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December 2014

November 2014

Cool 3D meta-mateirals

This evening, I attended the Kavli early career award in nanoscience, presented by Dr. Julia R. Greer from California Institute of Technology. She discussed the 3D architecture meta-materials. Basically, the inspiration is coming from the comparison between the Eiffel tower and the pyramid by the ancient Egypt. Although they are both huge architectures as a road mark,with similar height, the Eiffel tower used much less materials, because of the truss structure. Thus, the truss structure provided better strength/weight ratio.

Dr. Greer group used the similar concept to realize the structure in the nanoscale. The talk shows significant improvement in the strength to weight ratio. Basically, for nano-metal materials, when the thickness of the truss become equal or less than 10 nm, the 3D structure, that was originally built by brittle ceramic materials can become ductile and compressible. After that, Dr. Greer shows several other application using this 3D meta-mateirals, including the energy storage device, bio medical device, etc. One of the personal question is that how will this meta-materials behave compared to the carbon nanotube sponge, also, how easy it is to make it salable. In addition, in the compress test of the 10nm thickness compressible 3D meta-materials, will the strain rate play a role, to see how reliable this structure can become ductile during different impact.

I will go back and read more about Dr. Greer's research in Caltech.



Publication sales, have to check out

In the early morning, I arrived at the hynes convention center to join the MRS meeting. It is really really interesting to see the publication booth's product, which including all the slides from the tutorial offered by the speaker. And the organizer really provide a good opportunity for the audience to be able to get the PPT slides even they cannot join the talk, due to various reason. I saw several scientist bought the tutorial PPT slides, which is professionally made by the speaker. I think this is a really good idea to record the PPT slides, and maybe it could be also good to record the video if possible, then can sell it as a good reference. In addition to the tutorial PPT slides, there are many new books just published offered for sale in this area. The visitors can get MRS proceeding with their interested research area for just 15 USD per book. Also, the organizer promote the sale using "buy 3, get 1 for free technique". I believe this is really a good technique to get the stocked printed article to be sale in a very affordable way. Besides the publication booth, there are two tables full of technical magazines free to browse, including Science and Small, etc. It is my first time to join the MRS boston meeting. I feel very impressed by how well the organizer prepared to let the scientist not only bring back nice memory, form good networking, but also be able to bring back the most updated books published by MRS society.

One thing I forgot to mention is that, publication booth are selling the Postcard that is composed with the very interesting SEM/TEM image of the micro-nano structure. And they only sell for 10 dollar. It is really a good souvenir for the scientists' friends and family.

Thank you MRS!!



Negotiate smart and skillful

This afternoon I checked out the workshop about "Strategic Negotiation: Alliances and Tactics", given by Dr. Lee Warren, who is director emerita of professional pedagogy at the Harvard Kennedy School and associate director emerita of the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University. She has focused her work on issues of group process, providing teaching support to faculty and graduate student teaching assistants, consulting with groups and individuals, leading workshops and seminars and making videotapes for training sessions.

She started the talk with splitting us into couples of groups and letting one person of each team toss a tennis ball, and ask how other members in the group feels like. Then she ask all the members in the group toss the ball to each other using different ways. This simple game tell us it is very important to negotiate with people and so does of the ways you are using to negotiate.

She then ask us to talk stories about ourselves in which we meet problems and don't know how to deal with. She use one of the story as an example to direct a play, about a short conversation between student and her advisor, let us know that if you want people do something, you first should get bonding to him and let him feel you appreciate his work, everyone needs to be appropriated about his work.

The gesture is also important when you are talking. Stand still, powerful, confident could let you feel good about yourself and so the person who you are talking with could tend to be activated and agree with you.

After the talk and game and play, there is a nice reception for us to network with guys we would like to know. I talked with one from TX doing the research about 3D structure of nanotubes and graphene and the qualify exam in his university not just cover his research but also the courses he took. A really nice workshop and a good chance get connected with people in material area.

Happy science !



MRS Fall Meeting 2014 - Back as a Blogger

Welcome Blog Readers,

It's me, Monica, again with you as a MRS Fall Meeting Blogger!

As in the last year, I'll be using this space to share my impressions and exchange ideas about this Fall Meeting.

Those that accompanied me in the MRS blog a year ago already know that I also explore the non-technical activities of our MRS Meetings. I invite each of you to experience these opportunities for professional development and networking!

Please, feel free to leave your comments in my posts and ask for specific topics and impressions.

See you around!


2014 MRS Fall Meeting App

Have you checked out the official 2014 MRS Fall Meeting App?

If not, you should. I think it may just prove to be one of your best resources for this week. You can view it on your laptop at and even download it for your phone or tablet! 

When you create your MRS profile, you will be able to select various tags of your research interests. The 2014 MRS Fall Meeting app will then recommend sessions and symposia that match your interests! From this, you can create a personalized schedule for the conference, offering a quick, easy way to navigate the MRS meeting and get the most out of this week!

In fact, during my drive from North Carolina to Boston today, I was able to glance through the entire schedule of the week and personalize my daily schedule.

The app also offers a good way to connect with other conference attendees. It includes a personal QR code, which I think can be used to share your "business card", so to speak, with others and also has scanner for you to snag other people's info. Let me know if you've tried this out!

I'll post more about the app as I play around with it more. Let me know if you find other tips and tricks! 





Fundamentals of Wide-Bandgap materials and devices for optoelectronics and power electronics

This morning, I joined the session of tutorial T, Fundamentals of Wide-Bandgap materials and devices for optoelectronics and power electronics. The speaker Dr. Victor Veliadis from Northrop Grumman Electronics Systems, discussed about the SiC for the power electronics, which showed the advantages of the SiC over the over kind of conventional materials due to its large bandgap.

Another speaker Dr. Mateo Meneghini, from University of Padova, talked about the GaN-Based Power Devices after Dr. Veliadis. Dr. Meneghini's topic is mainly focused on the GaN based power devices, especially in the trapping, breakdown and the reliability issues in this materials. The GaN materials exhibits very high electron mobility compared to the other materials. But, several factors is limiting the large commercialization of this materials. Dr. Meneghini explained the fundamentals of the GaN materials, and its application in the power transistor area, he explained the reason why the performance and the reliability is still suffering and proposed the future research direction.

After Dr. Meneghini's talk, Dr. Hirshi Amano from Nagoya University,discussed the fundamentals of the physics of Nitride-based optoelectronic devices. The talk is very interesting to me. It covered a large of area relating to the III-N-based optoelectronics. I learned a lot from this talk in the past, present and the future of the nitride-based optoelecronics. The most exciting application with this kind of material is in LED area, including the LEDs, photodetectors and photovoltaics.

Happy science!



Events and Activities in Fall MRS

Just made A quick glance at the Program & Exhibit Guide. In addition to the Technical sessions, a bunch of events are worth your attentions. Numerous competitions, forums, seminars and student activities are gathered in the Fall MRS meeting gather. The activities tomorrow include:

Technical poster design seminar

Science as art preparation

Sustainability  forum

Sustainability @ My School poster competition

Technology innovation forums

Student mixer

Other public outreach

MRS is not only a meeting for presenting and discussing academic research, but also a big event for people to learn the applications of academic results on technologies.

Sharing scientific ideas with others

This evening communications expert Tim Miller gave a talk about some principles of shearing the scientific idea of your area with someone without background knowledge and how to get the person not feel boring.

Tim Miller is a freelancer in the science communications industry, with a broad experience across many different media. He has worked with museums, science centers, and research laboratories across the country, helping to bring the products and the process of science to a broad public audience. His talk is really impressive though he just use simple words and plots. Some plots is interesting, he said your advisor care much about what you did about the topic but not why you did it, contrastly, what your mom care is why you did it instead of what you did. Means when talk to people who hardly knows your research, talk more about "why" and less "what".

When you do presentations it is important to look at the audience and having eye-contact to let them pay attention to what you are talking about. Another thing is to speak slowly about the key points in your talk could effectively emphasized. Really nice talk and learned a lot from it.

Happy science!



Continue reading "Sharing scientific ideas with others" »

Talks/Posters about biology-related materials in this MRS meeting

 My research topic is long-range interactions in biomolecular systems. On Tuesday, Dec. 2nd, I will give a presentation about my study in Symposium QQ: Advances in Nanoscale Subsurface, Chemical and Time-Resolved Studies of Soft Matter. As an emerging research area, biology-related materials have drawn great attention in the community of materials science. In addition to Symposium QQ, I noticed that several other symposia (Symposia A-I) are discussing about biology-related researches, including bioelectronics, materials for biomedical sensing, bioinspired materials and so forth. I am excited to watch these presentations and posters, and discuss academic ideas with the researchers.

Of course, studies on inorganic materials are still interesting to watch and record. It’s my great pleasure to write up something  about the Technical sessions and share it with people who could not attend the meeting.

First day of the meeting

The first day of the meeting was filled with registrations and a series of interesting tuorials between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. Everything was well-organized and labeled. The MRS staff in the information desk and registration hall have been busy with helping people from every materials science community  in the world.

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 The tutorials covered a variety of research topics such as interaction of biomaterials, applications of graphene, analysis of nuclear materials, metamaterials, wide-gap materials, X-ray scattering and so on, reviewing the fundamentals and progresses of these areas. Notes of the lectures had been prepared by MRS community and could be purchased from Publication Sales.

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A Speaker Ready Room was prepared for presenters to practice their talks. It is really helpful!