Featured News:

See All News:

Chancellor Jones Visits MRL

Mon, 09/30/2019 - 16:23  

MRL, MRSEC, and IQUIST gave an overview of facilities, research, and educational outreach, and the Chancellor got a tour of two of the latest acquisitions, the Cameca Atom Probe and the Themis STEM Lab. Students presented some of their recent work.

Paul Kenis named to Electrochemical Society 2019 Class of Fellows

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 14:28  

Kenis, the Elio E. Tarika Endowed Chair and head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, was cited for his exceptional contributions to the invention, characterization and development of innovative processes based on microfluidic systems for diverse applications in electrochemical energy conversion, chemical synthesis, and biology. 

Professor Catherine Murphy

2020 American Chemical Society national award winners

Fri, 08/30/2019 - 09:42  

The American Chemical Society (ACS) has announced their 2020 national award winners. MRL faculty including Professor Catherine Murphy, Professor Jeffrey Moore and Professor Ken Suslick are among the winners. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 24, 2020 in Philadelphia, which coincides with the ACS Spring National Meeting. The ACS National Awards program is designed to encourage the advancement of chemistry in all its branches, to support research in chemical science and industry, and to promote the careers of chemists.


2019-20 PPG-MRL Research Assistant Awards

Thu, 08/08/2019 - 10:05  


James Carpenter, Ahyoung Kim, Maggie Potter, Dhawal Thakare, and Chengxi Zhao have been awarded PPG-MRL Graduate Research Assistantships to pursue cutting-edge research broadly related to the areas of interest to PPG.

Pinshane Huang and Prashant Jain Receive Presidential Early Career Award

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 14:56  

The highest honor the government can bestow on independent researchers is the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. MRL is proud to announce that Professor Pinshane Huang and Prashant Jain were chosen for their "exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology."

Read the White House's press release here.

A team including, from left, postdoctoral researcher Ziyuan Song, professor Jianjun Cheng and graduate students Tianrui Xue and Lazaro Pacheco, developed a new method that streamlines the construction of amino acid building blocks that can be used in a multitude of industrial and pharmaceutical applications.   Photo by L. Brian Stauffer Images

Researchers develop fast, efficient way to build amino acid chains

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:30  

JUN 6, 2019 8:30 AM BY ANANYA SEN  | NEWS BUREAU SCIENCE WRITER  | 217-333-5802

Scientists often build new protein molecules by stringing groups of amino acids together. These amino acid chains, called polypeptides, are the building blocks needed in drug development and the creation of new biomaterials.

SEM image of ruptured microcapsules containing a healing agent.

Materials Today Lab Profile: Nancy Sottos

Thu, 06/06/2019 - 13:00  

Imagine polymer materials that can heal themselves when damaged or change color when under stress. Or polymer gels that can mimic blood clotting to protect and regenerate damaged vascular networks. Nancy Sottos of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (UIUC) did just that and has devoted her career to the development of materials systems inspired by nature’s ability to design self-healing, self-regenerating, self-reporting, and self-protecting materials.

Prashant Jain and Sungju Yu

Jain Group: Artificial photosynthesis transforms carbon dioxide into liquefiable fuels

Tue, 05/28/2019 - 16:00  

By Lois Yoksoulian, Physical Sciences Editor, Illinois News Bureau

Chemists at the University of Illinois have successfully produced fuels using water, carbon dioxide and visible light through artificial photosynthesis. By converting carbon dioxide into more complex molecules like propane, green energy technology is now one step closer to using excess CO2 to store solar energy – in the form of chemical bonds – for use when the sun is not shining and in times of peak demand.

Schroeder and Zhou

Schroeder Group: Polymers jump through hoops on pathway to sustainable materials

Mon, 05/20/2019 - 14:30  

by Lois Yoksoulian, Physical Sciences Editor, Illinois News Bureau

Recyclable plastics that contain ring-shaped polymers may be a key to developing sustainable synthetic materials. Despite some promising advances, researchers said, a full understanding of how to processes ring polymers into practical materials remains elusive. In a new study, researchers identified a mechanism called “threading” that takes place when a polymer is stretched – a behavior not witnessed before. This new insight may lead to new processing methods for sustainable polymer materials.

Susie Lighty

Susie Lighty receives Office of Campus Emergency Management Recognition Award

Tue, 05/07/2019 - 10:30  

Congratulations to Susie Lighty on her well-deserved recognition!

Dallas Trinkle, 2019 Brimacombe Medalist

Dallas Trinkle receives 2019 Brimacombe Medal from TMS

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 15:45  

The Brimacombe Medal recognizes mid-career individuals with sustained excellence and achievement in business, technology, education, public policy, or science related to materials science and engineering and with a record of continuing service to the profession.

Trinkle was chosen for his significant contributions to the prediction of alloying efforts on diffusion, solid solution strengthening and softening, and for exemplary service to TMS.

Multistep self-assembly opens door to new reconfigurable materials

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 16:00  


Self-assembling synthetic materials come together when tiny, uniform building blocks interact and form a structure. However, nature lets materials like proteins of varying size and shape assemble, allowing for complex architectures that can handle multiple tasks.

Cathy Murphy, AAAS fellow

Catherine J. Murphy inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 14:30  

Professor Catherine J. Murphy has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Pinshane Huang

Pinshane Huang awarded NSF Career Award

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 11:30  

Pinshane Huang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has been granted an National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award

NSF CAREER grants are given to young faculty who demonstrate great potential early in their careers. Activities pursued by early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Nancy Sottos

Nancy Sottos selected for Swanlund endowed chair

Sat, 02/09/2019 - 15:30  

Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering in the department of materials science and engineering and leads the Autonomous Materials Systems group in the Beckman Institute. The Swanlund chair is the highest endowed title bestowed upon faculty at the University.

Her research interests include polymers and composites capable of self-healing and regeneration, mechanochemically active polymers, tailored interfaces and novel materials for more reliable energy storage. She is a Fellow of the Society of Engineering Science and the Society for Experimental Mechanics.

David Cahill

David Cahill appointed Associate in the Center for Advanced Study

Tue, 02/05/2019 - 12:00  

The Center for Advanced Study (CAS) is charged with promoting the highest levels of scholarship and discourse at the University of Illinois. The Center also serves as the primary formal venue on our campus for various types of scholarly interaction and creative activity across academic disciplines. It sponsors workshops and seminars, supports new scholarship, and brings to campus more than thirty distinguished scholars, writers, and artists each academic year, in collaboration with other units of the University.

Axel Hoffmann, Distinguished Faculty Hire, will join MRL and MatSE

Mon, 02/04/2019 - 16:15  

Axel Hoffmann, currently a senior group leader in magnetic films at Argonne National Laboratory, will start in the Fall of 2019. 

van der Zande wins an NSF Career Award

Thu, 01/03/2019 - 11:15  

MechSE Assistant Professor Arend van der Zande recently won the prestigious Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation for his research on two-dimensional material heterostructures. NSF CAREER grants are given to young faculty who demonstrate great potential early in their careers.