Category Archives: Research

Summer School: Michigan Tech Professors Travel and Teach in India

Lynn and Claudio Mazzoleni posing with a large group of researchers in IndiaAtmospheric science experts Lynn Mazzoleni (Chem) and Claudio Mazzoleni (Physics), traveled more than 8,000 miles from Houghton to the National Institute of Technology Calicut (NIT) in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. Invited by Ravi Varma, associate professor of physics at NIT, and sponsored by the Global Initiative for Academic Networks (GIAN), their three-week trip was punctuated by local cultural experiences, sandwiched between giving several academic lectures.

They participated in a six-day GIAN-sponsored workshop, “Atmospheric Aerosol: Optical Properties, Composition, and Effects on Climate,” for students and junior faculty from NIT and elsewhere. The GIAN program is funded by the Indian government to foster high-quality international experiences and to elevate India’s reputation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). One way to achieve the mission is by inviting internationally renowned scientists like the Mazzolenis to share their expertise in atmospheric aerosols.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.


Yoke Khin Yap Wins Research Award

Yoke Khin YapYoke Khin Yap, professor of physics, has won the 2018 Research Award.

It’s a story well ingrained in our collective consciousness—the tale of the scientist laboring long hours for months or even years in dogged pursuit of answers. It’s a story we like to tell because it assures us someday our hard work will pay off. And in Yoke Khin Yap’s case, it certainly has.

The professor of physics has pursued a research path that embodies this story of science, taking an idea about certain nanomolecules from mere theory to, very soon, commercialized product. He also won the Bhakta Rath Research Award with student Chee Huei Lee in 2011. Yap’s contributions to fundamental understanding of boron-carbon-nitrogen nanostructures, the development of transistors without semiconductors and commercialization of high-brightness fluorophores for medical imaging have been honored with his receipt of Michigan Tech’s Research Award.

Read the full story on mtu.edu/news.



Hawry, Hjorth are 2018 SURF Award Recipients

Congratulations to Connor Hawry and Zackerie Hjorth (both advised by Prof. Yoke Khin Yap), who received Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships for 2018. Connor will be working on synthesis of small diameter BNNTs for biomedical application and Zackerie on boron nitride nanosheet synthesis for increasing electron mobility of graphene and TMDCs on SiO2 substrates.


In Print

Raymond ShawRaymond Shaw (Physics/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $185,703 research and development grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Will Cantrell (Physics) is Co-PI on the project “Laboratory Studies of the Effect of Turbulence on Aerosol-Cloud Interactions.”
This is the first year of a possible three-year project potentially totaling $719,035.


New Funding

image153545-persMark Kulie (GMES/EPSSI) is the principal investigator on a project that received a $8,448 research and development grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The project is “Deployment and Maintenance of a Proposed Snowfall Measurement Network to Study GFM Footprint-level Snowfall Variability.”
This is a nine-month project.

Yap’s Review Article Top 10 in 2017

Yoke Kin Yap in a lab with lab coat and safety glassesFrontier Review article published by Yoke Khin Yap was one of the Top 10 most downloaded articles published in Environmental Science: Nano in 2017 and was included in a feature collection showcasing the journal’s Most Downloaded Articles. This article, entitled “Water Purification: Oil-water Separation by Nanotechnology and Environmental Concerns” was co-authored by Chee Huei Lee, Bishnu Tiwari, and Dongyan Zhang.

Environmental Science: Nano is a high-impact journal published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. This journal is designated to publish articles on nanomaterial applications and interactions with environmental and biological systems.


Do the Room Temp Melt: Physics of Soft Materials

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 4.59.40 PMSalt-doped block polymers and ionic liquids—it’s a thermodynamic party. Better physics simulations crank up the possibilities for new composite materials.

Issei Nakamura is a theoretical physicist bringing a reality check to soft materials development. Specifically, he models the complex interactions of ionic liquids and block polymers, which together create salt-doped block polymers.

The ionic liquid squishes in between all the loops and strands of the block polymer. Because an ionic liquid can assemble a block polymer into millions of structures with wide-ranging properties, the possibilities are nearly endless. The composite materials show promise for battery electrodes, fuel cell membranes, electrochemical sensors and even artificial muscles.

The catch is that the materials have to get their thermodynamic groove figured out. Right now, untwining the conditions and properties of all those possible structures is like learning to tango blindfolded. Researchers and engineers can go through the motions, but understanding the sequence, the steps—and why—requires a new way to look at the system. And that’s where Nakamura steps in. Read the full story in Unscripted.


Carn’s Work Among NASA Highlights

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.19.36 PMIn reviewing the year’s highlights, NASA mentioned a study led by Simon Carn (GMES) that shared out the world’s first truly global inventory of volcanic sulfur dioxide emissions.

Using data from the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Earth Observing System Aura satellite launched in 2004, Carn and his team compiled emissions data from 2005 to 2015 to produce annual estimates for each of 91 presently emitting volcanoes worldwide.

The dataset will help refine climate and atmospheric chemistry models and provide more insight into human and environmental health risks. Read more and watch a video on NASA’s 2017 highlights and learn about volcano breath in the Michigan Tech news story about Carn’s research.