Honorable Mention - Tejas Shastry

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Graduate Student, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The flat panel displays on smart phones, computers and TVs are made from indium tin oxide, a compound that is rare, fragile and expensive. Scientists are looking for transparent, conductive materials that are cheaper and more efficient. One alternative could be carbon nanotubes. These tiny tubes are more conductive when precisely aligned, but they tend to form random networks. To solve this problem, Shastry and his colleagues dissolve the tubes in a solution. When the solution evaporates, the nanotubes assemble into highly aligned formations.

In this image, the carbon nanotubes are pictured in green, and conductive pads, which are used to test the conductivity of these well-ordered networks, are pictured in yellow.