News & Highlights


03/10/2019 - Today, our recent article "In situ observation of metal to metal oxide progression: a study of charge transfer phenomenon at Ru-CuO interface" appeared online on ACS Nano - Just Accepted Manuscripts page. Our in-depth study presents the idea of using chrono-conductometric measurements to determine the chemical states of Ru clusters on CuO supports, thus, allowing the investigation of surface charge behavior on oxide supported catalysts, in situ, during catalytic operation via conductometric measurements. Congratulations, Alex, and everyone!

29/09-02/10/2019 - This week, the 76th Fujihara Seminar on Designer Nanocluster Materials - From gas phase to condensed phase was held at Grand Hotel New Oji, Tomakomai, Hokkaido, Japan, bringing together the Japanese nanocluster community as well as renowned international experts. Panos Grammatikopoulos and Chloé Minnai represented the Nanoparticles by Design Unit, with a keynote and an invited talk, respectively. It was a nice warmup for the upcoming ACBD workshop to be held at OIST later this month!

15-21/06/2019 - This week, the "Clusters & Nanostructures" Gordon Research Seminar and Conference were held at Les Diablerets, Switzerland. NbD unit's Panos Grammatikopoulos gave the keynote presentation of the seminar, titled "From nanoparticles by design to design by nanoparticles", whereas Chloé Minnai, Abheek Datta, and Panos Grammatikopoulos participated with oral and poster presentations on their previous and current research. More importantly, Chloé was elected to chair the next Gordon Research Seminar in the field, in 2021. Congratulations, Chloé, and good luck!

14/06/2019 - A press release "Gold for iron nanocubes" was released today by the University of Helsinki describing the research described in our paper "Site-specific wetting of iron nanocubes by gold atoms in gas-phase synthesis", recently published in Advanced Science. When nature surprises us with an unexpectedly beautiful pattern, we must recognize it and explain. This is the way to cooperate with nature, that is always ready to teach and expecting us to learn” says Junlei Zhao, our previous intern and regular collaborator. The press release has caught the attention of various worldwide scientific media, such as, ScienceDaily, physnews, parallelstate, pythom, etc.

04-07/06/2019 - During this week, the 2nd International Meeting on Nanoalloys was held in Genoa, Italy, organized by the International Research Network NANOALLOYS of CNRS. NbD unit's Panos Grammatikopoulos attended and gave an oral presentation on the "Atomistic simulation of trimetallic nanoparticle growth by cluster beam deposition", recently published in Chemistry of materials, whereas Junlei Zhao, our previous intern and frequent collaborator, presented work on "Site-specific wetting of iron nanocubes by gold atoms in gas-phase synthesis", recently co-published with our group in Advanced Science. Also, during the meeting, Panos had a chance to advertise our upcoming Advances in cluster beam deposition workshop, here at OIST.

06/06/2019 - Our recent review on "Computational modeling of nanoparticle coalescence" is now included in the latest issue of Wiley's Advanced Theory and Simulations. Our article provides a comprehensive review on the fundamental mechanisms and simulation tools of nanoparticle coalescence, presenting numerous case studies of various materials and potential applications, including aerosol fabrication, neuromorphic computation, and nanoparticle‐support interaction as an extreme case of coalescence; also, the essence of coalescence is clarified by contrasting it to soft agglomeration. Most importantly, our review is now featured in the inside front cover of the issue. Congratulations, Panos and everyone!

16/05/2019 - We often state that one of the main goals of the NbD Unit is to define and boost the research field of Cluster Beam Deposition, both experimental and theoretical. Another contribution was added today with the publication to Elsevier's Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering of "Atomistic modeling of the nucleation and growth of pure and hybrid nanoparticles by cluster beam deposition", by Panos Grammatikopoulos. In this invited short review, Panos underlines the need for computational modeling of nanoparticle growth in the gas phase, due to the importance of kinetics effects, and explains how the computational model should reflect the actual experimental setup.

14/05/2019 - As of today, the dedicated website of our upcoming workshop, "Advances in Cluster Beam Deposition" is online. The aim of this workshop, which is going to be the first in a series of meetings where we will bring together some of the key players in the nanoparticles community, is to highlight the latest advancements in clusters science and technology. We are looking forward to hosting you in Okinawa in October, and spending a week sharing knowledge and ideas on nanoparticle fabrication, characterization, application, and simulation. We will be updating the workshop website regularly until October with more details and interesting information; stay posted!

02/05/2019 - Today, our latest article, "Site-specific wetting of iron nanocubes by gold atoms in gas-phase synthesis" appeared online in the "Early View" section of Wiley's Advanced Science. In this article, we decompose gas-phase synthesis into elementary steps: single-element primary particle formation by independent sputtering (with size-variation due to differences in nucleation rate), subsequent coalescence and growth by adatom decoration, and finally elemental demixing accompanied by site-specific decoration. The resultant segregated Fe-Au nanocubes demonstrate distinct chemical ordering from those we reported previously, where Fe-Au nanoalloys were sputtered from a composite target. This way, we emphasize the effect of the experimental setup and growth kinetics. Congratulations, Jerome and everyone!

01/05/2019 - "Applications of one-dimensional nanomaterials", a new book by American Scientific Publishers was just released, containing an invited chapter, "One-dimensional nanomaterials for gas sensing applications: advances in device integration and nanoparticle functionalization", by NbD Unit's Stephan Steinhauer, Vidyadhar Singh, and Mukhles Sowwan, focusing on metal oxide materials: in Section 2, general aspects of 1D nanomaterials employed for gas sensing applications are discussed, highlighting their advantages and characteristic features. Section 3 presents various sensor device integration schemes and recent advances in integrating 1D nanostructures on MEMS-based microheaters. In Section 4, methods for nanoparticle decoration of sensor surfaces and related improvements of gas selectivity are described; in particular, presenting magnetron sputtering inert-gas condensation as an emerging technique for the single-step deposition of size-selected nanoparticles. In Section 5 the chapter is concluded, and future perspectives are indicated.

01-15/04/2019 - During these two weeks we said goodbye to two members who have left their mark to the unit: Lin Weng and Marta Haro. They are both returning to their respective mother countries, China and Spain, where they will continue their family lives and academic careers. We wish them both all the best, and we will make sure to stay in touch, both as collaborators and as friends.

21/03/2019 - Today, our communication "Nanoassemblies of ultrasmall clusters with remarkable activity in carbon dioxide conversion into C1 fuels" was included in the current issue of Nanoscale. Most importantly, it was featured on the inside back cover of the issue. Congratulations, Panos and everyone!

15/03/2019 - A comprehensive invited review paper on "Computational Modeling of Nanoparticle Coalescence" was published online today in Wiley's Advanced Theory and Simulations. The extensive article contains all one needs to know on the fundamental mechanisms of coalescence and the simulation tools needed to explore these mechanisms. Also, numerous case studies are presented of various materials, and potential applications including aerosol fabrication and neuromorphic computation. Moreover, the article goes one step further into left-field and investigates nanoparticle-support interaction as an extreme case of coalescence; also, it clarifies the essence of nanoparticle coalescence by contrasting it to a case study of ultrasmall cluster soft agglomeration. Congratulations, Panos and everyone!

06/03/2019 - Today, our latest research article, "Gas-phase synthesis of trimetallic nanoparticles" went online in Chemistry of Materials "Just Accepted" section, reporting an extensive experimental and theoretical study on the controlled nucleation and growth of noble metal nanoalloys containing Au, Pt, and Pd, of high significance mainly for catalysis applications. Moreover, the article comprises a combined effort of NbD alumni (Jean-Ga, Vidya, Jerome, Stephan) and of  the new generation of NbD members (Alex, Eric), signifying the continuity in the group's projects. Congratulations to Jean-Ga and everyone!

20/02/2019 - Our latest communication "Nanoassemblies of ultrasmall clusters with remarkable activity in carbon dioxide conversion into C1 fuels" in collaboration with Argonne National Laboratory, USA, and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, just appeared online in Nanoscale "Accepted Manuscripts" section, proposing a water-molecule mediated agglomeration mechanism of sub-nanometer Cu clusters with excellent catalytic properties for the conversion of CO2 into methanol and hydrocarbons. Congratulations, Panos and everyone!

01/02/2019 - Introducing our new colleagues, Chloé Minnai and David Lloyd, who have just joined our unit this month. Both Chloé and David are fresh from their PhD's and are going to boost the unit's potential in fabrication and characterization of sophisticated nanoparticles and nanostructures. We are most enthusiastic about working with them and hope they will enjoy their time in Okinawa, doing great science and making good friends. Welcome to OIST!