Research News

  • 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 »
  • Nov 23
    2016
    In September, the greatest minds working in the field of ammonothermal growth of single crystals came together at UCSB for the conclusion of a two-session international workshop.  The first session was held in Germany, at Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nüremburg (FAU), towards the beginning of the summer, and covered fundamentals of crystal growth and in-situ... read more »
  • Nov 16
    2016
    From the UCSB Current article, "Atomic Imperfections":  Using cutting-edge first-principles calculations, UCSB Materials professor Chris Van de Walle and researchers in his lab have demonstrated the mechanism by which transition metal impurities — iron in particular — can act as nonradiative recombination centers in nitride semiconductors. The work highlights that such... read more »
  • Sep 23
    2016
    From the UCSB Current article "Next-Generation Thermoelectrics":  Imagine charging your cellphone anywhere without having to plug in. Or barely breaking a sweat outside in the middle of summer. How about using a high-performance personal computer that cools its own components? These ideas, and many like them, may be the realities of the not-so-distant future, thanks to UC... read more »
  • Sep 23
    2016
    From the UCSB Current article "Next-Generation Thermoelectrics":  Imagine charging your cellphone anywhere without having to plug in. Or barely breaking a sweat outside in the middle of summer. How about using a high-performance personal computer that cools its own components? These ideas, and many like them, may be the realities of the not-so-distant future, thanks to UC... read more »
  • Sep 14
    2016
    From the article "Efficiency pluse Versatility" in the UCSB Current:  Antimicrobial cutting boards. Flame-retardant carpets. Friction-resistant bearings. Engineered surfaces add value to the things we use, providing extra layers of safety, easing their operation, preserving their quality or adding utility. At UC Santa Barbara, materials researchers are looking to... read more »
  • Aug 24
    2016
    Fromt the UCSB Current article, An Unexpected Finding:  In the pursuit of a new class of photovoltaic materials, researchers at UC Santa Barbara happened upon an entirely different discovery that addresses a centuries-old mystery of chemistry: Why does an iodine solution turn blue-black when starch is added to the mix? The exact structural-chemical mechanism that... read more »
  • Aug 24
    2016
    Fromt the UCSB Current article, An Unexpected Finding:  In the pursuit of a new class of photovoltaic materials, researchers at UC Santa Barbara happened upon an entirely different discovery that addresses a centuries-old mystery of chemistry: Why does an iodine solution turn blue-black when starch is added to the mix? The exact structural-chemical mechanism that... read more »