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  • richardmitnick 12:08 pm on May 13, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Machine Learning Framework IDs Targets for Improving Catalysts", , Catalysis, ,   

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory: “Machine Learning Framework IDs Targets for Improving Catalysts” 

    From The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory

    May 10, 2022
    Karen McNulty Walsh
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-8350

    Peter Genzer
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174

    Method provides details on reaction kinetics and zeros in on steps where tweaks could improve production of desired products.

    1
    Brookhaven Lab chemist Ping Liu and Wenjie Liao, a graduate student at Stony Brook University, developed a machine learning framework to identify which chemical reaction steps could be targeted to improve reaction productivity.

    Chemists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new machine-learning (ML) framework that can zero in on which steps of a multistep chemical conversion should be tweaked to improve productivity. The approach could help guide the design of catalysts—chemical “dealmakers” that speed up reactions.

    The team developed the method to analyze the conversion of carbon monoxide (CO) to methanol using a copper-based catalyst. The reaction consists of seven fairly straightforward elementary steps.

    “Our goal was to identify which elementary step in the reaction network or which subset of steps controls the catalytic activity,” said Wenjie Liao, the first author on a paper describing the method just published in the journal Catalysis Science & Technology. Liao is a graduate student at Stony Brook University – SUNY who has been working with scientists in the Catalysis Reactivity and Structure (CRS) group in Brookhaven Lab’s Chemistry Division.

    Ping Liu, the CRS chemist who led the work, said, “We used this reaction as an example of our ML framework method, but you can put any reaction into this framework in general.”

    Targeting activation energies

    Picture a multistep chemical reaction as a rollercoaster with hills of different heights. The height of each hill represents the energy needed to get from one step to the next. Catalysts lower these “activation barriers” by making it easier for reactants to come together or allowing them to do so at lower temperatures or pressures. To speed up the overall reaction, a catalyst must target the step or steps that have the biggest impact.

    Traditionally, scientists seeking to improve such a reaction would calculate how changing each activation barrier one at a time might affect the overall production rate. This type of analysis could identify which step was “rate-limiting” and which steps determine reaction selectivity—that is, whether the reactants proceed to the desired product or down an alternate pathway to an unwanted byproduct.

    2
    This graphic shows the seven-step reaction pathway of CO hydrogenation to methanol over copper-based catalysts, including the reactants at each step, schematic atomic arrangements of the intermediates, and the energy activation barriers required to get from step to step. The Brookhaven Lab team demonstrated a machine learning framework that successfully identified which steps/combinations of steps to tweak to improve methanol production. Their work could help guide the design of new catalysts to achieve that goal and the framework can be applied to optimize other reactions.

    But, according to Liu, “These estimations end up being very rough with a lot of errors for some groups of catalysts. That has really hurt for catalyst design and screening, which is what we are trying to do,” she said.

    The new machine learning framework is designed to improve these estimations so scientists can better predict how catalysts will affect reaction mechanisms and chemical output.

    “Now, instead of moving one barrier at a time we are moving all the barriers simultaneously. And we use machine learning to interpret that dataset,” said Liao.

    This approach, the team said, gives much more reliable results, including about how steps in a reaction work together.

    “Under reaction conditions, these steps are not isolated or separated from each other; they are all connected,” said Liu. “If you just do one step at a time, you miss a lot of information—the interactions among the elementary steps. That’s what’s been captured in this development,” she said.

    Building the model

    The scientists started by building a data set to train their machine learning model. The data set was based on “density functional theory” (DFT) calculations of the activation energy required to transform one arrangement of atoms to the next through the seven steps of the reaction. Then the scientists ran computer-based simulations to explore what would happen if they changed all seven activation barriers simultaneously—some going up, some going down, some individually, and some in pairs.

    “The range of data we included was based on previous experience with these reactions and this catalytic system, within the interesting range of variation that is likely to give you better performance,” Liu said.

    By simulating variations in 28 “descriptors”—including the activation energies for the seven steps plus pairs of steps changing two at a time—the team produced a comprehensive dataset of 500 data points. This dataset predicted how all those individual tweaks and pairs of tweaks would affect methanol production. The model then scored the 28 descriptors according to their importance in driving methanol output.

    “Our model ‘learned’ from the data and identified six key descriptors that it predicts would have the most impact on production,” Liao said.

    After the important descriptors were identified, the scientists retrained the ML model using just those six “active” descriptors. This improved ML model was able to predict catalytic activity based purely on DFT calculations for those six parameters.

    “Rather than you having to calculate the whole 28 descriptors, now you can calculate with only the six descriptors and get the methanol conversion rates you are interested in,” said Liu.

    The team says they can also use the model to screen catalysts. If they can design a catalyst that improves the value of the six active descriptors, the model predicts a maximal methanol production rate.

    Understanding mechanisms

    When the team compared the predictions of their model with the experimental performance of their catalyst—and the performance of alloys of various metals with copper—the predictions matched up with the experimental findings. Comparisons of the ML approach with the previous method used to predict alloys’ performance showed the ML method to be far superior.

    The data also revealed a lot of detail about how changes in energy barriers could affect the reaction mechanism. Of particular interest—and importance—was how different steps of the reaction work together. For example, the data showed that in some cases, lowering the energy barrier in the rate-limiting step alone would not by itself improve methanol production. But tweaking the energy barrier of a step earlier in the reaction network, while keeping the activation energy of the rate-limiting step within an ideal range, would increase methanol output.

    “Our method gives us detailed information we might be able to use to design a catalyst that coordinates the interaction between these two steps well,” Liu said.

    But Liu is most excited about the potential for applying such data-driven ML frameworks to more complicated reactions.

    “We used the methanol reaction to demonstrate our method. But the way that it generates the database and how we train the ML model and how we interpolate the role of each descriptor’s function to determine the overall weight in terms of their importance—that can be applied to other reactions easily,” she said.

    The research was supported by the DOE Office of Science (BES). The DFT calculations were performed using computational resources at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), which is a DOE Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven Lab, and at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), DOE Office of Science User Facility at The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

    See the full article here .


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    Brookhaven Campus

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the The DOE Office of Science, The DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5,300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission(US) and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University and Battelle Memorial Institute. From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc.(AUI), but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to have a facility near Boston, Massachusetts. Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University, Cornell University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and Yale University.

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966.

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II. [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source.

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider(CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, It was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility [Jlab] (US) as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC) in the United States.

    Brookhaven Lab Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) to be built inside the tunnel that currently houses the RHIC.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II, Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY.

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] Large Hadron Collider(LHC).

    The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH)[CERN] map.

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China .


    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II.

    BNL NSLS II.

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:00 am on April 9, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Chemical reactions for the energy transition", , , , Catalysis, , Decarbonizing the energy system, , , Potentiostat: a type of voltmeter that can either passively measure the voltage of a system or actively change the voltage to cause a reaction to occur.,   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology: “Chemical reactions for the energy transition” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    April 4, 2022
    Nancy W. Stauffer | MIT Energy Initiative

    Yogesh Surendranath and his team are bringing powerful techniques of electrochemistry to bear on the problem of designing catalysts for sustainable fuels.

    1
    This figure presents two views of the chemical reactions for producing renewable fuels and chemicals. The top equation represents the conversion of the reactant (R) plus oxygen (O2) to a product (P) plus water (H2O). The diagram below illustrates researchers’ hypothesis that the overall reaction is the result of two coordinated half-reactions occurring on separate catalyst materials, here represented by gray structures. On the left-hand catalyst, the reactant turns into a product, sending electrons (e-) into the carbon support material (black) and protons (H+) into water (blue). On the right-hand catalyst, electrons and protons are consumed as they drive the reaction of oxygen to water. Image courtesy of the researchers.

    One challenge in decarbonizing the energy system is knowing how to deal with new types of fuels. Traditional fuels such as natural gas and oil can be combined with other materials and then heated to high temperatures so they chemically react to produce other useful fuels or substances, or even energy to do work. But new materials such as biofuels can’t take as much heat without breaking down.

    A key ingredient in such chemical reactions is a specially designed solid catalyst that is added to encourage the reaction to happen but isn’t itself consumed in the process. With traditional materials, the solid catalyst typically interacts with a gas; but with fuels derived from biomass, for example, the catalyst must work with a liquid — a special challenge for those who design catalysts.

    For nearly a decade, Yogesh Surendranath, an associate professor of chemistry at MIT, has been focusing on chemical reactions between solid catalysts and liquids, but in a different situation: rather than using heat to drive reactions, he and his team input electricity from a battery or a renewable source such as wind or solar to give chemically inactive molecules more energy so they react. And key to their research is designing and fabricating solid catalysts that work well for reactions involving liquids.

    Recognizing the need to use biomass to develop sustainable liquid fuels, Surendranath wondered whether he and his team could take the principles they have learned about designing catalysts to drive liquid-solid reactions with electricity and apply them to reactions that occur at liquid-solid interfaces without any input of electricity.

    To their surprise, they found that their knowledge is directly relevant. Why? “What we found — amazingly — is that even when you don’t hook up wires to your catalyst, there are tiny internal ‘wires’ that do the reaction,” says Surendranath. “So, reactions that people generally think operate without any flow of current actually do involve electrons shuttling from one place to another.” And that means that Surendranath and his team can bring the powerful techniques of electrochemistry to bear on the problem of designing catalysts for sustainable fuels.

    A novel hypothesis

    Their work has focused on a class of chemical reactions important in the energy transition that involve adding oxygen to small organic (carbon-containing) molecules such as ethanol, methanol, and formic acid. The conventional assumption is that the reactant and oxygen chemically react to form the product plus water. And a solid catalyst — often a combination of metals — is present to provide sites on which the reactant and oxygen can interact.

    But Surendranath proposed a different view of what’s going on. In the usual setup, two catalysts, each one composed of many nanoparticles, are mounted on a conductive carbon substrate and submerged in water. In that arrangement, negatively charged electrons can flow easily through the carbon, while positively charged protons can flow easily through water.

    Surendranath’s hypothesis was that the conversion of reactant to product progresses by means of two separate “half-reactions” on the two catalysts. On one catalyst, the reactant turns into a product, in the process sending electrons into the carbon substrate and protons into the water. Those electrons and protons are picked up by the other catalyst, where they drive the oxygen-to-water conversion. So, instead of a single reaction, two separate but coordinated half-reactions together achieve the net conversion of reactant to product.

    As a result, the overall reaction doesn’t actually involve any net electron production or consumption. It is a standard “thermal” reaction resulting from the energy in the molecules and maybe some added heat. The conventional approach to designing a catalyst for such a reaction would focus on increasing the rate of that reactant-to-product conversion. And the best catalyst for that kind of reaction could turn out to be, say, gold or palladium or some other expensive precious metal.

    However, if that reaction actually involves two half-reactions, as Surendranath proposed, there is a flow of electrical charge (the electrons and protons) between them. So Surendranath and others in the field could instead use techniques of electrochemistry to design not a single catalyst for the overall reaction but rather two separate catalysts — one to speed up one half-reaction and one to speed up the other half-reaction. “That means we don’t have to design one catalyst to do all the heavy lifting of speeding up the entire reaction,” says Surendranath. “We might be able to pair up two low-cost, earth-abundant catalysts, each of which does half of the reaction well, and together they carry out the overall transformation quickly and efficiently.”

    But there’s one more consideration: Electrons can flow through the entire catalyst composite, which encompasses the catalyst particle(s) and the carbon substrate. For the chemical conversion to happen as quickly as possible, the rate at which electrons are put into the catalyst composite must exactly match the rate at which they are taken out. Focusing on just the electrons, if the reaction-to-product conversion on the first catalyst sends the same number of electrons per second into the “bath of electrons” in the catalyst composite as the oxygen-to-water conversion on the second catalyst takes out, the two half-reactions will be balanced, and the electron flow — and the rate of the combined reaction — will be fast. The trick is to find good catalysts for each of the half-reactions that are perfectly matched in terms of electrons in and electrons out.

    “A good catalyst or pair of catalysts can maintain an electrical potential — essentially a voltage — at which both half-reactions are fast and are balanced,” says Jaeyune Ryu PhD ’21, a former member of the Surendranath lab and lead author of the study; Ryu is now a postdoc at Harvard University. “The rates of the reactions are equal, and the voltage in the catalyst composite won’t change during the overall thermal reaction.”

    Drawing on electrochemistry

    Based on their new understanding, Surendranath, Ryu, and their colleagues turned to electrochemistry techniques to identify a good catalyst for each half-reaction that would also pair up to work well together. Their analytical framework for guiding catalyst development for systems that combine two half-reactions is based on a theory that has been used to understand corrosion for almost 100 years, but has rarely been applied to understand or design catalysts for reactions involving small molecules important for the energy transition.

    Key to their work is a potentiostat, a type of voltmeter that can either passively measure the voltage of a system or actively change the voltage to cause a reaction to occur. In their experiments, Surendranath and his team use the potentiostat to measure the voltage of the catalyst in real time, monitoring how it changes millisecond to millisecond. They then correlate those voltage measurements with simultaneous but separate measurements of the overall rate of catalysis to understand the reaction pathway.

    For their study of the conversion of small, energy-related molecules, they first tested a series of catalysts to find good ones for each half-reaction — one to convert the reactant to product, producing electrons and protons, and another to convert the oxygen to water, consuming electrons and protons. In each case, a promising candidate would yield a rapid reaction — that is, a fast flow of electrons and protons out or in.

    To help identify an effective catalyst for performing the first half-reaction, the researchers used their potentiostat to input carefully controlled voltages and measured the resulting current that flowed through the catalyst. A good catalyst will generate lots of current for little applied voltage; a poor catalyst will require high applied voltage to get the same amount of current. The team then followed the same procedure to identify a good catalyst for the second half-reaction.

    To expedite the overall reaction, the researchers needed to find two catalysts that matched well — where the amount of current at a given applied voltage was high for each of them, ensuring that as one produced a rapid flow of electrons and protons, the other one consumed them at the same rate.

    To test promising pairs, the researchers used the potentiostat to measure the voltage of the catalyst composite during net catalysis — not changing the voltage as before, but now just measuring it from tiny samples. In each test, the voltage will naturally settle at a certain level, and the goal is for that to happen when the rate of both reactions is high.
    ===
    Validating their hypothesis and looking ahead

    By testing the two half-reactions, the researchers could measure how the reaction rate for each one varied with changes in the applied voltage. From those measurements, they could predict the voltage at which the full reaction would proceed fastest. Measurements of the full reaction matched their predictions, supporting their hypothesis.

    The team’s novel approach of using electrochemistry techniques to examine reactions thought to be strictly thermal in nature provides new insights into the detailed steps by which those reactions occur and therefore into how to design catalysts to speed them up. “We can now use a divide-and-conquer strategy,” says Ryu. “We know that the net thermal reaction in our study happens through two ‘hidden’ but coupled half-reactions, so we can aim to optimize one half-reaction at a time” — possibly using low-cost catalyst materials for one or both.

    Adds Surendranath, “One of the things that we’re excited about in this study is that the result is not final in and of itself. It has really seeded a brand-new thrust area in our research program, including new ways to design catalysts for the production and transformation of renewable fuels and chemicals.”

    Science paper:
    Nature Catalysis

    This research was supported primarily by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Jaeyune Ryu PhD ’21 was supported by a Samsung Scholarship. Additional support was provided by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

    This article appears in the Autumn 2021 issue of Energy Futures, the magazine of the MIT Energy Initiative.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory , the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center , and the Haystack Observatory , as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Whitehead Institute.

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology . The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia , wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst . In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected The Massachusetts Institute of Technology profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ‘s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology , Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:55 pm on February 24, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A new and inexpensive catalyst speeds the production of oxygen from water", Catalysis,   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US): “A new and inexpensive catalyst speeds the production of oxygen from water” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    February 24, 2022
    David L. Chandler

    The material could replace rare metals and lead to more economical production of carbon-neutral fuels.

    1
    Illustration depicts an electrochemical reaction, splitting water molecules (at left, with oxygen atom in red, and two hydrogen atoms in white) into oxygen molecules (at right), taking place within the structure of the team’s metal hydroxide organic frameworks, depicted as the lattices at top and bottom. Image: Courtesy of the researchers.

    An electrochemical reaction that splits apart water molecules to produce oxygen is at the heart of multiple approaches aiming to produce alternative fuels for transportation. But this reaction has to be facilitated by a catalyst material, and today’s versions require the use of rare and expensive elements such as iridium, limiting the potential of such fuel production.

    Now, researchers at MIT and elsewhere have developed an entirely new type of catalyst material, called a metal hydroxide-organic framework (MHOF), which is made of inexpensive and abundant components. The family of materials allows engineers to precisely tune the catalyst’s structure and composition to the needs of a particular chemical process, and it can then match or exceed the performance of conventional, more expensive catalysts.

    The findings are described today in the journal Nature Materials, in a paper by MIT postdoc Shuai Yuan, graduate student Jiayu Peng, Professor Yang Shao-Horn, Professor Yuriy Román-Leshkov, and nine others.

    Oxygen evolution reactions are one of the reactions common to the electrochemical production of fuels, chemicals, and materials. These processes include the generation of hydrogen as a byproduct of the oxygen evolution, which can be used directly as a fuel or undergo chemical reactions to produce other transportation fuels; the manufacture of ammonia, for use as a fertilizer or chemical feedstock; and carbon dioxide reduction in order to control emissions.

    But without help, “these reactions are sluggish,” Shao-Horn says. “For a reaction with slow kinetics, you have to sacrifice voltage or energy to promote the reaction rate.” Because of the extra energy input required, “the overall efficiency is low. So that’s why people use catalysts,” she says, as these materials naturally promote reactions by lowering energy input.

    But until now, these catalysts “are all relying on expensive materials or late transition metals that are very scarce, for example iridium oxide, and there has been a big effort in the community to find alternatives based on Earth-abundant materials that have the same performance in terms of activity and stability,” Román-Leshkov says. The team says they have found materials that provide exactly that combination of characteristics.

    Other teams have explored the use of metal hydroxides, such as nickel-iron hydroxides, Román-Leshkov says. But such materials have been difficult to tailor to the requirements of specific applications. Now, though, “the reason our work is quite exciting and quite relevant is that we’ve found a way of tailoring the properties by nanostructuring these metal hydroxides in a unique way.”

    The team borrowed from research that has been done on a related class of compounds known as metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which are a kind of crystalline structure made of metal oxide nodes linked together with organic linker molecules. By replacing the metal oxide in such materials with certain metal hydroxides, the team found, it became possible to create precisely tunable materials that also had the necessary stability to be potentially useful as catalysts.

    “You put these chains of these organic linkers next to each other, and they actually direct the formation of metal hydroxide sheets that are interconnected with these organic linkers, which are then stacked, and have a higher stability,” Román-Leshkov says. This has multiple benefits, he says, by allowing a precise control over the nanostructured patterning, allowing precise control of the electronic properties of the metal, and also providing greater stability, enabling them to stand up to long periods of use.

    In testing such materials, the researchers found the catalysts’ performance to be “surprising,” Shao-Horn says. “It is comparable to that of the state-of-the-art oxide materials catalyzing for the oxygen evolution reaction.”

    Being composed largely of nickel and iron, these materials should be at least 100 times cheaper than existing catalysts, they say, although the team has not yet done a full economic analysis.

    This family of materials “really offers a new space to tune the active sites for catalyzing water splitting to produce hydrogen with reduced energy input,” Shao-Horn says, to meet the exact needs of any given chemical process where such catalysts are needed.

    The materials can provide “five times greater tunability” than existing nickel-based catalysts, Peng says, simply by substituting different metals in place of nickel in the compound. “This would potentially offer many relevant avenues for future discoveries.” The materials can also be produced in extremely thin sheets, which could then be coated onto another material, further reducing the material costs of such systems.

    So far, the materials have been tested in small-scale laboratory test devices, and the team is now addressing the issues of trying to scale up the process to commercially relevant scales, which could still take a few years. But the idea has great potential, Shao-Horn says, to help catalyze the production of clean, emissions-free hydrogen fuel, so that “we can bring down the cost of hydrogen from this process while not being constrained by the availability of precious metals. This is important, because we need hydrogen production technologies that can scale.”

    The research team included others at MIT, Stockholm University in Sweden, DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Institute of Ion Beam Physics and Materials Research[The Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf](DE)] in Dresden, Germany. The work was supported by the Toyota Research Institute.

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory(US) Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) . The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia (US), wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US)). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University (US) president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities (US)in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT (US) Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO (US) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation (US) .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:42 am on February 15, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Taking the rarest of metals out of hydrogen electrolysis", Catalysis, , , To be a completely green source of energy hydrogen must be made by splitting water with electrolysis with the electricity driving it derived from 100% renewable sources.   

    From RIKEN [理研](JP) via COSMOS(AU): “Taking the rarest of metals out of hydrogen electrolysis” 

    RIKEN bloc

    From RIKEN [理研](JP)

    via

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS(AU)

    15 February 2022
    Ellen Phiddian

    1
    Credit: kertlis / Getty Images.

    To be a completely green source of energy hydrogen must be made by splitting water with electrolysis with the electricity driving it derived from 100% renewable sources. But the electrolysis process needs catalysts to work – and the best current industrial electrodes use the precious metals iridium, ruthenium, and platinum. None of these metals are common, but iridium in particular is one of the rarest elements on Earth, with less than ten tonnes produced each year. Much of the iridium in the Earth’s crust is thought to have been deposited by asteroids, in ‘iridium anomalies’.

    Researchers around the world are working on better catalysts that don’t use these resources, and a team of Japanese researchers have just found a particularly good performer.

    Publishing their findings in Nature Catalysis, the researchers describe a method of splitting water with the more abundant cobalt and manganese. Cobalt is several hundred thousand times more abundant than platinum, and manganese is the fifth most common metal in the Earth’s crust.

    Their catalyst produces nearly as much hydrogen per energy input as current iridium catalysts, and lasts for over two months. There’s still a bit to go – iridium catalysts can last for at least a decade – but this discovery offers a marked improvement on other non-iridium catalysts, which corrode after a few hours or days.

    “In addition to being able to withstand the harsh acidic environment, the catalyst must be very active,” explains senior author Dr Ryuhei Nakamura, a researcher at the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Science (CSRS) in Japan.

    “If not, the amount of electricity needed for the reaction to produce a given amount of hydrogen soars, and with it, so does the cost.”

    The researchers knew that cobalt oxides are very active catalysts, but problematically they corrode quickly during electrolysis. Manganese oxides, on the other hand, are more stable, but not as active.

    The team combined and tested cobalt and manganese oxides through a process of trial and error. Eventually, they found one compound – with the empirical formula Co2MnO4 – that combined the best properties of both metals.

    2
    (Left) The mixed cobalt manganese oxide, Co2MnO4. (Right) a frame from a video showing hydrogen being produced through electrolysis at the current density of 1000 milliamperes per square centimeter. Credit: RIKEN.

    “We have achieved what has eluded scientists for decades,” says co-first author Ailong Li. “Hydrogen production using a highly active and stable catalyst made from abundant metals.

    “We believe that this is a huge step towards creating a sustainable hydrogen economy. Like other renewable technologies such as solar cells and wind power, we expect the cost of green hydrogen technology to plummet in the near future as more advances are made.”

    The researchers are now looking for ways to improve the activity and lifespan of their catalyst.

    “We continue to strive for a non-rare metal catalyst that matches the performance of current iridium and platinum catalysts,” says Nakamura.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    RIKEN campus

    RIKEN [理研](JP) is Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution renowned for high-quality research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope, today encompassing a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan. Founded in 1917, it now has about 3,000 scientists on seven campuses across Japan, including the main site at Wakō, Saitama Prefecture, just outside Tokyo. Riken is a Designated National Research and Development Institute, and was formerly an Independent Administrative Institution.
    Riken conducts research in many areas of science including physics; chemistry; biology; genomics; medical science; engineering; high-performance computing and computational science and ranging from basic research to practical applications with 485 partners worldwide. It is almost entirely funded by the Japanese government, and its annual budget is about ¥88 billion (US$790 million).

    Organizational structure:

    The main divisions of Riken are listed here. Purely administrative divisions are omitted.

    Headquarters (mostly in Wako)
    Wako Branch
    Center for Emergent Matter Science (research on new materials for reduced power consumption)
    Center for Sustainable Resource Science (research toward a sustainable society)
    Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science (site of the Radioactive Isotope Beam Factory, a heavy-ion accelerator complex)
    Center for Brain Science
    Center for Advanced Photonics (research on photonics including terahertz radiation)
    Research Cluster for Innovation
    Cluster for Pioneering Research (chief scientists)
    Interdisciplinary Theoretical and Mathematical Sciences Program
    Tokyo Branch
    Center for Advanced Intelligence Project (research on artificial intelligence)
    Tsukuba Branch
    BioResource Research Center
    Harima Institute
    Riken SPring-8 Center (site of the SPring-8 synchrotron and the SACLA x-ray free electron laser)

    Riken SPring-8 synchrotron, located in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

    RIKEN/HARIMA (JP) X-ray Free Electron Laser
    Yokohama Branch (site of the Yokohama Nuclear magnetic resonance facility)
    Center for Sustainable Resource Science
    Center for Integrative Medical Sciences (research toward personalized medicine)
    Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (also based in Kobe and Osaka) [6]
    Program for Drug Discovery and Medical Technology Platform
    Structural Biology Laboratory
    Sugiyama Laboratory
    Kobe Branch
    Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research (developmental biology and nuclear medicine medical imaging techniques)
    Center for Computational Science (R-CCS, home of the K computer and The post-K (Fugaku) computer development plan)

    Riken Fujitsu K supercomputer manufactured by Fujitsu, installed at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science campus in Kobe, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

    Fugaku is a claimed exascale supercomputer (while only at petascale for mainstream benchmark), at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan. It started development in 2014 as the successor to the K computer, and is officially scheduled to start operating in 2021. Fugaku made its debut in 2020, and became the fastest supercomputer in the world in the June 2020 TOP500 list, the first ever supercomputer that achieved 1 exaFLOPS. As of April 2021, Fugaku is currently the fastest supercomputer in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:51 am on February 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Steering Conversion of CO2 and Ethane to Desired Products", , Catalysis, ,   

    From DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US): “Steering Conversion of CO2 and Ethane to Desired Products” 

    From DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US)

    February 9, 2022
    kmcnulty@bnl.gov
    Karen McNulty Walsh
    (631) 344-8350

    Peter Genzer
    genzer@bnl.gov
    (631) 344-3174

    Study IDs key catalytic features that drive reaction specificity when transforming CO2 (a greenhouse gas) and an underutilized component of natural gas into higher-value chemicals.

    1
    Zhenhua Xie, a research associate in Brookhaven Lab’s Chemistry Division, holds precursor solutions for the synthesis of catalysts. He is first author on a paper describing the characteristics of a particular catalyst that determine its selectivity for converting CO2 and ethane to either syngas or ethylene.

    Converting carbon dioxide (CO2) and ethane—an underutilized component of natural gas—into things we need would be a great way to put a potent greenhouse gas and an unused reservoir of hydrocarbons to work. But driving such reactions specifically toward one desired product or another can be a challenge. Discovering the underlying principles that determine the behavior of catalysts—the chemical “deal makers” that bring reactants together—could provide the key to more selective reactions.

    In a study just published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, chemists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory, Columbia University (US), and The University at Binghampton-(SUNY)(US) describe the features that determine catalytic selectivity for one set of reactions: transforming CO2 and ethane (C2H6) into synthesis gas (useful for generating electricity or making liquid fuels) or, alternatively, ethylene (a building block for making paints, plastics, and other polymers).

    “Both pathways are valuable, but you want to be able to drive the reaction selectively to one or the other to make it easier and more economical to extract the desired product,” said Jingguang Chen, a chemist with a joint appointment at Brookhaven and Columbia who led the research. “We were trying to identify the key catalytic principles that make it select one pathway or another, with the idea that these principles could then guide the design of catalysts for an even wider range of reactions.”

    To discover the key principles, the team conducted detailed studies of a series of bimetallic (two-metal) catalysts—using different metals paired with palladium. For each combination, they examined how the metals come together and measured how the mix of reactants and products changes during the reaction.

    1
    This schematic shows two possible reaction pathways for carbon dioxide (CO2) with ethane (C2H6), where carbon is black, oxygen is red, hydrogen is white. By studying catalysts pairing another metal with palladium, scientists identified two arrangements, or phases, that determine the reaction pathway. Top: If the metals form an alloy, the catalyst favors breaking carbon-carbon bonds to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas—syngas. Bottom: If the metals segregate to form an oxide interface, the catalyst favors breaking carbon-hydrogen bonds and produces ethylene (C2H4), carbon monoxide, and water.

    They also studied the catalysts’ atomic structures and electronic properties using powerful x-rays at the National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II)[below] and the Advanced Photon Source—two DOE Office of Science user facilities at Brookhaven and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory(US), respectively.

    ANL DOE Argonne National Laboratory (US) Advanced Photo Source.

    And they ran computational modeling studies using computing clusters at Brookhaven’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials and supercomputers at The DOE’s NERSC National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center(US) at DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (US)—two more DOE Office of Science user facilities.

    The modeling studies used “density functional theory” (DFT) to predict how the arrangement of atoms that make up the catalyst changes as the reaction progresses, based on things like the binding energies between different sets of atoms and the energies needed to break and remake chemical bonds.

    “For both theory and experiment, we looked not just at the catalyst samples as they were originally prepared, but also as they undergo phase transformations during the reaction,” said Ping Liu, an expert in DFT calculations in the Catalysis Reactivity and Structure group of Brookhaven’s Chemistry Division.

    “When we put two metals together,” Chen explained, “they stay in one structure we call a bulk alloy. But under reaction conditions, when you expose the catalyst to CO2 and ethane, those metals start to move. This is why a synchrotron like NSLS-II is really critical, because the high intensity photon source allows us to measure the electronic and physical structures of the active sites under reaction conditions,” he said.

    “The strong interaction among techniques—including controlled catalytic synthesis, synchrotron-based characterization studies, kinetic measurements, and theoretical modeling—was essential for this study, ” Liu said.

    Chen agreed. “Without any one of these techniques, we would not have reached our conclusions. And we can only really do this in a national laboratory setting where there are facilities and expertise across all these areas,” he said.

    So, what were those conclusions? The discovery of two key principles, or descriptors, that determine whether and how the metal atoms move, and how those shifts drive reaction selectivity.

    The key principles are: 1) the “formation energy” of the bimetallic catalyst—how tightly bound together the two metals are, and 2) the binding energy between the catalyst and oxygen released from the CO2 during the reaction.

    If the two metals are bound together strongly (e.g., when palladium is paired with cobalt), the catalyst won’t bind with the freed oxygen and will remain an alloy, as shown in the top half of the illustration. This catalytic arrangement favors the breaking of carbon-carbon bonds, selectively transforming CO2 and ethane into carbon monoxide and hydrogen gas—the components of syngas.

    But if the catalyst’s affinity for freed oxygen is strong enough to overcome the formation energy of the alloy—as is the case for palladium paired with indium—the paired metal will move to the surface of the catalyst to form an oxide shell. That configuration favors breaking carbon-hydrogen bonds, driving the pathway that produces ethylene.

    The other metals the scientists paired with palladium fell somewhere between these two extremes. Scientists used the full dataset to extract the two key principles.

    “By using the descriptors we’ve identified, now we can help guide the design of catalysts for either pathway—to make either syngas or ethylene,” Chen said.

    In addition, as Liu pointed out, “these are generalized descriptors, which means they are not only applicable for one or two specific catalysts. Our experiments and theory prove that this approach works for the palladium-based catalysts. We think that could be extended for other bimetallic catalysts, which is something we will be looking at in the future.

    Zhenhua Xie and Xuelong Wang (both of Brookhaven Lab) and Xiaobo Chen (Binghamton) were additional co-authors on this study. The work was funded by the DOE Office of Science (BES).

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the DOE(US) Office of Science, DOE’s Brookhaven National Laboratory (US) conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University(US), the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle(US), a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

    Research at BNL specializes in nuclear and high energy physics, energy science and technology, environmental and bioscience, nanoscience and national security. The 5,300 acre campus contains several large research facilities, including the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider [below] and National Synchrotron Light Source II [below]. Seven Nobel prizes have been awarded for work conducted at Brookhaven lab.

    BNL is staffed by approximately 2,750 scientists, engineers, technicians, and support personnel, and hosts 4,000 guest investigators every year. The laboratory has its own police station, fire department, and ZIP code (11973). In total, the lab spans a 5,265-acre (21 km^2) area that is mostly coterminous with the hamlet of Upton, New York. BNL is served by a rail spur operated as-needed by the New York and Atlantic Railway. Co-located with the laboratory is the Upton, New York, forecast office of the National Weather Service.

    Major programs

    Although originally conceived as a nuclear research facility, Brookhaven Lab’s mission has greatly expanded. Its foci are now:

    Nuclear and high-energy physics
    Physics and chemistry of materials
    Environmental and climate research
    Nanomaterials
    Energy research
    Nonproliferation
    Structural biology
    Accelerator physics

    Operation

    Brookhaven National Lab was originally owned by the Atomic Energy Commission(US) and is now owned by that agency’s successor, the United States Department of Energy (DOE). DOE subcontracts the research and operation to universities and research organizations. It is currently operated by Brookhaven Science Associates LLC, which is an equal partnership of Stony Brook University(US) and Battelle Memorial Institute(US). From 1947 to 1998, it was operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) (US), but AUI lost its contract in the wake of two incidents: a 1994 fire at the facility’s high-beam flux reactor that exposed several workers to radiation and reports in 1997 of a tritium leak into the groundwater of the Long Island Central Pine Barrens on which the facility sits.

    Foundations

    Following World War II, the US Atomic Energy Commission was created to support government-sponsored peacetime research on atomic energy. The effort to build a nuclear reactor in the American northeast was fostered largely by physicists Isidor Isaac Rabi and Norman Foster Ramsey Jr., who during the war witnessed many of their colleagues at Columbia University leave for new remote research sites following the departure of the Manhattan Project from its campus. Their effort to house this reactor near New York City was rivalled by a similar effort at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) to have a facility near Boston, Massachusettes(US). Involvement was quickly solicited from representatives of northeastern universities to the south and west of New York City such that this city would be at their geographic center. In March 1946 a nonprofit corporation was established that consisted of representatives from nine major research universities — Columbia University(US), Cornell University(US), Harvard University(US), Johns Hopkins University(US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology(US), Princeton University(US), University of Pennsylvania(US), University of Rochester(US), and Yale University(US).

    Out of 17 considered sites in the Boston-Washington corridor, Camp Upton on Long Island was eventually chosen as the most suitable in consideration of space, transportation, and availability. The camp had been a training center from the US Army during both World War I and World War II. After the latter war, Camp Upton was deemed no longer necessary and became available for reuse. A plan was conceived to convert the military camp into a research facility.

    On March 21, 1947, the Camp Upton site was officially transferred from the U.S. War Department to the new U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), predecessor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

    Research and facilities

    Reactor history

    In 1947 construction began on the first nuclear reactor at Brookhaven, the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. This reactor, which opened in 1950, was the first reactor to be constructed in the United States after World War II. The High Flux Beam Reactor operated from 1965 to 1999. In 1959 Brookhaven built the first US reactor specifically tailored to medical research, the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor, which operated until 2000.

    Accelerator history

    In 1952 Brookhaven began using its first particle accelerator, the Cosmotron. At the time the Cosmotron was the world’s highest energy accelerator, being the first to impart more than 1 GeV of energy to a particle.

    BNL Cosmotron 1952-1966.

    The Cosmotron was retired in 1966, after it was superseded in 1960 by the new Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    BNL Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS).

    The AGS was used in research that resulted in 3 Nobel prizes, including the discovery of the muon neutrino, the charm quark, and CP violation.

    In 1970 in BNL started the ISABELLE project to develop and build two proton intersecting storage rings.

    The groundbreaking for the project was in October 1978. In 1981, with the tunnel for the accelerator already excavated, problems with the superconducting magnets needed for the ISABELLE accelerator brought the project to a halt, and the project was eventually cancelled in 1983.

    The National Synchrotron Light Source (US) operated from 1982 to 2014 and was involved with two Nobel Prize-winning discoveries. It has since been replaced by the National Synchrotron Light Source II (US). [below].

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source (US).

    After ISABELLE’S cancellation, physicist at BNL proposed that the excavated tunnel and parts of the magnet assembly be used in another accelerator. In 1984 the first proposal for the accelerator now known as the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC)[below] was put forward. The construction got funded in 1991 and RHIC has been operational since 2000. One of the world’s only two operating heavy-ion colliders, RHIC is as of 2010 the second-highest-energy collider after the Large Hadron Collider(CH). RHIC is housed in a tunnel 2.4 miles (3.9 km) long and is visible from space.

    On January 9, 2020, It was announced by Paul Dabbar, undersecretary of the US Department of Energy Office of Science, that the BNL eRHIC design has been selected over the conceptual design put forward by DOE’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility [Jlab] (US) as the future Electron–ion collider (EIC) in the United States.

    Brookhaven Lab Electron-Ion Collider (EIC) (US) to be built inside the tunnel that currently houses the RHIC.

    In addition to the site selection, it was announced that the BNL EIC had acquired CD-0 from the Department of Energy. BNL’s eRHIC design proposes upgrading the existing Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, which collides beams light to heavy ions including polarized protons, with a polarized electron facility, to be housed in the same tunnel.

    Other discoveries

    In 1958, Brookhaven scientists created one of the world’s first video games, Tennis for Two. In 1968 Brookhaven scientists patented Maglev, a transportation technology that utilizes magnetic levitation.

    Major facilities

    Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), which was designed to research quark–gluon plasma and the sources of proton spin. Until 2009 it was the world’s most powerful heavy ion collider. It is the only collider of spin-polarized protons.

    Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN), used for the study of nanoscale materials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II(US), Brookhaven’s newest user facility, opened in 2015 to replace the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which had operated for 30 years. NSLS was involved in the work that won the 2003 and 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

    Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, a particle accelerator that was used in three of the lab’s Nobel prizes.
    Accelerator Test Facility, generates, accelerates and monitors particle beams.
    Tandem Van de Graaff, once the world’s largest electrostatic accelerator.

    Computational Science resources, including access to a massively parallel Blue Gene series supercomputer that is among the fastest in the world for scientific research, run jointly by Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University-SUNY (US).

    Interdisciplinary Science Building, with unique laboratories for studying high-temperature superconductors and other materials important for addressing energy challenges.
    NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, where scientists use beams of ions to simulate cosmic rays and assess the risks of space radiation to human space travelers and equipment.

    Off-site contributions

    It is a contributing partner to the ATLAS experiment, one of the four detectors located at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

    Iconic view of the European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear] [Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] ATLAS detector.

    It is currently operating at The European Organization for Nuclear Research [La Organización Europea para la Investigación Nuclear][Organisation européenne pour la recherche nucléaire] [Europäische Organisation für Kernforschung](CH) [CERN] near Geneva, Switzerland.

    Brookhaven was also responsible for the design of the SNS accumulator ring in partnership with Spallation Neutron Source at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (US), Tennessee.

    DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory(US) Spallation Neutron Source annotated.

    Brookhaven plays a role in a range of neutrino research projects around the world, including the Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    Daya Bay Neutrino Experiment (CN) nuclear power plant, approximately 52 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong and 45 kilometers east of Shenzhen, China.

    FNAL DUNE LBNF (US) from FNAL to Sanford Underground Research Facility, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    Brookhaven Campus

    BNL Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

    BNL National Synchrotron Light Source II(US).

    BNL NSLS II (US).

    BNL Relative Heavy Ion Collider (US) Campus.

    BNL/RHIC Star Detector.

    BNL/RHIC Phenix detector.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:05 am on February 7, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "An explorer in the sprawling universe of possible chemical combinations", , Applying novel simulation and machine-learning technologies to rapidly investigate the sprawling world of possible chemical combinations., Associate Professor Heather Kulik, , Catalysis, , , , , The direct conversion of methane gas to liquid methanol at the site where it is extracted from the Earth holds enormous potential for addressing a number of significant environmental problems., , The team is mapping out how chemical structures relate to chemical properties in order to create new materials tailored to particular applications., Ultimately her focus is far broader-the scope of her exploration infinitely more vast., Understand using computational tools why catalysts or materials behave the way they do   

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US): “An explorer in the sprawling universe of possible chemical combinations” 

    MIT News

    From The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)

    February 6, 2022
    Michaela Jarvis

    1
    “Once you realize the sheer scale of how many materials we could or should be studying to solve outstanding problems, you realize the only way to make a dent is to do things at a larger and faster scale that has ever been done before,” Heather Kulik says. Photo: Gretchen Ertl.

    The direct conversion of methane gas to liquid methanol at the site where it is extracted from the Earth holds enormous potential for addressing a number of significant environmental problems. Developing a catalyst for that conversion has been a critical focus for Associate Professor Heather Kulik and the lab she directs at MIT.

    As important as that research is, however, it is just one example of the innumerable possibilities of Kulik’s work. Ultimately her focus is far broader-the scope of her exploration infinitely more vast.

    “All of our research is dedicated toward the same practical goal,” she says. “Namely, we aim to be able to predict and understand using computational tools why catalysts or materials behave the way they do so that we can overcome limitations in present understanding or existing materials.”

    Simply put, Kulik wants to apply novel simulation and machine-learning technologies she and her lab have developed to rapidly investigate the sprawling world of possible chemical combinations. In the process, the team is mapping out how chemical structures relate to chemical properties in order to create new materials tailored to particular applications.

    “Once you realize the sheer scale of how many materials we could or should be studying to solve outstanding problems, you realize the only way to make a dent is to do things at a larger and faster scale that has ever been done before,” Kulik says. “Thanks to both machine-learning models and heterogeneous computing that has accelerated first-principles modeling, we are now able to start asking and answering questions that we could never have addressed before.”

    Despite Kulik’s many awards and consistent recognition for her research, the New Jersey native was not always destined to be a scientist. Her parents were not particularly interested in math and science and, although she was mathematically precocious and did arithmetic as a toddler and college-level classes in middle school, she pursued other interests into her teens, including creative writing, graphic design, art, and photography.

    Majoring in chemical engineering at The Cooper Union (US), Kulik says she wanted to occupy her mind, do something useful, and “make an okay living.” Chemical engineering was one of the highest-paying professions for undergraduates, she says.

    The first thing she remembers hearing about graduate school was from a teaching assistant in her undergraduate physics class, who explained that being in academia meant “not having a real job until you’re at least 30” and working long hours.

    “I thought that sounded like a terrible idea!” Kulik says.

    Luckily, some of her classroom experiences at the Cooper union, as well as encouragement from her quantum mechanics professor, Robert Topper, led her toward research.

    “While I wanted to be useful, I kept being drawn to these fundamental questions of how knowing where the atoms and electrons were located explained the world around us,” she says. “Ultimately, I obtained my PhD in computational materials science to become a scientist who works with electrons every day for that reason. Since what I do hardly ever feels like a chore, I now have a greater appreciation for the fact that this path allowed me to ‘not have a real job.’”

    Kulik credits MIT professor of chemistry and biology Cathy Drennan, whom Kulik collaborated with during graduate school, with “helping me see past the short-term barriers that come up in academia” and “showing me what a career in science could look like.” She also mentions Nicola Marzari, her PhD advisor, then an associate professor in the MIT’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and her postdoc advisor at Stanford University (US), Todd Martinez, “who gave me a glimpse of what an independent career might look like.”

    Kulik works hard to pass on her ethics and her ideas about work-life balance to students in her lab, and she teaches them to rely on each other, referring to the group as a “tight-knit community all with the same goals.” Twice a month, she holds meetings at which she encourages students to share how they have come up with solutions when working through research problems. “We can each see and learn from different problem-solving strategies others in the group have tried and help each other out along the way.”

    She also encourages a light atmosphere. The lab’s web page says its members “embrace very #random (but probably fairly uncool) jokes in our Slack channels. We are computational researchers after all!”

    “We like to keep it lighthearted,” Kulik says.

    Nonetheless, Kulik and her lab have achieved major breakthroughs, including changing the approach to computational chemistry to make the way multiscale simulations are set up more systematic, while exponentially accelerating the process of materials discovery. Over the years, the lab has developed and honed an open-source code called molSimplify, which researchers can use to build and simulate new compounds. Combined with machine-learning models, the automated method enabled by the software has led to “structure-property maps” that explain why materials behave as they do, in a more comprehensive manner than was ever before possible.

    For her efforts, Kulik has won grants from the MIT Energy Initiative, a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award at the Scientific Interface, the American Chemical Society OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, a DARPA Young Faculty Award and Director’s Fellowship, the AAAS Marion Milligan Mason Award, the Physical Chemistry B Lectureship, and a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, among others. This year, she was named a Sloan Research Fellow and was granted tenure.

    When not hard at work on her next accomplishment, Kulik enjoys listening to music and taking walks around Cambridge and Boston, where she lives in the Beacon Hill neighborhood with her partner, who was a fellow graduate student at MIT.

    Each year for the past three to four years, Kulik has spent at least two weeks on a wintertime vacation in a sunny climate.

    “I reflect on what I’ve been doing at work as well as what my priorities might be both in life and in work in the upcoming year,” she says. “This helps to inform any decisions I make about how to prioritize my time and efforts each year and helps me to make sure I’ve put everything in perspective.”

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    MIT Seal

    USPS “Forever” postage stamps celebrating Innovation at MIT.

    MIT Campus

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a private land-grant research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The institute has an urban campus that extends more than a mile (1.6 km) alongside the Charles River. The institute also encompasses a number of major off-campus facilities such as the MIT Lincoln Laboratory (US), the MIT Bates Research and Engineering Center (US), and the Haystack Observatory (US), as well as affiliated laboratories such as the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard(US) and Whitehead Institute (US).

    Massachusettes Institute of Technology-Haystack Observatory(US) Westford, Massachusetts, USA, Altitude 131 m (430 ft).

    Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength. It is frequently regarded as one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

    As of December 2020, 97 Nobel laureates, 26 Turing Award winners, and 8 Fields Medalists have been affiliated with MIT as alumni, faculty members, or researchers. In addition, 58 National Medal of Science recipients, 29 National Medals of Technology and Innovation recipients, 50 MacArthur Fellows, 80 Marshall Scholars, 3 Mitchell Scholars, 22 Schwarzman Scholars, 41 astronauts, and 16 Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force have been affiliated with The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) . The university also has a strong entrepreneurial culture and MIT alumni have founded or co-founded many notable companies. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

    Foundation and vision

    In 1859, a proposal was submitted to the Massachusetts General Court to use newly filled lands in Back Bay, Boston for a “Conservatory of Art and Science”, but the proposal failed. A charter for the incorporation of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, proposed by William Barton Rogers, was signed by John Albion Andrew, the governor of Massachusetts, on April 10, 1861.

    Rogers, a professor from the University of Virginia (US), wanted to establish an institution to address rapid scientific and technological advances. He did not wish to found a professional school, but a combination with elements of both professional and liberal education, proposing that:

    “The true and only practicable object of a polytechnic school is, as I conceive, the teaching, not of the minute details and manipulations of the arts, which can be done only in the workshop, but the inculcation of those scientific principles which form the basis and explanation of them, and along with this, a full and methodical review of all their leading processes and operations in connection with physical laws.”

    The Rogers Plan reflected the German research university model, emphasizing an independent faculty engaged in research, as well as instruction oriented around seminars and laboratories.

    Early developments

    Two days after Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was chartered, the first battle of the Civil War broke out. After a long delay through the war years, MIT’s first classes were held in the Mercantile Building in Boston in 1865. The new institute was founded as part of the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund institutions “to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes” and was a land-grant school. In 1863 under the same act, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts founded the Massachusetts Agricultural College, which developed as the University of Massachusetts Amherst (US)). In 1866, the proceeds from land sales went toward new buildings in the Back Bay.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was informally called “Boston Tech”. The institute adopted the European polytechnic university model and emphasized laboratory instruction from an early date. Despite chronic financial problems, the institute saw growth in the last two decades of the 19th century under President Francis Amasa Walker. Programs in electrical, chemical, marine, and sanitary engineering were introduced, new buildings were built, and the size of the student body increased to more than one thousand.

    The curriculum drifted to a vocational emphasis, with less focus on theoretical science. The fledgling school still suffered from chronic financial shortages which diverted the attention of the MIT leadership. During these “Boston Tech” years, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty and alumni rebuffed Harvard University (US) president (and former MIT faculty) Charles W. Eliot’s repeated attempts to merge MIT with Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School. There would be at least six attempts to absorb MIT into Harvard. In its cramped Back Bay location, MIT could not afford to expand its overcrowded facilities, driving a desperate search for a new campus and funding. Eventually, the MIT Corporation approved a formal agreement to merge with Harvard, over the vehement objections of MIT faculty, students, and alumni. However, a 1917 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively put an end to the merger scheme.

    In 1916, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) administration and the MIT charter crossed the Charles River on the ceremonial barge Bucentaur built for the occasion, to signify MIT’s move to a spacious new campus largely consisting of filled land on a one-mile-long (1.6 km) tract along the Cambridge side of the Charles River. The neoclassical “New Technology” campus was designed by William W. Bosworth and had been funded largely by anonymous donations from a mysterious “Mr. Smith”, starting in 1912. In January 1920, the donor was revealed to be the industrialist George Eastman of Rochester, New York, who had invented methods of film production and processing, and founded Eastman Kodak. Between 1912 and 1920, Eastman donated $20 million ($236.6 million in 2015 dollars) in cash and Kodak stock to MIT.

    Curricular reforms

    In the 1930s, President Karl Taylor Compton and Vice-President (effectively Provost) Vannevar Bush emphasized the importance of pure sciences like physics and chemistry and reduced the vocational practice required in shops and drafting studios. The Compton reforms “renewed confidence in the ability of the Institute to develop leadership in science as well as in engineering”. Unlike Ivy League schools, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) catered more to middle-class families, and depended more on tuition than on endowments or grants for its funding. The school was elected to the Association of American Universities (US)in 1934.

    Still, as late as 1949, the Lewis Committee lamented in its report on the state of education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) that “the Institute is widely conceived as basically a vocational school”, a “partly unjustified” perception the committee sought to change. The report comprehensively reviewed the undergraduate curriculum, recommended offering a broader education, and warned against letting engineering and government-sponsored research detract from the sciences and humanities. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences and the MIT Sloan School of Management were formed in 1950 to compete with the powerful Schools of Science and Engineering. Previously marginalized faculties in the areas of economics, management, political science, and linguistics emerged into cohesive and assertive departments by attracting respected professors and launching competitive graduate programs. The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences continued to develop under the successive terms of the more humanistically oriented presidents Howard W. Johnson and Jerome Wiesner between 1966 and 1980.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)‘s involvement in military science surged during World War II. In 1941, Vannevar Bush was appointed head of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development and directed funding to only a select group of universities, including MIT. Engineers and scientists from across the country gathered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s Radiation Laboratory, established in 1940 to assist the British military in developing microwave radar. The work done there significantly affected both the war and subsequent research in the area. Other defense projects included gyroscope-based and other complex control systems for gunsight, bombsight, and inertial navigation under Charles Stark Draper’s Instrumentation Laboratory; the development of a digital computer for flight simulations under Project Whirlwind; and high-speed and high-altitude photography under Harold Edgerton. By the end of the war, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) became the nation’s largest wartime R&D contractor (attracting some criticism of Bush), employing nearly 4000 in the Radiation Laboratory alone and receiving in excess of $100 million ($1.2 billion in 2015 dollars) before 1946. Work on defense projects continued even after then. Post-war government-sponsored research at MIT included SAGE and guidance systems for ballistic missiles and Project Apollo.

    These activities affected Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) profoundly. A 1949 report noted the lack of “any great slackening in the pace of life at the Institute” to match the return to peacetime, remembering the “academic tranquility of the prewar years”, though acknowledging the significant contributions of military research to the increased emphasis on graduate education and rapid growth of personnel and facilities. The faculty doubled and the graduate student body quintupled during the terms of Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) between 1930 and 1948; James Rhyne Killian, president from 1948 to 1957; and Julius Adams Stratton, chancellor from 1952 to 1957, whose institution-building strategies shaped the expanding university. By the 1950s, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) no longer simply benefited the industries with which it had worked for three decades, and it had developed closer working relationships with new patrons, philanthropic foundations and the federal government.

    In late 1960s and early 1970s, student and faculty activists protested against the Vietnam War and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s defense research. In this period Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s various departments were researching helicopters, smart bombs and counterinsurgency techniques for the war in Vietnam as well as guidance systems for nuclear missiles. The Union of Concerned Scientists was founded on March 4, 1969 during a meeting of faculty members and students seeking to shift the emphasis on military research toward environmental and social problems. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) ultimately divested itself from the Instrumentation Laboratory and moved all classified research off-campus to the MIT (US) Lincoln Laboratory facility in 1973 in response to the protests. The student body, faculty, and administration remained comparatively unpolarized during what was a tumultuous time for many other universities. Johnson was seen to be highly successful in leading his institution to “greater strength and unity” after these times of turmoil. However six Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) students were sentenced to prison terms at this time and some former student leaders, such as Michael Albert and George Katsiaficas, are still indignant about MIT’s role in military research and its suppression of these protests. (Richard Leacock’s film, November Actions, records some of these tumultuous events.)

    In the 1980s, there was more controversy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) over its involvement in SDI (space weaponry) and CBW (chemical and biological warfare) research. More recently, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US)’s research for the military has included work on robots, drones and ‘battle suits’.

    Recent history

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has kept pace with and helped to advance the digital age. In addition to developing the predecessors to modern computing and networking technologies, students, staff, and faculty members at Project MAC, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and the Tech Model Railroad Club wrote some of the earliest interactive computer video games like Spacewar! and created much of modern hacker slang and culture. Several major computer-related organizations have originated at MIT since the 1980s: Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the subsequent Free Software Foundation were founded in the mid-1980s at the AI Lab; the MIT Media Lab was founded in 1985 by Nicholas Negroponte and Jerome Wiesner to promote research into novel uses of computer technology; the World Wide Web Consortium standards organization was founded at the Laboratory for Computer Science in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee; the MIT OpenCourseWare project has made course materials for over 2,000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) classes available online free of charge since 2002; and the One Laptop per Child initiative to expand computer education and connectivity to children worldwide was launched in 2005.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) was named a sea-grant college in 1976 to support its programs in oceanography and marine sciences and was named a space-grant college in 1989 to support its aeronautics and astronautics programs. Despite diminishing government financial support over the past quarter century, MIT launched several successful development campaigns to significantly expand the campus: new dormitories and athletics buildings on west campus; the Tang Center for Management Education; several buildings in the northeast corner of campus supporting research into biology, brain and cognitive sciences, genomics, biotechnology, and cancer research; and a number of new “backlot” buildings on Vassar Street including the Stata Center. Construction on campus in the 2000s included expansions of the Media Lab, the Sloan School’s eastern campus, and graduate residences in the northwest. In 2006, President Hockfield launched the MIT Energy Research Council to investigate the interdisciplinary challenges posed by increasing global energy consumption.

    In 2001, inspired by the open source and open access movements, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) launched OpenCourseWare to make the lecture notes, problem sets, syllabi, exams, and lectures from the great majority of its courses available online for no charge, though without any formal accreditation for coursework completed. While the cost of supporting and hosting the project is high, OCW expanded in 2005 to include other universities as a part of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which currently includes more than 250 academic institutions with content available in at least six languages. In 2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced it would offer formal certification (but not credits or degrees) to online participants completing coursework in its “MITx” program, for a modest fee. The “edX” online platform supporting MITx was initially developed in partnership with Harvard and its analogous “Harvardx” initiative. The courseware platform is open source, and other universities have already joined and added their own course content. In March 2009 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) faculty adopted an open-access policy to make its scholarship publicly accessible online.

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) has its own police force. Three days after the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, MIT Police patrol officer Sean Collier was fatally shot by the suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, setting off a violent manhunt that shut down the campus and much of the Boston metropolitan area for a day. One week later, Collier’s memorial service was attended by more than 10,000 people, in a ceremony hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community with thousands of police officers from the New England region and Canada. On November 25, 2013, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) announced the creation of the Collier Medal, to be awarded annually to “an individual or group that embodies the character and qualities that Officer Collier exhibited as a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) community and in all aspects of his life”. The announcement further stated that “Future recipients of the award will include those whose contributions exceed the boundaries of their profession, those who have contributed to building bridges across the community, and those who consistently and selflessly perform acts of kindness”.

    In September 2017, the school announced the creation of an artificial intelligence research lab called the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab. IBM will spend $240 million over the next decade, and the lab will be staffed by MIT and IBM scientists. In October 2018 MIT announced that it would open a new Schwarzman College of Computing dedicated to the study of artificial intelligence, named after lead donor and The Blackstone Group CEO Stephen Schwarzman. The focus of the new college is to study not just AI, but interdisciplinary AI education, and how AI can be used in fields as diverse as history and biology. The cost of buildings and new faculty for the new college is expected to be $1 billion upon completion.

    The Caltech/MIT Advanced aLIGO (US) was designed and constructed by a team of scientists from California Institute of Technology (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), and industrial contractors, and funded by the National Science Foundation (US) .

    Caltech /MIT Advanced aLigo

    It was designed to open the field of gravitational-wave astronomy through the detection of gravitational waves predicted by general relativity. Gravitational waves were detected for the first time by the LIGO detector in 2015. For contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves, two Caltech physicists, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) physicist Rainer Weiss won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2017. Weiss, who is also an Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) graduate, designed the laser interferometric technique, which served as the essential blueprint for the LIGO.

    The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US) is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of The Massachusetts Institute of Technology community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:00 pm on January 22, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Smarter catalysts through ‘induced activation’", , Catalysis, , , The East China University of Science and Technology [華東理工大學](CN), The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (US)   

    From The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University (US) : “Smarter catalysts through ‘induced activation’” 

    From The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (US)

    1

    at

    Lehigh University (US)

    January 20, 2022

    New Lehigh University–The East China University of Science and Technology [華東理工大學](CN) research collaboration proposes novel method of molecular-level control to double the efficiency of widely used industrial catalysts.

    1
    Scanning transmission electron microscopy images of catalysts metallic copper (yellow) and zinc oxide (pink/orange). In the image on the left, metallic Cu and Zn oxide are mostly present as separate particles after activation with H2. The image on the right shows Zn oxide decorating metallic Cu particles after “induced activation” with H2/CH3OH/H2O. (Images courtesy of Xuan Tang and Prof. Sheng Dai, The East China University of Science and Technology [華東理工大學](CN))

    The science of catalysis—the acceleration of a chemical reaction—is perhaps not the most recognizable branch of study, but it is absolutely embedded into the fabric of modern society.

    The development and production of fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and other goods depend on catalysis. Catalysis plays a critical role in energy generation and the mitigation of humanity’s impact on the environment, and is involved in the manufacturing of some 25 percent of all industrial products in the U.S. From a consumer’s perspective, if a thing is made, worn, lived in, played with, driven upon, or otherwise used by people, catalysis likely plays a fundamental role in its origin story.

    Research in the field of catalysis enables new and improved products and more efficient ways of doing and manufacturing, well, just about everything. But with such deep entanglement in the world around us, advancement in industrial catalysis can be costly in a macroeconomic sense—wholesale changes that require a “rip and replace” strategy do not sit well with firms and supply chains that power and provision our modern economy.

    In a paper published online today (20 January 2022) in Nature Catalysis, researchers from Lehigh University, in collaboration with colleagues from The East China University of Science and Technology [華東理工大學](CN), propose a novel method of significantly enhancing the catalytic efficiency of materials already in broad commercial usage, a process they have termed “induced activation.”

    The research team, supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China[国家自然科学基金委员会](CN) and The Department of Energy(US)’s Office of Science, includes Israel E. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Lehigh University, PhD student Tiancheng Pu of Lehigh’s Operando Molecular Spectroscopy and Catalysis Research Lab, and Minghui Zhu, a 2016 Lehigh PhD who now serves as a professor of chemical engineering at ECUST. Other collaborating ECUST researchers include Didi Li, Fang Xu, Xuan Tang, Sheng Dai, Xianglin Liu, Pengfei Tian, Fuzhen Xuan, and Zhi Xu.

    Induced activation: a game changer in the control of catalytic surface

    “The surface structure of heterogeneous catalysts is closely associated with their catalytic performance,” explains Wachs. “Current efforts for structural modification mainly focus on improving catalyst synthesis. Induced activation, on the other hand, takes a different approach—manipulating the catalyst surface by controlling the composition of reducing agents at the catalyst activation stage where the catalyst is transformed to its optimum state.”

    The team says that the use of the “tried and true” industrial catalytic material copper/zinc oxide/aluminum oxide (Cu/ZnO/AlO3) enables firms to take advantage of the breakthrough without the need for a costly retooling.

    “This development effectively doubles the catalytic efficiency of these materials, enhancing their productivity and extending the life of the catalyst,” Wachs continues. “And importantly, induced activation can provide significant benefit to industry without shutting down a chemical plant—or the building of a new and costly one.”

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    This is Lehigh Engineering.
    Lehigh’s engineering program has a long track record of ingenuity and success reaching all corners of the world.

    That all began with Lehigh’s founding in 1865, when our multidisciplinary approach to education and research first started. Our engineers have embraced our entrepreneurial culture for well over 150 years, establishing a heritage of leadership and collaboration that still thrives today.
    Here at Lehigh, we believe that engineering is driven by humanity, and our engineering students are encouraged to think holistically about societal challenges. It’s a matter of perspective: Lehigh engineers work with their peers to understand issues from a wide viewpoint rather than one niche discipline. And they learn to think flexibly in an evolving marketplace of ideas.
    Today, we are among the most research-intensive engineering programs in the United States. We are committed to Lehigh’s strategic vision and place particular emphasis on four of the world’s grandest challenges:
    • The expanding needs of health in the United States
    • The interrelated issues of energy, the environment and our infrastructure
    • The impact of globalization
    • Post-industrial urban communities
    At Lehigh today, engineering students are leaders on campus—in theater and music groups, in athletics and student government, and in fraternities and sororities. They are prepared to succeed generations of Lehigh engineers who have earned renown for their contributions not just to engineering, but also to business, law, medicine and education.

    Lehigh University (US) is an American private research university in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was established in 1865 by businessman Asa Packer. Its undergraduate programs have been coeducational since the 1971–72 academic year. As of 2014, the university had 4,904 undergraduate students and 2,165 graduate students. Lehigh is considered one of the twenty-four Hidden Ivies in the Northeastern United States.

    Lehigh has four colleges: the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Economics, and the College of Education. The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest, which roughly consists of 40% of the university’s students.The university offers a variety of degrees, including Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering, Master of Education, and Doctor of Philosophy.

    Lehigh has produced Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Fellows, members of the The American Academy of Arts & Sciences (US) and of The National Academy of Sciences (US), and National Medal of Science winners and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Rankings and reputation

    U.S. News & World Report ranked Lehigh tied for 49th among “National Universities”, tied for 13th for “Best Undergraduate Teaching”, and 29th for “Best Value Schools” in its 2022 edition of Best Colleges. The Economist ranked Lehigh seventh among national universities in its 2015 ranking of non-vocational U.S. colleges ranked by alumni earnings above expectation.

    Lehigh was a 2020 recipient of the Campus Sustainability Achievement Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for its participation in the Solar Collaboration Project along with Dickinson College (US), Muhlenberg College (US), and Lafayette College (US).

     
  • richardmitnick 5:00 pm on January 16, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A treasure map for the realm of electrocatalysts", , Catalysis, , , High entropy alloys (HEAs) are chemically complex materials made up of mixtures of five or more elements., , Millions of high-entropy systems are possible and each system involves tens of thousands of different compositions.,   

    From The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE): “A treasure map for the realm of electrocatalysts” 

    From The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE)

    13 January 2022

    By
    Meike Drießen (md)
    Translated by
    Donata Zuber

    1
    A view of the sputtering machine used to produce the material library counters. © Christian Nielinger.

    Research into promising materials is hampered by the sheer number of possible candidates. A German-Danish team has developed an efficient method to solve this problem.

    Efficient electrocatalysts, which are needed for the production of green hydrogen, for example, are hidden in materials composed of five or more elements. A team from Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) and The University of Copenhagen [Københavns Universitet](DK) has developed an efficient method for identifying promising candidates in the myriad of possible materials. To this end, the researchers combined experiments and simulation. They published their report in the journal Advanced Energy Materials from 5 January 2022.

    Millions of systems are conceivable

    High entropy alloys (HEAs) are chemically complex materials made up of mixtures of five or more elements. What’s interesting about them is that they offer completely new possibilities for the development of electrocatalysts. Such catalysts are urgently needed to make energy conversion processes more efficient, for example for the production and use of green hydrogen. “The problem with HEAs is that, in principle, millions of high-entropy systems are possible and each system involves tens of thousands of different compositions,” explains Professor Alfred Ludwig, who heads the Materials Discovery and Interfaces Chair at RUB. It is almost impossible to tackle such complexity using conventional methods and traditional high-throughput procedures.

    Five sources, six constellations

    The researchers describe a new method in their paper that should help to find promising high entropy alloys for electrocatalysis. In the first step, the team developed a way to produce as many potential compositions as possible. For this purpose, they used a sputtering system that simultaneously applies the five base materials to a carrier. “You can imagine this as five spray cans directed at one point on the target,” explains RUB researcher Dr. Lars Banko. This produces a very specific composition of the five source materials on each point of the carrier, so-called materials libraries. Since this composition is also affected by the position of the sources of the source materials, the research team modified them in the experiment. The materials libraries from the manufacturing processes with six different constellations of the sources were subsequently characterized using high-throughput measurements.

    The RUB electrochemistry team then examined the materials libraries in this manner for their electrocatalytic activity.” This enables us to identify trends where possible promising candidates are located,” explains Dr. Olga Krysiak, who with Lars Banko is a lead author of the paper. The team matched this data from the experiment with a large simulation data set provided by the researchers at the University of Copenhagen in order to understand the composition of the materials in greater detail. The comparison between simulation and experiment enables the researchers to explore the atomic scale of electrocatalysts, to estimate the statistical arrangement of atoms on the material surface and to determine their influence on the catalytic activity.

    See the full article here.

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE) is a public university located in the southern hills of the central Ruhr area in Bochum. It was founded in 1962 as the first new public university in Germany after World War II. Instruction began in 1965.

    The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the largest universities in Germany and part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most important German research funding organization.

    The RUB was very successful in the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments (2007), a competition between Germany’s most prestigious universities. It was one of the few institutions left competing for the title of an “elite university”, but did not succeed in the last round of the competition. There are currently nine universities in Germany that hold this title.

    The University of Bochum was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce international bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which replaced the traditional German Diplom and Magister. Except for a few special cases (for example in Law) these degrees are offered by all faculties of the Ruhr-University. Currently, the university offers a total of 184 different study programs from all academic fields represented at the university.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:47 pm on January 14, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage", , Catalysis, Catalysts are used to speed up electrocatalytic reactions without being consumed in the process., , EPFL scientists have observed how catalysts behave at the particle level during water electrolysis., If renewable energies are one day to replace fossil fuels engineers need to find a way to store it reliably and on a large scale., Most of the catalysts currently in use like those made from iridium and ruthenium are effective but very expensive and their supply is limited. Alternatives will eventually have to be discovered., , The catalysts used for water electrolysis are metal oxides., The scientists explored a perovskite-type oxide catalyst called BSCF- Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3−δ.,   

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH): “Scientists overcome a hurdle on the path to renewable-energy storage” 

    From The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne](CH)

    1.14.22
    Clara Marc

    1
    Illustration of switchable wettability © S. Yoon, TH Shen, V. Tileli.

    EPFL scientists have observed how catalysts behave at the particle level during water electrolysis. Catalysts play a crucial role in this reaction, in which water splits into hydrogen and oxygen. By shedding light on the underlying mechanism of the functional role of catalysts during the reaction, the scientists have made an important discovery for the design of renewable-energy storage systems.

    If renewable energies are one day to replace fossil fuels engineers need to find a way to store it reliably and on a large scale. One method that numerous researchers are currently studying involves storing the energy in gaseous form inside electrolytic cells.

    Electrolytic cells work by using electricity to trigger an electrolysis reaction that splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The electricity can then be recovered by reversing the reaction and recombining the hydrogen and oxygen into water.

    Understanding how catalysts work

    Catalysts are used to speed up electrocatalytic reactions without being consumed in the process. The catalysts used for water electrolysis are metal oxides, some of which tend to work better than others – although the exact reason remains unknown. “We’ve been able to see that during water electrolysis some oxides are particularly effective, robust, and stable,” says Vasiliki Tileli, an assistant professor and head of EPFL’s Laboratory for in situ Nanomaterials Characterization with Electrons. “But we can’t really explain why these oxides function better, since we don’t know exactly what happens to the catalyst during the reaction.”

    A new-generation catalyst

    In order to find this out, Tileli and Tzu-Hsien Shen, a PhD student at her lab, observed water electrolysis reactions under an electron microscope, examining how the catalyst behaves during the entire process by generating nanoscopic-scale images. The scientists explored a perovskite-type oxide catalyst called BSCF- Ba0.5Sr0.5Co0.8Fe0.2O3−δ. “It is an intriguing catalyst with exceptional water-splitting properties,” says Tileli. “Most of the catalysts currently in use like those made from iridium and ruthenium are effective but very expensive and their supply is limited. Alternatives will eventually have to be discovered.”

    Tileli and Shen captured real-time images of BSCF particles during each step of the electrolysis cycle. They saw molecular oxygen appear, meaning the reaction was taking place, and confirmed that the process was reversible. They also saw that BSCF is particularly robust.

    Surfaces that switch from hydrophobic to hydrophilic

    In addition, the research team found that the particles’ surface atoms redistribute during the reaction, changing the surface properties. As a result, the particles interact with their surroundings differently at various steps in the electrolysis cycle. The surface is hydrophobic (i.e., water-repellent) during some steps, while during others it’s hydrophilic (i.e., attracted water). “These observations are unique,” says Tileli. “We suspected that the particle surface might be changing, but this had never before been observed at the nanoscopic scale and in real time.” The ability of a material to switch back and forth between the hydrophobic and hydrophilic states is highly valuable to engineers and can be used in a variety of applications, such as sensors, water purification systems, and self-cleaning surfaces. The scientists’ findings are published in Nature Catalysis.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne [EPFL-École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne] (CH) is a research institute and university in Lausanne, Switzerland, that specializes in natural sciences and engineering. It is one of the two Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology, and it has three main missions: education, research and technology transfer.

    The QS World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) 14th in the world across all fields in their 2020/2021 ranking, whereas Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks EPFL(CH) as the world’s 19th best school for Engineering and Technology in 2020.

    EPFL(CH) is located in the French-speaking part of Switzerland; the sister institution in the German-speaking part of Switzerland is The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH) . Associated with several specialized research institutes, the two universities form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) which is directly dependent on the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research. In connection with research and teaching activities, EPFL(CH) operates a nuclear reactor CROCUS; a Tokamak Fusion reactor; a Blue Gene/Q Supercomputer; and P3 bio-hazard facilities.

    ETH Zürich, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne) [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne](CH), and four associated research institutes form The Domain of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (ETH Domain) [ETH-Bereich; Domaine des Écoles polytechniques fédérales] (CH) with the aim of collaborating on scientific projects.

    The roots of modern-day EPFL(CH) can be traced back to the foundation of a private school under the name École spéciale de Lausanne in 1853 at the initiative of Lois Rivier, a graduate of the École Centrale Paris (FR) and John Gay the then professor and rector of the Académie de Lausanne. At its inception it had only 11 students and the offices was located at Rue du Valentin in Lausanne. In 1869, it became the technical department of the public Académie de Lausanne. When the Académie was reorganised and acquired the status of a university in 1890, the technical faculty changed its name to École d’ingénieurs de l’Université de Lausanne. In 1946, it was renamed the École polytechnique de l’Université de Lausanne (EPUL). In 1969, the EPUL was separated from the rest of the University of Lausanne and became a federal institute under its current name. EPFL(CH), like ETH Zürich(CH), is thus directly controlled by the Swiss federal government. In contrast, all other universities in Switzerland are controlled by their respective cantonal governments. Following the nomination of Patrick Aebischer as president in 2000, EPFL(CH) has started to develop into the field of life sciences. It absorbed the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC) in 2008.

    In 1946, there were 360 students. In 1969, EPFL(CH) had 1,400 students and 55 professors. In the past two decades the university has grown rapidly and as of 2012 roughly 14,000 people study or work on campus, about 9,300 of these being Bachelor, Master or PhD students. The environment at modern day EPFL(CH) is highly international with the school attracting students and researchers from all over the world. More than 125 countries are represented on the campus and the university has two official languages, French and English.

    Organization

    EPFL is organised into eight schools, themselves formed of institutes that group research units (laboratories or chairs) around common themes:

    School of Basic Sciences (SB, Jan S. Hesthaven)

    Institute of Mathematics (MATH, Victor Panaretos)
    Institute of Chemical Sciences and Engineering (ISIC, Emsley Lyndon)
    Institute of Physics (IPHYS, Harald Brune)
    European Centre of Atomic and Molecular Computations (CECAM, Ignacio Pagonabarraga Mora)
    Bernoulli Center (CIB, Nicolas Monod)
    Biomedical Imaging Research Center (CIBM, Rolf Gruetter)
    Interdisciplinary Center for Electron Microscopy (CIME, Cécile Hébert)
    Max Planck-EPFL Centre for Molecular Nanosciences and Technology (CMNT, Thomas Rizzo)
    Swiss Plasma Center (SPC, Ambrogio Fasoli)
    Laboratory of Astrophysics (LASTRO, Jean-Paul Kneib)

    School of Engineering (STI, Ali Sayed)

    Institute of Electrical Engineering (IEL, Giovanni De Micheli)
    Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM, Thomas Gmür)
    Institute of Materials (IMX, Michaud Véronique)
    Institute of Microengineering (IMT, Olivier Martin)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Matthias Lütolf)

    School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC, Claudia R. Binder)

    Institute of Architecture (IA, Luca Ortelli)
    Civil Engineering Institute (IIC, Eugen Brühwiler)
    Institute of Urban and Regional Sciences (INTER, Philippe Thalmann)
    Environmental Engineering Institute (IIE, David Andrew Barry)

    School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC, James Larus)

    Algorithms & Theoretical Computer Science
    Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
    Computational Biology
    Computer Architecture & Integrated Systems
    Data Management & Information Retrieval
    Graphics & Vision
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Information & Communication Theory
    Networking
    Programming Languages & Formal Methods
    Security & Cryptography
    Signal & Image Processing
    Systems

    School of Life Sciences (SV, Gisou van der Goot)

    Bachelor-Master Teaching Section in Life Sciences and Technologies (SSV)
    Brain Mind Institute (BMI, Carmen Sandi)
    Institute of Bioengineering (IBI, Melody Swartz)
    Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC, Douglas Hanahan)
    Global Health Institute (GHI, Bruno Lemaitre)
    Ten Technology Platforms & Core Facilities (PTECH)
    Center for Phenogenomics (CPG)
    NCCR Synaptic Bases of Mental Diseases (NCCR-SYNAPSY)

    College of Management of Technology (CDM)

    Swiss Finance Institute at EPFL (CDM-SFI, Damir Filipovic)
    Section of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-PMTE, Daniel Kuhn)
    Institute of Technology and Public Policy (CDM-ITPP, Matthias Finger)
    Institute of Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship (CDM-MTEI, Ralf Seifert)
    Section of Financial Engineering (CDM-IF, Julien Hugonnier)

    College of Humanities (CDH, Thomas David)

    Human and social sciences teaching program (CDH-SHS, Thomas David)

    EPFL Middle East (EME, Dr. Franco Vigliotti)[62]

    Section of Energy Management and Sustainability (MES, Prof. Maher Kayal)

    In addition to the eight schools there are seven closely related institutions

    Swiss Cancer Centre
    Center for Biomedical Imaging (CIBM)
    Centre for Advanced Modelling Science (CADMOS)
    École cantonale d’art de Lausanne (ECAL)
    Campus Biotech
    Wyss Center for Bio- and Neuro-engineering
    Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

     
  • richardmitnick 2:51 pm on January 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Catalyst surface analysed at atomic resolution", , Atomic Probe Tomography, Catalysis, , , , ,   

    From The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE): “Catalyst surface analysed at atomic resolution” 

    From The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE)

    1

    Members of the Bochum-based research team in the lab: Weikai Xiang, Chenglong Luan and Tong Li (from left to right) © Privat.

    Catalyst surfaces have rarely been imaged in such detail before. And yet, every single atom can play a decisive role in catalytic activity.

    A German-Chinese research team has visualised the three-dimensional structure of the surface of catalyst nanoparticles at atomic resolution. This structure plays a decisive role in the activity and stability of the particles. The detailed insights were achieved with a combination of atom probe tomography, spectroscopy and electron microscopy. Nanoparticle catalysts can be used, for example, in the production of hydrogen for the chemical industry. To optimise the performance of future catalysts, it is essential to understand how it is affected by the three-dimensional structure.

    Researchers from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, The University of Duisburg-Essen [Universität Duisburg-Essen](DE) and The MPG Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion [Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Energieumwandlung](DE) cooperated on the project as part of the Collaborative Research Centre “Heterogeneous oxidation catalysis in the liquid phase”.

    At RUB, a team headed by Weikai Xiang and Professor Tong Li from Atomic-scale Characterisation worked together with the Chair of Electrochemistry and Nanoscale Materials and the Chair of Industrial Chemistry. Institutes in Shanghai, China, and Didcot, UK, were also involved. The team presents their findings in the journal Nature Communications, published online on 10 January 2022.

    Particles observed during the catalysis process

    The researchers studied two different types of nanoparticles made of cobalt iron oxide that were around ten nanometres. They analysed the particles during the catalysis of the so-called oxygen evolution reaction. This is a half reaction that occurs during water splitting for hydrogen production: hydrogen can be obtained by splitting water using electrical energy; hydrogen and oxygen are produced in the process. The bottleneck in the development of more efficient production processes is the partial reaction in which oxygen is formed, i.e. the oxygen evolution reaction. This reaction changes the catalyst surface that becomes inactive over time. The structural and compositional changes on the surface play a decisive role in the activity and stability of the electrocatalysts.

    For small nanoparticles with a size around ten nanometres, achieving detailed information about what happens on the catalyst surface during the reaction remains a challenge. Using atom probe tomography, the group successfully visualised the distribution of the different types of atoms in the cobalt iron oxide catalysts in three dimensions. By combining it with other methods, they showed how the structure and composition of the surface changed during the catalysis process – and how this change affected the catalytic performance.

    “Atom probe tomography has enormous potential to provide atomic insights into the compositional changes on the surface of catalyst nanoparticles during important catalytic reactions such as oxygen evolution reaction for hydrogen production or CO2 reduction,” concludes Tong Li.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Ruhr-Universität Bochum (DE) is a public university located in the southern hills of the central Ruhr area in Bochum. It was founded in 1962 as the first new public university in Germany after World War II. Instruction began in 1965.

    The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the largest universities in Germany and part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most important German research funding organization.

    The RUB was very successful in the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments (2007), a competition between Germany’s most prestigious universities. It was one of the few institutions left competing for the title of an “elite university”, but did not succeed in the last round of the competition. There are currently nine universities in Germany that hold this title.

    The University of Bochum was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce international bachelor’s and master’s degrees, which replaced the traditional German Diplom and Magister. Except for a few special cases (for example in Law) these degrees are offered by all faculties of the Ruhr-University. Currently, the university offers a total of 184 different study programs from all academic fields represented at the university.

     
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