Curious Minds and Materials Discoveries: Nano Seminar Series

Seminar | March 23 | 2-3 p.m. | 60 Evans Hall

 Prof. Jiaxing Huang, Northwestern, Materials Science & Engineering

 Berkeley Nanosciences and Nanoengineering Institute

Curiosity-driven discoveries can often inspire new hypotheses in scientific research and solutions for problems. I will share a few such discoveries from my research group and my classrooms.

For example, crumpled paper balls in a wastebasket inspired a new form of ultrafine particles that becomes aggregation-resistant and can disperse in arbitrary solvents. This represents a new strategy to achieve colloidal processability without the need for tuning surface chemistry.

In another example, nanopatterns in Blu-ray movie discs are found to be suitable for improving the performance of solar cells through light trapping. This opens up a new way to design nanopatterns with the help of information processing algorithms.

Finally, I will use a few examples from my classroom to illustrate how curiosity-driven enquiry enhances learning experience and empowers students to innovate. These teacher-students interactions in return inspires us to identify new research problems that are usually more relatable to our daily life, and to address these problems with materials solutions.

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Jiaxing Huang did his PhD in Chem at UCLA and was a Miller Fellow here at UCB (Go Bears!) before joining Northwestern in 2007. Awards include a Guggenheim and the Humboldt as well as NSF and the Sloan Foundation; he is a Most Cited Researcher in MSE.

 510-643-6681