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Francisco Lagunas receives the Graduate College’s annual Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award

cover of science magazine

Graduate student Francisco Lagunas has been awarded the Graduate College’s Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award for his dissertation titled “Utilizing Cryogenic STEM for the Study of Low Dimensional Functional Materials”.

In 2019, Francisco became a member of Prof. Robert Klie's Nanoscale Physics Group. During his time with the group, he acquired proficiency in operating the state-of-the-art electron microscopes at UIC. As part of his doctoral research, Francisco employed cryogenic electron microscopy—a method involving the cooling of samples to 100K—to directly investigate the atomic structure of recently discovered, delicate materials. His research contributed to understanding how changes in the atomic structure of these materials impact their properties.

An image he acquired was featured as a journal cover as: Issue: Matter ( and an article he co-authored was featured in the cover of Science.

Starting in May 2023, Francisco began a postdoctoral appointment at Argonne National Laboratory, a Department of Energy-funded research and development center. In this role, he will continue leveraging the techniques he developed to advance the study and development of the next generation of renewable energy materials.

You can read more about Francisco at