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2017  Nov 1 - Dec 21

2018  Feb 7 - Apr 3
2018  Proposal/BTR deadline: 12/1/17

2018  Apr 11 - Jun 4
2018  Proposal/BTR deadline: 2/1/18

CHESS staff scientist Detlef Smilgies was recently appointed an adjunct associate professor at the Cornell School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE). Over the next three year period Smilgies will supervise projects for CBE masters of engineering students as well as work closely with faculty and students, to counsel them in the use of x-ray scattering methods for their research. In addition he will work with CBE faculty on methodology, on how to tackle frontier chemical engineering problems with x-ray scattering methods.

Figure 1

Detlef Smilgies at the cockpit of D-line.

Smilgies is a trained physicist and surface scientist. He received his education in Germany at the University of Göttingen and the Max-Planck-Institute for Fluid Dynamics, culminating in a thesis on the reconstruction of a clean metal surface studied with helium atom scattering. Then he turned to work with synchrotron radiation and since has been working on the study of materials properties and interfacial effects with grazing-incidence x-ray scattering for over 20 years. After brief postdoctoral stays in the Bell Labs x-ray group at Brookhaven National Lab, the Rutgers chemistry department, and Risø National Lab in Denmark, he became a staff scientist at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France, where he built and lead the Troika II beamline for scattering from liquid and solid surfaces. Smilgies joined CHESS in 2000 and was instrumental in the design and construction of G-line. Since 2004 he has been developing D1 station to one of the leading beamlines for the in-situ and real-time study of thin films of functional nanomaterials [1-9].

Says Smilgies: "We have recently started exploring materials behavior during coating processes [10]. This is an exciting interdisciplinary research frontier for bringing organic electronics and functional nanomaterials to the production line. In the lab researchers have created and demonstrated many promising materials, but it needs to be understood, how we can maintain or even improve critical materials properties such as electronic mobility, when moving on to coating and printing techniques. Among the critical steps are drying and post-annealing processes, as has been shown in a series of recent experiments at D1 [11-12]. Synchrotron radiation seems to be the ideal tool to study deposition of functional nanomaterials from liquid solution in-situ. I am excited about working with CBE students in the new sample environment laboratory at CHESS and at D-line, to develop and explore new sample environments that are scalable to industrial production processes."

Smilgies has longstanding scientific collaborations with CBE Professor Tobias Hanrath, materials science Professor Aram Amassian at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), and physics Professor Christine Papadakis at the Technical University of Munich (Germany) on developing sample cells and x-ray scattering methods for in-situ and real-time studies of soft materials. With the establishment of the new sample environment lab, faculty, students and postdocs have the possibility to develop and commission complex experimental set-ups in collaboration with CHESS staff, before taking them to the beamline.


[1] Detlef-M. Smilgies, Peter Busch, Dorthe Posselt, and Christine M. Papadakis: "Characterization of Polymer Thin Films with Small-Angle X-ray Scattering under Grazing Incidence (GISAXS)", Synchrotron Radiation News, Issue 15(5), p. 35-41 (2002).

[2] Christine M. Papadakis, Zhenyu Di, Dorthe Posselt, and Detlef-M. Smilgies: "Structural Instabilities in Lamellar Diblock Copolymer Thin Films During Solvent Vapor Uptake", Langmuir 24, 13815-13818 (2008).

[3] Detlef-M. Smilgies, Ruipeng Li, Zhenyu Di, Charles Darko, Christine M. Papadakis, and Dorthe Posselt: "Probing the Self-Organization Kinetics in Block Copolymer Thin Films.", Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 1147-OO01-01 (2009).

[4] Tobias Hanrath, Joshua J. Choi, and Detlef-M. Smilgies: "Structure/Processing Relationships of Highly Ordered Lead Salt Nanocrystal Superlattices", ACS Nano 3, 2975–2988 (2009).

[5] Aram Amassian, Vladimir A. Pozdin, Ruipeng Li, Detlef-M. Smilgies, and George G. Malliaras: "Solvent Vapor Annealing of an Insoluble Molecular Semiconductor", J. Mater. Chem. 20, 2623–2629 (2010).

[6] Marvin Y. Paik, Joan K. Bosworth, Detlef-M. Smilgies, Evan L. Schwartz, Xavier Andre, and Christopher K. Ober: "Reversible Morphology Control in Block Copolymer Films via Solvent Vapor Processing: An In-Situ GISAXS study", Macromolecules 43, 4253–4260 (2010).

[7] Kaifu Bian, Joshua J. Choi, Ananth Kaushik, Paulette Clancy, Detlef-M. Smilgies, and Tobias Hanrath: "Shape-anisotropy driven symmetry transformations in nanocrystal superlattice polymorphs", ACS Nano 5 2815–2823 (2011).

[8] Jun Zhang, Zhiping Luo, Benjamin Martens, Zewei Quan, Amar Kumbhar, Nathan Porter, Yuxuan Wang, Detlef-M. Smilgies, and Jiye Fang: "Reversible Kirkwood-Alder Transition Observed in Pt3Cu2 Nanoctahedron Assemblies under Controlled Solvent Annealing/Drying Conditions", J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 14043–14049 (2012).

[9] Joshua J. Choi, Kaifu Bian, William J. Baumgardner, Detlef-M. Smilgies, and Tobias Hanrath: "Interface-Induced Nucleation, Orientational Alignment and Symmetry Transformations in Nanocube Superlattices", Nano Lett., 12, 4791–4798 (2012).

[10] Detlef-M. Smilgies, Ruipeng Li, Gaurav Giri, Kang Wei Chou, Ying Diao, Zhenan Bao, and Aram Amassian: "Look fast: Crystallization of conjugated molecules during solution shearing probed in-situ and in real time by X-ray scattering", Phys. Status Solidi - Rapid Research Letter 7, 177-179 (2013).

[11] Hadayat Ullah Khan, Ruipeng Li, Yi Ren, Long Chen, Marcia M. Payne, Unnat S. Bhansali, Detlef-M. Smilgies, John E. Anthony, and Aram Amassian: "Solvent vapor annealing in the molecular regime drastically improves carrier transport in small-molecule thin film transistors", ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 5, 2325−2330 (2013).

[12] Louis A. Perez, Kang Wei Chou, John A. Love, Thomas S. van der Poll, Detlef-M. Smilgies, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen, Edward J. Kramer, Aram Amassian, and Guillermo C. Bazan: "Solvent Additive Effects on Small Molecule Crystallization in Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells Probed During Spin Casting", Adv. Mater. 25, 6380–6384 (2013).



Submitted by: Detlef Smilgies, CHESS, Cornell University