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Achievements

Mar 14 – IMRE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Engineering Research Centre for Colloidal Materials (NERC-CM) of Shandong University, China, and the Jinan New Materials Industrial Park (JNMIP), China during a jointly organised IMRE-Shandong University  "Materials for New Business Opportunities" workshop. The partnership would enable joint R&D collaboration and allow Chinese and Singaporean companies to explore business opportunities with IMRE, NERC-CM and JNMIP.

Mar 14 – An article entitled, "Supramolecular host-guest polymeric materials for biomedical applications" by IMRE's Loh Xian Jun, was selected by Material Horizons Journal as one of the"Most downloaded article" for the month of February. The review covers the formation of dynamic polymeric networks through host - guest complex formation and how it can potentially help the design and fine-tuning of supramolecular self-assembled materials. To refer to the article, please click here.

Feb 14 – IMRE's Professor Liu Bin was invited to be the Associate Editor of the Polymer Chemistry Editorial Board. Polymer Chemistry, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, is the only society journal dedicated to the chemistry of polymers and it publishes advances in polymer chemistry encompassing all aspects of synthetic and biological macromolecules, and related emerging areas. 

Feb 14 – Professor Liu Bin , an IMRE-NUS joint appointee, was awarded the Dean’s Chair Professor of National University of Singapore’s Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. She first joined the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department in 2005 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.

Feb 14 – IMRE signed a  Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), Brunei, to conduct joint research. This recent partnership was followed by the awarding of competitive grants for collaborative research projects in Novel “catch-release” catalysis systems for green pharmaceutical and fine chemical synthesis, Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) for Battery and Sensing Applications and Novel Antimicrobial Materials for Use in Personal Care Products for Prevention of Multidrug-Resistant Infections.
 
Jan 14 –  IMRE’s Dr Liu Xiaogang was invited to join the Editorial Board of Chemistry - An Asian Journal , also on this newly selected Editorial Board, is former IMRE member (1997-2001), Prof Pei Jian of Peking University.  The Chemistry - An Asian Journal is a sister journal of  Angewandte Chemie and it is co-owned by the  Asian Chemical Editorial Society (ACES).

Jan 14 – IMRE signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Shandong University, China, to conduct joint scientific and technological cooperation, academic exchanges and talent cultivation. The partnership would also promote the utilisation of joint scientific and technological achievements for both parties.

Aug 13 – Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE was elected by the Executive Council (EXCO) of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS) as President of FACS for a 2-year term from 20 Aug 2013. The FACS is a federation of 28 chemical societies of countries and territories in the Asia Pacific whose membership consists of individual qualified chemists. The general objective of the Federation is to promote the advancement and appreciation of chemistry and the interests of professional chemists in the Asia Pacific.

Apr 13 - IMRE was one of the three most prolific A*STAR research institutes that contributed to the boost in A*STAR’s ranking in the Nature Publishing Index (NPI) Asia-Pacific 2012. A*STAR's profile in the Asia-Pacific region rose from 33rd in 2011 to 16th last year, according to the latest rankings published by Nature Publishing, one of the world's foremost research publishers.

Jan 13 – An article entitled “Recent developments and design challenges in continuous roller micro- and nanoimprinting” by IMRE’s Mr Jarrett Dumond and IMRE Consulting Scientist Dr Low Hong Yee was selected by the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B as one of the “Top 20 Most Read Articles, November 2012”. The review covers a variety of continuous imprinting approaches, highlights challenges, and surveys progress towards high speed production of micro- and nanoscale features for these applications and others using this platform technology. Reference: Jarrett J. Dumond and Hong Yee Low; Recent developments and design challenges in continuous roller micro- and nanoimprinting; J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 30, 010801 (2012); http://dx.doi.org/10.1116/1.3661355

Oct 2012 – Dr Emma Luong Van from IMRE was accepted as Fellow to the 2013 Singapore-Stanford Biodesign programme. Up to 4 Fellows are accepted each year from Singapore. The Singapore-Stanford Biodesign (SSB) programme trains the next generation of medical technology innovators in Asia. The team examines the clinical needs in Singapore and Asia, and identifies opportunities for medical technology innovations. Dr Luong Van will begin her 1-year Fellowship in January 2013 which will involve a 6-month stint at Stanford University.

July 2012 - Assoc Prof Liu Xiao Gang was awarded Dean’s Chair Professorship for NUS Faculty of Science. The Chair Professorships are for a three-year term with effect from 1 July 2012, and are bestowed in recognition of their excellent academic contributions to the Faculty and international recognition in their fields of research. Assoc Prof Liu works in the area of nanomaterials, specifically on three topics (synthetic approaches luminescent rare-earth nanomaterials; nanocrystals with controlled properties; and optical properties of nanoparticles). His published work on these three areas has gathered significant impact, international attention and citations in premier journals such as Nature, Journal of the American Chemical Society, and Angewandte Chemie).

June 2012 - Professor Tamio Hayashi was recognised for his outstanding research in the area of Organic Synthesis when he was awarded the Aldrich Lectureship at Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA. He delivered his award lecture entitled, "Chiral Diene Ligands for Asymmetric Catalysis" at Department of Chemistry, Scripps on June 19, 2012.

May 2012 - Dr Pan Jisheng was been invited to join the Editorial Board of Spectroscopy: An International Journal. The journal is a peer-reviewed, open access journal devoted to the publication of original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of spectroscopy.

Feb 2012 - An image of flexible UV roll-to-roll nanoimprinted 500 nm grating structure byMr Jarrett Dumond and Dr Low Hong Yee has been featured on the cover of Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B (JVST B). The paper highlighted on the journal cover “Recent Developments and Design Challenges in Continuous Roller Micro- and Nanoimprinting” has also been cited as one of the Top 20 most read articles.

Feb 2012 - Dr Liu Bin and her team have recently developed a novel class of organic luminogens whose fluorescence emissions are induced by aggregation. This extraordinary aggregationinduced- emission (AIE) feature exploits aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) that plagues current nanoparticlebased systems used in bioimaging. The newly developed organic nanoparticles have shown low cytotoxicity, high photostability and can be customised to target specific analytes. The subsequent successful demonstration of the AIE-active fluorogen-loaded BSA nanoparticles for FR/NIR imaging of targeted tumors in living bodies could advance research in the field of cancer diagnosis. This paper was featured on the cover of the Advanced Functional Materials journal, Vol. 22, No. 4, February 22, 2012.

Feb 2012 - Prof Chua Soo Jin has been invited to join the Editorial Board of the journal, Dataset Papers in Optics. The journal is a peer-reviewed, open access journal devoted to the publication of dataset papers in all areas of optics. Dataset Papers in Optics is part of Datasets International, a series of journals devoted to the dissemination of Dataset Papers covering a wide range of academic disciplines.

Jan 2012 - A paper by Dr Liu Hong Fei, Dr Liu Wei, Prof Chua Soo Jin and Dr Chi Dongzhi on “Cracking thin-solid GaN films into nanobelts” has been highlighted as a piece of Lab & Fab news by the Compound Semiconductor Magazine. A new benchmark for performance has been set by IMRE researchers who have fabricated InGaN/GaN hetero-structured nanobelts. The structure and doping of these belts can vary, allowing greater control for potential applications in piezotronic and optoelectronic devices.

Jan 2012 - Prof Andy Hor has accepted an invitation to be a member of the international advisory board (IAB) of International Symposium on Relations between Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis (ISHHC). The ISHHC has been held every two or three years since 1974 and aims to link three fields of catalysis: heterogeneous, homogeneous and enzyme, and to understand the catalysis on the molecular level.

Dec 2011 - A*STAR IMRE’s world’s smallest working gears has been listed in the Singapore Book of Records (SBOR). The non-profit organisation established in 2005 is one of about twenty countries with their own record keeping bodies that compiles and administers all national records, and to advise and promote world records.

Dec 2011 -Dr Loh Xian Jun, an IMRE scientist currently doing his post-doctoral work with the University of Cambridge was recently elected as the first Singaporean Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College. A very notable alumni of Fitzwilliam College is Singapore's first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Dr Loh, whose research interests include self-assembly of polymers, hydrogels and biomaterials, is sponsored under the A*STAR Graduate Scholarship and is currently listed as a Visiting Professor in the Melville Labs in Chemistry at Cambridge. Xian Jun was awarded the Singapore National Science Talent Search (NSTS) Merit Award in 1999 and the NSTS / NSS (BS) Scholarship in 2002. He completed his Bachelor degree in Applied Science at NUS with First Class Honors in 2006. After a research attachment at IMRE for the period Xian Jun went on to pursue his PhD studies in Singapore on the A*STAR Graduate Scholarship (NUS) in 2007. Following the completion of his PhD studies in Dec 2009 he was deployed to IMRE under the guidance of Dr Li Jun before being awarded the A*STAR Graduate Scholarship (Postdoctoral Fellowship) in Oct 2010 to do post-doctoral training at Cambridge.

Nov 2011 - Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE was elected as Fellow of the prestigious Singapore National Academy of Science (SNAS) on 24 Nov 2011. Together with eleven other distinguished local scientists, Prof Hor was inducted into the SNAS Fellowship for his invaluable contributions, passion and commitment to education, research and service in Chemistry for more than 25 years, since he began his career at Singapore in 1984. The SNAS Fellowships recognise outstanding Singapore scientists who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields. The candidates go through a rigorous selection process that requires screening by the SNAS selection committee, review of reports from nominators, lists of publications, and finally a review by the SNAS Council.

Nov 2011 - IMRE’s Dr Emma Luong Van will lead a joint project with Dr Bina Rai from the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) under a research grant under the A*STAR Scientific Conference Young Research Collaborative Grant on enhanced bone implants. The R&D project looks at new nanocomposite material for bone implants that not only make the implants stronger but has embedded biomolecules that enhances the healing of damaged bones. The researcher’s goal is to create a synthetic material that has both the bone healing properties as well as the load-bearing mechanical properties of natural bone. The researchers believe that the material developed will have strong clinical potential.

Nov 2011 - Three A*STAR scholars attached to IMRE made it to the A*STAR Chairman’s Honours List. The 3 scholars Serene Chen Wei Yan, Seah Kang Yee and Tan Siah Hong are in IMRE for an interim attachment before proceeding to do their doctorates overseas. Serene who will be heading to Imperial College London is working on an IMRE-NUS project focusing on the computational aspects of halogen-bonded supramolecular assembly. Kang Yee who is bound also for Imperial College London is working in IMRE on a project dealing with the synthesis of conjugated organic polymers for use in organic solar cells. Siah Hong who will be heading to Johns Hopkins University is currently exploring p-type silicon as a candidate photocathode material for light-assisted water splitting, using micro- and nanostructuring techniques in IMRE.

May 2011 – A research paper by Dr Zhang Zhong-Xing, Dr Liu Kerh Li, and Dr Li Jun on “Self-Assembly and Micellization of a Dual Thermoresponsive Supramolecular Pseudo-Block Copolymer” was cited as one of the Top 10 Most Read Articles for Q1 2011 for Macromolecules for ACS publications. The paper explores studies on the self-assembly and thermosensitive micellization phenomena of a supramolecular polymeric host−guest system in aqueous solution.

Apr 2011 - A paper titled “Transparent, Well-Aligned TiO2 Nanotube Arrays with Controllable Dimensions on Glass Substrates for Photocatalytic Applications” by Dr Gao Han, Ms Tan Lee Kheng and Dr Manipaddy Kumar was one of the top 5 most accessed articles in 2010 for ACS Applied Materials & Science. By using an atomic layer deposition (ALD) technique, the researchers were able to make nanotubes with wall thicknesses that could be precisely controlled so that they were sufficiently thin to be transparent while sufficiently thick for excellent photocatalytic performances. The transparent TiO2 nanotube arrays on glass substrates with excellent photocatalytic properties might have potential applications in self-cleaning coating, transparent electronics, and solar cells.

Feb 2011 - Nanodisk heterostructures consisting of monoclinic Cu1.94S and wurtzite CdS have been colloidally synthesised for the first time. This was described in a paper by IMRE’s Dr Han Ming Yong, Dr Michelle D. Regulacio, Dr Lim Suo Hon, Dr Michel Bosman and Dr Zhang Jie on “One-Pot Synthesis of Cu1.94S−CdS and Cu1.94S−ZnxCd1−xS Nanodisk Heterostructures” ; J. Am. Chem. Soc, 2011, 133 (7), pp 2052–2055; DOI:10.1021/ja1090589 . Initially, hexagonal-shaped nanodisks of Cu1.94S were produced upon thermolysis of a copper complex in a solvent mixture of HDA and TOA at 250 °C. Rapid addition of Cd precursor to the reaction mixture resulted in the partial conversion of Cu1.94S into CdS, yielding Cu1.94S−CdS nanoheterostructures. The original morphology of the Cu1.94S nanodisks was conserved during the transformation. When Zn precursor was added together with the Cd precursor, Cu1.94S−ZnxCd1−xS nanodisks were generated. The unique feature that sets this method from currently practiced techniques is that it creates p-n junctions in a single nanocrystal.

Jan 2011 - A paper by Dr Wang Fuke and Dr He Chaobin on 'Prepare Janus nanoparticles by a simple interfacial process' was featured in the 'Noteworthy Chemistry' for the week of 31 January 2011 on the American Chemical Society (ACS) website. Most processes for making Janus nanoparticles require special techniques and long procedures. The IMRE team developed an easy, rapid process for preparing hybrid Janus nanoparticles.

Jan 2011 - Dr Le Hong Quang and Dr Tan Yen Nee were successfully accepted into the exchange programme, JENESYS (Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths), which is done in association with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). Dr Le will be working at the Institute for Molecular Science (IMS) on “Fabrication, analysis and evaluation of high efficiency organic solar cells”. He will be at IMS, Japan from 11 April - 30 June 2011. Dr Tan Yen Nee will be working at IMS as well but on "Application of gold nanocluster catalyst to green chemistry" from 11 May - 1 July 2011.

Jan 2011 - Dr William Birch, an IMRE Senior Scientist, was appointed as a member to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Centre for Biomimetic Sensor Science (CBSS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

Jan 2011 - Prof Andy Hor, Executive Director of IMRE, was invited to Chair the International Advisory Panel Panel (IAP) for the School of Chemistry of Monash University (Australia). The School of Chemistry is ranked 64th in Shanghai's Jiao Tong Index and Monash is one of only three Australian Universities in the global top 60 for Chemistry (Academic Ranking of World Universities). The School of Chemistry is affiliated with a number of important research centres, is host to the ARC Centre for Green Chemistry and the Water Studies Centre, and is committed to ongoing involvement with Australian industry.

Jan 2011 - Dr Nikodem Tomczak was selected as a new Board Member of the European Polymer Journal. As a Board Member, Dr Tomczak will look at maintaining and improving the journal standards, i.e. monitoring the editorial policy, in terms of coverage and quality of the papers submitted.This journal acts as a medium for the exchange of research in the area of macromolecular substances, both synthetic and natural, and publishes results bearing on the physics or chemistry of polymers.

Dec 2010 - A paper by IMRE’s Dr Han Ming-Yong and Dr Liu Shuhua was cited as one of the top downloaded articles for 2010 by Chemistry – An Asian Journal. The paper was on Silica-Coated Metal Nanoparticles. The advanced high-quality synthesis of dense and porous silica-coated nanostructures is enjoying ever-increasing research interests for their important properties and diverse applications, especially for catalytic, controlled release, colorimetric diagnostics, photothermal therapy, surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection, and so forth. Dr. Han Ming-Yong and Dr. Liu Shuhua are looking to develop robust biocompatible silica-coated surface-enhanced raman spectroscopy (SERS) nanotags for diverse in-vitro-& in-vivo bio-applications. Additionally, they are going beyond silica nanoshell materials and doing technologically important oxide-coating research recently in order to develop green and robust nanocatalysts for sustainable environment and better life.

 Oct 2010 - A new revolutionary technique for making hydrogels that is biocompatible, biodegradable and can be easily moulded into various shapes and sizes was published in a paper by IMRE’sDr Liu Ye, Dr Wu De Cheng and Dr Loh Xian Jun. Entitled, “‘Living’ Controlled in Situ Gelling Systems: Thiol−Disulfide Exchange Method toward Tailor-Made Biodegradable Hydrogels”; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2010, 132 (43), pp 15140–15143; DOI:10.1021 /ja106639c, the paper talked about a ‘living’ controlled hydrogel formation method to create loose and compact in situ biodegradable hydrogels. The method executed under mild reaction conditions can conveniently tailor the hydrogel properties. The unique advantage of this novel approach lies in the “living” property, i.e., the cross-linking can be initiated, terminated and re-initiated in cycle. Therefore the cross-linking degree of the same hydrogel can be tuned to meet requirements easily and in a controllable way. In contrast, it is difficult to control the cross-linking degree of other approaches once the cross-linking reactions are started. The innovation can be exploited to prepare ‘block’ hydrogels, micro-/nano- hydrogels, hydrogel fibres and capsules incorporating active agents for drug delivery, tissue engineering and other biomedical applications

Apr 2010 - Professor Andy Hor has been elected as a member of the Advisory Board of the scientific journal, Dalton Transactions one of the most respected international inorganic chemistry journals. He is the only member from Singapore on this panel.

Mar 2010 - Dr Liu Hong Fei paper on "Doping behavior of phosphorus in ZnO thin films: Effects of doping concentration and postgrowth thermal annealing", was cited as one of the Top 20 most downloaded papers for March 2010 in the Applied Physics Letters.

Nov 2009 - Dr Jaslyn Law won the Business Plan Competition as part of a team of international researchers at the 'How to Make Money from Your Science' Student and Postdoc Symposium 2009 held on 19-20 November 09 at The MacDiarmid Institute, New Zealand.

2008 - Dr Johnson Goh, National Instruments ASEAN Virtual Insrumentation Applications Contest 2008.