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Dr. Karabacak was awarded with an NSF grant: “SAD-GLAD Nanorod Array Catalyst Electrodes for Next Generation Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells”

Dr. Tansel Karabacak’s group was awarded with an an National Science Foundation (NSF) grant on the development of advanced nanostructured catalyst materials for next generation polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell electrodes.  PEM fuel cell technology stands unprecedented as one of the most promising alternative energy systems for an environmentally friendly, sustainable energy economy. PEM fuel cells can operate with various types of energy carriers including hydrogen, ethanol, and methanol. However, conventional PEM fuel cell electrodes, which are comprised of carbon supported platinum catalyst nanoparticles, suffer from several key limitations that include sluggish oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and high Pt loadings at the cathode, agglomeration of Pt nanoparticles, oxidation of carbon support, separation of carbon over time from the membrane, and poor catalyst-carbon support stability. To overcome these limitations of the traditional cathode catalyst, Dr. Karabacak proposes to employ a new nanostructured PEM fuel cell electrode design comprised of single layer carbon-free catalyst nanorod arrays with extremely low Pt loadings, controlled porosity, ideal alloy compositions, and with preferred crystal orientations for enhanced ORR electrochemical activity. Karabacak will use a combination of recently developed small angle deposition (SAD) and glancing angle deposition (GLAD) techniques for the fabrication of the nanorod PEM fuel cell electrodes. The electro-catalysis characterization and fuel cell performance tests will be done in conjunction with Dr. Myer’s research group at Argonne National Labs.  This is a $300K grant to support the project over a 3-years period.  More information on the award can be found at

Hilal Featured in New York Times!

The New York Times featured UALR Ph.D. candidate Hilal Cansizoglu at Dr. Karabacak’s research group in a recent feature story on how food is helping people from different cultures meet and understand each other. Cansizoglu – a native of Turkey who is seeking a doctorate in UALR’s Applied Physics program – moved to Little Rock two years ago from Dallas with her husband. She met new friends by attending weekly gatherings of women who together cook a meal, eat, and share stories and recipes for cultural dishes. “Cooking class is a very good opportunity to share our food with our friends,” Cansizoglu told the Times. “I say friends, because after a while, we become friends. After we show them how to cook Turkish food, then we eat what we cook all together on a round table, regardless of thinking who we are or what background we have.” The classes are run by Raindrop Turkish House, a social, cultural, charitable, and educational organization with 17 locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. “This also makes me feel attached to people here,” she said. You can read the New York Times article at

Hilal Received an AVS Graduate Student Award (November 2011)!

American Vacuum Society (AVS) announced 2011 graduate student awards and Ms. Hilal Is-Cansizoglu, doctoral student at UALR Applied Science Department, was awarded with the ‘Thin Film Division Graduate Student Award’. This is a highly competitive international award given to those for their breakthrough research in the area of thin film and nanostructured materials, and includes a plaque and a $500 check. Hilal was chosen for her work in the area of nanostructured photoconductive and photovoltaic materials. She received her award from Dr. Stephen Rossnagel of IBM, who is a world famous researcher in the field of thin film materials, last week at a special ceremony during 2011 AVS Conference Meeting held in Nashville, TN.

Hilal is currently studying on nanostructured materials for photodetector and photovoltaic solar cell applications. Her goal is to improve efficiency of these types of devices using nano-materials.  Hilal is originally from Turkey and she got her BS degree in Physics from Middle East Technical University in 2008. Then she came to Dallas for her graduate studies and got her MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in 2010. She is now a second year Applied Science PhD student working under the supervision of Dr. Tansel Karabacak. Hilal’s ultimate goal is to contribute science and technology by developing next generation advanced materials.

Brief Info on AVS (from

As an interdisciplinary, professional Society, AVS supports networking among academic, industrial, government, and consulting professionals involved in a variety of disciplines – chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, all engineering disciplines, business, sales, etc. through common interests related to the basic science, technology development, and commercialization of materials, interfaces, and processing area.

Founded in 1953, AVS is organized into 10 technical divisions and 2 technical groups that encompass a range of established as well as emerging science and technology areas. There are also 16 regional chapters, 1 international chapter, 1 international affiliate, and 7 student chapters that promote communication and networking for professionals and students within a geographical region. AVS is comprised of approximately 4,500 members worldwide.

AVS Technical Meetings cover the Latest Breakthroughs in Science and Technology! One of the major ways in which AVS promotes sharing of research and development findings in the science and technology community is through the annual AVS International Symposium and numerous topical conferences throughout the year. AVS members and non-members alike are invited to attend AVS-sponsored meetings throughout the year.

In their recent annual meeting in Nashville, TN, AVS Conference had about 3,000 attendees and 1,300 talks.