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NUANCE: Nanoscale Characterization Experimental Center

2023 REU Convocation

SHyNE’s 5 REU students presented their work during the 2023 Convocation, hosted by Montana State University. The event included talks from NNCI director David Gottfried, NNCO Deputy Director Quinn Spadola, and MSU researchers in addition to the student talks and poster sessions. 

Edward with his poster
Edward De La Uz discussing effects of climate change on coral during research presentation

The first REU to present was Edward De La Uz, who worked with NUANCE’s Paul Smeets on his presentation, “Mesoscale nanocrystal organization in stony coral tissue loss disease lesions”. De La Uz analyzed coral samples from his home university, Florida Atlantic University, using NUANCE’s SEMs to perform EBSD and EDS to study the diseased coral’s structures.  

Tanvi with her poster
Tanvi Panchumarthy during poster session day 1

Later in the day featured Tanvi Panchumarthy’s research with the Bedzyk lab. Her talk, “Characterizing Phase Transitions and Thermal Responses in DNA-coated Gold Nanoparticles”, discussed colloidal crystals’ structural shifts from face-centered cubic to body-centered cubic as the salinity and temperatures increase. 

Maggie with her poster
Maggie Yang discussing humidity swing data during research presentation

Shortly after, Maggie Yang’s work with VPD group member Ben Shindel was presented. In “New sorbent platforms for humidity-swing direct air capture”, she discussed the options for carbon dioxide capture via moisture-swing processes. The research has major impacts for how climate change can be combated. 

Avni with her poster
Avani Marmer discussing work during Poster Session day 1

The next day, Avani Marmer presented her work with the Kanatzidis lab. “In Situ X-Ray Diffraction during Material Synthesis for Compound Discovery” discussed the process of identifying three possible metastable intermediate compounds through variable temperature and powder X-ray Diffraction. The prospects for a deeper understanding of solid-state reactions and the creation of innovative materials is furthered through the findings of this study. 

Ike with his poster
Ike Zhang during Poster Session day 1

Ike Zhang closed out the SHyNE presentations with “Handheld interface for MOSFET-embedded µ-cantilevers for biomolecular sensing applications”. His work with NUANCE’s GS Shekhawat and Dilip Agarwal discussed the use of gold-coated microcantilevers in the testing and screening of SARS-CoV-2 and HIV. The prototype for a device to hold these microcantilevers is currently undergoing testing. 

REU group pic at Yellowstone Nt. Pk
From Left to Right: Edward De La Uz, Tirzah Abbot, Tanvi Panchumarthy, Avani Marmer, Ike Zhang, Maggie Yang

Between amazing research and a fun trip to Yellowstone National Park with REU Technical Director, Tirzah Abbott, the 2023 Convocation was a success! Thank you to our hosts, Montana State University, and to the NNCI for the coordination of this national REU program. 

You can find more information about SHyNE's REU program here