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Hoffmann: Heat reveals hidden magnetic secrets

Fri, 01/08/2021 - 12:34  

A new paper by Professor Axel Hoffmann and researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory reveals insights into atomic movement in antiferromagnets, special magnetic materials that may provide a novel way for storing and manipulating information.

Yingjie Zhang paper

Yingjie Zhang group: Imaging liquid solvation layers at the atomic scale

Thu, 12/10/2020 - 14:09  

New research, led by Yingjie Zhang, assistant professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, reports on direct imaging of the liquid solvation layers in an electrochemical supercapacitor device. The researchers  identified key molecular reconfiguration effects during the capacitive charge/discharge processes. These findings are published in ACS Nano.

Researchers confront optics and data-transfer challenges with 3D-printed lens

Tue, 12/08/2020 - 10:35  

Researchers have developed new 3D-printed microlenses with adjustable refractive indices – a property that gives them highly specialized light-focusing abilities. This advancement is poised to improve imaging, computing and communications by significantly increasing the data-routing capability of computer chips and other optical systems, the researchers said.

Xiuling Li

Researchers expand microchip capability with new 3D inductor technology

Tue, 12/08/2020 - 09:35  

Smaller is better when it comes to microchips, researchers said, and by using 3D components on a standardized 2D microchip manufacturing platform, developers can use up to 100 times less chip space. A team of engineers has boosted the performance of its previously developed 3D inductor technology by adding as much as three orders of magnitudes more induction to meet the performance demands of modern electronic devices.

Braun and Ewoldt study image

Ewoldt and team offer new insight into design of responsive soft materials

Mon, 12/07/2020 - 10:13  

Associate Professor and Kritzer Faculty Scholar Randy Ewoldt, along with his former MechSE doctoral students Dr. Gaurav Chaudhary (now a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard) and Dr. N. Ashwin Bharadwaj (now a research scientist at Nike) and MatSE Professor Paul Braun, has published a new paradigm for the design of magnetorheological materials—that is, soft materials that stiffen in response to magnetic fields.

Braun, Jain, and Sottos elected AAAS Fellows

Tue, 11/24/2020 - 13:03   Braun is the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering and the director of the Materials Research Laboratory at the U. of I., with appointments in other departments and institutes, including the Beckman Institute. His research group focuses on the synthesis of materials with carefully crafted 3D nano- and mesoscale architectures that have useful optical, electrochemical and thermal properties. For example, his group is developing new materials for high-energy and power-electrochemical energy storage systems such as fast-charging batteries and high-energy microbatteries.
Axel Hoffmann

Axel Hoffmann ranked among world's most influential

Wed, 11/18/2020 - 20:33  

Professor Axel Hoffmann is one of three faculty members at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. This is the second year in a row that Professor Hoffmann's research as made the list.

The list recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. It is based on an analysis of journal article publication and citation data, an objective measure of a researcher’s influence, from 2009-2019.

Jim Eckstein

James Eckstein wins APS McGroddy Prize

Tue, 10/13/2020 - 12:17  

Illinois Physics Professor James Eckstein and MRL affiliate has been selected for the American Physical Society’s 2021 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials. This prize recognizes outstanding achievement in the science and application of new materials.


NSF Future Manufacturing Research Grant for high energy density Li-ion batteries

Mon, 09/14/2020 - 11:59  

This National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will support fundamental research to develop transformative manufacturing processes for reliable, energy dense, and easily recyclable next generation Lithium-ion batteries. The Illinois Materials Research Laboratory co-principal investigators Professors Paul Braun, Nenad Milkovic, Nicola Perry, and Pingfeng Wang, with co-principal investigator Prof. Marta Hatzell at Georgia Tech, have been awarded $3.25M over 5 years.


Congratulations 2020-21 PPG MRL Assistantship Awardees!

Fri, 08/28/2020 - 12:58  

Anuva Aishwarya, Yoo Kyung Go, Dinesh Kumar, Jingcheng Ma, and Yi Zhang have been awarded PPG Materials Research Laboratory (MRL) Graduate Research Assistantships to pursue cutting-edge research broadly related to the areas of interest to PPG.

Two new quantum centers

DOE awards two quantum information science research centers with UIUC as partner

Thu, 08/27/2020 - 20:57  

The Grainger College of Engineering’s Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) is a partner institution in two of the five Department of Energy Quantum Information Science Research Centers, announced by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on August 26. These centers are aligned with the U.S.

Qian Chen

Chen Group: Machine learning peeks into nano-aquariums

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 16:43  

In the nanoworld, tiny particles such as proteins appear to dance as they transform and assemble to perform various tasks while suspended in a liquid. Recently developed methods have made it possible to watch and record these otherwise-elusive tiny motions, and researchers now take a step forward by developing a machine learning workflow to streamline the process. 

Paul Braun and David Cahill awarded Distinguished Chairs

Paul Braun and David Cahill awarded Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 14:19  

Professors David Cahill and Paul Braun have been awarded a Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering. This honor is given in recognition of distinguished scholarly achievements and leadership in promoting collaborative research. 

CAS Professors

Moore and Sottos elected as new CAS Professors

Mon, 08/03/2020 - 10:21  

The Center for Advanced Study has appointed seven new members to its permanent faculty, including two MRL researchers, Jeffrey S. Moore and Nancy Sottos. CAS professors are selected based on their outstanding scholarship, and the appointments are one of the highest forms of campus recognition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Brian DeMarco

Prof. Brian DeMarco and IQUIST to lead new $25M NSF Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks Institute

Tue, 07/21/2020 - 08:42  

The Grainger College of Engineering’s Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Center (IQUIST) will launch a National Science Foundation Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks (HQAN).

Center for Quantum Sensing and Quantum Materials

New center awarded $12.6M by DOE

Mon, 07/13/2020 - 12:29  

A team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Grainger College of Engineering was awarded an Energy Frontier Research Center by the Department of Energy (EFRC). 

Statt, Chen, Braun

NSF awards EAGER grant to Profs. Statt, Chen and Braun to study micro- and nanoplastics in the environment

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 14:12  

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a two-year, $300,000 EAGER grant to professors of materials science and engineering Antonia Statt, Qian Chen, and Paul Braun for their project on mapping the structure–property relationship of micro- and nanoplastics by in-situ nanoscopic imaging and simulation. 

Contrast revealed in the physics of TIs coupled with the SC niobium. (top row) No superconductivity observed with ARPES at the top surface of bulk insulating TIs/Nb. (bottom row) Strong, long-range superconducting order seen in bulk conducting TIs/Nb.

Engineering topological superconductivity in composite systems

Tue, 06/30/2020 - 20:46  

New findings from physicists at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with researchers at The University of Tokyo and others, clarify the physics of coupling topological materials with simple, conventional superconductors.