We discover, design and characterize
the advanced materials humanity needs.


At UC San Diego, we leverage our cross-disciplinary expertise to discover, design, and characterize advanced materials needed to address global societal challenges. Our materials work is relevant for developing zero- and low-carbon energy and transportation systems; cost-effective healthcare advances; solutions for natural-resource sustainability; and next-generation information technologies.



This work is grounded in our ability to control materials at the level of atoms and electrons.



Equally important, we are world-leaders in characterizing the structure and function of materials at the nanoscale level using a suite of cutting-edge analytical and theoretical tools, many of which we have developed here at UC San Diego.



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Recent News

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July 8, 2020

UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Predictive Assembly

In some ways, the field of materials science is where the pharmaceutical sciences were twenty years ago. A team of University of California San Diego researchers is working to change that. The team makes up the "predictive assembly" research thrust of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Today, computational and predictive tools are used in the pharmaceutical industry in order to design "small molecule" drugs with particular properties and behaviors. The challenge is that the design-before-you-synthesize approach hasn't worked for the larger-scale materials that are critical for many applications beyond small-molecule drugs. That's the work that will be done by the team led by nanoengineering professors Andrea Tao and Tod Pascal from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Full Story

April 20, 2020

Marrying molecular farming and advanced manufacturing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine

UC San Diego nanoengineers received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to develop—using a plant virus—a stable, easy to manufacture COVID-19 vaccine patch that can be shipped around the world and painlessly self-administered by patients. Full Story

April 9, 2020

3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

Researchers have 3D printed coral-inspired structures that are capable of growing dense populations of microscopic algae. The work could lead to the development of compact, more efficient bioreactors for producing algae-based biofuels, as well as new techniques to repair and restore coral reefs. Full Story