Perovskite nanocrystals show their true colors
A team of researchers led by Chad A. Mirkin and Vinayak Dravid has developed a new method for synthesizing halide perovskite nanocrystals, a critical step in creating not only power sources for nano-electronic devices but also optical displays with pure, brilliant colors unlike anything on the market today.

“This method could be used to create optical displays with ‘true’ reds, greens, and blues that completely outshine current LEDs,” said Mirkin. “From color purity to pixel density, these nano-LEDs point toward a potentially dramatic improvement over current LEDs.”
Scientists invent faster, cheaper strategy for designing infrared-emitting materials
IIN-affiliated researchers have developed a new low-cost, relatively simple strategy for designing materials used in live cell imaging, photodynamic therapy for cancer, and night-vision technologies.

To develop these materials, scientists currently use a chemical synthesis process that modifies the molecular structure. The Northwestern approach only needs to co-crystallize two different molecules — a convenient and efficient method based on supramolecular chemistry.

“Our work simplifies the production process and lays a foundation for practical application,” said Fraser Stoddart, senior author of the study. “This strategy will appeal to scientists working in a wide range of disciplines — from chemistry to crystal engineering to materials science.”
Nanotechnology drives record high in research funding at Northwestern
A global pandemic has not blunted Northwestern University’s remarkable research enterprise, which has grown to $886 million for fiscal year 2020, closing Aug. 31. The new figure represents an 11% increase over last year’s record-setting total of $797.8 million and makes Northwestern the largest academic research site in the state of Illinois.

Biomedical research continues to be Northwestern’s most active area, while other research areas, including nanotechnology, energy and sustainability, and quantum science have also advanced.

Vice President for Research Milan Mrksich noted that Northwestern’s strong culture for collaborative research has played an important role in “making our research enterprise the largest in the state.”
Welcome Ryan Fellows
The Ryan Fellowship was created to meet the challenge of creating a cadre of exceptional researchers and educators fluent in the field of nanotechnology. Fellowships support graduate students who explore fundamental nanoscale science and advance this knowledge into practical applications of benefit to society.

Made possible by a generous donation from Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan, the Ryan Fellowships seek to identify the finest graduate students in the country and provide them with the education and experience to assume leadership roles in academia and industry.

This year, 21 incoming and current Northwestern students received this prestigious fellowship:
Alessandro Benadia
Kendal Carrow
Emily Chase
Max Distler
Kira Fahy
Xinyi Gong
Jacob Graham
John Hegarty
Christina Hemmingsen
Spencer Hong
Haiyue Huang
Broderick Johnson
Dane Johnson
Kirsten Jung
Blaise Kimmel
Yuanwei Li
Akanksha Mahajan
Justin Peruzzi
Daniel Selgrade
Michael Vincent
Peter Winegar
We wish them every success as they embark on their fellowship and pursue their research with integrity, tenacity, and professionalism.
Upcoming Events
Registration is now open for the 2020 IIN Virtual Symposium!

Hosted by Chad A. Mirkin, this event — available live, for the first time, to attendees across the world — will explore the frontiers of science, from the exceedingly small to the mind-bogglingly large.

Join us on Thursday, Oct. 29 to unlock new pathways in biomedicine, renewable energy, molecular electronics, and more. You'll learn how an interdisciplinary approach led to the solution of one of the longest-standing puzzles in string theory and theoretical physics, and how it can benefit your own research.

There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required.
News & Honors
The NUANCE Center is hosting its annual "Art of Science" image contest. Through Oct. 4, vote for your favorite images from the sub-microscopic world.

Vinayak Dravid was named a 2020 Researcher to Know by the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.

Stephanie Ribet received a fellowship from NWRI/AMITA to support her research project, “Multifunctional Nanocomposite (MNS) Membrane for Nutrient Recovery”.

Michael Evangelopolous was selected as a Graduate Student Fellow in Northwestern's Brady Program in Ethics and Civic Life.
Chad Mirkin edited a four-volume set on the history, design, and application of Spherical Nucleic Acids.

Recordings from the IIN's virtual mini-conference have been posted on YouTube: July, August, September

Yonggang Huang was named the inaugural Jan and Marcia Achenbach Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern Engineering.

Kimberly Gray was named the inaugural Roxelyn and Richard Pepper Family Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern Engineering.
Nanotechnology at Northwestern: Qinghui Guo
Q: How do you explain what you study to non-scientists?

A: The theme of my research is uncovering the intrinsic nature of how molecules interact with one another involving of the principles of organic chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and nanotechnology. With a full understanding of new principles, the final goal is the rational design and construction of functional and smart materials that can be used to improve quality of life.

For example, I have discovered a new model for directing the hierarchical assembly of positively charged, and hence repulsive, molecules in a solid state. By expanding this concept, we can prepare single crystals of materials which may be useful in applications such as the removal of radioactive contaminants in the environment and conduction of protons in nanopores.
Nanotechnology at Northwestern: Stephanie Ribet
Q: You’re currently doing research into the problem of phosphate recovery. What drew you to that subject, and what do you hope to achieve?

A: It’s no secret that the Great Lakes Region suffers from a number of clean drinking water and water pollution issues, including hypereutrophication, the release of excess nutrients into natural bodies of water, creating large algae blooms. Living in the Midwest since 2016 has heightened my interest in these water problems, augmenting my excitement to focus on environmental remediation during my graduate degree.

The Dravid Group recently reported the Oleophilic, Hydrophobic, Magnetic (OHM) sponge, a novel nanocomposite material that can adsorb 20-35 times its weight in oil for many cycles. Using our OHM sponge as a platform technology, we aim to develop new strategies to remove phosphates from water before they contribute to algae blooms. Moreover, we want to not only remove nutrients but also recover them, which is important for phosphate, as it is a non-renewable natural resource of limited supply.