News & Highlights


18-21/06/2018 - Reunion! This week, the Cluster-Surface Interaction Workshop 2018 was held in Trondheim, Norway. The CSI Workshop is the principle venue for discussion in the area of cluster-beam deposition on surfaces, including the properties and performance of materials and devices prepared by this method, and associated theoretical modelling. Mukhles Sowwan and Panos Grammatikopoulos attended and gave invited talks on "Nanoparticles by design for nanotechnology & biomedical applications" and "Atomistic simulation of trimetallic nanoparticle growth by cluster beam deposition", respectively. However, they were not the only ones to represent the unit, as NbD alumni Maria Benelmekki and Jerome Vernieres also attended the workshop, presenting work performed at OIST. Despite the rather cold Norwegian summer weather, it was a warm reunion with past colleagues and friends; we wish you both the best with your current endeavours and careers!

20/06/2018 - Today, the "Technology Startup Acceleration Summit" was held at OIST, connecting researchers and venture capitalists with a focus on establishing university startups. Zaki Ziadi participated in the event, representing the NbD unit and presenting the unit's "Smart Gas Sensing Platform for Mobile Devices" proof of concept project.

06/06/2018 - "Being inclusive gives research groups a competitive edge. It also happens to be the right thing to do". This is the subtitle and main conclusion of a news feature just released online in Nature, featuring, among others, the NbD unit at OIST. The article is titled "These labs are remarkably diverse - here's why they're winning at science", and discusses diversity in scientific research groups around the world with a focus on its effect on the productivity and visibility of their work. With its trademark "small United Nations" composition which literally includes people from all continents around the world save for Antarctica (to this date, that is; if you're from Antarctica and are interested in nanoparticles, do apply!), the NbD unit is a perfect example of such a diverse and inclusive environment. As Mukhles Sowwan puts it in the article, discussing about the researchers in the unit, “they complement each other, and, in the end, they will learn from each other how to always be looking in new directions and at the details”.

23/05/2018 - Today, Panos Grammatikopoulos had an oral presentation on "Tuning the properties of bimetallic nanoparticles by cluster beam deposition" within the framework of the first International Meeting on Nanoalloys, held in Orléans, France. The meeting was organized by the International Research Network "Nanoalloys" to promote research on such interesting systems, both from the application and the fundamental science point of view, and was attended by some of the leading experts in the field of nanoalloys.

01/05/2018 - Brand new! The NbD Unit is currently undergoing what feels like a phase transition, as not one, not two, but four new members have just joined us! First, Pawan Kumar and Abheek Datta arrived in Okinawa at the beginning of April, followed by Intu Sharma and Zhenwei Wang in May. All new postdoctoral researchers can bring fresh ideas to our research, as they have different background and expertise. We are looking forward to working with all of them, and are very excited about new research opportunities opening up. Welcome all, and good luck!

03-06/04/2018 - This week, the "Nanomaterials and Devices by Cluster Beam Deposition" symposium was held during the MRS Spring Meeting 2018 in Phoenix, AZ. The symposium was co-organized by Mukhles Sowwan, the director of the NbD Unit, and was attended by most unit members, who contributed oral or poster presententations. Eric Danielson's talk was on "Metal oxide nanowire bio-sensors decorated with gold nanoparticles via cluster beam deposition", followed by Zaki Ziadi's presentation of "Size-selected Pd nanoparticle coverage effect on CuO nanowire-based gas sensors". These two talks, along with Alex Porkovich's poster on "Applications of nanowire supported catalytic nanoclusters in gas sensing" covered our recent work on nanoparticle-based sensors, while, continuing with our applied research, Marta Haro spoke about her recent results on "Design of nanoparticle scaffolds to customize Li-ion batteries". Panos Grammatikopoulos' talk, however, on "Stable vs. metastable configurations of miscible and immiscible bimetallic nanoparticles grown by cluster beam deposition" and Evropi Toulkeridou's poster on "Meso-scale analytical model for nanoparticle coalescence" focused on more fundamental aspects of our research. Overall, the symposium was very successful, with high attendance throughout, and interesting presentations and productive discussions in a friendly environment.

28/03/2018 - Partying and Parting: Today we had a little farewell party for Panagiotis Koutsogiannis, our spring-term student intern, and Nan Jian, our TEM expert, who are both leaving the Unit at the end of the month. Panos jr is going back to his native Cyprus, but, following the tradition of our previous interns, has promised to return to Okinawa very soon. We all knew that Nan had a great future awaiting him when he joined us last year, but did not expect that the future would come so soon! Nan is returning to his homeland, China, where he will take the next, higher, step in his career. We wish them both good luck and will be happy to work with them again in ongoing and future projects!

05/02/2018 - Our recent article "Hydrogen flux through size selected Pd nanoparticles into underlying Mg nanofilms" was just included in the latest issue of Advanced Energy Materials. Moreover, it has been awarded an inside front cover! Congratulations, Sushant, and everyone!

28/01/2018 - Almost a year after the NbD Unit made its Japanese prime time TV debut in NHK program "Sarameshi", KBS, South Korea's National Broadcaster, featured our unit among others at OIST, in its program "Future Planning 2030" (snapshot credit to KBS TV).

24/01/2018 - Today, NbD Unit's Marta Haro gave an invited talk at the International Symposium on Energy Science and Technology 2018, organized by the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit, here at OIST. Marta spoke about "Nanoarchitectonics for efficient energy storage", introducing our research in general and focusing on our recent study on improved Si anodes for Li-ion batteries by utilization of Ta nanoparticle scaffolds. Later during the day participants of the symposium visited our lab, where they had a chance to learn and discuss about our methods and projects in more detail.