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NIU Chemistry/Biochemistry
NIU Chemistry/Biochemistry
NIU Chemistry/Biochemistry
NIU Chemistry/Biochemistry

Northern Student Scientists at Argonne

An effective way to train next generation scientists is to expose students to a world-class research environment and involve them in frontline research projects early in their academic careers. For this purpose, we are establishing a program called Northern Student Scientists at Argonne (NSSA), via our collaborations with Argonne National Laboratory, a world-leading research institute. Fortunately, for this program and our ongoing research efforts, Argonne is located in close proximity to the NIU campus, within approximately an hour driving distance.

Currently, our group is actively collaborating with Argonne scientists on projects involving solar cells and nanocatalysis. Consequently, students in our group are appointed as Argonne Guest Students via Argonne's Division of Educational Programs, so they can conduct interdisciplinary research projects on-site. The students are being trained to use specialized techniques at Argonne's cutting-edge facilities including electron microscopy at the Electron Microscopy Center, synchrotron X-ray techniques at the Advanced Photon Source, and various nanomaterials synthesis and device fabrication skills at the Center for Nanoscale Materials.

More importantly, the NSSA program provides NIU students with an excellent research environment, in which students can receive mentoring from Argonne’s scientists and further develop their problem-solving, critical thinking, creative and innovative reasoning skills, as well as their love for learning. All these efforts can greatly help students build their career and provide significant benefits in terms of future employment.

The rotating images above capture:

  • Graduate student Zhenzhen Yang using an electron microscope at Argonne's Electron Microscopy Center to characterize the novel electrode materials for her solar cell project.
  • Graduate student Vivian X. Zeng using an ultra-high vacuum sputtering system at Argonne's Materials Science Division to prepare samples for her hydrogen sensors project.
  • Graduate student Chi-Kai Lin using a synchrotron X-ray at Argonne's Advanced Photon Source (beamline 11 ) for in-situ study on the formation mechanism of precious metal nanoparticles for his nanocatalysts project.
  • Graduate stduent Lauren R. Grabstanowicz using an electrochemical testing system at Argonne's Chemical Science and Engineering Division for study on novel metal-organic hybrid nanocatalysts for fuel cell applications.

Points of Pride – Students' Career Development

Former graduate students Chi-Kai Lin and Zhenzhen Yang are now post-doctoral researchers at Chemical Science and Engineering at Argonne National Laboratory.

Selected Publications by Students in NSSA Program

  1. Zhao, D.; Shui, J.-L.; Grabstanowicz, L.R.; Chen, C.; Commet, S.M.; Xu, T.; Lu, J.; Liu, D.J. Highly Efficient Non-Precious Metal Electrocatalysts Prepared from One-Pot Synthesized Zeolitic Imidazolate Frameworks, Adv. Mater. 2014, 26, 1093-1097.
  2. Yuan, S.; Shui, J.-L.; Grabstanowicz, L.R.; Chen, C.; Commet, S.M.; Reprogle, B.; Xu, T.; Yu, L.; Liu, D.-J. A Highly Active and Support-Free Oxygen Reduction Catalyst Prepared from Ultrahigh-Surface-Area Porous Polyporphyrin, Agnew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 8349-8353.
  3. Grabstanowicz, L.R.; Gao, S.; Li, T.; Rickard, R.M.; Rajh, T.; Liu, D.-J.; Xu, T.* A Facile Oxidative Conversion of TiH2 to High Concentration Ti3+-Self-Doped Rutile TiO2 with Visible-Light Photoactivity, Inorg. Chem., 2013, 52, 3884-3890.
  4. Yang, Z.; Gao, S.; Li, W.; Vlasko-Vlasov, V.; Welp, U.; K. W. Wai; Xu, T.* "Three-Dimensional Photonic Crystal Fluorinated Tin Oxide (FTO) Electrodes: Synthesis, Optic and Electrical Properties," ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2011, 3, 1101-1108.
  5. Zeng, X. Q.; Latimer, M. L.; Xiao, Z. L.; Panuganti, S.; Welp, U.; Kwok, W. K.; Xu, T. "Hydrogen Gas Sensing with Networks of Ultrasmall Palladium Nanowires Formed on Filtration Membranes," Nano Letters, 2011, 11, 262-268.
  6. Yang, Z.; Xu, T.*; Gao, S.; Welp, U.; Kwok, K. W. "Enhanced Electron Collection in TiO2 Nanoparticle-Based Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells by An Array of Metal Micropillars on A Planar FTO Anode," J. Phys. Chem. C, 2010, 114, 19151-19156.
  7. Xu, T.*; Lin, C.; Wang, C.; Brewe, D.; Ito. Y.; Lu, J. "Synthesis of Supported Platinum Nanoparticles from Li-Pt Solid Solution," J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132, 2151-2153.
  8. Yang, Z.; Xu, T.*; Ito. Y.; Welp, U.; Kwok, W. K. “Enhanced Electron Transport in Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Using Short ZnO Nanotips on A Rough Metal Anode,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 113, 20521–20526.
  9. Lin, C.; Xu, T.*; Yu, J.; Ge, Q.; Xiao; Z. “Hydrogen Spillover Enhanced Hydriding Kinetics of Palladium-Doped Lithium Nitride to Lithium Imide,” J. Phys. Chem. C, 2009, 113, 8513-8517.
  10. Lin, C.; Yang, Z.; Xu, T.*; Zhao, Y. “An in situ electric study on primary hydrogen spillover from nanocatalysts to amorphous carbon support,” Appl. Phys. Lett., 2008, 93, 233110.