SCIENTISTS


Antonio Faraone

Physicist
NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E124
Phone: (301) 975-5254
Email: antonio.faraone@nist.gov
Faraone Research Page
Neutron-Condensed Matter Science Group

Research Interests:
Currently, my main research interest focuses on Polymer NanoComposites (PNC), in which addition of nanoparticles (NP) into a polymer matrix (PM) changes the overall system properties relative to the host polymer. These are already widely applied materials, however, a satisfactory understanding of the properties of PNC at the molecular level is lacking. In PNC, the interfacial layer (IL) between the NP and the PM plays a key role in determining the macroscopic properties, thus exposing fundamental features of scientific interest such as confinement and nano-structuring effects. Employing neutron spectroscopic techniques allows to study polymer dynamics at the nanoscopic level, thus helping elucidate the relation between the chain microscopic behavior and the rheological properties of the composite. I am also interested in the study of the dynamics of associating liquids in the bulk and confinement, as most notably hydrogen bonding systems like water and monohydroxy alcohols. It is a current scientific topic with applicative relevance, e.g. in catalysis or biology, to understand how the transport properties of a fluid are affected by the presence of supramolecular associates or of the chemical and physical constraints imposed by a nanoconfining surface. Neutron spectroscopic techniques, with their spatial and temporal nanoscale resolution, high penetration, and isotopic sensitivity, provide unique experimental insight to understand these systems.


Adeniyi Fawaz Joseph

Computer Engineer
NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E17, Building 235
Phone: (301) 975-2859
Email: afj@gae.nss.udel.edu; adeniyi.joseph@nist.gov
Adeniyi Joseph’s CV
Technical Skills:

  • Languages/Frameworks & Programs: Java,Spring MVC, Hibernate, Spring Boot, Python, C++, Objective C, Swift, HTML, AngularJS, BootStrap, Angular Material,CSS, PHP, JUnit, Visual Basic, Dev C++, Adobe Photoshop, Putty, Inkscape, Microsoft Office, Eclipse, LibGDX Game Engine, RoboVM, Xcode, Eclipse, Restlet, Linode, DrJava, Blackboard Collaborate, AWS, Nginx, elasticSearch, Kibana.
  • Database Applications: SQL, Microsoft Azure Cloud, Firebase, MS Access,SQL Server, PostgresSQL, MariaDB
    Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows Vista / 7 / 8, Mac OS X Yosemite, UNIX.

Jerzy Lasota

Computer Engineer
NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E18, Building 235
Phone: (301) 975-8928
Email: jerzy@udel.edu; jerzy.lasota@nist.gov
Technical Skills:

  • Java, Python, C++, Linux

Yun Liu

Physicist
NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E127
Phone: 301-975-6235
Email: yunliu@udel.edu; yun.liu@nist.gov
Liu Research Page
Neutron-Condensed Matter Science Group
Research Interests:
Particle interactions in bio-colloidal systems: Unlike simple liquids, colloidal solutions are intrinsically complex due to the presence of different components, such as ions and solvent molecules. However, this complexity makes it possible to modify the effective interaction between colloidal particles at will, allowing one to obtain a variety of macroscopic behaviors. It is this tunability that makes colloidal systems so important in our everyday lives. Furthermore, the collective behavior of colloidal systems also plays a fundamental role in processes such as protein crystallization, viscosity changes, gelation, and glass transitions. Properties of materials confined in nano-scale structures: Although storing and releasing molecules in porous media is an old topic, it has been increasingly important nowadays due to applications such as energy storage and drug delivery. This renewed interest has led to many newly developed porous materials, such as porous crystals and open colloidal particles. When molecules are confined in porous nano-structures, the confined materials often demonstrate new properties, very different from those of the bulk material. These new properties are not only important for real applications, but also interesting to serve as test beds to explore fundamental scientific principles.”


Michihiro Nagao

Senior Scientist
Center for Exploration of Energy and Matter | Department of Physics | Indiana University

NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E118
Phone: (301) 975-5505
Email: mnagao@udel.edu | mnagao@indiana.edu | mnagao@nist.gov
Nagao Research Page
Neutron-Condensed Matter Science Group

Research Interests:
My main interest is to understanding structure and dynamics of soft matter systems. Because soft materials possess many internal degrees of freedom, the self-assembling mechanisms and thermal fluctuations at microscopic scales characterize their macroscopic and fundamental properties. Currently, my focus is on understanding dynamical features of model biological cell membranes. Cell membranes are an assembly of lipid and protein molecules which self-assemble into bilayers in water environment together with cytoskeletal network. The cell membranes are dynamic platform of biological functions, and variety of thermally activated fluctuations occur. We study model cell membranes, i.e., lipid bilayers, which are two dimensional fluid structure showing molecular movements, such as molecular rotation and diffusion, as well as collective movements of lipid molecular assemblies like undulation and thickness fluctuations. Neutron spectroscopic techniques are powerful tools to study these dynamics in nanometer and nanosecond scales.Our research started from pure lipid bilayers and currently we are increasing complexity in the membrane in terms of composition and structure so that we understand more complex membrane properties. These lipid membrane structure and dynamics follow thin sheet theories, which are also applicable to more industrially used surfactant membranes. Elastic properties of such membranes are key component of interfacial energy of the membranes and dictate thermal behavior. Viscous properties of such membrane systems are under explored field and neutron scattering technique contributes to enhance our knowledge in the elastic and viscous properties of membranes. Other than these membrane studies, polymer dynamics is another topic of interest.


Chirag Parikh

Computer Scientist
NIST Center for Neutron Research, Research Facility Operations Group
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Phone: (301) 975-8851
Email: cparikh@udel.edu; chirag.parikh@nist.gov


Natalya Shmunis

Computer Scientist
NIST Center for Neutron Research, Research Facility Operations Group
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E18
Phone: (301) 975-8370
Email: nshmunis@udel.edu; natalya.shmunis@nist.gov


Susana Teixeira

Neutron Scientist
NIST Center for Neutron Research
100 Bureau Drive
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
Office: E103
Phone: 301-975-4404
Email: susanat@udel.edu; susana.marujoteixeira@nist.gov
Teixeira Research Page
Neutron-Condensed Matter Science Group
Research Interests:
I have a strong background in Crystallogenesis and X-ray/Neutron crystallography, that I have often put at the service of the experimental determination of the average position of all atoms in crystals of biological macromolecules. Neutron diffraction is a non-destructive structural probe with a strong sensitivity to hydrogen atoms: ideal for the studies of molecules where enzymatic mechanisms, structural stabilization, or both, are impacted by the most abundant element in biological macromolecules. At present, I work at the NIST Center for Neutron Research where I use small angle neutron scattering to broaden the crystallography perspective towards studies in solutions and other phases for various materials: antibodies, protein/DNA complexes, viral particles, extremophile proteins, among others. Furthermore, I am interested in how complex colloidal systems behave under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, relevant to food and pharmaceutical storage and processing, as well as to a more fundamental understanding of biological adaptation to different environments.

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