Unfold: The Science of Superheroes

Professor Ricardo Castro teaches engineering students to think outside the box and to contemplate the unlikely, but not always impossible, real-world applications of materials science based on the powers of superheroes.

Professor Sangtae Kim and the Linear Diffusion Model

Research Impact

Optimizing the performance of electrolytes used in alternative energy technologies such as solid oxide fuel cells, and batteries relies on measuring and understanding the transport of oxide and lithium (Li) ions (O2- and Li+) and/or protons (H+) in ceramic materials.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.