Dr. Engin Durgun has been named as one of this year’s “Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Turkey.”

Asst. Prof. Durgun, who completed his PhD in the Department of Physics and is now at the Institute of Materials Science and Nanotechnology (UNAM), was chosen for the honor in recognition of his scientific leadership at UNAM.engin_durgun_odul odul toreni_toplu1


Our paper titled “Selective and Efficient Removal of VOCs by Channel-type Gamma-Cyclodextrin Assembly through Inclusion Complexation” published in Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research (June 2017)


Our paper titled “Antibacterial electrospun zein nanofibrous web encapsulating thymol/cyclodextrin-inclusion complex for food packaging” published in Food Chemistry (Apr. 2017)


Our paper titled “In-plane commensurate GaN/AlN junctions: Single-layer composite structures, single and multiple quantum wells and quantum dots” published in Phys. Rev. B (Apr. 2017)


Our paper titled “Tuning Electronic Properties of Monolayer Hexagonal Boron Phosphide with Group III–IV–V Dopants” published in The Journal of Physical Chemistry C (Feb. 2017)


Our paper titled “Ab initio study of hydrogenic effective mass impurities in Si nanowires” published in Journal of physics. Condensed matter (Jan. 2017)


Our paper titled “Optical properties of single-layer and bilayer arsenene phases” published in Phys. Rev. B (Nov. 2016)(link)


Our paper titled “Stability of single-layer and multilayer arsenene and their mechanical and electronic properties” published in Phys. Rev. B (Nov. 2016)(link)


nature-com-3A team of Bilkent researchers led by Mehmet Z. Baykara has published an article on nanoscale friction in Nature Communications.

Friction is a ubiquitous fact of nature. Without friction, we would not be able to walk, write with a pencil or play stringed instruments. On the other hand, friction is considered to be a major problem for many mechanical systems, where it causes unavoidable loss of useful energy and has drastic economic impact.

Despite the importance of friction in a variety of scientific and technological fields, surprisingly little information has been uncovered about the fundamental physical laws that govern it, ever since the first documented friction experiments performed by Leonardo Da Vinci six centuries ago.

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Now, a team of Bilkent researchers led by Asst. Prof. Mehmet Z. Baykara of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the National Nanotechnology Research Center (UNAM) has made an important contribution to the fundamental understanding of friction on the nanometer scale, as detailed in an article published in one of the leading multi-disciplinary science journals in the world, Nature Communications.

Specifically, Bilkent researchers have shown that it is possible to create atomically flat interfaces formed by nanometer-sized gold and carbon-based surfaces that exhibit vanishing friction under ambient conditions, a phenomenon termed “structural lubricity”. While structurally lubric sliding was theoretically expected under molecularly-clean vacuum conditions, friction researchers have long thought that the phenomenon was impossible to realize under ambient conditions. The Bilkent team has shown, thanks to computational work led by Asst. Prof. Engin Durgun of UNAM, that the nanoscale interfaces studied in the work remain molecularly clean under ambient conditions, resulting in structural lubricity.

When asked about the importance of the work, Prof. Robert W. Carpick (John Henry Towne Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics at the University of Pennsylvania) has remarked: “This work is an impressive discovery: ultra-low friction, enabled by structural lubricity, has been observed for the first time in ambient conditions. I expect this will motivate more studies of this phenomenon and the conditions where it occurs, which opens up the possibility of taking advantage of this in real-world applications.”

Prof. Salim Çıracı of the Department of Physics at Bilkent University and the founder of UNAM has further underlined the significance of the research, indicating that “Realization of frictionless sliding in ambient conditions, which would be one of the major scientific breakthroughs of the century, has been a dream of several researchers. I believe Dr. Baykara and Dr. Durgun achieved an important progress towards motion without energy dissipation.”

Dr. Baykara has added: “We are particularly proud of the fact that this article is only the second one that has been published with Turkish addresses only in Nature Communications. Moreover, I am a firm believer in the empowerment of women through science and arts. The fact that the first two authors in our article are women is especially important in this regard.”


Our paper titled “Structural lubricity under ambient conditions” published in Nature Communications  (Jun. 2016)(link)


13403813_1043251562432692_4020036897506174850_oDr. Durgun received 2015 Scientist of the Year, Young Scientist Awards from Heroes of Science Association (Bilim Kahramanları Derneği) of Turkey

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Dr. Berk Onat has joined our group. Welcome! (June 2016)


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Dr. Durgun attended MRS’16 Spring Meeting and gave an invited talk and chaired a session at MRS’16 Spring Meeting.


Our paper titled “Encapsulation of gallic acid/cyclodextrin inclusion complex in electrospun polylactic acid nanofibers” published in Materials Science and Engineering: C  (Feb. 2016)(link)


Yıldız Gözde Sağlam has graduated. Congratulations Gözde! (Feb 2016)


Our paper titled “GaN: From three- to two-dimensional single-layer crystal and its multilayer van der Waals solids” published in PHYSICAL REVIEW B (Feb. 2016) (link)


Dr. Deniz Keçik has received the best poster award at the 21st YMF Ankara meeting, with her work entitled “Many-body calculations of the optoelectronic properties of 2D h-AlN”. Congrats Deniz!


Dr. Engin Durgun received METU Prof. Dr. Mustafa Parlar Foundation Research Incentive Award, 2015. (link)


Our paper titled “Quercetin/β-cyclodextrin inclusion complex embedded nanofibres: Slow release and high solubility” published in Food Chemistry (Apr. 2016) (link)