Brandi Cossairt Wins NSF CAREER Award

Brandi CossairtAssistant Professor Brandi Cossairt has received a CAREER (Faculty Early Career Development) Award from the National Science Foundation. The CAREER Program is a Foundation-wide program that “offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.” Professor Cossairt received the award for her research proposal, “CAREER: New Models for Controlling InP Nucleation, Growth, and Luminescence using Magic-Sized Clusters and Targeted Surface Chemistry”. Research conducted under this CAREER award aims to address the fundamental challenges in controlling the composition and interfaces of nanomaterials with atom-level precision. Experimental approaches include:

1) testing new models of InP nucleation using isolable, structurally characterized and atomically precise magic-sized cluster intermediates;

2) understanding how surface chemistry impacts the structure and function of InP magic-sized clusters to gain access to general strategies for anisotropic shape control and doping; and

3) discovering new post-synthetic surface chemistry to turn-on and color-tune the luminescence of InP and related QDs using Lewis acid coordination chemistry.

Additionally, the project aims to advance educational goals, including creating an undergraduate specialization in Chemistry for Energy at the University of Washington (UW), developing hands-on demonstration materials and workshops on the topic of colloidal nanoscience targeted to middle and high school students in collaboration with the UW Phi Lambda Upsilon (National Chemistry Honor Society) chapter, and broadening participation in chemistry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level through work with several organizations.

For more information about this NSF CAREER Award, please visit the award website.

For more information about Brandi Cossairt and her research program, please visit her faculty page and research group site.

David Masiello promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Masiello 2016The Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor David Masiello on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Research in Masiello group is aimed at building a theoretical understanding of nanoscale optical, magnetic, electronic, and thermal phenomena mediated by surface plasmons. Of particular interest is the fundamental science of light manipulation, especially in metamaterials capable of directing light towards desired pathways, such as optical-frequency magnetism, spatially-directed thermal patterning, room-temperature quantum information processing, and enhanced solar-energy conversion. Theoretical approaches from the Masiello group are currently being used by the experimental community to direct the design of advanced materials with unprecedented functionalities.

To learn more about Professor Masiello’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

Gojko Lalic promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Lalic cropThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor Gojko Lalic on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Professor Lalic is interested in developing new reactions for the synthesis of organic molecules using transition metal catalysis. An essential part of the Lalic group’s approach to reaction development is the exploration of reaction mechanisms, which results in a better understanding of the fundamental reactivity of organic and organometallic compounds.

To learn more about Professor Lalic’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

AJ Boydston promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure

Boydston 2015 DTA photoThe Department of Chemistry congratulates Assistant Professor AJ Boydston on his promotion to associate professor with tenure, effective September 16, 2016.

Research in the Boydston group focuses on various aspects of macromolecular design, synthesis, and function. By controlling the microstructures of polymer and network materials, the Boydston group is discovering ways in which macroscopic mechanical forces can be used to guide precise, molecular-level chemical transformations. Materials that display this mechanochemical transduction capability may find application in numerous fields, including biomedical engineering, drug delivery, additive manufacturing (3D printing), and autonomously self-healing systems.

To learn more about Professor Boydston’s research, please visit his faculty page and research group website.

David Masiello receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Masiello 2016David Masiello, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, has been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). President Barack Obama named 106 researchers as recipients of the award, granting them the U.S. government’s highest award for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Masiello received the award “for his cutting-edge research in the emerging field of theoretical molecular nanophotonics, and for his comprehensive educational and outreach programs including an exemplary focus on enhancing the scientific communication abilities of young researchers.” Masiello’s research group focuses on the development of novel, rigorous and computationally tractable theoretical descriptions of the structure and dynamics of nanoscale systems, as well as their interactions with the electromagnetic field.

PECASE recognizes scientists and engineers who show exceptional potential for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge. Winners demonstrate the ability to broadly advance fundamental research and help the United States maintain its position as a leading producer of scientists and engineers. Masiello was one of three UW faculty members to receive this honor.

“The awardees are outstanding scientists and engineers,” said NSF Director France Córdova. “They are teacher-scholars who are developing new generations of outstanding scientists and engineers and ensuring this nation is a leading innovator. I applaud these recipients for their leadership, distinguished teaching and commitment to public outreach.”

To learn more about Professor Masiello and his research, please visit his faculty page and research group site.

Brandi Cossairt named 2015 Packard Fellow

Brandi CossairtThe David and Lucile Packard Foundation has named the University of Washington’s Brandi Cossairt as one of 18 Packard Fellows for 2015. The Packard Foundation chooses scientists in the early stages of their careers and supports the more innovative avenues of investigation that traditional funding may not give them the freedom to explore.

“It is really an honor — humbling and amazing,” said Cossairt, an assistant professor in the UW Department of Chemistry. The fellowship includes a five-year research grant of $875,000.

Cossairt and the members of her lab — at last count nine graduate students, one postdoctoral fellow and several undergraduates — pursue research to synthesize and manufacture new molecules for applications in green technology such as solar energy and fuel production.

“I like to group chemists into two categories — makers and measurers,” said Cossairt. “We’re definitely makers.”

Cossairt works on crystal formation at the “nanoscale,” a window of size between 1 and 100 nanometers. For reference, 1 nanometer is 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. This range of exploration is intermediate between the scale of individual molecules or atoms and larger — but still microscopic — realm of bacteria or crystalline aggregates. It is also a scale with unique properties, especially for the nanocrystals Cossairt studies.

“The properties of materials at this scale just tend to be really different than if they were smaller or larger,” said Cossairt. “In the nanoscale, when you change the size of these nanocrystals, their electronic structure changes. You can alter what color of light they absorb and what color they emit, for example.”

Light emitted from nanocrystals

Light emitted from nanocrystals synthesized in the Cossairt lab for display applications.  Courtesy of the Cossairt group.

Many of Cossairt’s research projects explore the light-interacting properties of nanocrystals. One goal is to synthesize new light-emitters for energy-efficient lighting and electronic displays. Other projects aim to produce new, efficient light-absorbing compounds for solar cells.

Cossairt’s research also explores new methods for fuel production. Just as she hopes semiconductor nanocrystals could harvest light for solar energy, she is looking at how nanocrystals could harvest light directly for fuel formation, such as splitting water molecules to produce hydrogen. In a separate project, Cossairt and her team are exploring how nanocrystals could absorb a pollutant, such as carbon dioxide gas from industrial output, and convert it into octane, a useful hydrocarbon fuel.

In addition to these green applications for nanocrystals, Cossairt and her laboratory study new ways to manufacture nanocrystals quickly and efficiently.

“The tools to work at this scale are developing, and if you don’t make your crystals the same size they won’t all have the same properties,” said Cossairt. “What we really try to do is to make these nanomaterials cheaply and uniformly.”

Indium phosphide nanocrystal

A single crystal X-ray diffraction structure — the first of its kind — of an indium phosphide nanocrystal synthesized in the Cossairt lab. Courtesy of the Cossairt group.

Part of Cossairt’s motivation in these projects is a sense of social responsibility for the challenges of the 21st century.

“As a scientist, I ultimately want to do things that help people,” she said. “We need green energy, and lots of it, and my background in materials science and chemistry makes this application the right space for my training.”

Cossairt earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She began to study nanocrystal properties as a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia University before joining the UW faculty in 2012. Cossairt is the third Packard Fellow to come from the UW Department of Chemistry and the ninth overall for the university, seven of whom are still at the UW.

Every year, about 50 universities are invited to nominate two faculty members who are in the first three years of their careers for consideration as a fellow. A 12-member scientific panel recommends fellows each year for final selection by the Packard Foundation Board of Trustees, in fields from biology to engineering.

“The previous Packard Fellows have been astounding, so I feel like I’m in great company,” said Cossairt.

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For more information, contact Cossairt at 206-543-4643 or cossairt@uw.edu.

See the original post of this story by James Urton, News and Information, at UW Today here.

Karen Goldberg receives the 2016 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry

Goldberg 2015The American Chemical Society has announced Professor Karen Goldberg as the recipient of the 2016 Award in Organometallic Chemistry. This national award recognizes outstanding research in the preparation, reactions, properties, or structure of organometallic substances that is having a major impact on research in organometallic chemistry, with special consideration for demonstrated creativity and independence of thought. Established in 1983, the ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry continues to be supported by the Dow Chemical Company Foundation. Professor Goldberg will be honored at an Awards Ceremony on March 15, 2016 as a part of the 251st ACS National Meeting in San Diego.

Professor Goldberg was nominated for her groundbreaking work in developing mechanistic understanding of fundamental reactions in organometallic chemistry and for her application of this understanding in organometallic catalysis. Her pioneering studies of reductive elimination reaction mechanisms have become textbook examples of fundamental research guiding catalyst design. Professor Goldberg is a world leader in the activation and functionalization of C-H bonds in hydrocarbons, where her work may lead to better utilization of fossil resources such as natural gas.

Professor Goldberg is the Nicole A. Boand Endowed Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC). CENTC, a National Science Foundation Phase II Center for Chemical Innovation, brings together researchers from across North America to collaboratively address the economic, environmental and national security needs for more efficient, inexpensive and environmentally friendly methods of producing chemicals and fuels from a variety of feedstocks. While the University of Washington serves as the lead institution, CENTC has 19 senior investigators at 15 locations across the U.S. and Canada, along with several industrial affiliates.

For more information about this and other ACS national awards, please see the announcement of the 2016 national award recipients and the ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry.

For more information about Professor Goldberg and her research, please visit her faculty page, her research group website, and the Center for Enabling New Technologies through Catalysis (CENTC).

Charles Campbell receives the AVS Medard W. Welch Award

Charlie CampbellThe American Vacuum Society has awarded the 2015 Medard W. Welch Award to Professor Charles Campbell. Recipients of the award are recognized for their outstanding theoretical or experimental research in fields related to the AVS within the last ten years. Professor Campbell was selected “for seminal contributions to determining accurate adsorption energetics and for developing key concepts for the analysis of important catalytic reactions.” He will be presented with the award, including a medal, plaque, and an honorary lectureship, at the AVS Awards Symposium on October 21, 2015, part of the 62nd AVS International Symposium and Exhibition.

Professor Campbell pursues basic experimental research concerning environmental and energy-related catalysis, interfaces in solar cells and microelectronics, and array-based biochemical analyses. The broad range of work conducted in the Campbell group is aligned along the related goals of developing exquisitely precise tools to measure effects at surfaces more sensitively than anywhere else in the world, and establishing a much deeper understanding of reactivity and physical chemistry at solid surfaces, particularly the kinetics and energetics of elementary steps in energy-related catalytic reactions on solid surfaces.

His previous accolades include the ACS Arthur W. Adamson Award for Distinguished Service to Surface Chemistry, the ACS Award in Colloid and Surface Chemistry, and an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. Professor Campbell is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an Elected Member of the Washington State Academy of Sciences, and he has given numerous endowed lectures, such as the Robert Burwell Lecture in Catalysis, the Gerhard Ertl Lecture, and the Ipatieff Lecture. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Surface Science Reports, previously serving in the same capacity for Surface Science, and he is an active member of several editorial and scientific advisory boards.

For more information about Professor Campbell and his research, please visit his faculty page and his research group website.

Chemistry Team receives 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology

boydston_bryant_craig_stoll_group 2A team of four Chemistry faculty members was awarded the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award for Innovation with Technology. Lecturers Jasmine Bryant and Colleen Craig and Assistant Professors AJ Boydston and Stefan Stoll were jointly recognized for their innovative use of technology in our instructional program. They will be honored with other 2015 Awards of Excellence recipients at a public ceremony on Thursday, June 11, at 3:30 pm in Meany Hall.

While the team members have each worked to improve student learning through technology in their individual courses, the overall impact has been broad. Their courses cover the range in our curriculum, from large undergraduate lecture courses in introductory general chemistry (Bryant, Craig) and organic chemistry (Boydston, Bryant) up to courses for our senior majors and graduate students (Stoll). Within Chemistry, the team serves as a resource for our faculty, piloting and vetting new technologies, advising our faculty on how best to adopt these technologies, generating a repository of modules, video mini-lectures, and tutorials shared among faculty, and making major contributions to curricular redesign. They have lowered the barrier for other faculty to make changes in their teaching, facilitating peer learning among colleagues in Chemistry as well as in other departments across campus. The efforts of all four are appreciated by the thousands of students they teach each year, who consistently reward their efforts with outstanding student course evaluation ratings.

Team members have been recognized for their experience and expertise in teaching at the local and national level. Bryant and Craig have participated in the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative National Teaching Assistant Workshop as well as a variety of teaching and learning initiatives at the UW, and Bryant received the 2013 “Most Engaging Lecturer” Award from the UW Panhellenic Association & Interfraternity Council. The Research Corporation for Science Advancement has honored Boydston (2014) and Stoll (2015) with the Cottrell Scholar Award, which recognizes 10-15 innovative early career teacher-scholars in chemistry, physics and astronomy at U.S. institutions.

The University of Washington established the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1970 and five are given annually to faculty members from the Seattle campus. Recipients are chosen based on a variety of criteria, including mastery of the subject matter; enthusiasm and innovation in the teaching and learning process and in course and curriculum design; to inspire, guide, and mentor students through independent and creative thinking; and mentoring other faculty and teaching assistants to help enrich the scholarship of teaching and learning. Faculty members in Seattle who receive the Distinguished Teaching Awards are inducted into the UW Teaching Academy, where they will be able to participate in a variety of Academy-sponsored projects and events to further excellence in the teaching and learning process at the UW.

Boydston, Bryant, Craig, and Stoll will be honored with the other 2015 Awards of Excellence recipients at a public ceremony on Thursday, June 11, at 3:30 pm in Meany Hall. For more information about the 2015 Awards of Excellence, which honor UW achievements in teaching, mentoring, public service, and staff support, please visit the Awards of Excellence website.

Anne McCoy to join faculty

McCoy 2015 editWe are delighted to announce that Anne McCoy will be joining the Department as Professor of Chemistry for the 2015-16 academic year. Prof. McCoy is moving to the University of Washington from Ohio State University, where she has been on the faculty since 1994. Prof. McCoy is a leader in the area theoretical spectroscopy and dynamics. Her research focuses on the development of theoretical and computational approaches for understanding spectral signatures of large amplitude motions. She is particularly interested in molecules that are of atmospheric and astrochemical interest, and other species that exhibit large amplitude excursions from the minimum energy geometry even at low-levels of excitation.

Prof. McCoy is deputy editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A, and she previously served as senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry. She is a member of the American Chemical Society’s Committee on Professional Training, which she chaired from 2012-2014. Prof. McCoy’s many honors include Ohio State University’s Distinguished Scholar Award and Arts & Sciences Distinguished Faculty Award, several named lectureships, and election as a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

For more information about Prof. McCoy and her research, please visit her faculty page or contact her directly via email.