Sykes

Group News

2016

Chris and Chloe present at the Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Poster Symposium detailing their summer research on self-assembled molecular rotor arrays. - September 2016

Northeastern Section of the American Chemical Society Younger Chemists Committee chaired by Felicia wins Outstanding Local Section Younger Chemists Committee at the National ACS meeting. - August 2016.

Andy competes in the 2016 TUNECC life sciences consulting case competition. - August 2016

Andy TUNECC 2016

Andy is selected as 1 of 5 finalists for the Morton Traum Student Award at the AVS 63rd International Symposium & Exhibition. - July 2016

Felicia meets Professor George Whitesides [Harvard University] and is featured on the NEACS "The Nucleus" May 2016 Edition. - May 2016

Felicia meets Prof. Whitesides

Chris is awarded the Robert Dewald Summer Scholarship. - April 2016

Natalie runs in the 120th Boston Marathon with the Tufts Marathon Team. - April 2016

Natalie runs in the 120th Boston Marathon

Andy wins the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award at the 18th Annual Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference. - April 2016

Andy wins the Outstanding Oral Presentation Award

Andy and Felicia participate in the GDCh/NESACS Germany exchange program, a one week all-inclusive trip to Kiel, Germany centered around an international research conference. - March 2016

Natalie uses the LT-STM to spell "Tufts" with Br atoms and is featured on Tufts Now. - January 2016

Tufts spelled out with 51 Br atoms

Ben is named a spring 2016 GAANN fellow. - January 2016

2015

The Sykes group welcomes Alex Schilling, Dipna Patel, and Matthew Uhlman as 1st year graduate students! - November 2015

Tufts features the 2015 Reverse Science Fair. - October 2015

Felicia's Nature Communications paper on the selective hydrogenation of 1,3-butadiene is featured on the National Science Foundation's News website, Space Daily, phys.org, and AZoM. - October 2015

Charlie's talk at Boston ACS on Nano Cancer is recorded. - October 2015

Charlie becomes a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. - October 2015

Sykes Group research is featured on the Discovery Channel Canada television program Daily Planet. - September 2015

The Sykes group welcomes Dr. Zhitao Wang to Tufts as a post-doctoral fellow. - August 2015

Sykes Group research on 2D radioactive films receives media attention including a publication by Leon Sanche in Nature Material News and Views, IFL Science, Nanowerk, phys.org, and an article in Chemical Engineering News (Volume 93, Issue 25, p. 33). The research was also featured on the featured on the Department of Energy's homepage. - June 2015

Radioactive Decay

Melissa receives the Excellent Oral Presentation Award at the 17th Annual Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference (NSCRC). - April 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Colin Murphy for defending his thesis titled "Beginning to Bridge the Gap Between Work and Usefulness: Driving Molecular Devices and Intermolecular Coupling"!! - March 2015

Felicia is selected as a NSF sponsored US delegate to the 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting. - March 2015

Matthew named one of the first two Illumina Fellows in the Tufts Chemistry department. - January 2015

2014

Felicia receives the Leadership Development Award from the Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) to support attendance at the ACS Annual Leaders' Conference. - December 2014

The Sykes Group welcomes Ben Coughlin and Mostafa El Soda as 1st year graduate students! - November 2014

Emily appears in Chemical & Engineering News for her ACS public policy fellowship. - October 2014

The Sykes group welcomes Dr. Natalie Wasio to Tufts as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Wasio received her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame under Prof. Alex Kandel. - October 2014

Melissa receives the Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority (CSURM) Fellowship for the Gordon Research Conference. - October 2014

Felicia receives the AVS 61 Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant. - September 2014

Sykes group work highlighted in the Association Affairs section of Science for Gordon Research Conferences. - September 2014

Colin is accepted into the technology transfer internship program. - September 2014

Charlie appears on local TV cooking show "Chow and Tell" hosted by Rayna Jhaveri to talk about cooking with liquid nitrogen. - July 2014

Charlie gives Young Talented Scientist Lecture at CHIRALITY 2014 in Prague. - July 2014

Congratulations to Dr. Emily Lewis for defending her thesis titled "A New Approach to Studying Cobalt's Surface Chemistry Using Cobalt Nanoparticles"!! - July 2014

The U.S. Department of Energy features our work on the web, in presentations and publications: - June 2014
Basic Energy Sciences Web Highlight
Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee Update (slide 18)
Basic Energy Sciences Summaries Research Report
(page 25)

Matthew receives an Excellent Oral Presentation Award at the Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference. - April 2014

Felicia is awarded Best Talk at the Tufts Graduate Student Research Symposium. - April 2014

Matt, Felicia, and Emily all participate in the GDCh/NESACS Germany exchange program, a one week all-inclusive trip to Germany centered around an international research conference. - March 2014

Tim is awarded a National Research Council fellowship to conduct research at the Natick Army labs. - March 2014

Felicia is awarded a GAANN fellowship. - January 2014

2013

Congratulations to Dr. Timothy Lawton for defending his thesis titled "Structure Sensitive Chemistry: From Oxidation to Surface Explosions"!! - December 2013

Tim wins the Graduate Student Research Award and finishes as a finalist for the 2013 Morton Traum Award at the AVS 60th International Symposium & Exhibition. - October 2013

Felicia wins 1st place in the Nano Worcester poster competition. - September 2013

Emily receives the ICMR Apprentice Science Reporter Award to assist in writing the Meeting Science Newsletter for the joint Japan Society of Applied Physics-Materials Research Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan. - September 2013

Tim is selected as 1 of 5 finalists for the 2013 Morton Traum Student Award at the 2013 AVS Conference. - July 2013

Tim is selected as 1 of 9 finalists for the AVS National Student Awards at the 2013 AVS Confernence. - June 2013

The Sykes group welcomes Dr. Alex Pronschinske to Tufts as a post-doctoral fellow. Dr. Pronschinske received his Ph.D. in physics from North Carolina State University under Prof. Dan Dougherty. - May 2013

Tim is selected as a finalist for the Nottingham Prize at the 2013 Physical Electronics Conference. - May 2013

Tim wins 1st place in Poster Presentation at Tufts Graduate Research Symposium. - May 2013

Sykes Group discovery of the molecular cork effect for hydrogen spillover and capping is published in Nature Materials. - April 2013

Sykes Group work on Surface Explosion is featured on the cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry C. - April 2013

Melissa is awarded a graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. - March 2013

2012

Sykes Group work on Co alloys is featured on the cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry C. - December 2012

The Sykes Group welcomes Brian Mernoff and Andrew Therrien as 1st year graduate students. - November 2012

Our single molecule motor is chosen as #1 Microscopic Image That Will Blow Your Mind by Cracked.com (>500,000 views). - November 2012

April wins the Morton M. Traum Award at the 59th International AVS Symposium in Tampa, FL. The Morton M. Traum Award is given annually since 1981 by the Surface Science Division of the American Vacuum Society to the best student paper based on work leading to a Ph.D. thesis. - November 2012

April receives the AVS Russell and Sigurd Varian Award at the 59th International AVS Symposium in Tampa, FL. - October 2012

Congratulations to Dr. April Jewell for defending her thesis titled "Atomic Diffusion and Molecular Self-Assembly on Metal Surfaces"!! - August 2012

Emily receives the Chemistry Department Research Excellence Travel Award. - July 2012

April is selected as a finalist for the Morton M. Traum Award. - June 2012

April is selected as a 2012 finalist for 1 of the 8 AVS National Student Awards. - June 2012

Charlie is named the 2012 recipient of the AVS Peter Mark Memorial Award. - May 2012

Sykes Group work on Co alloys is featured on the cover of Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. - May 2012

Matt and Tim receive an honorable mention in the 2012 Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge. - May 2012

Colin wins Poster Prize for Excellence in Graduate Research at 14th Annual Northeast Student Research Conference. - April 2012

April is selected as a finalist for the Nottingham Prize at Physical Electronics Conference. - April 2012

Tim wins Tufts Outstanding Academic Performance Award for the doctoral level. - April 2012

April and Allister win 1st place in the Non-Interactive Media category for the Visualization@Tufts Award Program for their submission called "Using Microscopy to Study Chiral Molecular Interactions on the Nanometer-Scale". - April 2012

Emily wins 2nd place in the Visualizing@Tufts Award Program in the Photography category for her submission titled "A Craggy Seaside Pasture" - April 2012

Mishan is awarded a Tufts 2012 Summer Scholarship. - March 2012

Sykes Group work on a Single Atom Alloy is published in Science. - March 2012

Tim wins 3rd place in the Poster/Elevator Speech Competition at the 2nd Annual NanoWorcester Symposium at WPI. - March 2012

April and Tim are selected as 2 of 6 finalists for the Poster/Elevator Speech Competition at the 2nd Annual NanoWorcester Symposium at WPI. - March 2012

Emily and Colin are accepted as members of a 12-student exchange trip for the NESACS/GDCh Germany Exchange Program in Rostock, Germany. - March 2012

April is selected as 1 of 10 finalists for the Langmuir Student Award at the ACS Colloid and Surface Science Symposium in Baltimore. - March 2012

Sykes Group demonstration of a single molecule electric motor featured as Result of the Month on Omicron Nanotechnology's website. - February 2012

2011

The Sykes Group welcomes Melissa Liriano, Felicia Lucci, Matt Marcinkowski and Mike Mattera as 1st year graduate students. - December 2011

Charlie is featured on a Museum of Science podcast about single molecule electric motor. - October 2011

Sykes Group receives official confirmation of Guinness World Record for Smallest Electric Motor. - October 2011

Sykes Group Youtube video discussing the single molecule electric motor project. - October 2011

Charles Sykes interview on the Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 discussing single molecule electric motor. - October 2011

Sykes Group research on a Single-Molecule Electric Motor is published in Nature Nanotechnology as a cover story. - September 2011


April wins Young Scientist Prize at the 10th International Conference on Structure of Surfaces in Hong Kong. - August 2011

Tim receives the departmental Research Excellence Travel Award. - July 2011

April wins the Best Poster award at the 71st annual Physical Electronics Conference. - June 2011

Sykes Group work on hierarchical chiral ordering is featured on the cover of Chemistry: A European Journal. - June 2011

Charlie is named one of the 2011 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholars. - May 2011

Allister is selected to receive a 2011 James Flack Norris/Theodore Williams Summer Research Scholarship. - April 2011

April wins 1st place in the photography category of the "Visualizing Research @ Tufts Award Program" for her entry titled "Bullseye". This STM image gives both topographic and electronic information about a cluster of molecules on a metal surface. Concentric rings show electron waves bouncing off the cluster at the center of the bull's eye. As you move away from the center, the electron waves become more diffuse and the image appears out of focus. - April 2011



"Bullseye"

April receives a Tufts University Award for Outstanding Academic Performance. - April 2011

Congratulations to Dr. Erin Iski for defending her thesis titled "Assembly, Chirality, and Polymorphism of Large Molecules on Metal Surfaces "!! - March 2011

April is named 1 of 5 finalists for the Young Scientist Prize to be awarded at the 10th International Conference on the Structure of Surfaces. - March 2011 (link)

The Sykes group welcomes Dr. Georgios Kyriakou from Cambridge University as a Research Assistant Professor. Dr. Kyriakou will conduct research that is aimed at understanding surface phenomena with respect to heterogeneous asymmetric catalysis, chemoselective hydrogenations, and self-assembled systems. - January 2011

2010

Congratulations to Dr. Ashleigh Baber for defending her thesis titled "Nanoscale studies of molecules metals & alloys"!! - December 2010

Congratulations to Dr. Heather Tierney for defending her thesis titled "Understanding and Controlling Rotation at the Single-Molecule Level"!! - December 2010

Tim is accepted as 1 of 12 students from the Northeast to attend the Jungchemikerforum (JCF) as part of the NESACS/GDCh Germany Exchange Program in Erlangen, Germany. - December 2010

Sykes Group is listed as Nanotechnology Thought Leaders by AZOnano. - November 2010

April wins Honorable Mention for a video submission for ACS Nanotation Video Contest. - November 2010

Heather is awarded the Morton M. Traum Award which "is given annually since 1981 by the Surface Science Division of AVS to the best student paper based on work leading to a Ph.D. thesis" at the AVS Conference in New Mexico. - October 2010

Heather is awarded the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Scholarship at the AVS conference in New Mexico. - October 2010

Emily is awarded a GAANN Fellowship. - September 2010

Darin matriculates at MIT. - September 2010

April wins Poster Prize at 240th National ACS Conference in the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry in Boston, MA. - August 2010

Sykes Group launches their 2nd Youtube video called "Molecular Machines" describing the Rotor Project. - August 2010

Heather is selected as 1 of 3 finalists to compete for the Morton M. Traum Surface Science Student Award at the AVS meeting in October. - July 2010

Heather is awarded an IFSM scholarship to attend the 17th International Microscopy Congress to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September. - July 2010

April wins NASA Board Award for her work on sulfur dioxide detection using polymer-carbon composite films. - July 2010

Ashleigh wins Outstanding Poster Presentation Award at the 2010 Gordon Research Conference on Catalysis. - July 2010 (link)

April wins NASA Group Achievement Award for her work for the Electronic Nose Technology Demonstration aboard the International Space Station. - June 2010

Heather wins the prestigious Nottingham Prize at the Physical Electronics Conference. - June 2010 (link)

Dr. Sykes is promoted to the rank of Associate Professor. - May 2010

Sykes lab STM image of Pd/Au alloy featured on the cover of the Journal of Advanced Microscopy Research. - April 2010

Heather receives Tufts Outstanding Academic Performance Graduate Student Award. - April 2010

Heather is awarded 2nd place at the 14th Annual Tufts Graduate Student Research Symposium. - April 2010

Michael wins best poster prize at Northeastern Section Younger Chemists Committee at Boston University. - April 2010

Colin Murphy joins the Sykes Lab as a 1st year Ph. D. candidate. - March 2010

Heather wins The Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society MPMD Division 2010 Student Poster Award. - Februrary 2010

2009

Emily Lewis joins the Sykes Lab as a 1st year Ph.D. candidate. - November 2009

Heather is the one of the winners of Departmental Research Excellence Travel Award. - August 2009

Tim is awarded GAANN Fellowship. - August 2009

Students from Social Justice Academy in Boston visit the Sykes lab and "write" their school initials with molecules. - August 2009

Ashleigh is interviewed about the Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Germany, highlighted in Tufts news. - July 2009

NSF features group's rotor work in its Discovery Section - July 2009

Group's work on Thioether Rotors and their role in nanotechnology is featured on LiveScience. - July 2009

April receives graduate research fellowship from the National Science Foundation. - June 2009

Group's Outreach work with high school students featured on Tufts New and Events website. - June 2009

Group's work on Thioether Rotors featured on the cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry C. - June 2009

Cover

Erin wins a poster prize for "Excellent Poster Presentation by a Graduate Student" at the 11th Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference at Boston University. - May 2009

Ashleigh has been accepted as one of 74 young researchers from the U.S. to attend the 59th Meeting of Nobel Laureates dedicated to chemistry in Lindau, Germany. - May 2009

Group's research on catalytic sites on Cu/Pd Alloys is featured on the cover of Journal of Physical Chemistry C. - April 2009

Cover

Erin wins poster prize during the Young Chemists Committee of the Northeast Section of the American Chemical Society German Exchange Program in Essen. - March 2009

Poster Comp

Charlie interviewed on his research by Research Coportation for Science Advancement. - February 2009

Charlie receives a IUPAC Young Observer award. - January 2009

Charlie receives an NSF CAREER award. - January 2009

2008

Tim joins the Sykes Group as a first-year Ph.D. Candidate. - November 2008

Results from the Sykes Lab study of thermal and mechanical actuation of single-molecule rotors highlighted by Omicron Nanotechnology as the result of the month. - November 2008

Heather awarded 1st place out of 50 finalists at the American Vaccum Society Fall 2008 Conference Art Zone Competition. - October 2008

April awarded a NASA Board Award for her work on 'Palladium Chloride Sensors for Mercury Detection'. - August 2008

The group's research on naturally chiral surfaces is featured on the cover of The Journal of Physical Chemistry C. - July 2008

Erin wins the Best Poster award at the 68th annual Physical Electronics Conference. - June 2008

The Sykes Lab comes out with an educational video detailing the impact of our hydrogen project on the energy crisis. - May 2008

April awarded a NASA Tech Brief Award for NTR no 44997: "Palladium Chloride Sensors for Mercury Detection". - May 2008

Charlie named a Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar. - May 2008

Erin receives an award for the best talk at the 10th Annual Northeast Student Chemistry Research Conference. - April 2008

April awarded a NASA Tech Brief Award for her work for gold on polymer based sensing films for detection of organic and inorganic analytes in air. - April 2008

Erin receives an award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education. - April 2008

Charlie receives the Beckman Young Investigator Award. - April 2008

Charlie appointed as Usen Family Career Development Professor. - March 2008

Erin's paper featured on the front cover of the March Issue of Education in Chemistry. - March 2008

Darin awarded the Lt. Commander R.J. Manning Memorial Prize and the Max Tishler Prize Scholarship. - March 2008

April Awarded a NASA Tech Brief Award for her work on novel polymer based sensors for elemental mercury detection in air. - February 2008

2007

Charlie featured in ACS Nano's Episode 5 Podcast talking about thioethers. - December 2007

April Jewell, a promising young chemist, joins the Sykes lab coming from JPL. - September 2007

Stephen Jensen matriculates at Harvard University. - September 2007

Ashleigh receives the Travel Award for Research Excellence. - September 2007

Stephen wins 1st prize for best undergraduate science talk at Tufts Undergraduate Research Symposium. - April 2007

Erin is awarded GAANN Fellowship. - September 2007

Heather wins “Materials Research Society: Best Poster Award in Nanoscale Phenomena in Functional Materials by Scanning Probe Microscopy”. - Fall 2007

Charlie is a finalist in the Materials Research Society “Science as Art” Poster Competition. - Fall 2007

Charlie selected as one of 15 young professors to participate in the US-Japan Young Researchers Exchange Program. - Janurary 2007

Stephen's paper is first ever paper accepted by Paul Weiss's new journal, ACS Nano. - August 2007

Excellence
ACS Boston
Interview with Stephen on Nanotation

2006

Ashleigh is awarded GAANN Fellowship. - September 2006

Stephen is awarded Summer Scholars Fellowship. - June 2006

Group is awarded ACS-PRF Type G Award. - Sept 2006

Stephen wins first place in UNCC "The natural World as Art and Science". - March 2006

2005

A First: Hydrogen Atoms Manipulated Below the Surface of a Palladium Crystal. - December 2005

Focus on Palladium's Hydrogen Storage Potential. - December 2005

Single-Molecule Surface Chemistry

E. Charles H. Sykes

Tufts University, Department of Chemistry

The Sykes group utilizes state of the art scanning probes and surface science instrumentation to study technologically important systems. For example, scanning tunneling microscopy enables visualization of the geometric and electronic properties of catalytically relevant metal alloy surfaces at the nanoscale. Using temperature programmed reaction studies of well defined model catalyst surfaces structure-property-activity relationships are drawn. Of particular interest is the addition of individual atoms of a reactive metal to a relatively inert host. In this way reactivity can be tuned, and provided the energetic landscapes are understood, novel bifunctional catalytic systems can be designed with unique properties that include low temperature activation and highly selective chemistry. Newly developed curved single crystal surface are also being used to open up previously inaccessible areas of structure sensitive surface chemistry and chiral surface geometries.

Individual Pd atoms in an inert copper surface are active sites for hydrogen dissociation.

Pd on Cu surface.

Butyl methyl sulfide functioning as a molecular rotor.


In a different thrust, the group has developed a thioether molecular rotor system that is enabling us to study many important fundamental aspects of molecular rotation with unprecedented resolution. Molecular motors are ubiquitous in nature; they exhibit functions as varied as organizing the cellular cytoplasm by vesicle transport to powering the motion of cells and even driving whole body locomotion via muscle contraction. In stark contrast, current manmade devices, with the exception of liquid crystals, make no use of nanoscale molecular motion. This is partly due to a gap in the understanding of how individual molecular components behave in the face of opposing forces such as electronic friction, thermal fluctuations and coupling to neighboring molecules.

STM image of three molecular rotors, 1 nm in size, spinning at over 1,000,000 times per second when heated to a temperature of 78 Kelvin.

By using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (LT-STM), we are able to record the dynamics of individual molecular rotors at the atomic-scale. At very low temperatures (20 K), the molecules transition between a locked or “frozen” state to one in which they spin at over 1x106 times per second. There is a significant opportunity for single-molecule measurements to answer many of the current questions in the field of molecular rotors/motors and have a major impact on efforts to control all types of molecular motion. We have already investigated how these small, simple molecules as molecular rotors and we are beginning to devise methods for turning them into molecular motors.




BBC Today Programme Interview of Charlie Sykes
(Click to Listen)