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The Nanoscope: Big News in Small Science
IEN News
Seeing is Believing - In What You Have Built

The SENIC Undergraduate Internship in Nanotechnology (SUIN) program is a major component of the Southeastern Nanotechnology Infrastructure Corridor (SENIC), at the Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology at Georgia Tech, that focuses on providing undergraduates in engineering the chance to spend a summer conducting research in a world-class collaborative lab with prominent Georgia Tech researchers. GT-IEN hosted 4 undergraduates from various U.S. colleges over the summer that engaged in hands-on research in a number of fields of nanotechnology.

Over the next months, IEN will be highlighting the undergraduate participants, their research topics and experience in the labs, as well as what they gained from the program and their time at Georgia Tech, and in Atlanta

Our first interviewee from the program is Alton O'Neal, an undergraduate in Engineering at Clemson University.
Dr. Quinn Spadola (far right) with the 20108 participants of the NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates in Nanotechnology at the Marcus Nanotechnology Building.

REU participant Alton O'Neal conducting research on micro-preconcentrators for gas sensors in the lab of Dr. Hesketh (GT-ME).

What sparked your interest in engineering and what problems are you hoping to help solve as an engineer?
My interest in engineering developed out of a love of science and math combined with a love of hands-on work and being able to see something function that I built. As an undergraduate I have interned at Clemson’s Maker Space, which gave me a feel for the technical/non-research side on engineering, as well as an industry internship researching carbide synthesis for additive manufacturing, which gave me a researcher’s view of laboratory engineering.  I love solving problems, no matter what the field.

What research are you conducting at GT and what applications do you feel this research may have?
I have been participating in research on micro-preconcentrators for gas sensors. These sensors have a thin film layer of carbon nanotubes deposited on them which can absorb a target gas for sensing. The sensors’ electrical signal output is altered when the target gas is detected. These pre-loaded detectors have the possibility to lower the threshold at which dangerous gases may be detected, as well as miniaturize the sensor for in-field deployment. These kinds of sensors may be used in a variety of applications, such as medical testing, environmental assessments and agricultural studies.

What has been your favorite lab activity/ tool training/ etc. thus far and why?
I really enjoyed the micromachining and nanomanufacturing tools available in the cleanrooms, and getting the chance to learn some of the techniques used in the processes for making our lab’s sensors. Through the cleanroom experience, I was able to see the stacked building blocks of materials and processes that go into making nanoscale devices.

Do you feel this REU experience has helped prepare you for working in a collaborative laboratory environment and furthered your education goals?
Absolutely. The high intensity of the work was, at first, a bit of a shock, but because of this focus, I feel I was able to dedicate more time to the project and achieve more results. Additionally, I really appreciated being in a collaborative environment in which I was able, not only to learn from my mentor, team members, and laboratory PI, but also able to contribute.

What are your plans post-undergraduate?
I plan on entering industry, as a process engineer, or in R&D, so I will continue to study until I have gained my M.S. degree in either Chemical or Materials Engineering.

What is your favorite thing about/impression of GA Tech and ATL?
I have enjoyed being so close to downtown Atlanta without feeling like I am in a completely urban environment. The green-space of the campus, distribution of the campus building, and all of the activities and attractions nearby make the city less intimidating to newcomers.

The Georgia Tech IEN is an Interdisciplinary Research Institute (IRI) comprised of faculty and students interested in using the most advanced fabrication and characterization tools, and cleanroom infrastructure, to facilitate research in micro- and nano-scale materials, devices, and systems. Applications of this research span all disciplines in science and engineering with particular emphasis on biomedicine, electronics, optoelectronics and photonics, and energy applications. As there can be a learning curve associated with initial proof-of-concept development and testing using cleanroom tools, this seed grant program was developed to expedite the initiation of new graduate students and new research projects into productive activity. Successful proposals to this program will identify a new, currently-unfunded research idea that requires core facility access to generate preliminary data necessary to pursue other funding avenues.

Read the full story here.

W. H. Yeo Garners 2018 Imlay Innovation Grant for Neonatal Monitor

Dr. Hong Yeo of Georgia Tech and Co-PI Dr. Kevin Maher, of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, have received a 2018 Imlay Innovation Grant for their project: "Ultrathin, Comfortable, Multifunctional Biopatch for Safe and Effective Care of Neonatal and Infant Health Conditions".

The team seeks to develop a wireless, non-invasive and wearable monitor for neonatal and infant cardiovascular health monitoring

Cleanroom Corner

Hitachi S-3700N Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope

The Marcus Organic Cleanroom houses the Hitachi S-3700N Variable Pressure SEM. The VP-SEM features a low vacuum observation of 6–270 Pa (7mT-2Torr) which enables imaging of non-conductive samples (dielectrics) and wet/moist samples such as cultured cells, without traditional sample preparation (gold coating/drying). A Deben Coolstage controls sample temperature between -10F and 120F to control sample vapor pressure and allow the imaging of partially hydrated samples.

The S3700N is coupled with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDS) accessory allowing for chemical and elemental analysis and characterization of samples.
  • Magnification range: x5 – x300,000
  • Resolution @ 30kV (SE in High Vacuum Mode): 3nm
  • Resolution @ 30kV (BSE in 6Pa Low Vacuum Mode): 4nm

For more information contact Contact: Blake Cotney at
MCF Update: Professional Development  Opportunity

MCF Short Course: Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS)
October 8th & 9th, 2018
The Materials Characterization Facility (MCF) at Georgia Tech will offer a short course on “Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry (EDS)” on October 8 & 9, 2018. This 2-day short course combines lectures and laboratory, and is designed for individuals interested in hands-on training in scanning electron microscopy techniques. This short course will cover essential signal generation and detection techniques, including secondary and backscatter electrons, X-rays, low voltage imaging, and sample preparation techniques. Attendees will learn how to adjust operating conditions to gain valuable information about material samples. This course is suitable for both new and experienced researchers.

Course open to GT & non-GT affiliated academic and professional attendees!
Award Alert

David Myers PhD, a member of the Lam Lab at GT and Emory,  received an R21 “Trailblazer” grant from the NIH for "Platelet Contraction Cytometry as A Novel Assay Of Platelet Function".

This research seeks an independent diagnostic of bleeding, a novel drug discovery platform, and to provide foundational knowledge for higher order computational models that predict aberrant bleeding and clotting.


New Publications
Interdisciplinary Team Publishes Work on Non-Animal Based Hemostatic Agent

Lead author, Elaissa Hardy PhD, and team's work was published in the August edition of Lab on a Chip.

Read more here.
Nanotechnology Events

Thursday September 20, 2018 | 11AM - Update on the Advanced System Integration Program at BRIDG, Dr. John Allgair, BRIDG Program Manager

Tuesday September 25, 2018 | 12PM - Nano@Tech: "Current and future cell therapies for treatment of type 1 diabetes" Surendra J. Chavan, Ph.D. - Chief Scientific Officer, Vicapsys Inc., Athens, GA

Thursday September 27, 2018 | 12PM - Interest Meeting: Graduate Researchers In Nanotechnology (GRIN)

Thursday October 11, 2018 | 12PM - Nano@Tech: "Interfacial Mechanics of Cell-Nanoparticles System: A Computational Perspective"  Xianqiao Wang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor; College of Engineering, University of Georgia

SAVE THE DATE - Fall NANOFANS (Focusing on Advanced Nanobio Systems) Forum meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 from 11 AM – 2:30 PM at the Marcus Nanotechnology Building, Georgia Tech-Institute for Electronics & Nanotechnology

The focus of this event will be "Trends in Medical Robotics." We are fortunate to have the below four pioneers speak to us on their current research in the area of “Medical Robotics.”

  • Dr. Jaydev Desai (GT-BME) - “Meso-to-Miniature-scale Robotic systems for Surgical Interventions.”
  • Dr. Chethan Pandarinath (Emory Medical School) - "Using deep learning to power the next generation of brain-machine interfaces."
  • Dr. Azadeh Ansari (GT-ECE) - “3D-printed actuators for microrobotics applications.”
  • Dr. Jun Ueda (GT-ME) - "Robotic Induction of Neuromodulation in Human Motor System for Biomedical Applications."

Nanovation Podcast with Professor Michael Filler

Guest: Swami Rajaraman - Electroactive and excitable

Swami Rajaraman from the University of Central Florida joins the podcast to talk MEMS. MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, combine miniaturized structures, sensors, actuators, and microelectronics into a single device. Swami’s laboratory develops new MEMS fabrication methods for the advancement of human health and personalized medicine. In this episode, Swami takes us on a journey from his days as a graduate student at Georgia Tech, to his time as an early employee of the start-up Axion Biosystems, and now as an assistant professor at UCF. Along the way, he provides great primers on the state-of-the-art in MEMS and 3-D printing technology.
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Georgia Institute for Technology

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