The journal Applied Physics Letters recently published an article by several members of the NTFL. The paper, "Monolayer Graphene-Insulator-Semiconductor Emitter for Large-Area Electron Lithography" describes the fabrication of electron field emission devices and their use in an electron lithography system. Read about this exciting step toward affordable nanomanufacturing here!

Kirley, M. P.; Aloui, T.; Glass, J. T. Monolayer Graphene-Insulator-Semiconductor Emitter for Large-Area Electron Lithography. Appl. Phys. Lett. 2017, 110, 233109. DOI: 10.1063/1.4984955

The NTFL is happy to welcome Grace Wickerson and Madison Wood to our lab. They are participants in the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program, and will be researching materials and methods for electrochemical production of carbon-neutral liquid fuels for the next two months. Madison is a rising junior at the University of New Hampshire where she studies Chemical Engineering. She is developing nitrogen-doped graphenated carbon nanotube catalyst electrodes for electrochemical carbon dioxide reduction. Grace is a rising sophomore at Rice University where she studies Materials Science and Nanoengineering. She is studying the effect of ionic liquid solvents in electrochemical carbon dioxide conversion.

As part of the 2017 Energy Research Seed Fund program, the Duke University Energy Initiative has awarded the NTFL a grant to study the electrochemical production of clean fuels.

Solar and wind generation can supply clean power, but effectively storing this energy and delivering it to users is a colossal challenge. Carbon-neutral liquid fuels, made from air and renewable energy, are expected to be an ideal solution. These fuels can be easily stored and transported, and their subsequent use results in zero total emissions. In collaboration with Professor Weitao Yang, the NTFL will develop materials for electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide to liquid fuel.

The NTFL is happy to welcome Rayane Mourouvin to our lab. Rayane is a M.Sc.Eng. student at Ecole Centrale Lyon (France) who arrived in the Nanomaterials and Thin Films Laboratory in January 2017. He is currently in a gap year between the two years of his Master degree and joins us after a six-month internship in the general contractor company Egis Rail, in the energy department. His work in our group focuses on the modelling and design of a packed-bed reactor to treat human waste on a project funded by the Gates Foundation. His research includes a numerical design using the COMSOL software and experimental support for the group.

Dr. Carlos Hangarter gave a presentation on Boron Doped Diamond Packed Bed Electrochemical Reactor. This type of reactor is anticipated to improve Used Liquid Electrochemical Disinfection thanks to its high specific area and enhanced electrode/pathogens interactions. The NTFL’s research on electrochemical cell design is part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet Challenge.

Research on flexible and stretchable supercapacitors from carbon materials was presented by PhD student Yihao Zhou alongside research on transparent and flexible energy storage using pseudocapacitive Ni(OH)2 coated Cu nanowires by solution-processes which was presented by fellow PhD student James Thostenson.


A publication submitted to the Journal of The American Society for Mass Spectrometry by several members of the NTFL and collaborators was selected for the journal issue cover.  The paper, "Compatibility of Spatially Coded Apertures with a Miniature Mattauch-Herzog Mass Spectrograph," discusses the application of coded apertures, a technology under development that expands on other articles the NTFL has recently published.

Coding and Computers Help Spot Methane, Explosives

“Compatibility of Spatially Coded Apertures with a Miniature Mattauch-Herzog Mass Spectrograph,” Zachary E. Russell, Shane T. DiDona, Jason J. Amsden, Charles B. Parker, Gottfried Kibelka, Michael E. Gehm, Jeffrey T. Glass. JASMS, 2016. DOI: 10.1007/s13361-015-1323-7

NTFL member, Isvar Cordova, recently accepted a postdoctoral position at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he is developing in-situ characterization capabilities of electrochemical energy materials using soft x-rays from the Advanced Light Source synchrotron (beamline

Team members Isvar CordovaStephen Ubnoske, and Erich Radauscher have passed their final Ph.D. defense. Isvar's dissertation is titled "Nanostructured Metal Oxide Coatings for Electrochemical Energy Storage and Storage Electrodes." Stephen's dissertation is titled "Growth, Characterization, and Properties of Hybrid Graphene-Carbon Nanotube Films and Related Carbon Nanostructures."  Erich's dissertation is titled "Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Devices for Advanced Applications."


From February 29-March 2, several members from Duke’s NTFL and LENS (Laboratory for Engineering Non-traditional Sensors), as well as RTI attended the annual ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit in Washington, D. C. Attendees included Jason Amsden, Jeff Glass, Matt Kirley, Philip Herr, Mike Gehm, David Landrty, and Kristin Gilchrist. This yearly summit features ARPA-E awardees as well as various keynote speakers including Dr. Sophie Vandebroek, Xerox Chief Technology Officer, & President, Xerox Innovation Group and former Vice President Al Gore. Dr. Vandebroek actually mentioned the Duke team’s work in her keynote address! The team presented at our booth in the technology showcase and discussed our miniature mass spectrometer concept that we are developing for ARPA-E’s MONITOR (Methane Observation Networks with Innovative Technology to Obtain Reductions) program. On the first evening, we were visited by Dr. Vandebroek and Dr. Ellen Williams, the director of ARPA-E. All were excited to see our progress and looked forward to seeing our miniature mass spectrometer in action at next year’s summit.

For more information on our miniature mass spectrometer and ARPA-E MONITOR project see

Photo of David Landry, Matt Kirley, and Philip Herr (left to right) at our booth.