Humberto Reyna Jr., an undergraduate student in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, has won first place in an undergraduate research poster session at the national meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Competing in the catalysis and reaction engineering division of the undergraduate poster session, Reyna received top honors for his poster, “Role of Catalyst Nanoparticle Size on the Growth of Single-walled Carbon Nanotubes.”

Reyna, who is from Houston, is advised by Professor Perla Balbuena and co-authored the research presented on the poster with graduate student Juan Carlos Burgos.

“Humberto’s enthusiasm and dedication have been great assets for my research group; we were all happy to know about Humberto’s winning poster,” Balbuena said.

Reyna’s poster detailed which combination of catalyst size and work of adhesion leads to growth of a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT). Employing a reactive molecular dynamics algorithm developed in Balbuena’s group, Reyna was able to simulate critical stages of nanotube growth.

Carbon nanotubes are one of the most well-known products of the nanotechnology field. These tiny tubes have mechanical and electronic properties that make them useful for micro- and nano-electronic devices and for biomedical applications. Reyna’s research helps to design fabrication methods of nanotubes with specific properties for these applications.