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Park AFM Scholarships expands globally

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Park AFM Scholarships have been awarded to ten outstanding researchers from leading institutions and this year the program will expand globally

The Park AFM Scholarship award is open to postdoctoral researchers and graduate students working in nanotechnology research using Park AFM. As progress for nanotechnology research and development advances at an unprecedented rate, universities worldwide offer degrees in fields working with nanotechnology. Park Systems, world-leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopes, is offering up to a $500 USD monetary scholarship to promote the education of future scientists and engineers in a number of nanoscience research areas that require advanced nanoscale microscopy for sample analysis and observation and to promote shared research findings and methodologies amongst their peers.

“We not only offer financial incentive to Park AFM Scholars who are pioneering new research methodologies in nanotechnology at leading academic institutions worldwide, but most importantly are giving them access to our Park atomic force microscopes,” stated Keibock Lee, Park Systems President. “We will continue to advance nanoscale discoveries thru this Park AFM Scholarship program worldwide.”

The Park AFM Scholarship award is open to postdoctoral researchers and graduate students working in nanotechnology research using Park AFM. As progress for nanotechnology research and development advances at an unprecedented rate, universities worldwide offer degrees in fields working with nanotechnology. Park Systems, world-leading manufacturer of atomic force microscopes, is offering up to a $500 USD monetary scholarship to promote the education of future scientists and engineers in a number of nanoscience research areas that require advanced nanoscale microscopy for sample analysis and observation and to promote shared research findings and methodologies amongst their peers.

 

Two New Park AFM Scholarship Winners Announced

James Hedrick

Graduate Student, Mirkin Lab, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering Northwestern University

Faculty Mentor: Professor Chad Mirkin

James Hedrick received a S.B., in chemical engineering with a minor in biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research work is currently focused on the area of nanolithography. He is developing a method for synthesizing nanomaterial libraries over macro length scales on a single chip. After forming these nanocombinatorial libraries, they can be screened for a multitude of properties for a range of potential applications. Concurrently, he has been researching and building a scanning probe-based 3D printer to print multifunctional materials with nanoscale re solution. He is the owner and founder of his company Pintastic Pins since 2007.

Abstract: Hard Transparent Arrays for Polymer Pen Lithography

Patterning nanoscale features across macroscopic areas is challenging due to the vast range of length scales that must be addressed. With polymer pen lithography, arrays of thousands of elastomeric pyramidal pens can be used to write features across centimeter-scales, but deformation of the soft pens limits resolution and minimum feature pitch, especially with polymeric inks. Here, we show that by coating polymer pen arrays with a ~175 nm silica layer, the resulting hard transparent arrays exhibit a force-independent contact area that improves their patterning capability by reducing the minimum feature size (~40 nm), minimum feature pitch (<200 nm for polymers), and pen to pen variation. With these new arrays, patterns with as many as 5.9 billion features in a 14.5 cm2 area were written using a four hundred thousand pyramid pen array. Furthermore, a new method is demonstrated for patterning macroscopic feature size gradients that vary in feature diameter by a factor of 4. Ultimately, this form of polymer pen lithography allows for patterning with the resolution of dip-pen nanolithography across centimeter scales using simple and inexpensive pen arrays. The high resolution and density afforded by this technique position it as a broad-based discovery tool for the field of nanocombinatorics.

Summarize the research you are doing and explain briefly how it will impact society. Why is your research important?

As materials go from the macro-to-micro and then to the nanoscale, their properties will vastly change. At the nanoscale, small changes in size and composition of material have dramatic effects on the chemical activity, energy capture, and mechanical properties.

Polymer pen lithography (PPL) utilizes an array with millions of pyramidal pens to deposit single attoliter features on a surface. When combined with scanning probe block copolymer lithography, which utilizes PEO-b-P2VP and a metallic precursor to direct the on-surface and spatially confined synthesis of metal nanoparticles, combinatorial libraries of billions of nanoparticles can be synthesized in unison with variations in both size and composition. This innovative, high-throughput screening platform enables rapid discovery of next generation catalysts that have the potential of drastically impacting multiple industries.

 

 

 

 

(a) AFM of a dot array with a 190 nm pitch in a hexagonal pattern array written using hard transparent array, 200 nm scale bar; (b) single polymer feature with a circle of small droplets from original meniscus, 20 nm scale bar; (c) dark-field optical microscopy of array with 500 nm pitch written using hard transparent array with PPL with 14 641 features written per pen, 100 μm scale bar; and (d) zoomed in image pattern made form a single pyramidal pen, 25 μm scale bar.

Published in: James L. Hedrick; Keith A. Brown; Edward J. Kluender; Maria D. Cabezas; Peng-Cheng Chen; Chad A. Mirkin; ACS Nano  2016, 10, 3144-3148. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.6b00528
Copyright © 2016 American Chemical Society

 

 

 

 

Pengcheng Chen

PhD Student at Northwestern University

Faculty Mentor: Professor Chad Mirkin

Pengcheng Chen received his B.S. and M.S. in Polymer Science from Zhejiang University (ZJU), China. His research work is currently focused on developing combinatorial library of nanoparticles for catalyst screening. This research involves synthesizing nanostructures with scanning probe lithographic method, and is important for use in future applications, like pharmaceutical synthesis and energy conversion.

Abstract: Polyelemental nanoparticle libraries

Multimetallic nanoparticles are useful in many fields, yet there are no effective strategies for synthesizing libraries of such structures, in which architectures can be explored in a systematic and site-specific manner. The absence of these capabilities precludes the possibility of comprehensively exploring such systems. We present systematic studies of individual polyelemental particle systems, in which composition and size can be independently controlled and structure formation (alloy versus phase-separated state) can be understood. We made libraries consisting of every combination of five metallic elements (Au, Ag, Co, Cu, and Ni) through polymer nanoreactor–mediated synthesis. Important insight into the factors that lead to alloy formation and phase segregation at the nanoscale were obtained, and routes to libraries of nanostructures that cannot be made by conventional methods were developed.

What is the most useful part of using Park AFM for your research? Please explain what features are most useful and why?

“Park XE-150 AFM is a very useful and convenient tool to perform scanning probe lithography experiments. The lithography mode in XEP software offers the highest degree of freedom to design specific lithography patterns. The software allows for controlling the movement of XYZ piezos in a precise and programmed way, which is crucial in our study for printing polymer nanoreactors on target substrates.”

Summarize the research you are doing and explain briefly how it will impact society. Why is your research important?

Metal nanoparticles are commonly used as catalysts in scientific research and industrial manufacturing processes because they provide chemical transformations with superior reactivity and selectivity. Multimetallic nanoparticle catalysts, however, remain due to the difficulty in synthesizing them in pure forms while encompasses the enormous compositional and structural parameter space. My research mainly focuses on developing methods for combinatorially synthesizing complex multicomponent nanoparticle systems and exploring its application in high-throughput catalyst screening. This research relies on scanning probe lithography to generate arrays of spatially separated polymer nanoreactors to synthesize individual nanoparticles. It frees the experimentalists from making numerous batches of uniform nanoparticles as each nanoparticle is locally defined by unique synthetic conditions in the polymer nanoreactors. Through parallel screening of the vast number of nanoparticles, novel catalytic nanomaterials can be discovered in a systematic way, avoiding the inefficient process of serially making and characterizing nanoparticles. Overall, my research work will offer the opportunity for rapid identification of next generation multimetallic catalysts, which will increase the sustainability and efficiency of chemical processes that leads to benefits for both academic and industrial communities.

 

 

Photo Caption: AFM topographical image of a polymer dot array printed by dip-pen nanolithography

 

 

 

 

Park AFM Scholarship Winners Research at The Mirkin Research Group under the leadership of Dr. Chad Mirkin at Northwestern University

 

 

Dr. Chad Mirkin who leads the Mirkin Research Group at Northwestern University is the Faculty Mentor for Park Systems AFM Scholars James Hedrick and Pengcheng Chen and the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) at Northwestern University.

 

 

 

Dr. Chad Mirkin leads the Mirkin Research Group and is the Director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN), the first institute of its kind in the country established in 2000 and representing $1 billion in nanotechnology research.

The Mirkin Research Group focuses on developing methods for controlling the architecture of molecules and materials on the 1 – 100 nm length scale, understanding their fundamental properties, and utilizing such structures to develop novel tools that can be applied in the areas of chemical and biological sensing, gene regulation, immunomodulation, lithography, catalysis, optics, and energy generation, storage, and conversion.The Mirkin Research Group has pioneered the use of nanoparticle-biomolecule conjugates as synthons in materials science and the development of many nanoparticle-based extra- and intracellular biodiagnostic and therapeutic tools.Since its inception, more than 1,800 products and systems have been commercialized worldwide. Twenty start-up companies have been launched based upon IIN research, and they have attracted over $700 million in venture capital funding.

“Like the scientific and engineering breakthroughs of the early 20th century, nanotechnology will bring dramatic and positive improvements to the everyday lives of people throughout the world and holds the promise to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems in areas as diverse as medicine, information technology, energy, and homeland security.”

 

Ryan Fellows at Northwestern University Give Back By Introducing Nanotechnology Topics to Future Scientists

Park AFM Scholars James Hedrick and Pengcheng Chen are both Ryan Fellows at Northwestern University, where educational outreach is an important part of the fellowship experience. Ryan Fellows engage in a variety of volunteer initiatives in the community including STEM & Sports Day supported by the National Informal STEM Education Network giving “What is Nano?” presentations to local school children and “Zoom into Nano” events at the Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago (pictured left).

 

 

Park AFM Scholarship Program Accepting Submissions for 2018

Park Systems is continuing their successful Park AFM Scholarship Program in 2018.

 

 

To be eligible:

1) The awardee must be a graduate student or postdoctoral researcher currently enrolled/affiliated with a research university, national laboratory, or governmental agency.

2) The research being presented must include meaningful data acquired using a Park AFM instrument. This data can either be the sole data being discussed in the presentation or be in conjunction with data acquired with other types of tools.

Park Systems will offer assistance to researchers who need a facility to perform their research using Park Atomic Force Microscope by matching them with one
of their shared nano facilities.

For more information on the Park AFM Scholarship program, go to: http://www.parkafm.com/index.php/medias/programs/park-afm-scholarship

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