CHM in the News

Professor James Watkins featured in a Fox 25 News Boston Interview

Boston Fox 25 NewsResearch in the Watkins and Carter groups and others in the NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM) is featured in a Fox 25 News Boston interview. Jim Watkins discusses how nanotechnology is being applied in developing cost-effective body sensor patches to measure stress in military personnel.

UMass Patch Would Spot Stressed-out Soldiers

Nano PatchFitness bands and other wearable health monitors are all the rage among runners and other athletes who want to keep track of their workouts and measure vital statistics such as heart rate and calories burned. Now military personnel may soon have access to the same technology, in a patch that would be about the size and shape of a Band-Aid, and as flexible.

Based on research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the sensor would gauge stress and fatigue among armed services personnel.

“Any time you’ve got someone making a command decision, you want to make sure they’re in the right frame of mind, that they’re alert, that they’re well rested,” says James Watkins, a polymer scientist who is leading the UMass effort.

Thomas Russell Honored by Belgium’s Université​ Catholique de Louvain

Thomas RussellThe Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences of the Université​ catholique de Louvain in Belgium on May 27 conferred the title of doctor honoris causa on Thomas Russell, the Silvio O. Conte Distinguished Professor in the department of polymer science and engineering.

The honor pays tribute to his “fundamental contributions to polymer science and to the ingenious applications derived from them, particularly in the field of controlled block copolymer assembly for nanotechnology, and of the structure of functional polymers at interfaces and in the bulk.”

Check out the Assembly Line of the Future!

Roll-to-RollNSF's Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing proves good test bed for large-scale nanomanufacturing designs

There's no shortage of ideas about how to use nanotechnology, but one of the major hurdles is how to manufacture some of the new products on a large scale. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst chemical engineer Jim Watkins and his team are working to make nanotechnology more practical for industrial-scale manufacturing.

Vincent Rotello, UMass Amherst Nanochemist, Named a Distinguished Professor

Vince RotelloVincent M. Rotello, the Charles A. Goessmann Professor of Chemistry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been appointed a Distinguished Professor following approval by the UMass Board of Trustees.

Rotello was recommended for the honor by UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost James V. Staros, who cited how he has “creatively and boldly expanded his research from a focus on small molecule host-guest chemistry to his current path-breaking translational explorations of polymers, surfaces and nanomaterials.”

Polymer Scientist Todd Emrick Named to National Academy of Inventors

Todd Emrick

The National Academy of Inventors this week named Todd Emrick, polymer science and engineering, a fellow of the academy, which seeks to recognize the fellows’ “prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”

Emphasizing the synthesis of new materials in his research laboratory over the past 13 years, Emrick has developed new polymer surfactants, self-healing polymers, nanoparticles and nanoparticle capsules, membrane technology for water desalination and purification, polymeric flame-retardants and new materials for drug delivery.

CHM Pioneering Wearable Biosensors for Personalized Health Monitoring

Chances are good that when medical device manufacturers offer a wearable biosensing patch that will allow a nurse to monitor a patient’s blood sugar or insulin level remotely, for example, it was designed and the prototype built by polymer scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by Jim Watkins.

Watkins, who directs the National Science Foundation’s Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM) at UMass Amherst, says its research has helped to establish that such devices are feasible, and projects beginning this month at the new Center for Personalized Health Monitoring (CPHM) should soon lead to prototypes being developed and tested for commercialization.

Thai Thayumanavan Awarded for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research and Creative Activity at the 2013 Faculty Convocation

ThayumanavanSankaran "Thai" Thayumanavan's research spans a broad realm from cancer therapy using novel drug delivery vehicles to generating organic solar-cell materials. His research is most innovative in its design of new and often unorthodox molecules and materials that result in breakthroughs in important areas. One recent such example is Thayumanavan's work in developing fundamentally new molecular design algorithms for nanomaterials that predictably respond to subtle variations in their environment.

Thayumanavan is further renowned for his ability to arrive at practical molecular systems to solve important problems, such as polymer nanogels that are capable of delivering both proteins and small hydrophobic molecules to targeted cells and sub-cellular compartments. His stature in his field is attested to by the extraordinary number of presentations he has been invited to make at international conferences.

Professor Vincent Rotello Named Editor-in-Chief of ACS’ Bioconjugate Chemistry

Vince RotelloProfessor Vincent M. Rotello, professor of chemistry at UMass Amherst and CHM Participant, has been named the next editor-in-chief of the ACS journal Bioconjugate Chemistry. He will begin his editorship in January 2014 succeeding the founding editor-in-chief, Claude F. Meares of the University of California, Davis.

Vincent Rotello Awarded National Academy of Sciences Grant to Develop Inkjet-Printed Test Strips

Inkjet-Printed Test StripsThe National Academy of Sciences has awarded a three-year, $271,930 grant to Chemistry professor Vincent Rotello to develop, test and deploy new, sensitive, reliable and affordable inkjet-printed, nanoparticle-based test strips for detecting disease-causing bacteria in drinking water, with researchers at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan.

Source: UMass In The Loop

Materials and Processes for Flexible Devices and Electronics

Flexible electronics encompass a broad range of technologies impacting emerging applications that have generated significant interest due to the potential commercial opportunities, which in turn has driven research and development in materials, devices, and scaled manufacturing methodologies. A range of materials encompassing organic, inorganic, and composite nanomaterials will enable a range of new consumer products including flexible displays, LED lighting, solar photovoltaics, integrated circuits and data storage. The NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM) at UMass Amherst, with support from the FlexTech Alliance and the NNN, recently held a one-day Symposium on Materials and Processes for Flexible Devices and Electronics in conjunction with the Center for UMass-Industry Research in Polymers’ (CUMIRP) Spring Polymer Event on May 16, 2013.

Professor Maria Santore Elected to Fellowship in the AAAS

Professor Maria Santore of Polymer Science and Engineering has been elected to Fellowship in the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science). Maria was recognized for her contributions to science and technology on February 16, 2013 during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts.

Professor Jim Watkins has been elected a 2012 APS Fellow

Professor Jim Watkins has been elected a 2012 APS Fellow (American Physical Society) by the Division of Polymer Physics for his pioneering efforts in manipulating polymers to develop technologically functional nanoscopic materials. Jim will be recognized at the upcoming APS March Meeting.

UMass Amherst Research Develops ‘Second Skin’ Military Fabric to Repel Chemical and Biological Agents

UMass Amherst polymer scientists Kenneth Carter and James Watkins, collaborating with team leader Francesco Fornasiero of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), recently received a five-year $1.8 million grant to design ways to manufacture the new material as part of a $13 million project funded by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. It’s estimated that the new uniforms could be deployed in the field in less than 10 years.

Alfred J. Crosby Promoted to Full Professor

Alfred J. CrosbyAlfred J. Crosby, an investigator in the CHM from Polymer Science and Engineering, has been promoted to full Professor effective September 1, 2012. Al's research interests include the mechanics of hierarchical structures, polymer adhesion, biomimetic materials design, responsive surfaces and materials, elastic instabilities; deformation and fracture of thin films, polymer patterning; nanocomposites and combinatorial methods. 

As a participant in the CHM, he is collaborating with Professor Ken Carter to develop new methods to overcome existing challenges in the use of nanoimprinting patterning on flexible substrates in a roll-to-roll configuration. In addition, Al has collaborated with Professor Todd Emrick to develop a robust, scalable process for manufacturing assemblies that can be integrated into flow-coating to assemble periodic polymer and/or nanoparticle line patterns with controlled dimensions.

Alejandro L. Briseño Receives Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Alejandro Briseno Assistant Professor Alejandro Briseño received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House on July 23rd. Briseño was cited for "outstanding research accomplishments in areas of organic semiconductor nanoelectronics and molecular crystals and breakthroughs in the fundamental understanding of organic interfacial crystallization." Alex is one of only 96 scientists and engineers this year to receive the PECASE award which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Gregory M. Grason Awarded Sloan Research Fellowship

Gregory M. Grason Gregory M. Grason, assistant professor of Polymer Science and Engineering is among 126 researchers in the United States and Canada to be awarded prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Jeffrey Morse Named a Top 'Nanotechnology Evangelist'

Jeffrey Morse Jeffrey Morse, managing director of the National Nanomanufacturing Network at the campus's NSF Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, was recently named one of the 25 "Most Influential Nanotechnology Leaders" by the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association.

Dr. Katherine E. Aidala, 2011 PECASE Recipient

Katherine Aidala President Barack Obama has named Assistant Professor of Physics Katherine Aidala one of the nation’s most promising young scientists.

Professor Mark T. Tuominen Named a Fellow of the American Physical Society

Mark T. Tuominen Professor Mark T. Tuominen, co-Director of the CHM, has recently (November 2011) been named a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) for his contributions to nanoscale science and technology.

UMass Amherst Nanotechnology Center Receives $20 Million Renewal of Federal Grant to Boost Advanced Manufacturing, Economic Growth

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst has received a five-year, $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support a national research center on nanomanufacturing. The grant will fund the university’s Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing (CHM).

A signature CHM effort is focused on roll-to-roll nanoscale processing of flexible electronics and high technology devices such as solar cells, cell phone displays, batteries and sensors. Roll-to-roll processing is similar to how photographic film moves through a camera from one spindle to another or how newspapers are printed, but with chemical and physical processing in between.