Inside Rensselaer
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Graduate student Darshan Gandhi will present his research into “nanoglue,” a nano-engineered adhesive that strengthens when exposed to heat, and can hold nearly anything together.
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Faculty and Students Will Present Research, Accept Awards at Materials Conference
Rensselaer’s School of Engineering will have a strong showing in Boston at the end of the month for the Material Research Society’s 2007 Fall Meeting. Rensselaer’s Materials Research Center on the south end of campus will be a near ghost town from Nov. 26-30, as dozens of faculty, researchers, and students from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering attend the annual conference.

The event is a venue for researchers to meet kindred spirits, keep up on the latest happenings in their field of study, and share recent project updates and research results with the advanced materials community.

Plus, it’s also a time for acknowledging outstanding work.

Mechanical engineering doctoral student Zuankai Wang recently won the prestigious Materials Research Society Graduate Student Award, and will receive his medal during a formal presentation at the conference. The award is for Wang’s research into controlling the flow of water through carbon nanotubes, which has potential applications for desalination and purification of water. Wang’s research, conducted with professor Nikhil Koratkar, was published in March in the journal Nano Letters.

Materials science graduate student, Darshan Gandhi, was selected as a finalist for the Material Research Society Graduate Student Award, and also will present at the conference. Gandhi’s research is into “nanoglue,” a nano-engineered adhesive that strengthens when exposed to heat, and can hold nearly anything together. Working with professor Ganapathiraman Ramanath, Gandhi’s research results were published earlier this year in the journal Nature.

Robert Vajtai, laboratory manager of the Nanotechnology Center’s carbon nanotube lab, will give the presentation “Chip cooling with tailored carbon nanotube architectures.” Vajtai will talk about using aligned multi-walled carbon nanotubes to create micro-fins that can help boost heat dissipation on silicon chips and high-performance microprocessors.

Rensselaer’s Molecularium also will make a stop at the Material Research Society meeting. Shekhar Garde, the recently appointed head of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, will present the talk “Molecularium: Merging Entertainment With Education, Outreach, and Scientific Literacy.”

Along with Rensselaer Nanotechnology Center Director Richard Siegel and Materials Science and Engineering Professor Linda Schadler, Garde has been working for years to use Molecularium to help excite young minds about “all things scientific” and attract them to careers in science and engineering. Garde will report on the team’s development of the first movie, results of a project assessment, and the future directions of Molecularium — including the extended IMAX version currently in development.

The breadth of Rensselaer’s participation in the Material Research Society’s 2007 Fall Meeting is vast, from mechanical engineering graduate student Youngsuk Son’s presentation “Investigations of the thermal transport across the interface between multiwalled carbon nanotube arrays and Si/SiO2 and inconel substrates” to nearly 20 poster presentations by Rensselaer materials science graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

The Institute’s Focus Center New York for Interconnects also will be out in full force at the conference. Professor Saroj Nayak will give a talk on his research into spintronics and graphene for interconnect applications. Materials science and engineering postdoctoral researcher Qingyu Yan will give the interconnects-related presentation “Rod-shaped assemblies of biphasic nanostructures through dynamic templating,” which explores strategies for synthesizing of inorganic nanocystals for use in thermoelectrics applications.

The upcoming Material Research Society will also give Rensselaer researchers a chance to meet and hear from Robert Hull, the future head of the Institute’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Hull is currently the Charles Henderson Professor of Engineering in the University of Virginia’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and serves as director of the school’s UVS Materials Research Science and Engineering Center as well as its Institute for Nanoscale and Quantum Science. Hull will begin at Rensselaer in early 2008, succeeding Professor David Duquette, who plans to stay at Rensselaer in another capacity.

At the Material Research Society conference, Hull will give the presentation “Hierarchical Assembly of Quantum Dot Architectures in the GeSi/Si(100) System.” The talk will focus on his research into using an energetic ion beam to lightly modify specific sites on a silicon surface, in order to “encode” the surface for subsequent controlled assembly of semiconductor nanostructures.

For more information on Zuankai Wang’s project, go to http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=1935.

For more information on Darshan Gandhi’s project, visit: http://news.rpi.edu/update.do?artcenterkey=2156&setappvar=page(1).
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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 1, Number 7, November 8, 2007
©2007 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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