Research News

  • Oct 12
    2020
    The most significant advances in human civilization are marked by the progression of the materials that humans use. The Stone Age gave way to the Bronze Age, which in turn gave way to the Iron Age. New materials disrupt the technologies of the time, improving life and the human condition. Modern technologies can likewise be directly traced to innovations in the materials... read more »
  • Aug 26
    2020
    Researchers partner with national labs in DOE-funded collaborations to expand research in quantum sciences. The nation is poised to usher in a new era of knowledge and innovation in the quantum sciences, thanks to a new crop of federally-funded collaborations that bring together national labs, research centers, university and industry.   UC Santa Barbara... read more »
  • Aug 25
    2020
    Researchers uncover unusual glassy behavior in a disordered protein. When UC Santa Barbara materials scientist Omar Saleh and graduate student Ian Morgan sought to understand the mechanical behaviors of disordered proteins in the lab, they expected that after being stretched, one particular model protein would snap back instantaneously, like a rubber band... read more »
  • Jul 29
    2020
    NSF awards UC Santa Barbara, UCLA $23.7 million for collaboration focused on using natural building blocks to make new materials. Synthetic polymers — think plastic and its chemical cousins — are among the foundations of modern life. The ubiquity of such petroleum-based materials has everything to do with their combination of strength, flexibility and chemical inertness,... read more »
  • Jul 28
    2020
    “A watched pot never boils,” as the saying goes, but that was not the case for UC Santa Barbara researchers watching a “pot” of liquids formed from DNA. In fact, the opposite happened. Recent advances in cellular biology have enabled scientists to learn that the molecular components of living cells (such as DNA and proteins) can bind to each other and form liquid droplets... read more »
  • Jun 25
    2020
    Materials scientists work on the semiconductors that could transform how we disinfect surfaces, spaces, personal protective equipment — even the air we breathe The COVID-19 outbreak brought with it an almost immediate and unprecedented national shortage of personal protective gear needed by health-care workers and others seeking to prevent the spread of the virus. N95... read more »
  • May 1
    2020
               The Power of Light  https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2020/019860/power-light    UCSB Researchers Utilize Resources To Help Fight Coronavirus  https://dailynexus.com/2020-04-20/i-think-were-all-trying-to-help-out-as-much-as-we-can-ucsb-researchers-utilize-resources-to-help-fight-coronavirus/    Remote Research Solutions  https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2020/019865/remote-... read more »
  • Dec 9
    2019
       Materials made from nanoscale particles, which are less than 1 percent of the width of a human hair, create exciting opportunities to design new functional materials having unique responses to external stimuli, such as light, electrical and magnetic fields, and mechanical deformation. Embedding such particles in a "matrix" (here referring to a surrounding medium or... read more »
  • Nov 7
    2019
    A collaboration between Prof. Omar Saleh and Prof. Phil Pincus reveals that adding salt to water forms a protective jacket of ions around dissolved charged polymers.   Experiments  by Sarah Innes-Gold, a graduate student in Materials, show this jacket controls the shape of the polymer, and computer simulations reveal the spatial distribution of ions around the polymer. ... read more »
  • Sep 13
    2019
    A bacterial disease, HLB, which is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) has reduced Florida’s citrus production by 50 percent from 2003-2017, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service. HLB has no known cure and pesticides have had only minimal impact on ACP. Recently, the ACP was detected in Southern California, along the ground freight corridors that... read more »
  • Aug 29
    2019
    The future of technology relies, to a great extent, on new materials, but the work of developing those materials begins years before any specific application for them is known. Stephen Wilson, materials professor in the UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering, works in that “long before” realm, seeking to create new materials that exhibit desirable new... read more »
  • Jul 19
    2019
    All matter consists of one or more phases — regions of space with uniform structure and physical properties. Everyone is familiar with the common phases of H2O (solid, liquid, and gas), also known as ice, water, and steam. Similarly, polymeric materials can form a variety of different solid or liquid phases that determine their properties and ultimate utility. This is... read more »
  • Jul 17
    2019
    Materials scientists from UC Santa Barbara uncover source of degradation in sodium batteries View the complete news release at:https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2019/019555/toward-better-battery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Batteries power our lives: we rely on them to keep our cell phones and laptops buzzing and our hybrid and electric cars on the road. But ever-... read more »
  • Jul 17
    2019
    Materials scientists from UC Santa Barbara uncover source of degradation in sodium batteries View the complete news release at:https://www.news.ucsb.edu/2019/019555/toward-better-battery (Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Batteries power our lives: we rely on them to keep our cell phones and laptops buzzing and our hybrid and electric cars on the road. But ever-... read more »
  • Dec 13
    2017
    The metal body of a smartphone is made of a crystalline material, which has a highly ordered arrangement of atoms. Dropping the phone on its metal back would, at worst, result in a dent. Further, because such crystalline materials have a clear order to disrupt, with potential weak points defined by “defects” in that order, it would be relatively easy to predict which... read more »
  • Nov 28
    2017
    Working with scientific images is arduous, and no simple platform exists for sharing them. That is all about to change. UC Santa Barbara engineers and researchers have been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure to build a large-scale distributed image-processing infrastructure (LIMPID) through a broad,... read more »
  • Nov 17
    2017
    A mathematician and her collaborators figured out how to predict electrons’ behavior by studying the mathematics of waves
  • Nov 17
    2017
    A mathematician and her collaborators figured out how to predict electrons’ behavior by studying the mathematics of waves
  • Oct 23
    2017
    Monday, October 9, 2017 High-strength alloys have been critical in the development of aircraft wings and fuselages, and other high-performance applications in demanding environments where margins for error are extremely small. Many alloys could also be useful in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, which, at the highest level, makes it possible to fabricate... read more »
  • Jun 29
    2017
    This article first appeared on June 27, 2017, on the UCSB College of Engineering webpage.  In the great 21st-century energy debate, there is one incontrovertible truth: creating and using energy are inefficient processes. In fact, more than half of all energy generated — whether by fossil fuels or alternative sources — is lost to the environment, primarily as... read more »
  • Jun 27
    2017
    This article first appeared on June 22, 2017, on the UCSB College of Engineering webpage.  Materials scientists around the world are working to develop “superconductors,” materials that can conduct electricity with zero resistance when cooled to a critical point known as the “transition temperature.” At that point, electrons flow across the material with 100-... read more »
  • Feb 21
    2017
    From the article, "In great shape" in The UCSB Current, written by Sonia Fernandez:  In 2015 UC Santa Barbara mechanical engineer and materials scientist Jonathan Berger developed an idea that could change the way people think about high-performance structural materials. Two years later, his concept is paying research dividends. In a letter published in the... read more »
  • Feb 9
    2017
    From the article, "The little bacterium that could" in The UCSB Current, written by Julie Cohen:  A humble bacterium first isolated in New York’s Lake Oneida almost 30 years ago could change the world. With its innate ability to generate electricity, the little powerhouse might one day pave the way for making wastewater drinkable. The bacterium, Shewanella... read more »
  • Feb 3
    2017
    From the article, "Full(erene) Potential" in The UCSB Current, written by Sonia Fernandez:  In what could be called a classic “Eureka” moment, UC Santa Barbara materials researchers have discovered a simple yet effective method for mastering the electrical properties of polymer semiconductors. The elegant technique allows for the efficient design and manufacture... read more »
  • Dec 9
    2016
    From the article "Solar Cell Game Changer" in the UCSB Current, written by Julie Cohen: With a new technique for manufacturing single-layer organic polymer solar cells, scientists at UC Santa Barbara and three other universities might very well move organic photovoltaics into a whole new generation of wearable devices and enable small-scale distributed power generation.... read more »