Research

Undergraduate research in Kukreja Lab outlines novel nano-diffraction analysis method

June 03, 2021

Materials science and engineering (MSE) former undergraduate researcher Joyce Christiansen-Salameh has developed a new way to analyze complex x-ray nano-diffraction datasets using a k-means clustering algorithm. The program iteratively groups data points by clustering pixels with similar intensity within a certain distance on the detector, which makes it easier to find the Bragg peaks that reveal the structure.

Applying machine learning to renewable energy

October 19, 2020

Materials science and engineering associate professor Marina Leite thinks machine learning is key to the next big breakthrough in renewable energy. With a new three-year grant from the National Science Foundation, Leite will use machine learning techniques to study perovskite solar cells, a class of highly efficient but volatile devices, to find the optimal conditions to run them reliably.

Exploring Perovskites: A Conversation with Marina Leite

July 23, 2020

Though their optical and electrical properties are very promising, perovskites are a class of materials that are still understudied. Until researchers have a better understanding of their overall properties, they can’t learn how to control them to create ubiquitous devices like solar cells, LEDs and photodetectors.

Using “fun physics” to advance computing

June 01, 2020

Driven by the thrill of discovery, materials science and engineering professor Yayoi Takamura’s research group explores the “fun physics” of the magnetic and electronic properties of thin films of complex oxide materials to better understand how these materials that can be used in advanced computing.

Marina Leite co-authors new paper that standardizes perovskite stability testing

January 24, 2020

Associate professor Marina Leite is a co-author on a new paper in Nature Energy that establishes standards and procedures for testing the stability of perovskite photovoltaic devices. The publication, the result of the 12th International Summit on Organic Photovoltaic Stability (ISOS) in October 2019, was co-written by 60 leading researchers in the field from across the globe who came together to form this consensus.

UC Davis leads breakthrough in ceramic nanoscience

December 09, 2019

A new paper from professor Ricardo Castro’s group at UC Davis changes the understanding of how nanoscale dimensions affect the hardness of ceramics. The study, led by then Ph.D. student Arseniy Bokov, found that on nanoscale dimensions, ceramic materials give a false impression of softening because of an extensive network of almost invisible nanocracks.

Space Engineering at UC Davis

October 30, 2019

If space is the final frontier, UC Davis is taking giant leaps to reach it. With expertise in human-machine cooperation, control systems and materials under extreme conditions, the university aims to make itself a rising star in space engineering and play a crucial role in the next generation of space exploration.

Castro group paper highlighted by Materials Today

July 16, 2019

A publication from Professor Ricardo Castro’s group was highlighted on Materials Today. The team, consisting of Castro’s group and visiting postdoctoral scholar Flavio Souza, found that Chlorine alters electron spin in hematite, showing why the material underperformed expectations in photoelectrochemical cells and proving that spin mobility manipulation is possible.

Roopali Kukreja Reveals Two-Step Process in Magnetite’s Metal-Insulator Transition

November 15, 2018

A team of UC Davis researchers led by Assistant Professor Roopali Kukreja recently published their findings that magnetite’s transition between metal and insulator is a two-step process, instead of a one-step process like previously thought.

Magnetite is a unique material in that depending on temperature, it can either be a metal, which conducts electricity well, or an insulator, which does not. Kukreja’s team investigated this transition, theorizing that it has to do with the arrangement of the material’s electrons, and found this two-step process.