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News Release

March 12, 2019

Researchers publish results of ion beam collisions with nanosurfaces

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty

Dr. David Monismith

Dr. David Monismith

Dr. John Shaw

Dr. John Shaw

The results of an intra-disciplinary collaboration by Northwest Missouri State University faculty members and students were published recently in a peer-reviewed American physical society journal.

Dr. Himadri Chakraborty, an associate professor of physics at Northwest, led the project with Dr. John Shaw, who retired in 2016 as an associate professor of physics; Dr. David Monismith, a former faculty member in the School of Computer Science and Information Systems; and Yixiao Zhang and Danielle Doerr, who are graduates of Northwest’s Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing.

Their research article, “Ion survival in grazing collisions of H− with vicinal nanosurfaces as a probe for subband electronic structures” was published in Physical Review A.

The research simulates and examines details of electron motions in nanosized step cuts on the surface of a palladium lattice when an ion beam collides with it. The work also serves as the first proof-of-principle in the utility of the researchers’ computational method for such metal superlattices, Chakraborty said.

“Industries that thrive on the continued miniaturization heavily rely on the nanomaterial world in order to harness power that exists at the nanoscale,” Chakraborty said. “A promising way to access this power is to design nanostructures in periodic patterns on flat surfaces. Understanding the electron physics of such ‘designer surfaces’ will provide ways to uncover the technological potential of these surfaces, to determine their suitability as templates for further growth of the architecture, and to examine the evolution of their chemical reactivity.”

The group is writing about the results of additional research involving copper and gold for a second peer-reviewed article. The research also will be presented in May at the American Physical Society Division of Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics Conference in Milwaukee as well as in July at the International Conference on Photonic, Electronic and Atomic Collisions conference at Deauville, France.

National Science Foundation (NSF) support, including allocation grants from the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), and the Stampede supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center were used in the research. Future research will use Northwest’s Bartik high-performance computing system.

Chakraborty, who is the recipient of multiple NSF grants for his research of carbon fullerene molecules and related derived materials, consistently involves undergraduate students in his research. Those undergraduate students have gone on to pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in physics, chemistry, material science and engineering. His students also have been nominated to the Council of Undergraduate Research as distinguished graduates. To learn more about Chakraborty’s research, visit


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