Yang Named a Fellow of American Physical Society

Yang Yang, the Carol and Lawrence E. Tannas, Jr., Chair in Engineering and a professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society. Yang was cited by APS for “extraordinary contributions in organic and hybrid electronic materials, interfacial engineering, and novel device design that have led to highly efficient organic and hybrid solar cells, digital memory devices, vertical transistors, and organic LEDs.” Among the most highly cited researchers in the world in chemistry and materials science, according to Thomson Reuters, Yang joined the UCLA faculty in 1997. His work has led to greater understanding of polymer morphology and its influence on device performance; the invention of the inverted organic solar cells; and the invention of transparent organic photovoltaic devices. Along with fellow researchers, his lab has helped set several world records for power conversion efficiency in solar devices. His recent work includes development of perovskite solar cells and photodetectors Yang, who received his Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has more than 60 patents and has published more than 290 peer-reviewed... read more

Professor Richard B. Kaner Awarded Materials Research Society Medal (2015)

“The MRS Medal recognizes an exceptional achievement in materials research in the past ten years. A medal will be awarded for a major advance or cluster of closely related advances in any materials-related field of research. The impact of this research on the progress of the relevant materials field will be a primary consideration in making the... read more

Gift from Edward and Linda Rice Establishes Bescher Scholarship in Materials Science

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has established the Eric Pascal Bescher Scholarship in Materials Science, thanks to a gift of $100,000 from CTS Cement Manufacturing Co. The endowed scholarship will support undergraduate students who major in materials science and engineering. Bescher is an associate adjunct professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department at UCLA Engineering and is a leading researcher in advanced cementitious materials. The scholarship was created in Bescher’s name to honor his work with calcium sulfoaluminate cement, which is stronger, more durable and is produced more sustainably than other materials commonly used in major construction projects. “Eric is a leader in applied research on the development of new and longer-lasting materials for better infrastructure,” said Edward Rice, chairman of CTS Cement. “He helped develop pavement that will last 100 years, instead of the usual 20 to 30 years of Portland cement pavement. We want to both show our regard for Eric’s contributions and encourage talented students to pursue work in this important field, where they can impact the world for the better.” Edward Rice and his wife Linda Rice are longtime supporters of UCLA Engineering. Edward Rice is a former lecturer and adjunct professor of materials science at UCLA Engineering. He has led a distinguished career in cement and major construction projects, and holds 23 patents in concrete and building technology. He currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council and received the UCLA Engineering Lifetime Contribution Award in 2013. Previous gifts from Edward and Linda Rice to UCLA Engineering include funds for a school conference room, the annual UCLA Engineering Outstanding... read more

UCLA Materials Scientists Take Big Step Toward Tougher Ductile Ceramics

Advance could lead to more durable, higher-performing components for spacecraft technology and tiny mechanical systems By Matthew Chin A team of materials scientists at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science is exploring ways to create tough ceramics, a long sought-after class of materials that would be exceptionally hard, capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures and less prone to corrosion than metals, but still have the ability to become dented or deformed without fracturing — a property called ductility. In other words, a ceramic that bends but doesn’t break. The researchers focused on compounds called transition-metal carbides whose atoms are held together by three types of chemical bonds — ionic, covalent and metallic. The combination of the three bonds, researchers believe, is what makes these materials tough. To validate that hypothesis, the team performed compression tests on single crystals of two transition-metal carbides, zirconium carbide and tantalum carbide, inside a transmission electron microscope. They observed that the crystals deformed — that is, they changed shape without cracking — at room temperature. This showed that the crystals’ size and orientation play an important role in the materials’ mechanical behavior. “Ultra–high-temperature ceramics are highly desirable in aerospace and other industries where durable structural components are required to maintain their strength and stability at elevated temperatures,” said Suneel Kodambaka, associate professor of materials science and engineering. “Transition-metal carbides are attractive for these applications because they are very hard and do not melt until they reach very high temperatures.” Materials scientists use the term “hardness” as a measure of a material’s resistance to mechanical pressure, and the property can be measured... read more

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