Graduate Student Awards

MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials research display a high level of excellence and distinction. In addition, one student is further recognized with the Arthur Nowick Graduate Student Award which honors the late Dr. Arthur Nowick and his lifelong commitment to teaching and mentoring students in materials science. MRS recognizes the following students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research.

DSC09503_Grad Awards Group_panorama


Ilaria Abdel Aziz, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia @ Politechnico di Milano

Matthias T. Agne, Northwestern University

Yoonho Kim, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Juyoung Leem, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (also received the Arthur Nowick Graduate Student Award)

Yin Liu, University of California, Berkeley

David Mackanic, Stanford University

Lucie Ries, Université de Montpellier

Andrey Vyatskikh, California Institute of Technology

Yan Wang, University of Cambridge

Zhijie Zhu, University of Minnesota Twin Cities



Naila Al Hasan, University of Maryland

David Russell Barton, Stanford University

Chunhui Dai, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Martin H. Dehn, The University of British Columbia

Chengcheng Fang, University of California, San Diego

William Fitzhugh, Harvard University

Tatsuya Higaki, Carnegie Mellon University

Megan O. Hill, Northwestern University

Jieun Kim, University of California, Berkeley

Arda Kotikian, Harvard University

Siddharth Krishnan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Minliang Lai, University of California, Berkeley

Xiaotong Li, Northwestern University

Yongtao Liu, The University of Tennessee

Junzhe Lou, Stanford University

Xuezeng Lu, Northwestern University

Peter Benjamin Meisenheimer, University of Michigan

Jaba Mitra, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Amirali Nojoomi, The University of Texas at Arlington

Nicholas Rolston, Stanford University

Yiren Zhong, Yale University

Hua Zhu, Brown University

Jia Zhuang, University of California, San Diego

MRS acknowledges the generous contribution for the Nowick Award to the MRS Foundation from Joan Nowick in memory of her husband Dr. Arthur Nowick.

Thank you!

The 2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit came to a successful conclusion on Friday, December 6. Our congratulations go to Meeting Chairs Bryan D. Huey, Stéphanie P. Lacour, Conal E. Murray, Jeffrey B. Neaton, and Iris Visoly-Fisher for putting together an excellent technical program along with various special events. MRS would also like to thank all the Symposium Organizers, Session Chairs, and Symposium Assistants for their part in the success of this meeting. A thank you goes to the Exhibitors, Symposium Support, and to the sponsors of the special events and activities.

Contributors to news on the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit include Meeting Scene reporters Tomojit Chowdhury (@TomojitC),Tianyu Liu (@Tianyuliu_Chem), Judy Meiksin (@Judy_Meiksin), Don Monroe, Jahlani Odujole, Alana F. Ogata (@OgataAlana), and Arthur L. Robinson; Bloggers Nabasindhu Das, Abhishek Dubey (@adubeyphy), Araceli Hernández Granados (@AraceliHG02), and Anja Sutoriu; and photographers Stephanie Gabborin and Heather Shick; with newsletter production by Karen Colson, and newsletter design by Erin Hasinger.

Thank you to MRS Meeting Scene sponsors SPI SuppliesGoodfellow CorporationLake Shore Cryotronics, Inc.American ElementsWiley; Rigaku; and American Physical Society.      

Thank you for subscribing to the MRS Meeting Scene newsletters from the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit. We hope you enjoyed reading them and continue your subscription as we launch into the 2020 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit - the conversation already started at #s20mrs! We welcome your comments and feedback.

Symposium MS01: Extreme Mechanics

Irina Chuvashova, Carnegie Science

Thermal Conductivity of Earth Minerals at Extreme Conditions

Written by Tianyu Liu

The thermal conductivity of the lower mantle of Earth has been experimentally estimated. The lower mantle is a solid mineral layer that could let heat pass. Various methods have been proposed to quantify the thermal conductivity, or heat-conducting rate, of Earth’s lower mantle; however, experimental evidence remains scarce. Irina Chuvashova from Carnegie Science has added an experimental data of 12.6 W/(m K).  

Chuvashova and co-workers adopted a diamond anvil cell to determine the thermal conductivities of two main iron-bearing minerals in the lower mantle, Ferropericlase and Bridgmanite, under high pressure. The researchers placed the mineral films between two diamond crystals. Due to the hardness, the two diamond crystals could exert ultrahigh forces from 25 GPa to 60 GPa onto the films without cracking. Ultrahigh pressure is necessary to mimic the high-pressure environment inside the Earth. Through black-body theory and laser heating, Chuvashova and co-workers calculated that the thermal conductivities of Ferropericlase and Bridgmanite were 43 W/(m K) and 5 W/(m K), respectively, at 40 GPa. Considering the amount of the two minerals in the lower mantle, the researchers estimated that the lower mantle possessed a thermal conductivity of 12.6 W/(m K), close to the theoretical values.

Symposium FF01: Beyond Graphene 2D Materials – Synthesis, Properties and Device Applications

Manish Chhowalla, University of Cambridge

Ultra Clean van der Waals Contacts Using Indium Alloys on Two-Dimensional Semiconductors

Written by Tomojit Chowdhury

Contact configuration is one of the most crucial parameters that dictates the over-all performance of transistor devices. The Chhowalla Group at the University of Cambridge proposed an alternative contact design that exhibited improved device performance. They chose indium as their contact metal due to its exceptionally low melting temperature (156˚C) compared to other commonly known contact metals, such as gold (Au) and titanium (Ti). “Clearly indium electrodes can be patterned on atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) sheets under very gentle evaporation conditions,” said Chhowalla, alluding to the “soft” physical nature of the metal. In addition, he showed how platinum (Pt) and indium (In) could be alloyed under mild conditions, and thus could be simultaneously deposited atop layered TMDs ensuring “ultra-clean” contacts with atomically sharp metal-semiconductor (Schottky) interface. Such “work function engineering of metal contacts on 2D semiconductors” allowed fabrication of field-effect transistor devices with exceptional carrier mobility.

Symposium SB07: Bioelectrical Interfaces

Róisín Owens, University of Cambridge

Interfacing Human Cell Membrane Models with Bioelectronics for Ion Channel Monitoring

Written by Alana F. Ogata

“You might be familiar with Moores law, but not as much with Erooms law,” says Roisin Owens as she explains how, despite improvements in drug design technology, drug discovery is increasingly slow and expensive. How do you make drug discovery screening methods more efficient and predictive to improve success rates at the clinical trial phase? Owens addresses this issue by studying human membrane models to probe a major mechanism in electrical cell signaling- ion flux through the cell membrane. Supported lipid bilayers (SLB) are excellent biomimetic models for studying interactions between drugs and cell membranes. A supported lipid monolayer formed on top of an organic electrochemical transistor (OECT) creates devices that are sensitive to the nature of the lipid monolayer by measuring electrical currents. Permeability of the lipid monolayer directly influences the current output and can capture time-resolved disruption of the lipid monolayer upon addition of antibiotic molecules. In addition, supported lipid bilayers functionalized with ATP-gated P2X2 channels were successfully studied with the same OECT technology revealing how channels open in response to ATP. Recent work aims to develop a multimodal sensing technology by combining electrical and optical measurements using SLB-OECT devices to further study ion flux in cell membrane models.


Symposium MS01: Extreme Mechanics

Ali Khourshaei Shargh, University of Rochester

Atomistic Simulations of Shock Compression of Single Crystal and Core-shell Cu@Ni Nanoporous Metals

Written by Jahlani Odujole

Have you ever wondered about the characteristics of nanoporous metals and why they are useful? Ali Shargh, standing in for his research partner Niaz, offered an overview of how core-shelling can be used to enhance strength and ductility properties in materials. It has been recently discovered that nanoporous metals are light and have high surface volume. These metals have been shown to be better shock absorbers than single crystal materials. The simulation methods of Monte Carlo with the embedded atom method forcefield resulted in Shock Hugoinot plots that display shock pressure versus shock temperature. There was no recovery observed for high temperatures. As shock increased, the face-centered cubic lattice structure decreased. Shargh provided information on this purely theoretical method and how it could potentially be applied to real systems.

Symposium SB07: Bioelectrical Interfaces

Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect, Columbia University

Mixed-Conducting Particulate Composites for Soft Electronics

Written by Alana F. Ogata

Patricia Jastrzebska-Perfect’s research is driven by a need for materials composed of both hard and soft components that can interface with biological substrates. A major challenge in developing neural interface devices is the large mechanical mismatch between hard and soft materials. Mixed conducting particulate composite materials can achieve the strength and stability required for bonding and provide biocompatibility necessary for device integration into brain tissue. Jastrzebska-Perfect incorporates PEDOT:PSS particles into an electronically insulating scaffolding matrix to create devices capable of recording neurophysiological data in rodents. Additionally, mixed-conducting particle composite devices show high spatiotemporal bipotential sensing capabilities in humans for intra-operative neural recordings. Devices placed on the wrists of patients can measure electrophysiological signals as the patient sequentially moves each finger.

Symposium MS02: Mechanically Coupled and Defect-Enabled Functionality in Atomically Thin Materials

Seung Sae Hong, Stanford University

Extreme Tensile Strain States in La0.7Ca0.3MnO3 Nanomembranes

Written by Jahlani Odujole

The main goal of Seung Sae Hong’s group was to apply tensile strength in a two-dimensional (2D) membrane and found that atomically-controlled 2D interfaces were highly useful. The researchers were able to get thin films under atomic scale control while maintaining a high degree of freedom. The main focus in this presentation was on complex oxides because these materials present a different kind of magnetism. Nanomembranes can be made from thin-film growth. Pulse laser deposition was applied for epitaxial growth. SrTiO3 was the substrate with Sr3Al2O6 used as a sacrificial layer. The researchers found an unprecedented degree of mechanical freedom. Bulk crystals/ceramics break easily in most cases, which was problem that the researchers were seeking to mitigate. Nanomembranes can achieve very large strain rates. This property can also be used to re-design membranes which allows for continuous control within a material. The 2D materials can be re-stretched and redesigned. This versatile experimental platform can be applied to cryogenic transport and optics storage. Thick membranes were shown to be easily broken, while thin membranes kept stretching without cracking. Normalized x-ray diffraction intensity, with clear phase boundaries, was shown to be a great indicator of deformation behavior. Axial tensile strain can change magnetic phase properties. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations were shown to match well with results.

Symposium FF03: Building Advanced Materials via Particle-Based Crystallization and Self-Assembly of Molecules with Aggregation-Induced Emission

Litao Sun, Southeast University

Exploring the Surface Effects of Sub-10-nm Materials from the Atomic Scale

Written by Alana F. Ogata

Differences in materials behavior observed for transitions from the macroscale to nanoscale is a well-known phenomenon in the materials world. These discrepancies are enhanced when studying nanomaterials that are sub-10 nm in size where crystalline nanoparticles can exhibit liquid-like properties. Crystalline materials that behave as liquids sounds like a juxtaposition, but is one that Litao Sun brings to life with in situ TEM imaging of sub-10 nm metal particles. Surface atoms occupy ~62% of the atomic positions available in a sub-10 nm nanoparticle compared to larger nanoparticles where this percentage can drop to 0.036%. Surface atoms are flexible and can be reconstructed into different geometries giving rise to the liquid-like behavior of sub-10 nm nanoparticles. Sun showed a video of a nanoparticle with clear lattice fringes, indicating crystallinity, being pressed to a flat disc and completely recovering shape upon removal of the probe. The sub-10 nm particle can be squished multiple times and bounce back to its original state while maintaining crystalline structure. Sub-10 nm nanoparticles covered with a single layer of graphene will deform under the same external force and retain this deformation due to the rigid nature of graphene.