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CNMS Early Career Research Program Awards

Miaofang Chi, of ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, was selected for her proposal, “Probing Anionic Electron Behavior in Electrides,” by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

With unusual structures featuring loosely-arranged electrons, recently discovered electride materials offer properties that could transform future nanoelectronics and energy technologies. Chi’s research will develop the first experimental technique to probe these materials and observe their responses using scanning transmission electron microscopy. Her findings could expand researchers’ ability to study electrides and further launch the development of new materials for broad energy applications.

Yangyang Wang’s proposal, “Fingerprinting Macromolecular Flow and Deformation with Neutrons,” was selected by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Wang works in the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences at ORNL.

He will combine neutron-based techniques with computer simulation to characterize the way polymers behave under stress—their dynamic “fingerprint”—an important insight considering more than 300 million tons of polymers are used across critical industries each year. This approach will unlock key information about the flow and deformation behavior of polymers at a molecular level and inform the design and discovery of new materials.