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Researchers determine optimum pressure to improve the performance of lithium metal batteries

Researchers determine optimum pressure to improve the performance of lithium metal batteries

October 18, 2021

A team of materials scientists  and chemists has determined the proper stack pressure that lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, need to be subjected to during battery operation in order to produce optimal performance. The team, which includes researchers from the University of California San Diego, Michigan State University, Idaho National Laboratory and the General Motors Research and Development Center, presents their findings in the Oct. 18 issue of Nature Energy.   Full Story


DOE awards UC San Diego nanoengineers $1.25M to improve batteries for EVs

DOE awards UC San Diego nanoengineers $1.25M to improve batteries for EVs

September 27, 2021

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded $1.25 million to nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego to improve the electrolytes that carry ions in lithium-sulfur batteries. The researchers will partner with General Motors and Ampcera Inc, a solid-state battery materials and technology company.    Full Story


A new solid-state battery surprises the researchers who created it

A new solid-state battery surprises the researchers who created it

September 23, 2021

Engineers created a new type of battery that weaves two promising battery sub-fields into a single battery. The battery uses both a solid state electrolyte and an all-silicon anode, making it a silicon all-solid-state battery. The initial rounds of tests show that the new battery is safe, long lasting, and energy dense. It holds promise for a wide range of applications from grid storage to electric vehicles.    Full Story


Grow and eat your own vaccines?

Grow and eat your own vaccines?

September 16, 2021

The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. Scientists at UC San Diego, UC Riverside and Carnegie Mellon University are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories. One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage. If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines — which can be eaten — could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature.  Full Story


How a plant virus could protect and save your lungs from metastatic cancer

How a plant virus could protect and save your lungs from metastatic cancer

September 14, 2021

Using a virus that grows in black-eyed pea plants, researchers developed a new therapy that could keep metastatic cancers from spreading to the lungs, as well as treat established tumors in the lungs. Full Story


These fridge-free COVID-19 vaccines are grown in plants and bacteria

These fridge-free COVID-19 vaccines are grown in plants and bacteria

September 7, 2021

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates that can take the heat. Their key ingredients? Viruses from plants or bacteria. Full Story


UC San Diego nanoengineers receive $2.7M NSF grant to make battery manufacturing waste-free

UC San Diego nanoengineers receive $2.7M NSF grant to make battery manufacturing waste-free

September 1, 2021

A team led by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an eco-friendly and low-cost manufacturing process for sodium all-solid-state batteries. The process will be used to create large-scale energy storage systems—for buildings, electric grids, and wind and solar farms—that are more efficient, affordable and safe. Full Story


Imperfections in jewels used as sensors for new quantum materials

Imperfections in jewels used as sensors for new quantum materials

June 18, 2021

UC San Diego Department of Physics Assistant Professor Chunhui Rita Du is a condensed matter experimentalist whose research takes advantage of impurities in diamonds. Du’s research group leverages the red, yellow and blue colors that result from diamond defects to develop sensors that can evaluate the properties of specialized materials down to the nanometer level. Full Story


Stabilizing gassy electrolytes could make ultra-low temperature batteries safer

Stabilizing gassy electrolytes could make ultra-low temperature batteries safer

June 7, 2021

A new technology could dramatically improve the safety and performance of lithium-ion batteries that operate with gas electrolytes at ultra-low temperatures. By keeping electrolytes from vaporizing, the technology can prevent pressure buildup inside the battery that leads to swelling and explosions. Full Story


Coronavirus-like particles could ensure reliability of simpler, faster COVID-19 tests

Coronavirus-like particles could ensure reliability of simpler, faster COVID-19 tests

March 2, 2021

Rapid COVID-19 tests are on the rise to deliver results faster to more people, and scientists need an easy, foolproof way to know that these tests work correctly and the results can be trusted. Nanoparticles that pass detection as the novel coronavirus could be just the ticket. Such coronavirus-like nanoparticles, developed by nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego, would serve as something called a positive control for COVID-19 tests. Full Story


Weakness is strength for this low-temperature battery

Weakness is strength for this low-temperature battery

February 25, 2021

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have discovered new fundamental insights for developing lithium metal batteries that perform well at ultra-low temperatures; mainly, that the weaker the electrolyte holds on to lithium ions, the better. By using such a weakly binding electrolyte, the researchers developed a lithium metal battery that can be repeatedly recharged at temperatures as low as -60 degrees Celsius—a first in the field. Full Story


IMDD Seminar: The Innovation Ecosystem at UC San Diego

IMDD Seminar: The Innovation Ecosystem at UC San Diego

January 25, 2021

Paul Roben, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation and Commercialization at UC San Diego, will provide information on how the Office for Innovation and Commercialization can help you translate your reserach from the lab to the marketplace on Friday, February 5.  Full Story


IMDD Seminar: Introduction and Materials for Quantum Communication

IMDD Seminar: Introduction and Materials for Quantum Communication

January 19, 2021

Dr. Bhagawan Sahu from the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at UC San Diego will give an IMDD Seminar presentation titled 'Introduction and Materials for Quantum Communication on January 28 at 10 am. Full Story


New Method Makes Better Predictions of Material Properties Using Low Quality Data

New Method Makes Better Predictions of Material Properties Using Low Quality Data

January 14, 2021

By combining large amounts of low-fidelity data with smaller quantities of high-fidelity data, nanoengineers at UC San Diego have developed a machine learning method to more accurately predict the properties of new materials including, for the first time, disordered materials. Full Story


10 Jacobs School Faculty Named in 2020 List of Highly Cited Researchers

10 Jacobs School Faculty Named in 2020 List of Highly Cited Researchers

December 8, 2020

Ten professors at the University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields, according to a new research citation report from the Web of Science Group. The professors, Ludmil Alexandrov, Trey Ideker, Rob Knight, Nathan E. Lewis, Prashant Mali, Ying Shirley Meng, Bernhard O. Palsson, Joseph Wang, Kun Zhang and Liangfang Zhang, are amone 52 professors and researchers at UC San Diego named in the prestigious list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2020. Full Story


UC San Diego and LINK-J Seminar Series

UC San Diego and LINK-J Seminar Series

December 2, 2020

UC San Diego professor Nicole Steinmetz and Kyoto University professor Yasuhiko Tabata will discuss the latest trends in nanoengineering and drug delivery technologies at this joint webinar on December 18, 2020 between UC San Diego and LINK-J. Full Story


Quantum sensing in stone

Quantum sensing in stone

December 2, 2020

UC San Diego Physics professor Chunhui Du receives the US Air Force Young Investor Research Program for her efforts to set quantum sensing in stone. Full Story


Joint webinar with Kyushu University

Joint webinar with Kyushu University

December 1, 2020

IMDD Director Shirley Meng and Jacobs School Dean Albert P. Pisano are speaking at a joint webinar with Kyushu University focused on sustainable development goals on December 9 California time (December 10 Japan time). The theme is "Vision and Clean Energy." Full Story


Virus-like probes could help make rapid COVID-19 testing more accurate, reliable

Virus-like probes could help make rapid COVID-19 testing more accurate, reliable

November 30, 2020

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed new and improved probes, known as positive controls, that could make it easier to validate rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests for COVID-19 across the globe. The advance could help expand testing to low-resource, underserved areas. Full Story


Energizing Plastics Renewability, Recycling Efforts

Energizing Plastics Renewability, Recycling Efforts

October 30, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Jon Pokorski $2 million in funding to develop a new kind of biodegradable plastic—one filled with bacterial spores that will aid in breaking down the material at the end of its life-cycle. Co-leading the project will be UC San Diego bioengineer Adam Feist. Full Story


UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego Launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

October 9, 2020

Climate change, public health and equal access to food and water are some of the biggest challenges facing humanity--and materials science can help provide solutions for them all. That was the message researchers shared during the launch of the Institute for Materials Discovery and Design (IMDD) at the University of California San Diego, held virtually Sept. 29.   Full Story


Toward all-solid-state lithium metal batteries

Toward all-solid-state lithium metal batteries

September 17, 2020

New work published in September 2020 in the journal Joule, led by researchers in the lab of UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng, will help explain this stability. In particular, the work unravels some of the mystery of the interface between lithium metal and LiPON. Full Story


Diamonds, Pencils Inspire Scientists to Create Multipurpose Protein Tool

Diamonds, Pencils Inspire Scientists to Create Multipurpose Protein Tool

August 18, 2020

Researchers created protein crystals that generate surprising electrical charge that could be useful for various new materials applications. Full Story


Nanoengineering and chemical engineering at UC San Diego in the spotlight

Nanoengineering and chemical engineering at UC San Diego in the spotlight

August 10, 2020

A creative group of faculty, students and staff within the University of California San Diego are taking innovative approaches to develop breakthroughs in nanomedicine, flexible electronics, and energy storage. Together, this group makes up the Department of NanoEngineering and the Chemical Engineering Program at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. A virtual issue of the journal ACS Nano highlights the wide ranging research, educational and workforce-development contributions of this extraordinary group.  Full Story


Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

Engineer Earns Presidential Award for Improving Underrepresented Student Access to STEM Experiences

August 7, 2020

Olivia Graeve, a UC San Diego professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House. The award was created in 1995 to honor extraordinary individuals whose efforts have helped provide underrepresented groups with access to opportunities in STEM. Full Story


$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

$18M Boost to Materials Science Research at UC San Diego

July 9, 2020

The National Science Foundation has awarded University of California San Diego researchers a six-year $18 million grant to fund a new Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC). These research centers are transformative for the schools that earn them, putting their materials science research efforts into the global spotlight. In addition to research and facilities funding, MRSEC centers provide sustained research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students, and resources to focus on diversifying the pool of students studying materials science. The UC San Diego labs funded by this new MRSEC will focus on two important, emerging approaches to build new materials aimed at improving human lives. Full Story


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

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

July 8, 2020

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


UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Living Materials

UC San Diego NanoEngineers to lead MRSEC research thrust on Living Materials

July 8, 2020

University of California San Diego researchers are using the tools of the biotechnology revolution—in particular, genetic engineering and synthetic biology—to build new classes of materials with novel kinds of abilities. Materials that can repair themselves are just one example of the applications of the "living materials" research thrust that is a key component of the new $18M Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The team's big idea is to incorporate living organisms, either from plants or microbes, into their new materials. Living organisms have evolved over billions of years to perform complex functions and to sense the environment around them. Synthetic materials still lag far behind what biological systems can accomplish. The UC San Diego researchers are asking: why not use biology to program materials? Full Story


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

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

April 20, 2020

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


3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

3D printed corals provide more fertile ground for algae growth

April 9, 2020

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


UC San Diego battery pioneer Shirley Meng earns Faraday Medal from Royal Society of Chemistry

UC San Diego battery pioneer Shirley Meng earns Faraday Medal from Royal Society of Chemistry

April 6, 2020

Congratulations to UC San Diego nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng, who has earned the 2020 Faraday Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry. Meng is a leader in materials characterization and synthesis, including development of novel battery technologies that are driving a low-carbon, more sustainable future.    Full Story


Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

March 13, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years. Full Story


'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

March 12, 2020

UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The clever tweak does not prevent battery failure, but rather provides advance warning of failure and makes it much safer. Full Story


Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

February 25, 2020

Engineers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley have created light-based technology that can detect biological substances with a molecular mass more than two orders of magnitude smaller than previously possible. The research could lead to the development of ultra-sensitive devices that can quickly detect pathogens in human blood and considerably reduce the time needed for patients to get results from blood tests. Full Story


UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

UC San Diego launches Institute for Materials Discovery and Design

December 13, 2019

We are pleased to announce the formation of the San Diego Institute for Materials Discovery and Design, a joint initiative of the Jacobs School of Engineering and Division of Physical Sciences at the University of California San Diego. Our goal is to position UC San Diego as the recognized global academic leader in nanoscale and quantum materials design and discovery. The Institute’s unique approach will be to apply data analytics and machine learning together with rapid materials synthesis and multi-scale characterization in order to accelerate the discovery, design, synthesis and evaluation of novel functional materials. Full Story


Discovering the Magic Number of Earth Ice Molecules

Discovering the Magic Number of Earth Ice Molecules

November 18, 2019

An international team of researchers, including scientists from UC San Diego, identified the number of molecules it takes to turn water into ice, solving a decades-old chemistry mystery. Full Story


Waking Up to Why Sleep Health Matters

Waking Up to Why Sleep Health Matters

October 31, 2019

UC San Diego students, scientists drive new initiative aimed at helping the public "see the light" on circadian rhythms and sleep health. Full Story


Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

Piranha-proof fish scales offer inspiration for better armor

October 16, 2019

Material scientists have discovered what makes the scales of the massive Amazonian freshwater fish, Arapaima gigas, resistant to breaking when a piranha bites. The answer could serve as inspiration for stronger, lightweight and flexible synthetic armors. Full Story


Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

Research Reveals Self-sharpening Mechanism in Sea Urchin Teeth

September 19, 2019

Even millions of chewing cycles and regular contact with rocks and hard shells can’t dull sea urchins’ teeth. New research from Northwestern Engineering researchers, in collaboration with the University of California San Diego, reveals that the chemical composition and microstructure of sea urchin teeth are optimized for sharpness preservation – findings with the potential to influence the design of tools for mining, boring, and machining operations.  Full Story


Exploding Shells Boost Immune Response to Brain Cancer

Exploding Shells Boost Immune Response to Brain Cancer

September 17, 2019

Researchers at the University of California San Diego figured out a way to combine FDA-approved ultrasound with engineered glass particles to boost the effectiveness of immunotherapy in glioblastomas. Full Story


How to simulate softness

How to simulate softness

August 30, 2019

UC San Diego researchers discovered clever tricks to design materials that replicate different levels of perceived softness. The findings provide fundamental insights into designing tactile materials and haptic interfaces that can recreate realistic touch sensations. Full Story


Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

Lasers enable engineers to weld ceramics, no furnace required

August 22, 2019

Using lasers, engineers have developed a new ceramic welding technology that works in ambient conditions, making it more practical than traditional methods that require melting the parts in a furnace at extremely high temperatures. This could make it possible to build ceramic-encased electronics. Full Story


Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

Study identifies main culprit behind lithium metal battery failure

August 21, 2019

UC San Diego researchers have discovered the root cause of why lithium metal batteries fail, challenging a long-held belief in the field. The study presents new ways to boost battery performance and brings research a step closer to incorporating lithium anodes into rechargeable batteries.  Full Story


A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

A cold-tolerant electrolyte for lithium-metal batteries emerges in San Diego

July 1, 2019

Improvements to a class of battery electrolyte first introduced in 2017 – liquefied gas electrolytes – could pave the way to a high-impact and long-sought advance for rechargeable batteries: replacing the graphite anode with a lithium-metal anode. The research, published July 1, 2019 by the journal Joule, builds on innovations first reported in Science in 2017 by the same research group at the University of California San Diego and the university spinout South 8 Technologies. Full Story


Engineers use graph networks to accurately predict properties of molecules and crystals

Engineers use graph networks to accurately predict properties of molecules and crystals

June 10, 2019

Nanoengineers at UC San Diego have developed new deep learning models that can accurately predict the properties of molecules and crystals. The models can enable researchers to rapidly scan the nearly-infinite universe of compounds to discover potentially transformative materials for various applications, such as high-energy density Li-ion batteries, warm-white LEDs, and better photovoltaics. Full Story


Researchers discover what makes deep-sea dragonfish teeth transparent

Researchers discover what makes deep-sea dragonfish teeth transparent

June 5, 2019

Researchers discovered what makes the teeth of the deep-sea dragonfish transparent. This unique adaptation, which helps camouflage the dragonfish from their prey, results from their teeth having an unusually crystalline nanostructure mixed with amorphous regions. The findings could provide “bioinspiration” for transparent ceramics. Full Story


How plant viruses can be used to ward off pests and keep plants healthy

How plant viruses can be used to ward off pests and keep plants healthy

May 20, 2019

Imagine a technology that could target pesticides to treat specific spots deep within the soil, making them more effective at controlling infestations while limiting their toxicity to the environment. Researchers at UC San Diego and Case Western Reserve University have taken a step toward that goal. Full Story


Chemists Cook Up Elusive Molecule for the First Time

Chemists Cook Up Elusive Molecule for the First Time

March 27, 2019

During this International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements, scientists from UC San Diego have isolated a 3+7 diatomic molecule by isolating a metal compound containing the elusive BF. An unstable cousin to the highly toxic carbon monoxide (CO) and the benignly common dinitrogen (N2), BF-chemically known as boron monoflouride-has only been studied theoretically, computationally or at extremely high temperatures in the gas phase-until now. Full Story


Scientists discover how Proteins interact along Metabolic Pathway

Scientists discover how Proteins interact along Metabolic Pathway

March 18, 2019

Research writes new chapter in the story of fatty acid biosynthesis and its potential for new antibiotics and renewable resources. Full Story


X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

X-rays reveal why adding a bit of salt improves perovskite solar cells

February 7, 2019

New findings about perovskites could pave the way to developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using high-intensity X-ray mapping, researchers explain why adding small amounts of cesium and rubidium salt improves the performance of perovskite solar cells.  Full Story


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