Special cheers to Bloggers!

MRS Meeting Scene bloggers provide a unique look at the MRS Meeting, from the science sessions, to special activities and poster sessions, to fun places to visit outside the convention center. They get to interview researchers along the way, and they get to recommend city tours. For an inside look of what MRS Meetings have to offer, read through the bloggers’ section. To provide that inside look, consider being a blogger for the MRS Spring or Fall Meeting:

Graduate students and post-docs who are interested in contributing to the Meeting Scene® Blog are encouraged to apply. Bloggers will be required to post at least five items per day and also tweet about their experiences at the meeting. For completing these daily assignments, bloggers will receive reimbursement up to the student registration rate and a $50 stipend. To apply, please send an email to newseditor@mrs.org stating your qualifications and your reasons for wanting to blog for us. We need only four bloggers per Meeting, so we will not be able to accept everyone who applies. We look forward to hearing from you! 

X-Mas Bells

Hopefully, you guys are having a nice time travelling around Boston. 

If you have some time left after the poster sessions, do try paying Boston Commons a visit. It is the oldest park in the United States, founded in 1604, and is just outside the Boylston Station, 3 stations away from Hynes Convention Center. The place is specially lit for the last 2 days on the occasion of the festive season and you can often find a lot of birds and squirrels munching things around. The places nearby are also pretty great, including Chinatown where you should definitely try some South-East Asian cuisine. If you have been there, do let me know in comments about your experience. 

P.S: You can see the Prudential Tower in the background in the second picture. 


Bosotn comon Bosotn comon


Starting it Early

Thursday's poster session saw a huge participation, a specific section where students currently in their high school showed their research work. It's heartening to see the material science enthusiasts starting so early. Interviewing a couple of them, I found out that the projects were mostly their summertime projects which were aimed for them to get a hang of the subject. 

Mr Sovesh Mohapatra hails from Jaipur, and has been doing research in various fields for the last few years. He collaborated with Dr Satapathi's Lab from the Department of Physics IIT Roorkee where his research aims in growing lead-free single crystal using inverse temperature crystallization method. 

Ethan and Jack from South Side High School and Hewlett High School researched on mixed cation perovskites which included preliminary characterization of perovskites thin films composed from them, as well as stability studies to determine their applicability as thin films for optoelectronic applications. 

We sincerely hope that MRS keeps giving these young chaps a chance to showcase their research and encourage them from such a young age.

Paaji Paaji


Poster Session Day III

Poster sessions are in full swing with researchers from all over the world showing their work. Enjoy the sessions with complimentary beverages and refreshments.  Yesterday, I talked to Zhenghong Dai, a 2nd year graduate student researcher from Brown University who is researching on the strain-stress effects of perovskite thin films. In his research, he has tried to understand the self-healing behavior of thin films which will help to increase flexibility and increase their use as solar cells. 

Poster session 3

Power-point Karaoke

Adding to Araceli HG's post, the powerpoint karaoke was a session of fun, mixed with laughter and loads of refreshments. 

The session saw excited competitors taking a  minute to decipher a slide with information on it. This was followed by the presenter explaining the slide, often which took hilarious twists and turns leaving the audience in peals of laughter. Topics on the slides ranged from sci-fi to the normal ones you are coming across in symposia like thin-film technology for harvesting solar energy. Feel free to leave in comments about your experience at the session. 

PPt karaoke


Research funding opportunities

Individual personalities from eminent and important government agencies like the Department of State are here to create awareness and inform the materials science community about the different funding mechanisms that are available to them.

Among other speakers, Michael Bakas, the program manager from the US Army Research Office elucidated different programs under which various sections of the materials science community like faculty, undergraduate students, and people belonging to minorities can avail grants and scholarships. 

The attendees at F19 conference are encouraged to attend these talks to get a better overview of the opportunities available to them.

Research FUnding opportuini

Graphene Hybrid Hydrogels as Potential 3D Injectable Cell Delivery (SB04)

In this talk, Cosimo ligorio will go through his research journey, from design and investigation of peptide-graphene interactions to translation of this knowledge into a new composite material that could be interfaced with disc cells to influence and direct their fate. He will also present the latest data that suggest this system could be a potential platform for a novel cell-based, disc repair therapy.

He stated: My research is focused on the design and characterization of peptide-based nanocomposites for biomedical applications. In particular, I am working on beta-sheet forming, self-assembling peptide hydrogels having graphene oxide as nanofiller to constitute a new class of hybrid hydrogel nanocomposites. Our research group (Polymers and Peptide Group led by Prof Alberto Saiani) has started to study in the last years the interactions between octapeptides and graphene-based materials and we have found a strong adhesion of peptide nanofibers onto graphene oxide flakes, which could be exploited to build stiffer, but still injectable, peptide-based hydrogels. Peptides and graphene oxide are well accepted by our body (they are biocompatible) therefore we are using these peptide-graphene oxide nanocomposites as carrier to host and deliver mammalian cells for biomedical applications. 

In my case,  I am strongly interested in intervertebral disc degeneration, which initiates in the gelatinous core of the intervertebral disc, causing chronic inflammation and low back pain worldwide. At the moment, current therapies are based on painkillers and/or prostheses that replace the damaged tissues with metal or plastic implants that do not match enough the biomechanics of the disc. Furthermore, the source of disease (the cells) is not targeted and in the long-term people can be subjected to periodic revision, medical complications and, in the worst case, even implant failure. 

With our hydrogel system, we want to offer a 3D platform for disc cells to grow in and build a new healthy tissue, so that our hydrogel can be injected to offer a regenerative therapy at the injury site. These hydrogels are injectable and they can mimic the mechanics of the native tissue due to their inherent design, as well as offering biological cues to the encapsulated cells to make them proliferate and deposit new tissue matrix.

I will recommend his talk for all interested candidates on Friday 6th December at 2:30 PM for SB04.12.05 in Hynes, Level 3, Room 302.



Patterning free tunable Photocatalytic based on Surface Plasmon Polariton

Dear Readers,

I would love to introduce a Wonmi Ahn from US Naval Research Laboratory who have given the talk about Energy-tunable hot carrier photocatalysis with surface plasmon polaritons. As we all know the tunability of surface plasmons polaritons needs  several dimensions based nanostructured patterned device. Her research brings in new dimensions for photocatalytic activity. Angle tunability for different incident energy make possible to cover  the wide incident energy regime. She says, “A strong photon energy dependence in the photon conversion efficiency was obtained from the hetero film and this was further confirmed by the hole injection efficiency calculated using Schottky transport model.”

Such surface plasmon polaritons non radiatively decays into hot carriers which is injected to main medium to perform photocatalytic phenomena. Her research opens the new door for plasmon based large scale energy applications.

PowerPoint Karaoke!

As I love to get involved with many activities at the same time from the MRS, I had the pleasure to meet an incredible PhD student involved in the organization of the PowerPoint Karaoke: Daniel Stadler from the University of Cologne and I would like to thank the other organizers for their enthusiasm on this! 

What it is?

PowerPoint Karaoke challenges both the author of a slide and the presenter to improve their communication skills while under a strict time limit.


Prizes of $300 and certificates will be awarded to the best presenter and the best author, selected by both the audience and the judges. The winning presenter will not automatically define the winning slide author. An outstanding presentation performance can be better than a presentation with a perfect slide.

At this time, the participants are already involved.

Make some noise!

That's right! Make some noise and help them to select the "Audience Choice" award winners.


Join a reception for the MRS Frontiers - Building Communities in Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Constitution A. Grab a beverage and enjoy !! (To be honest, we deserve it, don't we?)

I leave you the QR code in case you want more information!



Where and when?

5:30 PM–6:45 PM Dec 5, 2019 at Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Constitution B

Perovskite Solar Cell—Upscaling and Tandem Device

If you have followed my previous posts, you might have seen I am very into the topics related with solar cells, mainly the topics for perovskites. That's the reason of this post, due today on this 4th day, and today we have a great symposium going on, the EN08.12: Perovskite Solar Cell — Upscaling and Tandem Device, Sheraton, 2nd Floor, Back Bay AB from 1:30 PM–5:00 PM Dec 5, 2019. 


The session chairs are:

  • Hyun Suk Jung, Sungkyunkwan University
  • Shengzhong (Frank) Liu, Shaanxi Normal University
  • Yabing Qi, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology
  • Kai Zhu, National Renewable Energy Laboratory


Take some notes on this interesting topic!