yang’s greener dyeing technique

Yiqi YangYiqi Yang and colleagues have been working to find a more environmentally friendly way to dye plant-based fabrics. The team has found that by dissolving dyes in cottonseed oil (instead of water) they can use less dye, reuse more dye, they don’t need to use salts, can get the same colors as with other techniques, and the waste produced contains mostly biodegradable products. (6/20/19)

Study points to non-Newtonian force affecting particles’ flight

Herman BatelaanHerman Batelaan and colleagues recently decided to explore two theories explaining the nature of the Aharonov-Bohm effect. In their results, the team showed mathematically that the two theories are two special cases of one overarching theorem. (5/30/19)

Nebraska Engineering team find defect that gives advantages to nanowires

Peter and Eli SutterWhile attempting to grow an optimal nanowire using crystals, Peter Sutter, Eli Sutter, and Shawn Wimer have found that a defect - a screw dislocation - occuring in the growth process causes the layers of crystals to rotate along an axis as they form. This defect creates twists that give these nanowires advantages, particularly in electronics and light emission. (4/22/19)

Yang team receives NSF grant to study cell communication

Ruiguo YangRuiguo Yang and Jung Yul Lim’s research team has received a three-year, $439,584 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate how linked individual cells communicate with each other and respond to physical changes in their shared environment, which could have implications to everyday medicine and other medical applications. (2/4/19)

Regents' Tour Research Facilities

UNL LogoNU Regents and other university officials toured some of the research facilities in the Voelte-Keegan Nanoscience Research Center on January 24. (1/25/19)

Argyropoulos receives $750,000 early career grant

Christos ArgyropoulosChristos Argyropoulos received the three-year grant from the Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program for his work exploring the use of ultrafast, short-pulse lasers to modify metal surfaces, which has the potential to be used in national defense applications. (1/25/19)

Researchers ID promising key to performance of next-gen electronics

Evgeny TsymbalEvgeny Tsymbal and Lingling Tao have identified a material whose crystalline structure might better sustain an electron’s spin: a property that, similar to charge, can represent bits of information in digital devices. This stability could result in cheaper, faster, and more energy-efficient devices. (11/13/18)

Nebraska-Tuskegee collaboration to expand minority opportunities in materials science

Evgeny TsymbalWith the support of a six-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Nebraska’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center will collaborate with Tuskegee University to offer the latter’s undergraduate and graduate students more opportunities for conducting upper-echelon research. The equipment housed at NCMN will help facilitate this partnership. (11/1/18)

Xu wins Early Career award

Xiaoshan XuXiaoshan Xu earned a $750,000 award from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program to develop a novel approach that could advance the field of spintronics. He hopes that spin-based devices transform the industry by eventually replacing charge-based electronics. (9/10/18)

Cui and Rao to create ceramic/metal 3-D printer

Bai Cui and Prahalada RaoBai Cui and Prahalada Rao will be working with Tethon 3D to create a 3-D printer designed specifically for ceramic and metal additive manufacturing after receiving a grant from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. (8/24/18)

Alexander team works to mimic natural surfaces on metal

Dennis AlexanderDennis Alexander’s research team is using lasers on metal surfaces to mimic evolutionary biological properties (like shark skin, rose petals, beetles, and moth eyes) that can be used for defense and industrial purposes. (7/29/18)

Nebraska researchers working to 3-D print replacement tissues

Prahalada RaoPrahalada Rao is part of a team of researchers that are working from different angles to develop replacement tissues for bodily injuries by 3-D printing them. Rao is working to perfect the 3-D printing process, so that flawless parts can be produced every time, essential when creating a variety of parts - from replacement knees to airplane turbines. (7/25/28)

Formation of smallest ever skyrmions could improve digital memory

David Sellmyer Research led by David Sellmyer and Balamurugan Balasubramanian has resulted in the formation of skyrmions that are seemingly the smallest possible size at only 13 nanometers wide. This new finding could improve digital memory, including better energy efficiency, faster data processing speeds, and longer lifespans for hard drives. (7/12/18)

Researchers record “molecular movie” of photochemical reaction

Martin Centurion Martin Centurion and colleagues, including researchers from Stanford University and Europe, have been able to precisely capture how the atomic nuclei and chemical bonds of a five-atom molecule responded when struck by a laser. The study marks the culmination of a years-long effort to advance the quality of “molecular movies” from that of a rudimentary stop-motion animation to a high-definition motion picture. (7/9/18)

Yang earns grant for converting feathers to fiber

Yiqi Yang Yiqi Yang and his team were awarded a $211,885 two-year pilot-scale production grant to continue their work on developing a product made from certain fibers found in feathers and wool. Textiles made with these fibers have increased performance properties, including moisture transmission, thermal insulation, soft hand and luster. (6/25/18)

Xu receives Early Career Award from DoE

Xiaoshan Xu Xiaoshan Xu was awarded a 2018 Early Career Award from the Department of Energy for his work exploring how combinations of thin materials may be used to control electrons’ spins. The award will provide him with $150,000 in annual funding for the next five years. (6/22/18)

UNL home to new hybrid 3-D printers

3-D printer housed in the NEAT labs UNL’s Scott Engineering Center is now home to three unique hybrid 3-D printers that can add and subtract materials to create complex designs. The Nebraska Engineering Additive Technology (NEAT) Labs will provide researchers and students with endless possibilities for projects affecting a plethora of fields and industries. Click here to learn more about the NEAT Labs and the new instruments. (5/24/18)

Sellmyer Honored at MRS Meeting

David J. Sellmyer The Spring MRS Meeting in Phoenix hosted a five-day Symposium “Nanoscale Magnetic Structures and Materials,” which was organized by friends and colleagues of David Sellmyer to celebrate his many achievements and contributions to the field. Some 30 outstanding invited talks were presented by speakers including Stuart Parkin (Halle), Claudia Felser (Dresden), Ivan Schuller (UCSD), Michael Coey (Dublin), Sara Majetich (CMU), Shouheng Sun (Brown), J.P. Wang (MN), B. Koopmans (Eindhoven), Y. Hou (Beijing), Arun Gupta (Alabama), Axel Hoffmann (ANL), and others. Current and former Nebraska colleagues and speakers included: Ralph Skomski, Jeff Shield, George Hadjipanayis, Toshi Matsui, Damien LeRoy, Yunlong Jin, and co-organizers J. Ping Liu and Hao Zeng. A banquet on April 3 featured excellent food and several roasts with good-natured ridicule. (5/18/18)

Sellmyer book one of most downloaded in 2017

Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Applications The book “Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Applications,” co-edited by David Sellmyer, is among the top 25 percent of Springer downloaded books in 2017 with 10,628 chapter downloads last year. There have been a total of 56,676 chapter downloads since the books publication in 2009. (5/1/18)

Four NCMN Faculty granted promotions and/or tenure in 2018

University of Nebraska Logo Congrats to the four NCMN faculty members who were honored on April 24: Jian Wang (Mechanical & Materials Engineering), promoted to full professor and granted tenure; Angela Pannier (Biological Systems Engineering), promoted to full professor; and Sidy Ndao and Sangjin Ryu (both in Mechanical & Materials Engineering), promoted to associate professor and granted tenure. (4/24/18)

Rao earns NSF CAREER award to revolutionize smart additive manufacturing

Prahalada RaoPrahalada Rao was awarded a five-year $500,000 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation to continue his work on improving the process of smart additive manufacturing (commonly referred to as 3-D printing) so that it might consistently produce flawless metal parts, which could make it feasible to mass-produce inexpensive metal parts where safety is paramount. (4/17/18)

Dishari earns CAREER award for work on hydrogen-based fuel cells

Shudipto DishariShudipto Dishari earned a five-year, nearly $600,000 CAREER award from the NSF to continue her work on reducing the cost and improving the energy efficiency of hydrogen-based fuel cells and related energy conversion and storage devices (e.g., lithium batteries, semiconductors, natural biochemical systems). (4/15/18)

Tsymbal and colleagues observe long-sought phenomenon

Evgeny TsymbalTwo UNL researchers were part of an international team that ended a 15-year quest to observe a phenomenon that could help power a future generation of (smaller) electronics. In 2004, researchers observed a gas of electrons coursing two-dimensionally through a nano-sandwich made from oxides. This suggested that electric currents could be confined to smaller spaces, allowing electronic components to shrink in size. However the negatively charged electron also leaves behind a positively charged “hole” when ejecting from its orbit around an atom. The goal of researchers was to create and observe a 2-D hole gas that likewise acts as a source of electric current. (3/7/18)

Researchers develop material gradient models that could strengthen polymer-based components
Mehrdad Negahban

Mehrdad Negahban, Li Tan, and Wenlong Li - along with researchers from France and China - have developed a model that can map an optimal gradient onto a structure and calculate the resulting performance improvement. (2/6/18)

Gu and colleagues seek to improve energy absorbing tubing to boost vehicle safety
Linxia Gu

Linxia Gu and colleagues are working to combine the best qualities of different designs of energy absorbing tubing that could improve the design of certain automobile components, helping to reduce injury risk in the event of a crash. (12/6/17)

Pannier earns NIH award to enhance gene therapy
Angela Pannier

Angela Pannier has received an NIH New Innovator Award to develop novel methods that improve the use of adult stem cells in gene therapy. Pannier is investigating nonviral delivery methods to introduce therapeutic genes into stem cells and how to improve the gene uptake of these methods. (10/5/17)

Nebraska-led website offers brief highlights of condensed-matter physics
Funsize Physics logo

Shireen Adenwalla and Jocelyn Bosley recently received another round of funding from the National Science Foundation for their website Funsize Physics, which offers brief, easy-to-understand highlights of condensed-matter physics research from NSF-funded scientists from across the country. (9/7/17)

Yang & colleagues find way to improve bio-plastic properties
Yiqi Yang

Yiqi Yang and colleagues have found that increasing the temperature of bio-plastic fibers to several hundred degrees Fahrenheit, then allowing them to slowly cool, greatly improved bio-plastic’s resistance to heat and moisture. This method can also make commercial manufacturing of bio-plastic’s possible. (8/31/17)

NanoArt on display in Nebraska East Union
nano art

For the month of August, NanoArt created by University of Nebraska-Lincoln STEM students will be on display on the third floor of the Nebraska East Union. Read more at the Daily Nebraskan. (8/21/17)

Yiqi Yang co-edits book

Yiqi Yang and colleague Helan Xu served as co-editors for the book Porous Lightweight Composites Reinforced with Fibrous Structures. The publication offers a comprehensive overview of the raw materials, processing technologies, performance properties and applications of lightweight composites. (8/11/17)

Sorghum husks potential use as wool dye

A study by Yiqi Yang and Chinese colleagues recently found that the husks of sorghum plants could potentially be used as a fade-resistant, UV-shielding dye for wool fabrics. (8/7/17)

Dr. Sellmyer co-edits book

Dr. David Sellmyer acted as a co-editor for a recently published book titled, “Magnetic Nanomaterials: Fundamentals, Synthesis and Applications.” The book outlines how the latest developments in magnetic nanoparticles and nanomaterials are advancing the fields of biomedicine, energy storage, water treatment, and more. Learn more about the book here (7/28/17)

Controlling elasticity with magnetism

Christian Binek has found that, under certain conditions, the magnetic properties of a material can predict the relationship between its elasticity and temperature. You can read more about his findings here. (7/19/17)

Milestone in effort to treat bone disorders

A recent study by Pannier and colleagues from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska Medical Center has reported progress toward the bioengineering of cartilage that could help treat disorders known to disrupt the normal development of bones. (7/19/17)

Discovery Could Increase Functionality of Electronics
polymer device

Xia Hong, Stephen Ducharme, and colleagues have demonstrated a method for altering the properties of a nanoscopic material, pointing the way toward merging several functions of modern electronics into a single component. (6/7/17)

Argyropoulos Receives Award and Fellowship
Christos Argyropoulos

Christos Argyropoulos has been chosen an Office of Naval Research Fellow and will spend 10 weeks this summer at the NRL in Washington, D.C. He has also recently received the Young Scientist Award from the International Union of Radio Science to attend their General Assembly in Montreal, Canada from August 19-26. (4/27/17)

Nano Faculty Earn Promotion, Tenure
NNF building

Three faculty members are earning promotions. Promoted to full professor: Shannon Bartelt-Hunt and Kirill Belashchenko. Promoted to associate professor and granted tenure: Jian Zhang. Congratulations! (4/24/17)

Huang & Team Publish Perovskite Research
Jinsong Huang

Jinsong Huang and team authored a study in Nature Photonics April 17. The study demonstrates a technique for bonding single crystals of perovskite onto a range of foundational materials that include silicon. (4/21/17)

Thermal Diode Allows Heat as Energy Source
Ndao thermal diode

Sidy Ndao and grad student Mahmoud Elzouka have created a thermal diode that will allow computers to use heat as an energy source to allow their operation in ultra-high temperatures. Their findings were published in Scientific Reports. (4/17/17)

Three Nano Faculty Earn Teaching Awards
NNF building

Three faculty have earned College Distinguished Teaching Awards, which recognize consistent excellence in teaching. Recipients are Yusong Li, Alexander Sinitskii, and Joseph Turner. (4/11/17)

Particle Offers Promise for Vaccine Pill
Pannier research image

Angela Pannier and colleagues have demonstrated that nesting a specialized nanoparticle inside a microparticle could protect engineered genes or virus-derived DNA against the rigors of the stomach and ensure safe passage to the intestine. (4/11/17)

Lu Earns ORCA Award
Yongfeng Lu

Yongfeng Lu received the Outstanding Research and Creative Activity award for his research in laser-based material processing, characterization and imaging. The ORCA recognizes faculty for outstanding research or creative activity of national or international significance. (4/5/17)

Pannier Earns Mentor Award
Angela Pannier

Angela Pannier was awarded UNL's Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, which recognizes an individual who has demonstrated excellence in mentoring and supporting undergraduate researchers. (4/5/17)

Gay Earns Named Professorship
Timothy Gay

Timothy Gay has been named a Willa Cather Professor. The professorships were established in 2001 to recognize faculty members with the rank of full professor who have established exceptional records of distinguished scholarship or creative activity. (3/30/17)

2016 Outreach Newsletter Published
Outreach Newsletter 2016

The 2016 issue of the nano outreach newsletter is now available online. The newsletter covers UNL nano outreach activities over the past year. (3/2/17)

Enders, Dowben Team Creates 2D Material
2D Material

Axel Enders, Peter Dowben, and team have developed a new 2D material, Monolayer Hexagonal Boron-Carbon-Nitrogen (h-BCN), with potential for developments in ultrathin technologies. The results were published in ACS Nano and covered by (2/16/17)

Nebraska Nanoscale Facility REU student selected for 2017 international REU
NNF building

Skye Tackkett, 2016 NNF REU student, has been chosen to participate in a 2017 NNCI REU at the National Institute of Materials Science in Japan. Skye worked with Dr. Jeff Shield developing new permanent magnet materials critical for efficient energy conversion and information technologies using UNL facilities. (1/27/17)

Cui & Wang Improve Metal Durability
Cui and Wang

Bai Cui and Jian Wang are developing a variety of “radiation-tolerant” materials that are self-healing, and that could improve metal durability. (1/19/17)

Morin Studies Stretchable Surfaces
Stephen Morin research

Stephen Morin and colleagues have demonstrated how the chemistry of stretchable surfaces can affect their interactions with microscopic particles – and enhance or streamline processes usually conducted on rigid foundations. Findings were published in Small and Chemistry of Materials. (1/3/17)

NanoArt at Nebraska Innovation Campus
NanoArt Bee Family

NanoArt is on display at Nebraska Innovation Campus through November 30, and is open to the public 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The image at left, "Bee Family," is by H. F. Haghshenas & M. Khedmati and is the winner of NCMN's 2016 NanoArt competition. (11/7/16)

Powerful Underwater Microphone Uses Silver Nanoparticles
Underwater photo

Li Tan, Qin Zhou, Steve Ducharme, and colleages have developed an underwater microphone with 6,000 times greater sensitivity to low-frequency sound waves by embedding a network of silver nanoparticles in hydrogel and placing that gel between two electrodes, as reported in Nature Communications. (11/7/16)

Huang Receives Breakthrough of the Year Award
Jinsong Huang

Jinsong Huang and postdocs Haotong Wei and Wei Wei were awarded the NUtech Ventures Breakthrough of the Year Award for developing improved X-ray detectors based on a perovskite material that are expected to reduce the X-ray dose required for medical imaging, security, and quality control. (11/2/16)

Monolith Materials to use NCMN/NNF Facilities
Monolith groundbreaking

Monolith Materials will be using NCMN/NNF facilities for their industrial efforts. NCMN/NNF director David Sellmyer attended the October 20 groundbreaking for their new plant, which was covered by the Lincoln Journal Star. (10/24/16)

Huang Protects Solar Cells from Moisture
Jinsong Huang

A team led by Jinsong Huang has detailed an approach that can buffer perovskite against moisture without sapping its ability to convert sunlight into electricity, as reported in Nature Communications. (10/20/16)

Kim and Turner Explore Alternative Concrete Materials

Yong-Rak Kim, Joseph Turner, and colleagues recently earned a two-year NSF grant that will enable them to explore the performance and durability of concrete made of alternative binding and recycled materials, with the aim of developing better versions. (10/3/16)

New Materials Show Promise for Clean Energy
Jian Zhang research

Jian Zhang and colleagues have synthesized new materials that show promise for energy applications aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The materials belong to an emerging family of materials called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs, which feature metallic atom-containing clusters that are linked by carbon atoms. (7/14/16)

Lu Selected for Schawlow Award
Yongfeng Lu

Yongfeng Lu has been selected as the 2016 Arthur L. Schawlow Award recipient. The award will recognize Lu’s record of laser industry innovation and his significant contributions to basic and applied research in the fields of laser science and electrical engineering. (7/1/16)

Song Research on Back Cover
Voelte-Keegan building

Jingfeng Song's latest paper will be featured on the back cover an upcoming issue of the Journal of Materials Chemistry C. It is entitled, "Ferroelectric polymer nanopillars on flexible substrates by reverse nanoimprint lithography." This work is the capstone of his Ph.D. dissertation work, completed in May under his advisor Stephen Ducharme. (6/24/16)

UNL Team Bolsters Digital Memory
Xia Hong

Research by Xia Hong, Jeffrey Shield, Evgeny Y. Tsymbal, and colleagues, has bolstered an emerging form of digital memory, as published in Physical Review Letters. The material, lanthanum strontium manganite, features multiple properties that make it an appealing candidate for digital technologies. (6/24/16)

Sellmyer Book One of Top Springer eBooks
Sellmyer book

Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Applications, co-edited by David Sellmyer, has had a total of 36,630 chapter downloads since 2009. This makes it one of the top 25% most downloaded eBooks in the relevant Springer eBook collection in 2015. (6/22/16)

Discovery Enhances Polymer Materials
Lu and Zhou polymer image

Yongfeng Lu, Yunshen Zhou, and colleagues have used thiol compounds to create a stronger polymer composite. The improvements translated to better electrical performance. (5/3/16)

Self-Assembly of Nanocrystals Captured
Peter and Eli Sutter

A research team led by Peter and Eli Sutter has become the first to directly image the self-assembly of nanocrystals in the liquid environments that foster it. The research was published in an April 4 article in Nature Communications. (4/4/16)

Huang Improves X-Ray Detection
Huang crystal research

In a March 21 study published in Nature Photonics, Jinsong Huang and colleagues reveal a crystalline material that is four times more sensitive to X-rays than leading commercial detectors. The material, methylammonium lead tribromide, can detect an X-ray dose about 11 times lower than that required for many medical applications. (3/21/16)

Bobaru Publishes Invited Study on Fracturing
Florin Bobaru

Florin Bobaru and grad student Guanfeng Zhang were invited to publish a study in the 50th-anniversary issue of the International Journal of Fracture. The study helps resolve the long-standing question of how cracks branch and propagate through brittle materials such as glass. (3/18/16)

Sellmyer Team Finds Magnetism in Nanoscale Compound
Sellmyer and Das

A team led by David Sellmyer and Bhaskar Das has discovered that a compound called manganese silicide takes on unexpected properties when reduced down to the nanoscale. (3/15/16)

New Materials Become Reflective When Stretched
Argyropoulos & Morin

Christos Argyropoulos and Stephen Morin, with graduate student Jay Taylor, have developed a method for crafting elastic materials that feature a matte appearance when relaxed but become highly reflective when stretched. (2/2/16)

Huang on Perovskite-based Solar Cells
Jinsong Huang

Jinsong Huang published an article in the inaugural issue of Nature Energy about an innovation that could help make perovskite-based solar cells more competitive with those made from silicon. (1/13/16)

Kidambi Coauthors Study Revealing Nanoparticle Damage
Sri Kidambi

Srivatsan Kidambi was among a group of UNL researchers that revealed damage caused to brain cells by titanium dioxide nanoparticles. The research was featured on the Nov. 28 cover of Nanoscale. (12/15/15)

NCMN Collaboration Leads to National Student Research Award
Voelte-Keegan building

South Dakota State University student Simeon Gilbert won a first place award at the Sigma Xi national conference. Gilbert, in collaboration with NCMN's nano-magnetic group, tested the properties of a semiconductor material that helps reduce the power needed for computer memory. (11/18/15)

Kidambi Uses Polymer Film to Mimic Tumors
Srivatsan Kidambi

Srivatsan Kidambi and colleagues have used a polymer-based film to assemble cell cultures without the need of adhesive proteins, which could accelerate the testing of cancer treatments and has already revealed a potential source of the body’s resistance to a therapeutic drug. (11/9/15)

Sellmyer Appointed Editorial Board Member
David Sellmyer

David Sellmyer has been appointed an Editorial Board Member of Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group. In this role he acts as an associate editor for papers in his field, arranging for referees and making editorial decisions on acceptance of papers. (10/30/15)

Kidambi Wins Emerging Innovator Award
Sri Kidambi

Sri Kidambi won the Emerging Innovator of the Year award from NUtech Ventures for his work to develop a structured environment for cancer cells to grow. (10/8/15)

NCMN Earns $3.5-million NSF Grant
David Sellmyer

NCMN has earned a $3.5-million NSF grant to establish the Nebraska Nanoscale Facility (NNF), a regional center of excellence in nanoscience and nanotechnology. Please refer to the articles from NSF, UNL Today, and UNL's ORED. (9/16/15)