In a joint effort with Prof. Marissa Tousley of Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, the HMNL reported results of the past several years of Virtual Research Group (VRG) pilots conducted at Rose Hulman and the New Jersey Governor's School for Engineering and Technology. These modules use a mix of real data from literature and simulated data to create a simulated experience of being in a research group that requires only minimal educational resources. The results showed that, among other findings, students found the VRG to be as enjoyable as conventional in-lab research experiences. You can read the paper in the Journal of Chemical Education or the coverage on the MAE website.
Congratulations to HMNL student Michael Grzenda on the successful defense of his thesis titled "Optimization and Application of Nanocomposite coatings for Protection and Functionalization." You can read Mike's current first author publications here, here, and here.
Dr. Singer was named to a three year term as the Mary W. Raisler Distinguished Teaching Chair of Mechanical Engineering by the Rutgers Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This chair was established to "recognize and foster excellence in teaching and scholarly activity’s in the MAE department." You can read more about this award here.
HMNL PhD candidate Sarah Park won a Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Silver award for her talk titled "Hierarchal coatings of biological building blocks via self-limiting electrospray deposition" that was presented at the 2022 Fall meeting of the MRS. The honored research involved achieving high efficiency in electrospray deposition of targets smaller than the characteristic length scale of the spray plume. A full list of winners can be found here. This work was supported by GeneOne Life Science.
The lab of Xin Yong's work in collaboration with HMNL on the evolution of electrosprayed gel forming polymer composites has been published in Nanoscale. Here we show that spherical particles at large size or high concentration can suppress the formation of nanowires, while 2D nanoparticles can template formation of wires at sharp corners. This was demonstrated through modeling by the Yong Group and experiments by HMNL members Michael Grzenda and Rachel Vladimirsky with commercial silica particles and MXene flakes from the A.J. Drexel Nanomaterials Institute. This allows for prediction of composite morphology for insolated particles or nanowire foams. You can read the article here.
HMNL undergraduate Noah McAllister’s poster titled “Non-Destructive Measurement of Optically Scattering Polymer Films Using Image Processing,” has won 3rd place at the NSF Student Poster Competition at the 2022 IMECE meeting of the ASME. This research was part of NSF Award 2019849.
Congratulations to HMNL Master's student Luke Brennan who has won the 2022 New Jersey Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship. The award will support Luke as he completes his masters degree project which focuses on acoustic optimization of launch structures.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrads Maxim Arkhipov and Sriya Bapatla on winning a New Jersey Space Grant Consortium 2022-2023 Academic Year Internship. This award will support their work on the mechanical composites manufactured by self-limiting electrospray deposition and combinations of self-limiting electrospray deposition and additive manufacturing, respectively.
Professor Singer was recognized as an Early Career Materials Researcher by MRS Communications. The so-recognized letter discusses application of focused laser spike (FLaSk) thermocapillary dewetting as a tool for measuring the properties of thin films. This research, led by former lab member Tianxing "Tim" Ma and conducted in collaboration with the lab of Zahra Fakhraai of UPenn Chemistry, demonstrated that FLaSk can uncover properties related to molecular weight and shear-induced ordering in nanoscale soft matter films. We can do this through using universal heating substrates that isolate the heat source from the dewetting. To learn more about this work, please see here.
In a joint effort with former HMNL Postdoc Prof. Molla Hasan (at UT-Permian Basin), HMNL PhD candidate Yogin Patel has published research on the porous materials formulation as the inside back cover of the latest issue of Advanced Materials Interfaces. High shear mixing of immiscible liquids, surfactant, and nanoparticles create a macropore-infused nanocomposite emulsion thermosets (MINET) with tunable surface behavior and pore size. The MINETs are prepared from common ingredients used in the industry and different types of nanoparticles for tuning various functionality into the materials. These MINETs are processed at ambient conditions and show low shrinkage (<2%). The interconnected porous architecture of MINET is even preserved in molded micrometer-scale features and thus ensures mass transport through multiscale structures. It is shown that MINETs can be applied to create dense arrays of ionic liquid emitters for space propulsion applications. The cover image illustrates the use of this multiphase glue to rapidly create structures for future space propulsion. This research was funded by Espace Inc. and the Office of Naval Research. To learn more about this work, please see here.
In a joint effort with Prof. Assimina Pelegri here at Rutgers and Prof. Lin Lei at Chongqing Jiaotong University, HMNL PhD candidate Robert Green-Warren and former MS student, Luc Bontoux, led the investigation of the mechanical properties of thin films produced via self-limiting electrospray deposition (SLED). In this work, various polymers were composited, sprayed, and mechanically evaluated by nanoindentation. The following material systems were selected: polystyrene (a model glassy polymer), Kraton D1102 (a plasticizing agent), SU-8 (a glassy epoxide photoresist), and Versamid 125 (a polyamide crosslinking agent). These materials were chosen having successfully demonstrated the ability to produce SLED coatings in previous HMNL publications. Notably, the results of this study highlighted the ability of SLED to produce porous films from materials that may vary significantly in bulk mechanical properties but can be finely tuned to exhibit similar mechanical behaviors in their porous state. To learn more about this work, please see the published manuscript in ACS Applied Polymer Materials.
Congratulations to HMNL senior, Catherine Nachtigal, who was selected as an MIT AeroAstro Distinguished Scholar. This program provides students attending the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics with five years of tuition, insurance, and stipend to conduct their graduate study, along with an annual fund to attend conferences. The HMNL wishes Catherine the best of success in this next stage of her academic journey.
Prof. Singer along with HMNL students Sarah, Catherine, Robert, Yogin, Noah, and Kelly returned to the live conference circuit, presenting presentations and/or posters at the APS March Meeting in Chicago and the TMS Expo in Anaheim.
In collaboration with Professor Mark Losego’s lab at Georgia Tech and former HMNL member Lin Lei at Chongqing Jiaotong University, HMNL member Catherine Nachtigal studied the application of atomic layer deposition (ALD) to methylcellulose nanowire forests deposited by self-limiting electrospray deposition (SLED). Applying a thin layer of ALD alumina made the nanowire forests superhydrophobic, while maintaining the conformal nature of both ALD and SLED. It was found that balancing the high surface area of large aspect ratio wires with the mechanical instability that came with thinner nanowires allowed for optimal electrospray conditions and atomic layer deposition treatments to create the largest, most stable water contact angles possible. You can read the paper in Advanced Engineering Materials.
Dr. Singer was awarded the 2020-2021 Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence by Rutgers University. This award recognizes up to five faculty per year across the university "who have demonstrated outstanding teaching skills in classroom instruction, clinical instruction, curriculum development, or mentoring." You can read more about this award and the other Universitywide Faculty Awards and winners here and the School of Engineering's highlight here.
The HMNL participated in the 7th Annual Girl Scout (Virtual) Lab Tours hosted by the Rutgers Society of Women Engineers. Dr. Singer presented the HMNL's work to several groups of scouts, with video demonstrations provided by HMNL members Charm Nicholas and Sarah Park of their work, funded by ONR and GeneOne Life Science, respectively.
A team led by the lab of Hao Lin, including HMNL and GeneOne Life Science, published major results on the increase efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines by suction treatment in Science Advances. In this work, it was shown that DNA vaccines could be delivered with 100x greater immune response to rats by applying mild suction (similar to a black head remover) to the injection site. Histology performed by HMNL graduate student Sarah Park confirmed that no cellular damage was caused by the treatment. You can read the paper here. The paper was covered by several news outlets, such as here, here, and here.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad Noah McAllister on winning a New Jersey Space Grant Consortium 2021-2022 Academic Year Internship. This award will support his work on the mechanical characterization of samples manufactured by self-limiting electrospray deposition.
The flipped course, Multiphysics Simulations, developed by Dr. Singer was featured in an Ansys case study. Multiphysics employs a combination of tutorials, discussions, and project-based assessment to quickly introduce large classes to simulation methods and tools, including Ansys. You can read the case study here.
Prof. Singer, Tim, Sarah, and Charm joined a group of faculty and students in hosting Congressional Rep. Frank Pallone and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo during their August 5th visit to Weeks Hall. The HMNL group demonstrated the roll-to-roll system as well as superhydrophobic surfaces and composites made by the lab. Additional details about their trip may be found here.
The 2018-2019 HMNL Senior Design Team published their work on creating a thermocapillary dynamic spatial light modulator in Optics Letters. Here they showed for the first time that the thermocapillary dewetting could be used to make a dynamic optic. This method has the advantage of being able to operate with only a thin liquid layer over a high-quality reflective surface, meaning it could be applied to high power lasers. You can read the article here.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad, Darrel Dsouza, on winning an Agnes Malakate Kezios Scholarship from the American Society of Mechanical Engineering. The Agnes Malakate Kezios Scholarship supports students in their terminal year of undergraduate study and recognizes “leadership within the engineering academic context specified above, and a strong potential for contribution to the mechanical engineering profession.” Darrel is currently an intern at Marotta Controls.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad, Catherine Nachtigal, on winning a scholarship from Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Tau Beta Pi Scholarships are awarded to junior members on a competitive basis of high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the engineering profession.
Congratulations to HMNL PhD candidate, Bryan Llumiquinga, on being awarded a GEM 2021 PhD Engineering Associate Fellowship. GEM is “a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering.” The GEM Fellowship will partially support the remainder of Bryan’s PhD candidacy, where he will be conducting research on the topic of functional nanocomposites.
Prof. Singer was named one of the 2021 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award recipients. This award will support the lab's research on advanced multiscale functional composites. The official announcement and full list of awardees can be found here.
Congratulations to undergraduate HMNL member, Catherine Nachtigal, for winning the Research Excellence Award at the 6th Annual Chancellor’s Student Leadership Gala. The award sought students who "demonstrate high-quality research which exhibits critical thinking, analysis, and creativity." Catherine has done exemplary work on a wide range of projects in electrospray deposition and aerospace acoustics. She will soon begin an internship with Northrop Grumman continuing aspects of her work with the group.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad Ariana Dyer on winning the New Jersey Space Grant Consortium 2021 Summer Fellowship. This award will support her summer research developing and validating charge models of self-limiting electrospray deposition.
Congratulations to HMNL alumna Valeria Saro-Cortes on winning a 2021 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program award. This highly competitive award recognizes high-achieving students in STEM disciplines and provides 3 years of financial support. She will use this award while pursuing her PhD at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
The lab of Jan Schroers' work in collaboration with HMNL on the laser annealing of aluminum metallic glass alloys has been published in Scientific Reports. Here we show that single spot laser annealing and dewetting of a combinatorial alloy arrays can reveal the best glass former under SEM. This massively accelerates the rate of alloy testing and will allow for rapid determination of what materials can be employed as bulk metallic glasses. You can read the article here.
Lab graduate students Yogin Patel and Sarah Park won two of three Best Presentation awards for their talks titled "Structural Characterization of Microporous Nanoparticle Emulsion Thermosets" and "SLED Optimization of DNA Solutions" at the fourteenth Northeast Complex Fluids and Soft Matter Workshop hosted by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. More information on this conference can be found here.
Ariana’s poster titled, “Transition of Virtual Research Group Modules to a Remote Teaching Environment,” has won the award for “Highest Impact to Under-represented/Minority Groups (Outreach to Underrepresented/Minority Groups)” at the NSF Student Poster Competition at the 2020 Virtual IMECE meeting of the ASME. This research was part of our broader impact mission supported by NSF Award 1911518.
Dylan has won the 2020 Outstanding Master's Student Award from the School of Graduate Studies. The award recognizes his thesis research conducted in HMNL on the geometric limits of self-limiting electrospray deposition. Dylan's publication based on this research can be read here.
Together with the lab of Prof. Xin Yong of Binghamton, we have demonstrated the creation of methylcellulose nanowires through in-air electrospray gelation in work led by HMNL researchers Lin Lei and Catherine Nachtigal. This research was featured on the back cover of Materials Horizons here. This article has also been reported on by Rutgers Today and others here, here, here, and here.
The HMNL and the Zahn and Zou Lab's recent work on self-limiting electrospray on thin film and dewetted templates has been published in Scientific Reports. The combination of laser dewetting and electrospray both brings together two of our lab's research thrusts and also is the first step to realizing the potential of developer-free lift-off. This work was funded by NSF award 1911518. You can read the article here.
Dr. Singer, along with Dr. Assimina Pelegri, have been awarded a grant by the NSF Advanced Manufacturing program to investigate the mechanics of nanostructured coatings produced by self-limiting electrospray deposition. The grant is a collaborative award together with Dr. Jae-Hwang Lee of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. More details about the proposal can be found here.
The Rutgers Center for COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness selected a team of 6 groups from Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, including the HMNL, to receive 1 of 22 seed grants on COVID-19 research. The proposal, titled “Transdermal Delivery of DNA Vaccine for SARS-CoV-2,” will investigate methods to enhance vaccine efficiency and ease of delivery. More details on the grant and other awards can be found here.
Dr. Singer gave one of eight invited seminars at the thirteenth Northeast Complex Fluids and Soft Matter Workshop hosted by the City College of New York. His talk discussed applications of self-limiting electrospray deposition to the coating of bioactive materials. The NCS 13 Workshop also included talks from lab members Catherine Nachtigal, Darrel Dsouza, Arielle Gamboa, and Tianxing Ma. More information about the workshop can be found here.
Robert Green-Warren, an incoming second year PhD student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department, has been awarded a 2020 PhD Engineering Associate Fellowship. GEM is “a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering.” Robert has also previously been awarded the SUPER-Grad Fellowship for the Fall 2019-2020 academic year, which supports his current research. The GEM Fellowship will partially support the remainder of Robert’s PhD candidacy, where he will be conducting research on the topic of functional nanocomposite coatings under the supervision of Dr. Singer.
Master’s student, Arielle Gamboa, has won a graduate fellowship from Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society. The fellowship is awarded with the goal of financing one year of graduate study for a select group of members, chosen for merit, in order to advance engineering education and the profession. She plans to use the fellowship during her first year of study at University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign working towards a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
Together with the lab of Prof. Howon Lee of Rutgers MAE and Dr. Steven Kooi of MIT, we have been researching the use of self-limiting electrospray deposition to modify the surface of parts created by additive manufacturing in work led by HMNL researchers Dylan Kovacevich and Lin Lei. This research is now published at ACS Applied Materials & Interfaceshere. This article has also been reported on by Rutgers Today and others here,here,here, and here.
Dr. Singer is honored to receive one of this year's two Provost's Award for Excellence in Innovative Teaching. This award is given to individual faculty whose teaching practices involve non-traditional approaches to enhance learning outcomes, including new forms of pedagogy, instructional technologies, and multimedia. This is in recognition of his work with active learning, which includes his Virtual Research Group research education modules and his flipped classroom approach to a junior/senior level simulations course. See the other awards here.
A proposal written by Jonathan Singer, assisted by PhD Candidate, Michael Grzenda, has been selected by NASA to improve crop production in space. The goal of the research is to use electrospray deposition to grow plants using the absolute minimum amount of water necessary. Read about the project and the other selected proposals here.
Although not mentioned in the article, composite materials designed by HMNL were used to waterproof electronics on the air-to-water drone. This project is worked on by HMNL PhD candidate, Michael Grzenda, in collaboration with SubUAS. Read the article and watch the view here.
HMNL PhD Candidate Lin Lei was featured as one of fifty finalists for the Science as Art competition at the 2019 MRS Fall Meeting in Boston with her image entitled "O Stahlbaum".
Dylan has won the 2019 New Jersey Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellowship. The award will aid Dylan as he completes his masters degree project which focuses on the development of a chamber for self-limiting electrospray deposition post-processing of additively manufactured components.
The Fall release of RU-Engineer Magazine features Arielle Gamboa on the cover working with Dr. Singer on thermocapillary multidewetting of thin films. See the cover and read the article, which discusses undergraduate research, here.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrads Catherine Nachtigal and Darrel Dsouza on winning the 2020 Academic Year New Jersey Space Grant Consortium Fellowship. Catherine will investigate differing methylcellulose morphologies after deposition via self-limiting electrospray. Darrel will be working on electrohydrodynamic oscillators for waste heat harvest using pyroelectric material.
Dr. Singer presented the Aris and Bessie Barbikas Phillips Lecture in Mechanics and Materials at Yale University. His presentation covered HMNL’s work on electrospray deposition at the home of both the 1917 discovery of electrospray and the 2002 Nobel Prize for electrospray mass ionization.
The NSF CMMI Advanced Manufacturing program has awarded the grant "Collaborative Research: Electrospray Deposition of 'Melting Gels' for Multifunctional Coatings" with Prof. Singer as PI, along with Andrei Jitianu at CUNY-Lehman Chemistry. This award focuses on investigating the interactions between sol gel oligomers and the charge injection of electrospray deposition. We are grateful to the NSF for this opportunity and look forward to the investigation. More information can be found here.
Dr. Singer presented at the NJ-Tech Council's Innovation Showcase: 3D Printing, Machine Learning Algorithms & Robotics. Dr. Singer's talk was on Self-Limiting Electrospray Deposition for 3D Post-Processing.
Congratulations to undergraduate HMNL member, Dylan Kovacevich, for winning the Research Excellence Award at The Annual Chancellor’s Student Leadership Gala. The award sought students who "demonstrate high-quality research which exhibits critical thinking, analysis, and creativity". Dylan's work has focused on electrospray deposition for scalable manufacture of microcoatings. He plans to continue at Rutgers next year as part of a BS/MS engineering program.
An estimated 94,000 people came to Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark to celebrate all things Rutgers on a sunny, breezy day. HMNL members, Lin and Christi (supported by Arielle, Matt, Valeria, Mike N. and Dylan) sprayed citric acid, methyl cellulose, and blue dye onto bananas to see if they could change the flavor.
Michael Nitzsche, an HMNL undergraduate member, has been awarded a 2019-2020 graduate fellowship from Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Tau Beta Pi is the world’s largest engineering society and provides more financial assistance to engineering students than any other engineering society in the world. Tau Beta Pi Fellowships are awarded on the basis of high scholarship, campus leadership and service, and promise of future contributions to the engineering profession. The fellowship will support his graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Mechanical Engineering department this fall.
Prof. Singer was selected as the 2019 Engineering Governing Council Students' Professor of the Year for MAE. This award is nominated by SoE undergraduate students and recognizes one professor from each department who best exemplified the SoE mission of “Education, Research, and Service” in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Prof. Singer presented HMNL research as a part of the Reverse Science Fair at the 57th Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Albuquerque, NM. This event allows the top high school science fair winners from around the country to discuss research with practicing professionals.
Valeria Saro-Cortes, a HMNL undergraduate member, has been awarded a 2019 PhD Engineering Full Fellowship by the National GEM Consortium. GEM is “a network of leading corporations, government laboratories, top universities, and top research institutions that enables qualified students from underrepresented communities to pursue graduate education in applied science and engineering.” Valeria’s fellowship was sponsored by Draper, where she will conduct an internship this summer. Then the fellowship will support her PhD candidacy at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Mechanical Science and Engineering department, where she was also awarded the Graduate College Master's Fellowship and MechSE Distinguished Fellowship.
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad Christianna Kuznetsova on winning the New Jersey Space Grant Consortium 2019 summer fellowship. This summer she will be utilizing semi-permeable layers to control polymer densification by vapors to achieve porosity gradients in films deposited by Self-Limiting Electrospray Deposition.
HMNL's Tianxing Ma, Mike Nitzsche, Arielle Gamboa, and Valeria Saro-Cortes have published a manuscript that explores focused laser spike dewetting as a technique to create densely-packed monodisperse metal nanoparticles in localized areas in ambient conditions by manipulating capillary and thermocapillary dewetting on fluid-fluid interfaces. Read about it in ACS Applied Nano Materials.
A recent journal publication from Dr. Singer has been featured by the Yale Daily News in an article titled, Researchers replicate surface structures at atomic scale. In the study, a strontium titanate mold was used to impart atomic scale features onto a platinum based metallic glass alloy using thermoplastic forming. The stability, low-cost, and reproducible results seen in this study suggest that scaling up for use in manufacturing would likely be possible. The original article, Atomic imprinting into metallic glasses, was published in Nature Communications Physics.
Our research work on 3D compatible sacrificial nanoimprint lithography (SNIL) to functionalize thermoplastic materials has been published in the Journal of Micro- and Nano-manufacturing. This work is a collaboration among HMNL, researchers at Yale, and participants of New Jersey Governor’s School for Engineering and Technology Program. To read this paper click here.
Congratulations to HMNL Postdoc Dr. Molla Hasan for winning a 2018 Mistletoe Research Fellowship to support his work on multiscale materials forming.
Prof. Singer was awarded a 2018 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award to support the lab's work in hybrid micro/nanomanufacturing.
HMNL's Lin Lei has published a manuscript in collaboration with Lisa Klein (Rutgers MSE) and Andrei Jitianu (CUNY-Lehman Chemistry) that reveals the different regimes of electrospray deposition and identifies a regime capable of controlled microscale coatings of complex 3D objects. Read about it in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces
Congratulations to HMNL undergrad Valeria Saro-Cortes on winning the New Jersey Space Grant Consortium 2016-2017 Academic year fellowship. Valeria will continue her work on improving porous materials for the scalable hybrid manufacturing of ionic liquid thrusters.
Prof. Singer and Valeria participated Grand Finale Expo of the 2016 USA Science and Technology Festival, presenting a collaborative project funded by the US Botanic Garden (USBG), the Botanical Society of America (BSA), and the American Society of Plant Biologists. Students constructed a mechanical Venus flytrap that will be housed at the USBG as an interactive demo. So far, this project has been featured on the BSA newsletter and Rutgers Today.