Elena Shevchenko of the NanoBio Interfaces Group has been named to Crain's Chicago Business "40-Under-40: Making a Difference in Chicago" for 2010.
"Elena Shevchenko is a young scientist investigating the most burning questions at the forefront of nanosciece today - how individual components assemble to give a new collective property that is superior to the sum of its parts," according to her supervisor, Tijana Rajh. "Her research on understanding the parameters that control self-assembly of individual nanoparticles into macroscopic crystals has initiated a whole new level of understanding of fundamental interactions in matter."
Elena specializes in turning particles barely larger than atoms into crystalline materials that someday may make technologies such as solar power and electric cars more practical. The hope is that other scientists will take this basic research and someday figure out which combination of particles create materials with the right kind of properties. The quest now is to learn how to make infinitesimally small particles crystallize in predictable, reproducible ways - an exacting process at which she excels.