2021 MRS Spring Meeting

Meet MRS Award Recipients—Lightning Talks and Panel Discussion

Monday, April 19
6:15 pm – 7:45 pm ET

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Join us for an exciting special talk session and live panel discussion, moderated by Suveen Mathaudhu, MRS Awards Committee Chair, with the following 2021 award recipients: 

Innovation in Materials Characterization Award

Miao Jianwei
Jianwei (John) Miao

University of California, Los Angeles


“For pioneering coherent diffractive imaging for a wide range of material systems and atomic electron tomography for determining atomic positions without assuming crystallinity”

MRS acknowledges the generosity of Dr. Gwo-Ching Wang and Dr. Toh-Ming Lu in endowing this award.

Beyond Crystallography: Coherent Diffractive Imaging and Atomic Electron Tomography

Over the last century, crystallography has been fundamental to the development of many fields of science. However, many samples in materials science, physics, chemistry, nanoscience, geology, and biology are non-crystalline, and thus their 3D structures are not accessible by crystallography. Miao will present two methods that can go beyond crystallography: coherent diffractive imaging and atomic electron tomography. He will illustrate the basic principle and broad application of coherent diffractive imaging. He will also present atomic electron tomography for 3D structure determination of crystal defects and amorphous materials at the single atomic level.


Mid-Career Researcher Award

Zhenan Bao
Zhenan Bao
Stanford University


“For pioneering contributions and conceptual developments to organic electronics and skin-inspired electronics”

MRS acknowledges the generosity of MilliporeSigma in endowing this award.

Skin-Inspired Organic Electronics

Skin is the body’s largest organ and is responsible for the transduction of a vast amount of information. This conformable, stretchable, self-healable and biodegradable material simultaneously collects signals from external stimuli that translate into information such as pressure, pain, and temperature. The development of electronic materials, inspired by the complexity of this organ is a tremendous, unrealized materials challenge. However, the advent of organic-based electronic materials may offer a potential solution to this longstanding problem. Over the past decade, we have developed materials design concepts to add skin-like functions to organic electronic materials without compromising their electronic properties. These new materials and new devices enabled arrange of new applications in medical devices, robotics and wearable electronics.


Outstanding Early-Career Investigator Award

Xin Huolin
Huolin Xin
University of California, Irvine


For development of innovative transmission electron microscopy imaging methodologies for advancing energy storage and conversion materials

Reducing Carbon Footprint by Single-atom Catalysts—A Biomimetic Approach to Achieve High Selectivity and High Efficiency for Small-molecule Activation

Single-atom catalysts (SACs) have recently emerged as a new frontier in catalysis science which holds great promise for carbon footprint reduction. With maximum atom-utilization efficiency and unique catalytic properties, SACs exhibit great potential to revolutionize the petrochemical and energy industry. In this talk, Xin will talk about his existing programs and introduce a few new directions that his group is pursuing.


MRS Postdoctoral Award

Liu Yang
Yang Liu
The Pennsylvania State University


“For the pioneering research in ferroelectric polymers to achieve high piezoelectric responses, and outstanding contributions to understanding of relaxor ferroelectricity in polymers”

MRS acknowledges the Jiang Family Foundation and MTI Corporation for their generous contribution to support this award.

Ferroelectric Polymers: Understanding and Designing at the Molecular Level

Ferroelectric polymers are the materials of choice for electrostrictive actuators, energy storage capacitors, electrocaloric cooling and piezoelectric sensors. However, the understanding of ferroelectric polymers at the molecular level remains limited and little progress has been made in designing novel ferroelectric polymer materials. Here we uncover the underlying structures of ferroelectric polymers and design the first organic compound that exhibit the morphotropic phase boundary (MPB). As a result, the copolymer with the MPB composition exhibits significantly enhanced piezoelectric responses (-63.5 pC/N), approximately doubling the state-of-the-art values of piezoelectric polymers.


MRS Postdoctoral Award

Tan Yu Jun
Yu Jun Tan
National University of Singapore


“For developing stretchable, self-healing materials for smart electronics”

MRS acknowledges the Jiang Family Foundation and MTI Corporation for their generous contribution to support this award.

Self-healing Materials for Soft Electronics and Robotics

The rapid development of artificial electronic materials with skin-like capabilities, such as self-healing and pressure sensitivity, creates exciting opportunities for applications in emerging robotics and human-machine interfaces. However, it remains challenging to have an artificial material that inherently possesses transparency, stretchability, and self-healing characteristics. Inspired by sea jellyfishes, Tan will present two optically transparent skin-like materials that self-heals autonomously: an ionically conductive material and a high permittivity dielectric polymer. We take advantage of the materials’ transparency and tunable properties to 3D print soft ionic circuit boards, and demonstrate potential applications in mechano-sensory functions and light-emitting devices.

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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