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May 2022

Thank you!

The 2022 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit came to conclusion on Wednesday, May 25.

Meeting content will be available to registered participants through June 30, 2022.

In an effort to share and discuss research across the Pacific Rim, provide networking opportunities across our communities, and grow a higher level of support and awareness for materials research and innovation, MRS planned several collaborative events, including joint symposia and other events, with materials societies from Japan, South Korea, and Singapore:

  • Japan Society of Applied Physics (JSAP)
  • The Korean Institute of Metals and Materials (KIM)
  • MRS-Korea
  • MRS-Singapore
  • The Polymer Society of Korea (PSK)

Our congratulations go to the 2022 Spring Meeting Chairs Manish Chhowalla, Eunjoo Jang, Prineha Narang, Tsuyoshi Sekitani, and Vanessa Wood for putting together an excellent technical program along with various special events. MRS would also like to thank all the Symposium Organizers and Session Chairs for their part in the success of this Meeting. A thank you goes to the Exhibitors and to the Sponsors of the Meeting.

Contributors to news on the 2022 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit include Meeting Scene reporters Henry Quansah Afful, Sophia Chen, Alison Hatt, Xinzi He, Corrisa Heyes, Don Monroe, Rahul Rao, and Mohit Saraf; bloggers Judy Meiksin, Matthew Nakamura, Sebastián Suárez Schmidt, Senam Tamakloe, and Shubham Tanwar; and graphic artist Stephanie Gabborin; with newsletter production by Jason Zimmerman.

Thank you for subscribing to the MRS Meeting Scene newsletters. We hope you enjoyed reading them and continue your subscription as we launch into the 2022 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit - the conversation already started at #F22MRS! We welcome your comments and feedback.

In case you missed it ... Interviews with MRS-TV

Several special events took place at the 2022 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit that contributed to the materials discussion. MRS-TV interviewed some of the organizers of these events.

Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050: Is Hydrogen the Fuel of Future?

There are high hopes for the use of hydrogen to help decarbonize transportation, industry and power generation. Materials science has an important part to play. Materials advances are needed to improve the performance and affordability of existing H2-based technologies, enable new technologies capable of replacing fossil fuel-based systems and provide alternatives for materials that may have economic or sociopolitical limitations in their supply chains.


40 Years of Semiconductor Research Corporation

The 2022 MRS Spring Meeting featured a panel discussion with experts in the field of semiconductors from industry and academia who discussed the 2030 Decadal Plan for semiconductors. MRS TV speaks with one of the panelists from this session.


Bridging the Gap Between Academia and Industry

Deciding between a career in academia or industry is one of the most critical decisions for students and early-career scientists. In the “Bridging the Gap Between Academia and Industry,” panelists focused on factors to consider when transitioning from academia to industry (and vice versa), which could include career advancement, salary, work-life balance, workplace culture as well as individual skills, qualifications, and career goals. MRS TV spoke with event moderators and co-organizers Eva Hemmer and Elisabetta Ruggeri about the event.

New Journal of Materials Research Editor Ramamoorthy Ramesh

MRS TV talks to Ramamoorthy Ramesh, recently named the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Materials Research (JMR).


MRS Postdoctoral Award recipient Aditya Sood

MRS Postdoctoral Award winner Aditya Sood of Stanford University discusses his award talk, “Towards Ultrafast Atomistic "Movies" of Operating Nano-electronic Devices.” Sood was awarded for pioneering correlated dynamic structure and transport studies, and the discovery of a new electrically-triggered metastable phase in an operating device.



MRS Communications Lecture featuring Andreas Lendlein

The MRS Communications Lecture Prize recognizes excellence in the field of materials research through work published in MRS Communications. It is intended to honor the authors of an outstanding paper published in the journal during the preceding year. Andreas Lendlein of the University of Potsdam was awarded this for his article, “Bio-inspired and computer-supported design of modulated shape changes in polymer materials,” which was published in MRS Communications in July 2021. Lendlein's presentation is available online through June 30, 2022.



Symposium CH03—Advances in In Situ and Operando TEM Methods for the Study of Dynamic Processes in Materials III

Judy Cha, Yale University

In Situ TEM Studies of Microstructure Control During Nanoscale Phase Transformation

Written by Henry Quansah Afful

Phase transformation in nanoscale materials often differ from what’s observed in their bulk counterparts owing to differing kinetics and thermodynamics of the transition at these scales. In situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) techniques make it possible to track the nucleation and growth kinetics in these materials. A knowledge of the kinetics helps to control the phase transformation and resultant microstructure. TEM studies revealed that the crystallization temperature of <50 nm diameter wires of metallic glasses is much higher than in the bulk and attributed this to the absence of pre-existing nuclei. Judy Cha showed that the critical cooling and heating rates for transformation in these materials overlap at these small scales compared to being distinguishable in the bulk. Cha also demonstrated, using TEM, that the growth is 20 times slower when cooling from 900oC to 420oC than when heating from 20oC to 420oC. In situ TEM can also be used to study the nanoscale nucleation and growth pathways in condensed matter systems. Understanding and controlling the nucleation density opens up several applications for these materials.

Symposium CH03—Advances in In Situ and Operando TEM Methods for the Study of Dynamic Processes in Materials III

Jonathan Hollenbach, The Johns Hopkins University

The New Operando—Incorporation Intelligent Decisions into In Situ TEM

Written by Henry Quansah Afful

Materials are typically studied using a bottom-down approach of breaking and analyzing them. Why not take advantage of advanced microscopy techniques to study individual atoms at the lattice level to build new structures just like legos? Combining machine learning (ML) with microscopy can do just that. For instance, electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) generates a ton of data (sometimes terabytes per second) but extracting meaningful information from these is very challenging for humans. ML can help analyze this data and obtain some key fingerprints necessary for tailoring materials properties. Jonathan Hollenbach demonstrates this in SrFeO3 in which a very noisy EELS spectra was obtained. A convolutional autoencoder was used to screen, denoise, and classify the experimental data according to computationally obtained spectra and generate usable information which would have been impossible otherwise. This was extended to study annealing of two-dimensional (2D) metal carbides (MXenes) and the information obtained can be used to spatially control the termination of the 2D structures to build them from ground up.

Virtually Finishing… But Not Done

Hi all,

    Today has been the last day of the 2022 Hybrid MRS Meeting & Exhibit. Although the live virtual presentations are over, there is still a lot of recorded and on-demand content available. I know that sometimes the schedules can get complicated and because of this we miss a presentation on an important topic. However, this is the perfect opportunity for attendees and presenters to relax and look up other researchers without worrying about their own.

    As we know, science can be heavily data and research driven. But it is important to take a step back from our usual endeavors and appreciate the artistic side of scientific inquiry. Have you found out the winners for the Science as art competition? Take second to look at their creative images here, and let us know in the comments what you think.

    I wish you all the best, and to have gained some new insight in these last few days.


Kind regards.

SB07.07: Lanthanide Nanoparticles for Imaging Probes

    Since I learned about the periodic table, I have been curious as to what each element could be used for. And as the years went by, some of their applications became known; but others, like the lanthanide group, remained a mystery. That’s why I was intrigued when I saw the presentation on “Lanthanide-doped Materials as Probes for Hyperspectral Imaging: A Powerful Combination to Assess Nano-Bio Interactions” by Dr. Eva Hemmer from the University of Ottawa on the SB07.07 General Session I.

    The optical properties of lanthanides are interesting and range from the ultra-violet (UV) region to the near infra-red (NIR) region. For example, when a lanthanide is irradiated with NIR light they can emit NIR light of their own (downshifting), or emit the higher energy UV-Vis light (upconversion). This excitation and emission in the NIR region makes lanthanides prominent candidates for biomedical applications such as imaging of single crystal and micro molecules with high resolution.

    To implement these ideas, Dr. Hemmer’s group decided to use lanthanides as dopants in alkali metals and rare earth elements so as to mitigate the effects of their interactions. This resulted in the microwave assisted synthesis of upconverting nanoparticles (UCNP) that could serve as luminescent probes for imaging at the nano- and micro- scale of biological components.

    Hyperspectral imaging (HSI) is an approach to obtain 3D images that also characterizes the sample based on their spectral emission. Combining HSI with the UCNP, the researchers performed this technique to get a high precision emission profile of their sample of interest. And, using  biopolymers to encapsulate the UCNP they were able to insert them into an organism without damaging, contaminating or causing illness.

    If you are interested in learning more about the applications that lanthanides can have, click here to view the full SB07.07 General Session I.

NM02.15: Moiré Lattices for Exciton Trapping

    Kin Fai Mak from Cornell University gave a presentation on the “Correlated Excitonic States In A Moiré Lattice” that focused on the trapping of exciton using Moiré lattices. An exciton is formed when an electron in a crystal lattice orbits an electron hole (or just “hole” for simplicity). As the electron orbits the hole, it generates a mobile coulombic force that also emits an electric field. If a lattice is composed of 2D sheets or films, then a Moiré lattice can be formed by shifting one of the sheets so as to generate a new recurrent structure.

    In order to form a Moiré lattice, the research team began by joining 2 layers of a semiconducting materials. But to contain excitons in that lattice, one layer had an excess of electrons (N-type layer) and the other had an excess of holes (P-type layer). Then, they confirmed the presence of excitons in their Moiré lattice by measuring the differential capacitance in the system which was altered due to the exciton’s emitted electric field. This simplistic setup favors the trapping of excitons by the formation of electron-hole pairs, while simultaneously eliminating any significant electron-hole wavefunction overlap.

    If you are interested in the study of excitonic solids or other new materials and their strong correlations click here to watch the full symposium session.