SF Bay Area Nanotechnology Council


Archive for the ‘Past Events’ Category

Subatomic Species Transport through Atomically Thin Membranes

Thursday, February 16th, 2023
Prof Piran Kidambi, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Vanderbilt University

Cost: Free, but registration is required. Register: Here
Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

Thurs Dec 15 – Agenda (California Time)
11:30 AM – Check-in & Journal Club: Fundamental transport mechanisms of atomically thin membranes
12:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
12:10 – 1:30 PM –  Seminar and Q&A

Membranes are thin materials used to selectively separate gases or liquids and are used on a range of scales from benchtop experiments to industrial processes. Challenges arise in separating materials with very similar sizes or chemical properties, particularly at the smallest scales. We review advances in using atomically thin two-dimensional materials such as graphene or hexagonal boron nitride for the separation of subatomic species, including electrons, hydrogen isotopes, and gases. We also explore the scope to scale up the sizes of these membranes and their potential use in applications relating to energy, microscopy, and electronics.

Read More: Subatomic species transport through atomically thin membranes

Piran Kidambi is an Assistant Professor at the Vanderbilt University Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (since 2017). After receiving his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2014, he pursued postdoctoral research at MIT through the Lindemann Trust Fellowship.
     Kidambi’s research at Vanderbilt was recognized by the NSF (National Science Foundation) CAREER award (2020), American Chemical Society PRF Doctoral New Investigator (2018), Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2018), and other awards. He has served on the US National Graphene Association Academic Council since 2019 and is a guest editor for MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute) Nanomaterials.

SFBA Monthly Seminar – Nanotechnology + Synthetic Biology: Directing Evolution of Energy Materials

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Merging Nanotechnology & Synthetic Biology toward Directed Evolution of Energy Materials by Elena A. Rozhkova, Argonne National Laborator

Date and time

Thu, October 27, 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM PDT

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nanotechnology-synthetic-biology-directing-evolution-of-energy-materials-tickets-420103008407

About this event

The biological use of solar energy for synthesis of fuels from water and carbon dioxide inspires researchers and engineers in their efforts to replace exhaustible energy sources with renewable technologies.

Environmentally friendly schemes of photocatalytic energy conversion, known as artificial photosynthesis, along with inorganic materials, also use biological structures, such as molecules, enzymes, machineries of whole microorganisms capable of light-harvesting, water splitting, carbon dioxide and proton reduction.

In this talk, I will make an argument that merging nanotechnology, biotechnology and synthetic biology approaches allows for systemic manipulation at the nanoparticle-bio interface toward directed evolution of energy materials, novel environmentally friendly catalytic, “artificial life” systems and, ultimately, to circular economy.

For example, purple membranes isolated from Halobacteria cells or, more recently, obtained via cell-free synthetic biology approaches, were integrated with TiO2 nanoparticles to produce hydrogen or reduce carbon dioxide. These new functions are not typical of the host microorganism. On the other hand, interplay between plasmon resonance of photonic (Au, Ag) nanoparticles and natural mechanisms of the same light-sensitive membranes in engineered hollow hybrids, or “artificial cell”, resulted in ATP photosynthesis.

Dr. Rozhkova earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Moscow State Institute for Fine Chemical Technology. She then worked in Japan as a postdoctoral fellow of Japan Society for Promotion of Science at Tohoku University. After moving to the US in 2003, she became a research staff member at the Chemistry Department of Princeton University, and later she moved to Chicago.

Since joining the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory in 2007, Elena has focused on a general theme of nano-bio interfaces, one of the most exciting interdisciplinary research fields of our time. Success in this area can lead to the solution of emerging problems of civilization, for example, to provide alternative sustainable energy, to advance medical technologies in the diagnosis and treatment of incurable diseases

SFBA Nanotechnology Seminar – Nanomaterial-Enabled Soft Electronics

Thursday, September 29th, 2022

Nanomaterial-Enabled Soft Electronics by Prof Yong Zhu, Andrew A. Adams Distinguished Professor North Carolina State University (NCSU)

Date and time

Thu, October 13, 2022, 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM PDT

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sfba-nanotechnology-seminar-nanomaterial-enabled-soft-electronics-tickets-420099277247

About this event

Soft electronics takes a leap beyond Si-based rigid electronics. They are made of ultrathin, compliant, and stretchable materials, already with broad applications from personal health monitoring to prosthetics to human-machine interfaces. Metal nanowires, in particular silver nanowire (AgNWs), have emerged as a promising soft electronic material.

In this talk, I will discuss the recent advances in AgNW-based soft electronics and soft robotics. I will start with highly conductive and stretchable AgNW electrodes, followed with a variety of wearable sensors for monitoring of human physiology and motions (e.g., strain, pressure, temperature, hydration, ECG, and EMG). I will discuss their application in personal healthcare and sports.

Manufacturing is a critical enabling step for developing AgNW-based soft electronic devices. I will discuss our recent efforts in scalable and sustainable nanomanufacturing.

Soft robotics have recently received tremendous interests. I will briefly discuss the AgNW-based soft heater and bimorph actuator and their application in soft robotics. I highlight a recent strategy employing mechanical bistability to significantly increase the speed of the thermally actuated soft robots.

Yong Zhu is the Andrew Adams Distinguished Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, with affiliate appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, at North Carolina State University.
He received his BS degree from the University of Science and Technology of China and MS and PhD degrees from Northwestern University. After completing his postdoctoral training at the University of Texas at Austin he joined NC State University in 2007 as an Assistant Professor.
His group conducts research at the intersection of mechanics of materials and micro/nano-technology, including nanomaterial-enabled flexible, stretchable and wearable electronics.
His work has been recognized with numerous awards including James R. Rice Medal from the Society of Engineering Science, Bessel Research Prize from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, ASME Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, and Best Wearable Material/Component Development Award at IDTechEx Wearable USA

6th Annual Company Origin Stories – Exploring Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022
CEO/Founders discuss the technology and business aspects of building a successful company based on nanotechnology

Cost: Free, but registration is required. Register: Here
Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

Thurs April 16 –
Agenda (California Time)

3:30 PM – Check-in
4:00 – Welcome
4:15 – Lightning presentations by company founders
5:25 – Panel discussion – Glenn Friedman, moderator 

Advances in the method of X-ray footprinting and its application to the investigation of protein interactions and conformation

Thursday, May 12th, 2022

About this event

Speaker : Corie Ralson, PhD, Facility Director, Biological Nanostructures Facility at The Molecular Foundry and Guest Scientist in Molecular Biophysics & Integrated Bioimaging

The use of X-ray footprinting mass spectrometry (XFMS) to investigate structural features and conformational changes of macromolecules in the solution state has grown substantially in the past decade and has been successfully applied to systems ranging from single domain proteins to in vivo ribonucleoprotein assemblies. The method is highly complementary to the more widely used structural elucidation techniques for biological macromolecules such as x-ray diffraction, HDX, and cryo-electron microscopy. XFMS is an in situ hydroxyl radical (•OH) labeling method; X-ray irradiation dissociates solvent water to produce hydroxyl radicals, which covalently modify side chains which are solvent accessible. More specifically, residues which are in proximity to water molecules (either bulk or bound) are modified to a greater extent than residues which are not in proximity to water. Because liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry is then used to analyze the stable covalent modifications produced, the data provide a “water map” at the single residue level, which is then used to determine sample conformation. In this talk, I will describe the XFMS method, its advantages and disadvantages relative to other methods, recent technological advances in the method, and some recent exciting examples of structural information obtained on protein systems using the method.

Biological Macromolecules' structure; XFMS investigation image

Corie Ralston holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California at Davis. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Brookhaven National Laboratory during which she helped develop the method of X-ray footprinting as a structural investigation technique for proteins and nucleic acids. In addition to being the Facility Director of of the Biological Nanostructures facility at the Molecular Foundry, she holds a guest appointment in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging division at Berkeley Lab, and is actively developing the method of X-ray footprinting at the Advanced Light Source synchrotron.

In-Memory Computing Hardware AcceleratorsCo-designing devices, circuits and architectures for explainable machine learning and pattern matching applications

Sunday, May 1st, 2022

 Dr. Cat Graves,Principal Research Scientist at Hewlett Packard Labs
Cost: Free, but registration is required. Register: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

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Wed April 20 – Agenda (California Time)
11:30 AM – Check-in
12:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
12:10 – 1:30 PM –  Seminar and Q&A
The dramatic rise of data-intensive workloads has revived special-purpose hardware for continuing gains in computing performance. Several promising special-purpose approaches take inspiration from the brain, which outperforms digital computing in power and performance in key tasks such as pattern matching. One brain-inspired architecture called “in-memory computing” significantly reduces data movement and has been shown to improve performance in CMOS ASIC demonstrations. However, these approaches still suffer from low power efficiency. Emerging non-volatile memories are a highly attractive alternative for low-power and high-performance in these architectures. Originally developed as digital (binary) non-volatile memories, many of these devices have a highly tunable analog resistances which are well-matched to in-memory computing architectures. I will review our team’s recent work using crossbar and content addressable memory (CAMs) circuits to accelerate important computing workloads in machine learning, complex pattern matching and optimization. I will also discuss our team’s recently invented analog CAM circuit targeted to accelerate interpretable machine learning models. Our work spans co-design from circuits and devices to algorithms and architectures to enable low power, high-throughput computation for important computing workloads.

 Dr. Cat Graves is a Principal Research Scientist at Hewlett Packard Labs developing analog and neuromorphic computational accelerators which leverage emerging devices such as resistive RAM (RRAM) for high energy efficiency and throughput compared to general-purpose digital approaches in data-centric domains. Some of her previous work utilized multilevel analog resistive RAM devices to natively perform matrix multiplication within crossbars, accelerating a core computation of wide-ranging applications from neural networks to signal processing. Currently, she leads a research team exploring uses of RRAM-based and analog associative memory circuits for accelerating diverse computational models, including tree-based ML models and finite automata processing for network security and genomics applications. Cat was awarded Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association (SVIPLA) Inventor of the Year in 2021 for her co-invention of analog content addressable memories. Cat received her Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford University studying ultrafast magnetism for future magnetic memory technologies while an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. She has published over 35 peer-reviewed papers, three book chapters, and has been awarded 14 US patents.

Affordable Nano Solutions for Covid Treatment

Tuesday, March 1st, 2022
Prof. Jayakumar Rajadas, Director of the Regenerative Biomaterials Lab at Stanford

Cost: Free, but registration is required. Register: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

Thurs Feb 24 – Agenda (California Time)
11:30 AM – Check-in & Nano Journal Club:
     Review of Oxygenation with Nanobubbles: Possible Treatment for Hypoxic COVID-19 Patients
     Come prepared to discuss!
12:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
12:10 – 1:30 PM –  Seminar and Q&A
From the early days of this pandemic until now, the reality of still no medication being readily available which can guarantee therapeutic and potentially lifesaving efficacy in all of the stages and diverse pathological manifestations of this novel coronavirus has inflicted drastic consequences upon the world. We have developed two drugs in vitro showing great promise for the successful treatment of acute, moderate and severe COVID-19 as well as persisting immune-mediated consequences with respect to advanced pharmacokinetics. The objectives of our approach and the underlying mechanisms are manifold, strategically aimed at preventing viral replication, concomitantly reducing the inflammation caused by this devastating and highly infectious disease and improving the antibody response to vaccines. Additionally, we also developed a partially repurposed nano technology to improve oxygen saturation in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) as a result of COVID-19.

Professor Jayakumar Rajadas is the author of 237 peer reviewed publications, has developed 82 patents, discovered the therapeutic effects of Disulfiram and Azlocillin for the treatment of persistent Lyme disease and is currently researching and developing solutions for COVID-19. Other projects of his focus use biophysical approaches such as AFM, fluorescence, and NMR to work on the molecular mechanisms of protein-initiated neurodegenerative disorders involved in the pathology of Alzheimer’s and Lyme disease. Furthermore, he is also known for his development of a unique and successful implantable biomaterials commercially available all over the world . He is the founding director of the ADDReB Laboratory of Cardiovascular Institute at Stanford School of Medicine. He is a trained chemist with a Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai , India.

High-yield growth of aligned carbon nanotubes for applied energy applications

Thursday, July 8th, 2021

Eric Meshot, Staff Scientist, Lawrence Livermore Nat’l Lab

Tues July 20 – Agenda (California Time)
11:30 AM – Check-in & Nano Journal Club:
                            Carbon Nanotubes and Related Nanomaterials – Come prepared to discuss!
12:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
12:10 – 1:30 PM –  Seminar and Q&A

Cost: Free, but registration is required. Register: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

  Advanced applications of vertically aligned single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) “forests” require synthesis processes that minimizes nanotube diameter while maximizing number density across substrate areas exceeding centimeter scale. To address this need, we synthesized SWCNT forests on full silicon wafers with notable reproducibility and uniformity, and co-optimized growth for small diameters and high densities across large areas to access new territory in this 3D parameter space. We mapped the spatial uniformity of key structural features using Raman microscopy, X-ray scattering, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry. Mass conversion rates from gas-phase hydrocarbon precursors to solid SWCNT product were high and remarkably invariant for different nano-catalyst compositions and densities, far exceeding typical lab-scale, benchtop reactors. Routine and robust manufacture of these high-quality materials at a practical scale unlocked a portfolio of high-performance applications, including energy storage devices, electronic gas sensors, optical metamaterials, twist-spun fibers, and 3D-printed composites.

Read More:
     High-yield growth kinetics and spatial mapping of single-walled carbon nanotube forests at wafer scale
     Quantifying the Hierarchical Order in Self-Aligned Carbon Nanotubes from Atomic to Micrometer Scale

 Dr. Eric Meshot (meh-SHOHT) is a staff scientist and principal investigator (PI) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in the Physical and Life Sciences Directorate. He leads interdisciplinary teams geared toward connecting synthesis, structure, and performance in nanostructured carbon materials for a range of applications. Before joining LLNL in 2013, he was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship through the Belgian American Educational Foundation (BAEF) to investigate carbon nanostructures in electronics at imec in Leuven, Belgium. He holds the B.S. degree in engineering physics from the University of California at Berkeley (Go Bears!). He earned M.S.E degrees in both materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering before obtaining the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering in 2012 – all from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!). In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, chess, snowboarding, biking with his family, and relaxing at the beach.

Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein Detection by Carbon Nanotube Based Near-Infrared Nanosensors

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021

Professor Markita Landry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,  UC Berkeley

Thurs June 17 – Agenda (California Time)
1:30 PM – Check-in & Nano Journal Club:
Diagnostics for SARS-CoV-2 Infections – Come prepared to discuss!
     2:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
     2:10 PM – 3:00 PM : Seminar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register on Eventbrite: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

     The global SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic has led to a surging demand for rapid and efficient viral infection diagnostic tests, generating a supply shortage in diagnostic test consumables including nucleic acid extraction kits. Here, we develop a modular method for high-yield extraction of viral single-stranded nucleic acids by using ‘capture’ ssDNA sequences attached to carbon nanotubes. Target SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA can be captured by ssDNAnanotube constructs via hybridization and separated from the liquid phase in a single-tube system with minimal chemical reagents, for downstream quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) detection. This nanotube-based extraction method enables 100% extraction yield of target SARS-CoV-2 RNA from phosphate buffered saline in comparison to ~20% extraction yield when instead using a commercial silica-column kit.
     Notably, carbon nanotubes enable extraction of nucleic acids directly from 50% human saliva, bypassing the need for further biofluid purification and avoiding the use of DNA/RNA extraction kits. Carbon nanotube-based extraction of viral nucleic acids facilitates high-yield and high-sensitivity identification of viral nucleic acids such as the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome with reduced reliance on reagents affected by supply chain obstacles.
     We additionally discuss a carbon nanotube-based near-IR nanosensor for detection of active SARS-CoV-2 infections, in which the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicits a robust, two-fold near-IR nanosensor fluorescence increase within 90 min of spike protein exposure. We characterize the nanosensor stability and sensing mechanism and passivate the nanosensor to preserve sensing response in saliva and viral transport medium. We further demonstrate that these ACE2-SWCNT nanosensors retain near-IR detection capacity in a surface-immobilized format, exhibiting a 73% fluorescence turn-on response within 5 s of exposure to 35 mg/L SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles. Taken together, our efforts can help increase the sensitivity of existing qPCR-based tests and provide orthogonal methods of identifying active CoV2 infections.

Read More: Rapid SARS-CoV‑2 Spike Protein Detection by Carbon Nanotube-Based Near-Infrared Nanosensors


     Markita Landry is an assistant professor in the department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. She received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics and a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed an NSF postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
     Her current research centers on the development of synthetic nanoparticle-polymer conjugates for imaging neuromodulation in the brain, and for the delivery of genetic materials into plants. The Landry lab exploits the highly tunable chemical and physical properties of nanomaterials for the creation of bio-mimetic structures, molecular imaging, and plant genome editing. She is also on the scientific advisory board of Terramera and on the scientific advisory board of Chi-Botanic. She is a recent recipient of over 20 early career awards, including awards from the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the DARPA Young Investigator program, the Beckman Young Investigator program, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the NSF CAREER award, is a Sloan Research Fellow, an FFAR New Innovator, and is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator.

Would your company sponsor the Nanotechnology Council?
The investment required would be a very modest % of your marketing budget! Contact: Glenn Friedman

May 12 Nano Forum: ActiveCopper™ attacks Covid

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

Ultra-Active Antimicrobial Copper Surfaces, Self-Sterilizing in 30-60 sec: Engineered Copper at the Nanoscale

Dr. Alfred Zinn, Founder and CTO at Kuprion Inc.

Wed May 12 – Agenda (California Time)
11:30 AM – Check-in & Nano Journal Club:
A materials-science perspective on tackling COVID-19 – Come prepared to discuss!
     12:00 PM – Announcements and Speaker Introduction
     12:10 PM – 1:00 PM : Seminar
Cost: Free, but registration is required

Register on Eventbrite: Here
     Registered attendees will receive an email with a link for the Zoom meeting

     The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has created an acute worldwide demand for sustained broadband pathogen suppression in households, hospitals, and public spaces. The US recently passed a new sad milestone of 500,000 deaths due to COVID-19, the highest rate anywhere in the world. In response, we have created a rapid-acting, self-sterilizing copper material capable of killing SARS-CoV-2 and many other microbes in seconds. The highly active material destroys pathogens faster than any conventional copper configuration. The material maintains its antimicrobial efficacy over weeks and is shelf stable. We have performed rigorous testing in accordance with guidelines from U.S. governing authorities and believe that the material could offer broad spectrum, non-selective defense against most microbes via integration into masks and other protective equipment. The presentation will provide a detailed view into the “inner” workings of the material including the underlying mechanical details that make this high efficacy possible.


     Dr. Alfred Zinn is founder and CTO of Kuprion Inc., a materials company principally engaged in the manufacture and application of engineered copper materials for a wide variety of applications such as surface mount technology, packaging, printed circuit board assembly, printed electronics, 3D printing, injection molding and many thermal applications with special focus on copper-based nanomaterials. The latter are fused to bulk copper to take advantage of the low processing temperatures, and the high electrical and thermal conductivity of bulk copper. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr. Zinn and the Kuprion team have been investigating ActiveCopper (aCu) as a powerful antimicrobial. aCu has been successfully tested against Gram-negative and positive bacteria, non/enveloped viruses including SARS-CoV-2, and multiple resistant strains of bacteria (“superbugs”). In all instances it kills pathogens in 1 minutes or less, which is an unprecedented level of efficacy for copper. With these extraordinary findings, Dr. Zinn has submitted the material for EPA registration for incorporation into PPE such as masks, gloves, and surface coatings.

Alfred received his Doctor of Science degree in Chemistry in 1990 from the Philipps University, Marburg, Germany. Prior to his current position, Dr. Zinn was a Lockheed Martin Fellow at the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) of the Lockheed Martin Space System Company, in Palo Alto, CA. He holds over 40 patents in materials, structures and processing technologies and THz technology. He has authored or coauthored over 30 archival journal publications, including book chapters in “The Chemistry of Metal CVD” as well as the “Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry.” Over the past two decades, he has presented his technical results and accomplishments at many national and international Conferences.