Women in Nanoscience


Women in Nano Blog

Emilie Ringe's gold/palladium octopods shine as catalysts

Posted on January 1, 2016 at 6:20 PM

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Emilie Ringe moved to Rice University's Materials Science department in 2015 with a $10M check in her pocket to buy a very special Titan Themis microscope with the ability to look at individual atoms in a material. This new microscope is now installed and working. One of the first applications that she has found for the microscope is to look at tink nanoscopic flecks of gold with eight palladium-tipped "arms." These octopods appear to be particularly suitable as catalysts. But the microscope's ability to view the atomic nature of materials can be put to many uses. Emilie is creating new multifunctional nanoparticles in a variety of shapes that are targeted for a specific application. For instance, she is currently working on a metal catalyst to turn inert petroleum derivatives into backbone molecules for novel drugs.


A graduate of McGill University and with a PhD from Northwestern University in materials science, Emilie has always been fascinated by what makes a material behave the way that it does. Her expertise in microscopy, honed at England's prestigious Cambridge University, led to her being snapped up by Rice University to start a new imaging facility with one-of-a-kind capabilities. Not bad for a young woman whose 19 aunts and uncles had not had the opportunity to go to college themselves.

- Written by Paulette Clancy

(Photo credit: Used with permission from: Top picture: Melissa Phillip/Houston Chronicle, lower picture: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University).

Categories: WINnews

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