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Volume 8, Issue 1 - Spring/Fall 2016

NANO MATERIALS www.nanoscience.ucf.edu


Message From Dr. Seal Happy New Year 2017!! Welcome to some great news from Nanoscience Technology Center (NSTC). We are proud to welcome three new Assistant Professors in Fall 2016, increasing to 23 faculty at NSTC. Drs. Tania Roy, Swami Rajaraman, YeonWoong (Eric) Jung bring great expertise in the area of nanomanufacturing, 2D materials, biomedical research. Dr. Rajaraman is our first joint hire with ICAMR (International Consortium of Advanced Manufacturing Research) focusing on large scale semiconductor manufacturing located in Osceola County. Congratulations to our faculty who continue to excel in exciting interdisciplinary Nano-materials research from preventing citrus disease, flexible skin-like display development to advanced materials research including energy devices, sensors for Zika virus and other related species. We continue to publish high impact papers including Nature communication, ACS Nano, Chemistry of Materials, and cover article for journals, etc. NSTC faculty are also developing technology for commercialization by licensing and creating new startups. Our faculty continue to be great mentors to our students in research and technology commercialization. We continue to welcome undergraduates into our NSF funded REU site. Several student-led startups are creating national attention by winning competitive research grants. Recently, the Society for Emerging Nanotechnologies (SENT), a UCF student group, was featured on the cover of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Supplement to the President’s 2017 Budget. We are proud of our students winning many scholarly research awards in national and international conferences.

Congratulations to our MS and PhD graduates!! I am pleased to see great progress in our PSM and MS programs in Nanotechnology. Program enrollment continues to grow. Best wishes for their future journey in academic and industrial career. Kudos to our faculty for winning Research Incentive Awards, Reach for the Stars Awards, Teaching Incentive awards, and UCF Scroll and Quill awards. Enjoy reading our Nanomaterials news. Congratulations to our faculty, staff and students for their outstanding service to NSTC and for their contributions to the growth of the Materials Science & Engineering, Nanotechnology, Chemistry, Physics, Optics and Biology programs at UCF. Go Knights!! Sudipta Seal Pegasus Professor, University Distinguished Professor Director, AMPAC and NSTC, Interim Chair Materials Science and Engineering Interim Chair, Materials Science & Engineering Department


Funding External Funding

$6,416,226.00 Internal Funding

External Funding $6,416,226.00

$94,971.00 Total NSTC Funding

$6,511,197.00 Total Research Expenditures

$3,888,754.00

Internal Funding $94,971.00


Meet the New NSTC Faculty NSTC hired three new faculty members this fall. All hold joint appointments and have published in a variety of top journals including Science, Journal of Applied Physics, ACS Nano, Journal of Applied Physiology, Nature Communications, Nano Letters, and Journal of Microelectronics Reliability. Their education footprints include some of the finest Technological and Research universities in America including Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, Yale, and Berkeley.

New Professor Dr. Swaminathan Rajaraman Connects NSTC to The International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research *Note: ICAMR recently became BRIDG. The newsletter is referring to the organization previously called ICAMR, now called BRIDG

Tania Roy, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Research Focus: Engineering novel functional materials to improve electronics for Internet-of-things, and development of energy-efficient devices for electronics and sensors. Developing electronic and optoelectronic devices with two-dimensional materials for low-power computing. Wide bandgap semiconductors for high-power electronic applications. The reliability of different materials systems and semiconductor devices. Dr. Roy received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and postdoctorate from University of California, Berkeley and also Georgia Institute of Technology. Holds Secondary Joint Appointments with Materials Science & Engineering and International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR).

Swaminathan Rajaraman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Research Focus: Micro/Nanofabrication Technologies; Neuroengineering; Micro/Nanofabrication on Plastics, Paper, Biomaterials and other novel materials; Flexible Electronics Fabrication Technologies; Implantable MEMS/NEMS Devices; Wearable MEMS Devices; Microfluidics; Packaging Microelectronic and Biomedical Devices; Microneedles for painless drug delivery; Advanced Micro/Nano-Materials Development; Micro/Nano-Manipulation. Dr. Rajaraman received his Ph.D. from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining UCF, he was the Co-Founder and V.P. Biological and Materials Engineering at Axion BioSystems Inc. Holds a Joint Appointment with the International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR).

Yeonwoong (Eric) Jung, Ph.D.

Fall 2016 hire Dr. Swaminathan Rajaraman will be NSTC’s first joint appointment with the upcoming International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR). With building completion expected in March of 2017, ICAMR, a 109K sq/ft world class manufacturing development “Lab / Fab” facility, aims to establish a state-of-the-art prototyping and manufacturing research facility in Florida with a focus on advanced manufacturing of emerging technologies. ICAMR will lead by innovation in the development of manufacturable processes, materials, and equipment for next-generation smart sensors. By leveraging unique emerging technology capabilities, processes, and background IP, ICAMR will develop advanced lab/fab and latest technology platforms aimed at cost-effective manufacturing. There are technology gaps in developing innovative robust sensing solutions which can function well in harsh environments and ICAMR aims to address some of these key challenges. ICAMR is looking at sensor technologies of broad impact, such as Biosensors, broadband infrared based image sensors, hyperspectral sensors, LiDAR, and many others. The possibilities for biosensors are endless and could be used for such applications as the early detection of food spoilage, home based diagnostics, and remote therapeutics, just to name a few. The IR based image sensors can be helpful to precision agriculture (e.g. monitoring of crops), as optical sorters during food processing, in high speed thermography for rocket engines, for environmental monitoring, and countless other uses. Summer 2016 brought the exciting announcement of ICAMR’s collaboration with Belgian nanotechnology giant Imec to create Imec Florida, a research and development design center that will focus on photonics and high-speed electronics. The partnership is starting with an offering of IC design research for a broad set of semiconductor-based solutions. It also will provide IC designs that will drive ICAMR’s manufacturing research. There is immense potential for a collaboration such as this one to attract more partnerships with companies worldwide, bringing with them innovation and jobs to Central Florida and with it, new opportunities for collaboration with the Nanoscience Technology Research Center.

“ICAMR is proud of the partnership that we have with AMPAC and NSTC. The fundamental science research that Dr Seal and his team are conducting will ensure that we have access to the material combinations that our customers will require as they seek to develop and commercialize the next generation of sensors and other complex electronic devices. We are excited to have the first of what we expect to be a growing number of joint appointments as we work together to enable the realization and commercialization of bold ideas” – Chester Kennedy, CEO, ICAMR (BRIDG)

Assistant Professor

Research Focus: Low-dimensional electronic materials (nanowires and 2D materials); Nanoscale structure-property relationships; In-situ transmission electron microscopy; Energy and electronic technologies. Dr. Jung received his Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania and postdoctorate from Yale University. Holds a Secondary Joint Appointment with Materials Science & Engineering.

ICAMR under construction, and artist renderings


Faculty Research New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF The Materials Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA) is a recently established research center with the goal of combating crop disease and feeding the world’s growing population. MISA Chair Dr. Swadeshmukul Santra, along with Co-Chair Dr. Laurene Tetard, debuted the effort, the University of Central Florida’s first agriculture-related research center, in October at a two-day research symposium which brought representatives from universities, government, national laboratories, regulatory agencies, farming and the agrochemical industry to UCF. The program originated from a partnership between universities, growers, industry, and regulatory agencies and is envisioned as a global platform for the exchange of ideas and skills. Representatives from MISA including NSTC faculty and students recently attended The Florida Ag Expo which is a day-long event offering Florida fruit and vegetable growers the latest information on cutting edge agricultural production trends and techniques. “Our world is facing unprecedented challenges with the rising human population that demands doubling of food production levels by 2050,” Santra said. “To achieve higher production levels, technological advancements are warranted to protect crops against emerging threats, particularly microbial-origin diseases. There is no better time than now to secure our future while minimizing negative impact on the environment.” Dr. Santra’s visionary goals for MISA include coordinating interdisciplinary research efforts, improving academic and public education on agricultural diseases, and developing practical and economically feasible technology for protecting the sustainability of the agriculture industry.

Santra and his team were awarded a $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture last year for the development of technology using nanoparticles to combat the same disease as well as a $477,000 grant to develop a method of combatting a bacterium that attacks tomatoes and other crops. Zinkicide, the bactericide invented by Santra, was one of three finalists in the 2016 Agrow Awards’ Best Formulation Innovation category where it was awarded the title “Highly Commended”. UCF was the only university among the finalists in 15 categories, ranking among industry giants Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Crop Protection, and BASF. Santra’s nanopotion is designed to kill the bacteria which causes the greening disease officially known as Huánglóngbìng (literally “Yellow Dragon Disease”) or HLB. The bacteria, which are carried by small insects that feed on the leaves and stems of infected trees, destroys fruit production and eventually kills the tree. Zinkicide works without harming the tree. It is designed to break down as a micronutrient and be metabolized by the plant after the bacteria are destroyed. In April, the USDA awarded the University of Florida a $4.6 million grant to test the effectiveness of Santra’s Zinkicide. UCF received $1.4 million of the grant to conduct specific research on the formulation and application.

Arkadiy Lyakh Creates Most Efficient Quantum Cascade Laser Ever A team of produced designed. Pranalytic,

UCF researchers led by Arkadiy Lyakh of NSTC has the most efficient quantum cascade laser ever Lyakh came to UCF in September 2015 from Inc., a California-based tech company.

Lyakh’s lab has developed a process for creating Quantum cascade lasers, or QCLs which offer the advantages of higher power output and a wide range of infrared wavelengths than traditional lasers. They can also be used at room temperature without the need for bulky cooling systems. However, comparable to traditional lasers, QCLs are typically difficult and costly to produce. The new method developed at UCF uses a much simpler design from a production standpoint.

Representatives from MISA at the Florida Ag Expo on November 2, 2016

Battling Agricultural Diseases Brings Grants and Award Recognition for UCF and Dr. Swadeshmukul Santra Swadeshmukul Santra and his team were awarded a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a solution to citrus greening, which threatens to devastate Florida’s $11 billion citrus industry. The effort to halt the spread of citrus greening is facing increasing urgency among growers who are reeling over recent predictions of a 26 percent decline in Florida’s orange crop for the 2016-17 season. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also recognized the University of Central Florida as a “Center for Excellence” which recognizes the university’s capability and effectiveness as a research institution.

Dr. Lyakh

Swadeshmukul Santra, left, with U.S. Senator Bill Nelson, right.

Chanda and Team Win Prestigious Award Dr. Debashis Chanda and graduate student Daniel Franklin won the Displaying Futures Award 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany. The prize comes with $50,000 in research funding and a long term nurturing from Germany-based company Merck which hosted the event.


Dr. Jayan Thomas leads a Nano Energy-Photonics Group, which conducts research focused primarly on Nanostructured Supercapacitors and Li-ion batteries, nanoarchitectured light trapping solar cells, photorefractive polymers for 3D display applications, nonlinear optical materials, plasmonic structures and printed optical and photonic devices. Dr. Laurene Tetard leads the Tetard Research Group, which focuses on the development of high resolution characterization tools to advance the understanding of materials and complex systems.

Merck selected UCF’s plasmatic full-color display project as its top pick from a field of 30 researchers in the invitation-only competition. The company’s goal for the new award is to identify new display applications and support further development of the materials.

Chanda Awarded $1.3 Million Grant to Develop Next-Generation Infrared Detector DARPA has awarded a three-and-a-half year, $1.3 million grant to a team led by Debashis Chanda to fund the development of a next-generation IR detector that could be used in night vision, meteorology and space exploration. Portable IR cameras have law enforcement, military, and firefighting applications. To be powerful enough to produce more detailed images, infrared detectors typically used by NASA and defense agencies are large, expensive and can only function at ultralow temperatures. The team is working on a device that relies on thin graphene, a one-atomic-layer thick, 2D material that Chanda envisions will be small, portable and doesn’t need to be cooled but which produces high-resolution images. The team intends to collaborate with defense majors such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and St. Johns Optical Systems for integration and packaging.

Dr. Chanda

Thomas and Tetard Featured on Cover of Journal of Materials Chemistry A An article authored by two NSTC faculty and their colleagues is featured on the cover of Journal of Materials Chemistry A. The article, “A PCBM-assisted perovskite growth process to fabricate high efficiency semitransparent solar cells” highlights the rapid and simple development of highly efficient semitransparent perovskite solar cells.

Nanowire Supercapacitor Research Published in ACS Nano Journal An article on nanowire supercapacitor research has recently been published in the American Chemical Society’s ACS Nano Journal. Contributors include Nitin Choudhary, Chao Li, Hee-Suk Chung, Julian Moore, and NSTC faculty Jayan Thomas and Yeonwoong (Eric) Jung.

Jung’s Paper Featured in Nature Communications Yeonwoong (Eric) Jung’s co-first authored paper, Nanoscale Size Effects in Crystallization of Metallic Glass Nanorods, was published in Nature Communications. The paper focuses on in-situ TEM of metallic glass nanorods, revealing abnormal size-dependent crystallization in this system for the first time. The findings provide insight into relevant length scales in crystallization of supercooled metallic glasses, thus offering accurate processing conditions for predictable metallic glass nanomolding.


Novel Atom-Thick Semiconductors Developed in Jung’s Group Featured In Scientific Reports In a recent paper published in Scientific Reports, Yeonwoong (Eric) Jung’s group reports a new chemical synthesis method to stack up multiple 2D semiconductors based on MoS2 and WS2 in a highly controlled manner. These new 2D semiconductors whose thickness was only 7-8 nm were produced on a scale of over a few centimeters square, which is sufficient to cover conventional wafers on which computer chips and light emitting diodes can be integrated. Atomic scale structural characterizations involving electron microscopy directly revealed that two distinct 2D layers perfectly maintained atomically sharp heterojunctions. These novel materials are anticipated to offer tremendous opportunities for emerging technologies across electronics, otpo-electronics and energy areas such as transparent and flexible solar cells that can operate in a muctifunctional manner.

Mayo Clinic Symposium A mini-symposium exploring collaboration opportunities between UCF and Mayo-Jacksonville was held in May, 2016. Topics and speakers were selected by Mayo, and the symposium was an outgrowth of collaborations between Mayo scientists and UCF Professor Sudipta Seal. Three NSTC faculty members presented at the symposium. Dr. Hyeran Kang delivered a talk called, “Cytoskeletal Biopolymer Mechanics: Implication for Mechanosensing Mechanism.” Dr. Alexander Balaeff presented “Modeling and Simulation of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics.” Dr. Sudipta Seal rounded out the presentations from NSTC with his lecture, “Regenerative Nanomedicine.”

Faculty Awards Faculty Win Research Incentive and Reach for the Stars Awards Nanotechnology-Medicine Collaboration Yields Promising Tool for Mosquito-Borne Disease Detection UCF College of Medicine researcher Bradley Willenberg and his team in conjunction Sudipta Seal, UCF’s interim chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department, director of UCF’s Advanced Materials Processing Analysis Center and NanoScience Technology Center have designed a new mosquito surveillance tool that attracts mosquitos, diagnoses those carrying diseases such as the Zika virus, and turns them a different color as a warning system to residents in at-risk areas throughout the world. Seal and his team will provide the nanotechnology expertise and create nanostructures that will react to a specific disease protein present in infected mosquitoes.

Swadesh Santra and Jayan Thomas were recent recipients of the UCF Reach for the Stars Award which is one that honors and rewards highly successful research and creative activity accomplished by early-career university professionals. The Reach for the Stars award winners are chosen by University president John Hitt and normally do not exceed five per year. A $10,000 annual research grant for each of three years accompanies this honor. NSTC faculty member Masa Ishigami won the award in 2015. Dr. Thomas (third from the left) and Dr. Santra (third from the right) accepting the Reach for the Stars Award

Dr. Willenberg

Santra Wins Research Incentive Award The Research Incentive Award is designed to recognize faculty and research staff who have contributed outstanding scholarly or creative research that advances the body of knowledge in their fields. Nominees for the Research Incentive Award are evaluated on a number of criteria, including the value or impact of their research within their discipline and to society, the recognition of the nominees’ research by their peers, and any external grant and contract support the nominees may have received for their efforts. All of the recipients will receive a $5,000 increase to their base salary.


Faculty Inducted into UCF Scroll & Quill Society

In 2016 the National Science Foundation renewed its support for our REU site for another three years for the Engineering and Nanoscience of Materials and Device Applications in Biotechnology and Medicine.

Swadeshmukul Santra, Qun “Treen” Huo, Saiful I. Khondaker, and Lei Zhai were selected to be inducted into the UCF Scroll & Quill Society in April, 2016. Induction into the Scroll & Quill Society is a distinct honor at UCF. It provides recognition for contemporary UCF faculty achievements in research and creative activities across all disciplines. The specific focus of this society is on recognizing faculty members who have demonstrated sustained and outstanding achievements in research and/or creative activities at UCF, and brought positive national and/or international attention to the institution through these activities.

Zhai Receives UCF TIP Awards

Dr. Zhai

Dr. Lei Zhai received UCF Teaching Incentive Program Awards for 2015-2016. The TIP award rewards sustained high levels of teaching effectiveness. Eligible faculty must have been employed by UCF for at least four years and meet or exceed median student credit hour production. The award provides a $5,000 base salary increase.

Faculty Mentorship Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

Dr. Gesquiere, Dr. Seal, and Dr. Zemliansky with the student participants in the REU Symposium August 11, 2016

Graduates Supervised by NSTC Faculty In service to the UCF academic mission, faculty members affiliated with the NanoScience Technology Center serve as committee chairs for Masters theses and Doctoral dissertations. The following students completed degrees under the supervision of NSTC and AMPAC faculty during the last year. Summer 2015

Spring 2016

Jean Calderon Flores, Chemistry PhD 1, 2, and 3 Dimension Carbon/Silicon Carbon Nitride Ceramic Composites Chair: Lei Zhai

Kiran Prakash, Electrical Engineering MS Smart grasping using laser and tactile array sensors for UCF-MANUS-an intelligent Assistive Robotic Manipulator Chair: Aman Behal

Matthew McInnis, Chemistry PhD Fabrication and Study of Graphene-Based Nanocomposites for Sensing and Energy Storage Chair: Lei Zhai Kevin Grossman, Materials Science and Engineering MS Materials Science and Engineering MS Catalytic Role of Boron Nitride in the Thermal Decomposition of Ammonium Perchlorate Chair: Sudipta Seal

Summer 2016 Morteza Keshavarztalebi, Electrical Engineering PhD Microgrid Control and Protection: Stability and Security Chair: Aman Behal Chao Li, Materials Science and Engineering PhD NanoEngineered Energy Harvesting and Storage Devices Chair: Jayan Thomas

Fall 2015 Every summer UCF’s NanoScience Technology Center hosts a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) site supported by the National Science Foundation. Undergraduate students are recruited from colleges and universities across the country to participate in a ten-week research internship. The goal of the REU site is to give participating students firsthand experience in completing scientific research in a laboratory setting. The REU site places specific emphasis on broadening participation in STEM by students from underrepresented groups, and guides students in their career choices in STEM disciplines.

Bonnie Berry, Biomedical Sciences PhD Development of human and rodent based in vitro systems toward better translation of bench to bedside in vivo results Chair: James Hickman

Professional development activities such as industry visits, developing presentation skills and scientific writing and peer review, led by Dr. Zemliansky (director of UCF’s Writing Across the Curriculum program), further prepare students for their STEM career. The REU site has been successful in accomplishing its goals by attracting over 60% of the participating students from underrepresented groups, 6 out of 10 students gaining interest in pursuing graduate school, and students publishing their REU work in peer reviewed journals and wining numerous awards.

Amirhossein Jabalameli, Electrical Engineering MS Characterization of a spiking neuron model via a linear approach Chair: Aman Behal

“This is a great platform for undergraduate training in high technology research” - Dr. Sudipta Seal

Hector Rivera Jacquez, Chemistry PhD Quantum Chemical Studies for the Engineering of Metal Organic Materials Chair: Artem Masunov

Ali Hagihat Mesbahi, Materials Science and Engineering MS Adsorption Behaviour of Polyacrylic Acid on Cerium Oxide Nanostructures: Experimental and Predictive Model Chair: Sudipta Seal

Nicholas Paperno, Electrical Engineering PhD Modeling and Compensation for Efficient Human Robot Interaction Chair: Aman Behal Craig Neal, Materials Science and Engineering MS Fabrication and Investigation of an enzymefree, Nanoparticle-based Biosensor for Hydrogen Peroxide determination Chair: Sudipta Seal


NSTC Education Fall 2016 Faculty Mentorship Snapshot for NSTC

NanoTechnology Masters Degrees Showing Early Signs of Success The Professional Science Master’s Degree in Nanotechnology recently graduated eight students from its premiere enrollment semester. All eight graduates were offered positions with the companies for which they interned. Some accepted those offers while some others received competitive offers with other firms. The success of the first class of PSM students will serve as a high bar for future cohorts. Program Coordinator Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo was pleased to share student highlights with her colleagues in the NSTC at a Fall meeting. In addition to the lavish praise our students received from their internship supervisors and a 100% industry job placement rate, Dr. Huo was able to report that three of our students, Rocky Brighton, Danielle Estes and Keiffer Gaskill (who all began the program in Fall 2014) won first place at the Graduate Research Forum in Spring 2016 in the category of Health Sciences. Fall 2015 ushered in the first cohort of students for the Master of Science in Nanotechnology degree offered by the NSTC. While it is still too early yet to report graduation or job placement rates for this new crop of students, the group is showing promise to be just as productive and impressive as their PSM counterparts. Torus Washington (Fall 2015 MS) won the Delores A. Auzenne Fellowship from the university in Spring 2016. Yasmine Abdellatif (Fall 2016 MS) is the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship. Briana Lee (Fall 2016 MS) won Best Graduate Poster for Health and Environmental Applications at the 2016 NanoFlorida meeting. With students of this caliber in its ranks, the future of the MS Nanotechnology program looks extremely bright.

P S M / M S S t u d e n t s Tay l o r Wo o d , N i c h o l a s Castaneda and Montherson Saint-Juste working in the lab. Photo by: Lauren Weathington

“Nanotechnology is a very fast growing field. Companies are very interested in people who have been trained in nanoscience. Communication across the discipline is becoming more and more important, which brought a very interesting education opportunity. We wanted to create an environment and education place where students can get used to the interdisciplinary nature. The bottom line is that we want our students to become competitive.” - Dr. Qun “Treen” Huo

2016 Fall Enrollment Snapshot PSM Students


Student Highlights NanoFlorida Winners from UCF NSTC NanoFlorida is an annual nanoscience technology symposium held at different Florida institutions of higher learning. Beginning in 2008 at the University of Central Florida, NanoFlorida 2016 returned for its “homecoming” at UCF. As a student-led conference NanoFlorida was designed to emphasize student leadership and development. The following students associated with NSTC won awards at the event: Best Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Matthew Suttinger Best Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Alireza Safaei Best Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Abraham Vázquez-Guardado 2nd place Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Yi Ding 3rd place Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Xiaoyan Lu Graduate Poster-Materials and Devices Honorable mention Hao Chen Best Graduate Poster- Health and Environmental Applications Briana Lee 3rd place Graduate Poster- Health and Environmental Applications Tianyu Zheng Oral Presentation Honorable Mention Juan He Oral Presentation Honorable Mention Tianyu Zheng Undergraduate Poster 2nd place Zon Thwin

MS Students

Undergraduate Poster 3rd place Elizabeth Wait

Honors, Achievements and Awards for the Students Supervised by Faculty Kazi Tasneem, a Ph.D. student in Dr. James Hickman’s lab, won the Presentation Fellowship from the College of Graduate Studies for 2015 which provides funding for enrolled master’s, specialist, and doctoral students to share their research at a professional meeting. Tazneem was also selected for the Frank Hubbard Engineering Endowed Scholarship for 2016-2017. Lauren Austin, a former student of Dr. Qun Huo, was recognized by Chemical and Engineering News magazine as one of their ‘Talented 12’ feature, which highlights young researchers using chemistry to solve global problems Daniel Franklin, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Debashis Chanda’s research group was awarded the College of Sciences General Scholarship. This $500 award recognizes commitment and dedication to pursuing educational goals.


Kazi Tasneem, a Ph.D. student in Dr. James Hickman’s lab, won the Presentation Fellowship from the College of Graduate Studies for 2015 which provides funding for enrolled master’s, specialist, and doctoral students to share their research at a professional meeting. Tazneem was also selected for the Frank Hubbard Engineering Endowed Scholarship for 2016-2017.

SENT Featured on National Nanotechnology Initiative Supplement to the President’s 2017 Budget

Lauren Austin, a former student of Dr. Qun Huo, was recognized by Chemical and Engineering News magazine as one of their ‘Talented 12’ feature, which highlights young researchers using chemistry to solve global problems. Hao Chen and Juan He were recognized at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week in San Francisco. Chen, a Ph.D. student in Dr. Yajie Dong’s research group, won Outstanding Paper for “High Efficacy, High Color Quality Hybrid White OLEDs Incorporating Red Quantum Dots with Narrow Emission Bands.” He, a Ph.D. student co-advised by Dr. Yajie Dong and Dr. Shin-Tson Wu of CREOL, was honored as having presented a distinguished paper for “Integrated Sensing Platform Based on Quantum Dot Light Emitting Diodes.” Both students were invited to submit a full paper to the Journal of the Society for Information Display and received student travel grant awards for their conference trip. Joseph Sleppy, under the supervision of Dr. Jayan Thomas, won the Best Project in the Mathematics & Physical Science II category at the Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence for his research in A PCBM Assisted Perovskite Growth Process to Fabricate High Efficiency Semitransparent Solar Cells. The award is joined by a $750 scholarship. Dan Elbrecht, an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Hickman’s lab, won the Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher Award of December 2015 from the Student Undergraduate Research Council for his research project Incorporation of Skin into in Vitro Drug Screening Platforms. The award included a $200 scholarship. Kripa Ahuja won second place for a poster presentation in the Florida American Society of Microbiology meeting. A high school senior at Trinity Preparatory School who has been volunteering with Dr. Swadesh Santra’s Research Group for the past year, she competed in the undergraduate category and was awarded the second place prize. Ankur Gupta, a member of Dr. Seal’s research group, was awarded the $300 Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant to present his research entitled “Gradient Electrochemical Response of Template Synthesized Thickness Sorted MoS2 Nanosheets for Cellular Level Free Radical Detection.” This is one of many honors of the past year for Mr. Gupta who was also recently selected as a student board member on the Thermal Spray Society Board of Directors. Dr. Soumen Das, a member of Dr. Seal's research group, received a young investigator award for the International Conference on Ionizing Processes (ICIP 2016). Dr. Das presented "Cerium Oxide as Radio-modifier." Swetha Barkam, a PhD student in Dr. Seal's research group, is the recipient of several very prestigious awards and honors in the past year. She received a $1000 travel scholarship from the American Ceramic Society (ACerS) to attend the European Ceramic Society's (ECerS) Summer School in Limoges, France. That organization also honored her with the Artistic Creativity award for the 1st Annual ACerS PCSA Creativity Competition. Ms. Barkam was selected for the ASM Board of Trustees as a student member. ASM International is the world's largest association of metals-centric materials engineers and scientists. She was recognized as an outstanding student leader for Women's History Month by the Lead Scholars Academy. Most recently Ms. Barkam was selected for a Graduate Excellence in Materials Science (GEMS) Award for 2016.  John Bittman, a PSM student under the supervision of Dr. Swadesh Santra, is a finalist for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. The PMF is a prestigious two-year training and development program at a United States government agency. The PMF Program received approximately 6,370 applicants for 2017 and John is one of only 417 finalists.

Outside left: Society of Emerging NanoTechnologies (SENT) student group at the University of Central Florida; photo by Alexis Vilaboy

The Society for Emerging and Nanotechnologies (SENT), a UCF student group, was featured on the cover of the National Nanotechnology Initiative Supplement to the President’s 2017 Budget. The document serves as the NNI annual budget and report to Congress as mandated by law. The mission of SENT is to raise awareness of current research and potential applications of nano and emerging technologies, build an interdisciplinary community of students interested in technologies of the future, facilitate interaction with faculty and industry, and promote science and engineering innovation.

Fall 2016 Seminars at NSTC Bioimaging and -sensing from In Vitro to In Silico Personalized Medicine Professor Jari Hyttinen and Project Researcher Kerstin Lenk Tampere University of Technology / BioMediTech Finland Evolutionary Shape Modification of Semiconductor Nanostructures Prof. Hirokazu Tatsuoka Graduate School of Integrated Science and Technology Shizuoka University Japan Nano-Materials for Practical Applications: Opportunities in Computing and the Internet-of-Things Dr. Supratik Guha, NAE Center for Nanoscale Materials Argonne National Laboratories The Institute for Molecular Engineering The University of Chicago Squeezing Light into Small Spaces Dr. Teri W. Odom Associate Director of the International Institute of Nanotechnology (IIN) Northwestern University Graphene Plasmonics and Nanoelectromagnetism for Biosensing Applications Dr. Pai-Yen Chen Wayne State University Finding Bacteria: The Bad, The Good, and The Better Dr. MinJun Kim Southern Methodist University Live, Free, Democratized Electronics: Bridging Catalyst of MultiDisciplinary Research Dr. Muhammad Mustafa Hussain King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Saudi Arabia The Evolution of GaN LED Technology Dr. Balakrishnan Krishnan, Associate Director of Research and Technology Services International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR)


FACULTY & STAFF DIRECTORY NSTC Faculty Alexander Balaeff Aman Behal Debashis Chanda Yajie Dong Romain Gaume Andre J. Gesquiere James J. Hickman Qun "Treen" Huo Masahiro Ishigami Yeonwoong (Eric) Jung Hyeran Kang Saiful I. Khondaker

Michael N. Leuenberger Arkadiy Lyakh ArtĂŤm E. Masunov Swaminathan Rajaraman Tania Roy Swadeshmukul Santra Sudipta Seal Laurene Tetard Jayan Thomas Yang Yang Lei Zhai

NSTC Staff

Brochure Committee

James Aleman Rebeca Barrios Karen Baxley Ernie Gemeinhart Ushaben Lal Diane Maldonado Ted Molina Michelle Shirzad Kari Stiles

Laurene Tetard Alexander Balaeff Debashis Chanda Yajie Dong Acknowledgements: Austin Tindle, Karen Baxley


Nano Materials Spring/Fall 2016