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User Meeting Blog

Welcome to the Molecular Foundry’s User Meeting blog! This blog is updated during the Foundry’s Annual User Meeting conference by volunteer writers.

The Foundry’s Annual User Meeting conference focuses on frontier research topics of interest to that community of users, providing a forum to disseminate results and exchange ideas, and bringing together leading researchers, junior scientists, postdocs, and students. Follow along the meeting with us as our guest-bloggers share snapshots of their meeting experience.

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Thanks for attending!

August 22nd, 2019 by

The 2019 Annual User Meeting came to a successful conclusion today, August 22, with over 300 attendees. Our congratulations go to the User Executive Committee, and in particular Francesca Toma, Greg Su, and Keiko Munechika for putting together an excellent meeting! Many thanks also to the Foundry’s User Office staff: Alison Hatt, Stephanie Didas, Dmitry Soustin, […]

Cutting-Edge Research at the Bio/Nano Interface

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Annelise Barron The symposium “Cutting-Edge Research at the Bio/Nano Interface” was well-attended throughout the afternoon, and included a series of 8 Californian academic superstars: Eric Appel from Stanford, Rachel Rosenzweig from UC Irvine, Ali Khademhosseini from UCLA, Sanjay Kumar from UC Berkeley, Maxim Prigozhin at Stanford, and Joel Finbloom from UCSF, all highlighting incredible […]

New directions in phase contrast microscopy

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Brooke Kuei Phase contrast electron microscopy, a form of microscopy that takes advantage of interference between scattered and unscattered waves, has recently seen significant advances due to new instrumentation and computation algorithms. Today’s afternoon symposium titled New Directions in Phase Contrast Microscopy featured the many different and creative ways in which microscopists have been […]

Winners of the Poster Competitions

August 22nd, 2019 by

Out of the 300+ attendees at the user meeting, we had over 80 poster presentations! Several of these presenters entered our annual poster competition. With two categories, students and postdocs, judges from the User Executive Committee scored each entry. For students, participants in the competition also had to present their work as a single slide […]

Outstanding Staff Service Award

August 22nd, 2019 by

The Molecular Foundry User Executive Committee (UEC) solicited nominations for the Outstanding Staff Service Award to recognize staff that have provided outstanding service by going above and beyond to support ​the user community. There were 18 nominations, demonstrating the quality and dedication of Foundry staff. We wish that all those nominated could have been awarded, […]

Double perovskite nanocrystals and watching the structure formation of solution-cast perovskite films

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Greg Su Double perovskites are promising forms that may help address issues of lead toxicity in standard perovskite structures. Jakob Dahl from UC Berkeley reported on the synthesis of lead-free double perovskite nanocrystals of the form Cs2AgMX6. These nanocrystals can be made down to 10 nanometers in size. At these size scales, quantum confinement […]

Materials and Devices for Brain-like Computing

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Alberto Salleo The “Materials and Devices for Brain-like computing” explored technologies for next generation computing -widely believed to benefit from taking inspiration from biology- as well as technologies that mimic nature or can integrate with living matter. Dr. Talin (Sandia National Lab) and Prof. Strukov (UC Santa Barbara) described new devices that can be […]

Panel Discussion: Materials Discovery and Design to Enable a Circular Materials Economy

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Francesca Toma Panelists: Martin Mulvihill – Safer Made, Justin Bours – Cradle to Cradle; Peter Christensen – Berkeley Lab, Julie Schoenung – UC Irvine, Linda Gaines – Argonne National Lab The Circular Materials Economy Symposium hosted a panel discussions with speakers and audience. In circular economy, it is important to understand that the end […]

Multimodal In-situ Methods at the Materials Interface

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Elyse Schriber The symposia at the Molecular Foundry user meetings are always a fantastic way to end the user meeting as we get introduced to these large scale broad topics during the plenary sessions and then get an opportunity to focus on individual fields of interest. During the Multimodal In-situ Methods at the Materials […]

Materials Selection in the Circular Economy: Choosing Safer Alternatives

August 22nd, 2019 by

By Francesca Toma A talk by Julie Schoenung, Professor and Chair of the Department of Materials Science at University of California, Irvine Prof. Schoenung talked about hazards and safety data sheets and the need of protect ourselves. Safety data sheets are self-reported and there exist concerns about how accurately companies report data. NIOSH is the […]

Day 2: Breakout Symposia

August 22nd, 2019 by

Here we are on day 2 of the annual User Meeting! Today we have 8 breakout symposia covering a broad spectrum of nanoscale science: Morning SessionsMetal Halide Perovskites: Opportunities, Challenges, Future DirectionsMultimodal In situ Methods at the Materials Interface Materials Discovery and Design to Enable a Circular Materials Economy Materials and Devices for Brain-like Computing Afternoon SessionsNew […]

A poster slam limerick and our evening reception

August 21st, 2019 by

The final act of the plenary session was the poster slam, emcee(squared) by Foundry staff scientist Sinéad Griffin, who, when challenged to start off with a rap, instead followed the literary tradition of her home country and delivered a clever limerick to get things going. All of the 19 Slam participants were students who were […]

Soft Electronics for the Human Body

August 21st, 2019 by

John Rogers, a Professor at Northwestern University, closed out the Plenary session with a talk on engineering soft electronic materials for medical purposes. His research group has been working on developing materials for electronic devices that are not only bendable, but also stretchable, so that they can adhere and contour to the unpredictable surface of […]

Gaining joint access to the ALS and Molecular Foundry

August 21st, 2019 by

By Brooke Kuei One topic that has been brought up every year at the Molecular Foundry User Meeting has been streamlining collaborations with the Advanced Light Source (ALS). At this year’s User Meeting, there was a dedicated session on joint access to the ALS and the Molecular Foundry that discussed the different ways that users […]

From new uses for radioactive elements to carbon nanotube forests

August 21st, 2019 by

By Keiko Munechika The afternoon session kicked off Rebecca Abergel, who is a staff scientist at Chemical Sciences Division at LBNL. Actinides are radioactive materials at the very bottom of the periodic period. Prof. Abergel discussed how fundamental understanding of bonding chemistry between actinides elements and selective ligands are much needed for the development of […]

Calling all to the Town Hall!

August 21st, 2019 by

The Foundry’s User Executive Committee followed its annual tradition of hosting a town hall session to give users an opportunity to ask questions of the UEC and to hold a discussion amongst Foundry users and staff. This year, prime topics of discussion, derived from comments made in last year’s User Questionnaire, were on the issues […]

Saving electronic materials with antioxidants and managing pivots in industry

August 21st, 2019 by

Antioxidants have long been talked about in the health sector, but did you know they can also protect flexible electronics materials from damage? Brooke Kuei from Penn State uses electron microscopy to understand molecular scale assembly of semiconducting polymers that are used to make organic electronic devices including solar cells and OLEDs. However, the electron […]

Challenges and Opportunities Beyond Moore’s Law

August 21st, 2019 by

Cherry Murray, Professor at the University of Arizona, opened the morning plenary session of the User Meeting as our first keynote speaker. Professor Murray has outstanding experience in policy and the development of scientific strategy. In her talk, she discussed her recent work and participation in a DOE “Basic Research Needs” workshop on microelectronics. (The […]

A Foundry Update from the Interim Director

August 21st, 2019 by

The day started off with a welcome from UEC Chair Francesca Toma and Energy Sciences Area Director (and Foundry “Director Emeritus”) Jeff Neaton and an introduction to the Foundry’s Interim Director, David Prendergast. David has been the Facility Director of the Foundry’s Theory Facility for the past 6 years, and is looking forward to leading […]

Get ready for the 2019 annual User Meeting!

August 20th, 2019 by

We’re getting all set for the 2019 annual User Meeting which starts tomorrow! We’ve got a great agenda planned, including keynote talks from Cherry Murray (U of Arizona) and John Rogers (Northwestern U)! Attendee check-in starts at 8:00 am at the Building 50 auditorium and breakfast will be served in the tent outside. Don’t forget […]