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REU Students Present at Montana State University

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. 

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.  

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. 

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 combatted. 

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 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. 

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. 


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