New Professors Lecture Program - Spring 2018

Custom low-dimensional material systems explored from atom to bulk

By Adina Luican-Mayer, Assistant professor, Department of Physics

Adina Luican-Mayer

Abstract: Innovative technologies have a history of capitalizing on the discovery of new physical phenomena, often at the confluence of advances in material characterization techniques and innovations in design and controlled synthesis of high-quality materials. Pioneered by the discovery of graphene, atomically thin materials hold the promise for the development of next generation electronic devices for applications in the areas of energy, photonics, sensing and beyond. These materials are made by stacking atomically thin layers of different van der Waals bonded crystals, much like we build Legos, and their unique properties are a consequence of confining electrons in two dimensions.

In this talk I will describe experiments that seek to uncover the novel physical phenomena in these materials by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). STM allows us to spatially resolve both the local electronic and structural properties of materials down to atomic scale. In particular, I will discuss consequences of twisting graphene layers, which leads to the formation of moiré patterns and results in a system with extraordinary electronic properties tuned by the twist angle. Furthermore, I will present our recent progress in understanding materials with lattices that are periodically distorted

Biography: Adina Luican-Mayer started as an assistant professor in the Physics Department at uOttawa in January 2016. She received her undergraduate degree from Jacobs University Bremen in Germany (2006) and her PhD in Physics from Rutgers University in the Unites States (2012).  Previously to joining uOttawa, she was the Alexei Abrikosov postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.

Her research group focuses on uncovering the novel electronic properties of low-dimensional systems custom made by stacking atomically thin sheets of van der Waals materials using scanning probe microscopy and supporting spectroscopic techniques.


 The host-microbe interactions laboratory: virulence and resistance

By François-Xavier Campbell-Valois, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences

François-Xavier Campbell-Valois

Abstract: We study how intracellular pathogenic bacteria invade and colonize their host and how the latter resists to this aggression. Our favorite model is the enteropathogenic bacterium Shigella flexneri that invades human cells using a nanomachine called the injectisome. There follows a series of measures and countermeasures between the bacteria and the host in a merciless fight for their respective survival. I will present a couple of specific examples that we are currently studying.

Biography: "I spent my childhood in a small village in the Lièvre Valley. At the age of 18, I moved to Montreal to begin my university studies. I did my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Montreal in the laboratory of Stephen W. Michnick. As part of my thesis, I used complementation assays to study protein folding. I then began my postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Michel Desjardins where I worked on the biogenesis of the phagosome. Next, I went to the City of Light to join Philippe Sansonetti's laboratory at the Institut Pasteur. There, I developed my expertise on bacterial pathogenesis. In the summer of 2015, I established my laboratory of host-microbe interactions within the Department of Biochemistry and Biomolecular Sciences."

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