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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, September 18, 2014

Big Results Require Big Ambitions

Big Results Require Big Ambitions
Three young UCSB faculty receive CAREER awards from the National Science Foundation

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) — Three UC Santa Barbara researchers — a computer scientist, a chemical engineer and a physicist — are among the recent recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. The NSF CAREER Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards to young faculty who most effectively integrate research and education.

“An NSF CAREER award makes it possible for an assistant professor in science or engineering to launch an ambitious research program,” said Michael Witherell, UCSB vice chancellor for research. “We are extremely pleased that two of our engineering faculty and one of our physics faculty have won these extremely competitive awards.”

‘Liquid Nanomasonry’
Imagine a liquid template that can, from the nanoscale, form sophisticated material structures with enhanced and specific properties. Molecular self-assembly has been able to create such templates; however, the weak intermolecular forces involved typically limit the size of features to several nanometers.

To overcome this hurdle, assistant professor Matthew Helgeson from UCSB’s Department of Chemical Engineering has received approximately $400,000 to develop generic methods for assembling nanoemulsions — nanoscale droplets of oil in water (or vice versa) — into superstructures for templating sophisticated materials with hierarchical structure. In a method he calls “liquid nanomasonry,” his experiments involve the application of external stimuli to trigger molecules in a fluid to become a mortar for assembling droplets into clusters with controlled sizes, shapes and features. Results of this project can be used to expand the use of liquid phase templating to new materials with applications in emerging fields, from nanomedicine to energy storage and photonics. Findings will also go toward a new course on chemical product engineering.

To view the complete story, open the attached news release, or go to http://www.news.ucsb.edu/2014/014398/big-results-require-big-ambitions

The software to download the attached PDF is free and downloadable at http://www.adobe.com/products/reader.html

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