Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry, and Technology

News Archives

UW leads new NSF Science and Technology Center on optoelectronic and quantum technologies

The new Center for Integration of Modern Optoelectronic Materials on Demand, (IMOD), funded by the National Science Foundation as a Science and Technology Center (STC), is led by UW's Prof David Ginger. The center comprises eleven academic institutions as well as several educational, commercial, and national laboratory organizations, including PNNL. The mission of IMOD is to "Transform conventional and quantum optoelectronics through the development of atomically-precise semiconductor materials and scalable manufacturing processes". UW Professors involved in IMOD also include Kai-Mei Fu, Brandi Cossairt, Devin MacKenzie, Arka Majumdar, and Daniel Gamelin. Ginger and Fu hold joint appointments with PNNL. Fu serves as IMOD's associate director of quantum workforce development.

PNNL's Marcel Baer wins DOE Early Career Award in Biomolecular Materials program

Marcel Baer's research will use computational methods to understand and design modular electron transfer building blocks that mimic natural modules comprising iron-sulfur clusters in peptide units. Synthetic sequence-defined polymers will be used in the design of these building blocks instead of natural peptides. Ultimately, these modules may be arranged into new stable materials that can control electron flow on the nanometer scale for energy technologies. His successful Early Career proposal was entitled "Computationally Driven Design and Synthesis for Electron Transfer Materials based on Non-natural Polymers". Unfunded collaborators Chunlong Chen and Jay Grate from PNNL will provide an experimental perspective on peptoids and triazine based polymers, respectively. These are both types of synthetic sequence defined polymers with peptide-mimetic characteristics and function. Read more about Marcel's interests in energy science at PNNL's Physical Sciences Division news site.

Magnetic skyrmions in monolayer CrI3

A theoretical study published in JACS Au shows how atomically precise chemical doping controls the magnitude and direction of magnetic skyrmions in CrI3 monolayers. The local concentration and arrangement of Cl impurities in these two-dimensional materials controls the skyrmionic states formed in applied electro-magnetic fields or in Janus-layer devices. These states are important for potential spintronics applications. The collaboration including UW Professors Xiaosong Li and Xiaodong Xu and along with PNNL staff scientist Peter Sushko was supported in part by seed project funding from NW IMPACT. In addition to providing an atomic-level insight that can be used to create and control complex magnetic patterns in monolayer CrI3, the work lays the foundation for investigating the field- and composition-dependent magnetic properties in other similar two-dimensional materials.

UW's Guomin Zhu Wins Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award

Research conducted by Dr. Guomin Zhu on interfacial controls on the nucleation and growth of mesocrystals and nanomaterials earned him a gold-level award from the Materials Research Society (MRS). The MRS Graduate Student Awards honor graduate students "whose academic achievements and current materials research display a high level of excellence and distinction." Experimental aspects of Zhu's graduate research were conducted at PNNL with support from DOE's Basic Energy Sciences programs.

UW and PNNL contribute materials science expertise to C2QA, a national Quantum Information Center

UW and PNNL are providing materials science expertise in the quantum properties of defects in crystals to the Co-design Center for Quantum Advantage, C2QA, led by Brookhaven National Laboratory. C2QA is one of five new National QIS Centers established by the U.S. Department of Energy. UW Professor Kai-Mei Fu, a joint appointment with PNNL associated with NW IMPACT, is contributing to the materials thrust in C2QA led by Nathalie de Leon at Princeton University, and collaborating with PNNL's Steven Spurgeon, Bethany Matthews, and Peter Sushko in a portion of this work. PNNL's Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory (EMSL) provides world-class imaging capabilities and the Shallow Underground Laboratory offers a unique low-background facility for materials and device environmental testing and production. The National QIS Research Centers will accelerate advances in materials science, physics, computing, and information technology to support the advancement of quantum information science. PNNL participates in three of them.

James De Yoreo wins prestigious U.S. Department of Energy Award

NW IMPACT founding co-director, James De Yoreo, has been named a 2020 Distinguished Scientist Fellow by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy, press release. This award recognizes and rewards "particularly eminent and accomplished" scientists with emphasis on "research through collaborations between institutions of higher education and national laboratories." Jim has been instrumental in establishing collaborative research between UW and PNNL, including the UW-led Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales (CSSAS), and the PNNL/UW NW IMPACT. Scientifically, the DOE recognized Jim for "transformational discoveries that have reshaped our understanding of materials synthesis." He will be awarded $1 million in funding from DOE to pursue further research of his own choosing.

NW IMPACT team leads new Energy Frontier Research Center

Funding to establish the Center for the Science of Synthesis Across Scales (CSSAS) was announced on June 29, 2018 by the U.S. Department of Energy. CSSAS, led by UW, is an Energy Frontier Research Center whose mission is to "harness the complex functionality of hierarchical materials by mastering the design of high-information-content macromolecular building blocks that predictively self-assemble into responsive, reconfigurable, self-healing materials, and direct the formation and organization of inorganic components." The Center is a close collaboration of UW, PNNL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of California San Diego, and the University of Chicago. Francois Baneyx, Vice Provost for Innovation at UW, is the director of CSSAS.

The founding co-director of NW IMPACT, Jim De Yoreo, serves as the deputy director. The collaborative effort leading to CSSAS was enabled by NW IMPACT (UW press release), which funded an initial project on Engineering Sequence-Defined Polymers for Controlled Formation of Hybrid Materials. This collaborative project was led by Chun-Long Chen at PNNL and Francois Baneyx at UW.

Quantum Materials are the focus of a new Energy Frontier Research Center

Xiaodong Xu leads the UW contribution to a new Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) entitled Programmable Quantum Materials. The mission of this center, led by Columbia University, is "To discover, characterize, and deploy new forms of quantum matter controllable by gating, magnetic proximity and nano-mechanical manipulation." Xu is a joint appointee with UW and PNNL, and he is the UW principle investigator on a NW IMPACT funded project on New Quantum Phenomena by Combining 2D Materials with Complex Oxides. Scott Chambers is the PNNL lead on this project. Other UW NW IMPACT project members Daniel Gamelin, Jiun-Haw Chiu, David Cobden join Xu as researchers on the EFRC.

David Ginger elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences

NW IMPACT founding co-director, David S. Ginger, has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences. He is recognized for his pioneering research in "the application of scanning probe and multimodal microscopy to study the optoelectronic properties of thin film semiconductor materials including organic semiconductors, quantum dots, and halide perovskites." His election was announced July 13, 2018, and he was formally inducted into the Academy at its annual meeting on September 13, 2018, at the Seattle Museum of Flight (UW press release). Prof. Ginger holds the title of Alvin L. and Verla R. Kwiram Endowed Professor of Chemistry at UW. In addition to being a founding co-director of NW IMPACT, he is the Chief Scientist for the UW Clean Energy Institute.

NW IMPACT team lands Army Research Office funding for biomimetic growth of plasmonic nanomaterials

A collaborative team of researchers from the PNNL and UW has been awarded a three year grant from the Army Research Office (ARO), with the aim of using specialized biomimetic polymers to control the formation of plasmonic nanostructures. PNNL's Chun-Long Chen has shown that sequence defined macromolecules called peptoids can direct the morphological growth of inorganic gold nanoparticles, creating highly branched structures with plasmonic properties. The ARO research grant will elucidate the more fundamental principles by which peptoids control the growth and morphology of plasmonic nanomaterials, inspired by the way biominerals form in nature. The founding co-director of NW IMPACT, Jim De Yoreo, will lead the in situ imaging efforts, and Jim Pfaendtner, chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at UW, will lead computational studies to complement materials synthesis efforts. The formation of this collaborative team was facilitated by NW IMPACT (UW Press release), which funded an initial project on Engineering Sequence-Defined Polymers for Controlled Formation of Hybrid Materials.