Congratulations are in order for Dr. Aaron Catledge. He has been awarded a new NSF DMR award as a PI starting a new area of research in UAB physics. The Project is titled: New frontiers in synthesis of high-entropy transition metal borides enabled by microwave-induced plasma.
The significance of this project is that it addresses the need for advanced ceramics as a key enabling technology for many applications in aerospace, defense, power generation, and processing industries having significant national impact. The study of materials designed for operation under harsh conditions is essential to meet a range of challenges—from creating better turbines, reactors, and batteries to developing future energy systems.
You can read the full technical and non-technical summary here.
Best wishes to Dr. Catledge the very best in the execution of this award!
Vohra’s grant is one of 36 awards totaling $21 million allocated to supporting research activities in areas of physical sciences and engineering. The goal of the grants is to provide opportunities for scientific collaboration between the academic community and scientists at the national labs.
The Advanced Materials Characterization (AMC) Core has been selected an institutional research core (Director: Dr. Paul Baker and co-Director: Dr. Vinoy Thomas). It will be a part of the fifteen cores that are supported centrally by the office of Vice President for Research. The AMC Core will provide a broad range of services related to the research and development of materials. Our services will cover the analysis of basic properties of materials such as the structure, composition, and hardness. The types of materials to be analyzed include biomaterials, nanomaterials, metals, ceramics, thin films, composite materials, and semiconductors.
The AMC Core will include the University’s only scanning electron microscope (SEM), which provides high resolution images of surfaces of a broad range of materials, including soft matter (biological samples) and has elemental analysis capability (EDX). The x-ray photoelectron spectrometer (XPS) is a powerful surface analysis (probing depth of only 3-10nm) instrument that provides elemental composition and chemical bonding information with small spot size (minimum 10 micrometers) and surface mapping capability. The multipurpose X-ray diffractometer (XRD) is a state-of-the-art instrument purchased in 2018 that provides information on crystal structure and phase identification, particle size and shape analysis (SAXS), thin film analysis, epitaxial layer analysis, and can be upgraded to include even additional capabilities. The micro-Raman spectrometer is a high-resolution spectrometer that analyzes the vibrational modes of the material to provide information about the molecular structure of a material. The nanoindenter measures the hardness of a material near the surface and can measure polymers and thin films. These materials growth and characterization facilities are being combined and proposed as a single core to provide materials characterization under one managed facility and serve as a catalyst for innovative materials discovery at UAB. One of the key strengths of the core will be the broad support from industry usage as well as the multi-departmental use. This multi-disciplinary approach to characterization of advanced materials is a part of the UAB research mission.
Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra is pleased to announce that the following collaborative seed grants from UAB were selected for funding by the NSF EPSCoR RII program in Alabama for FY2021. These are collaborative grants between two Alabama institutions that are part of this NSF supported state-wide consortium in plasma science and technology. https://www.uah.edu/cpu2al
Dr. Aaron Catledge (PI), Awarded Amount $40,000
Title: Low-temperature plasma as a means to create superhard high-entropy metal diborides via boro-carbothermal reduction
Collaborating Institution: Tuskegee University
Dr. Cheng-Chien Chen (PI), Awarded Amount $40,000
Tile: Assemble Plasmon and Phonon Polaritons in Atomic-Scale van der Waals Hybrids
Collaborating Institution: Auburn University
Dr. Vineeth Vijayan (PI) and Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Awarded Amount $40,000
Title: Low Temperature Dusty Plasma based Nanoparticles Modified Polymer Scaffolds as Potential Biointerface for Bone Tissues
Collaborating Institution: Alabama State University & Auburn University
Dr. Masaru Nakanotani (PI, UAH), Awarded Amount, $40,000
Title:Physics of Collisional Shock Waves :Laser Ablation Experiments, Fluid and Fully Kinetic Simulations
Collaborating Institutions: CFDRC & UAB –Dr. Renato Camata
Congratulations to all the PI’s and their collaborators!
A UAB team led by Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, has surface engineered 3D Printed polymeric soft biomaterial scaffolds by an in-situ robust synthesis of nanoparticles using low temperature dusty plasma.
The proof-of-concept communication published in ACS Applied Nano Materials, reports a rapid and easy method for nanoparticles (SiNp) synthesis from a liquid precursor into dusty plasma and deposition of them onto 3D printed polymer. “Non-thermal plasma has emerged as a viable method for surface engineering soft materials and biomaterials”, says Dr. Vineeth Vijayan, (first author of the publication), “and we have successfully utilized non-thermal plasma for making super-hydrophilic and blood-friendly materials surfaces in our previous publication in Journal of Materials Chemistry”.
As part of the NSF supported EPSCoR collaborative CPU2AL program, the new method we reported has many appealing attributes:
It is a single step greener and cost effective process
The radiofrequency plasma reactor can be an ideal scalable technology for industries to produce and modify the surface of various biomedical scaffolds/devices with SiNp, and
This method can simultaneously modify the 3D printed scaffolds with SiNp for biomedical applications (bone tissue engineering) and also sterilize them.
The future aspects of this present work will deal with (I) functionalization and attachment of SiNp with biochemical moieties by using volatile amino acids in the plasma phase and (II) strategies for preparation titanium dioxide nanoparticles and nanowires via plasma process which in turn could be used for decontaminate corona virus during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) Program
Hybrid and Remote Undergraduate Research Experiences in Materials Research
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
NASA-Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) program at UAB is inviting applications for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program during Fall-2020 and Spring-2021 from students that are currently enrolled at UAB. We offer REU-projects in five research clusters: (1) computational materials research/machine learning (2) materials under extreme conditions (3) materials for energy applications, (4) materials for sensors and laser applications, and (5) biomaterials for implants, tissue engineering and drug delivery applications. This REU experience will be offered in a hybrid model which will include fully remote participation for computational research projects and partly remote and partly on ground lab experiences for experimental research projects within the constraints of social distancing and other laboratory safety measures. The undergraduates will carry out the analysis of data generated in their research projects in a fully remote fashion and make Zoom presentations on completed research to faculty mentors and other undergraduates participating in this program.
The program will offer flexible working hours during Fall-2020 and Spring-2021 (staring October 1, 2020 and ending February 28th, 2021). The program will pay $5,000 over the entire work period involving 400 hours of remote/hybrid research with a faculty mentor at UAB.
For program information contact program director Yogesh Vohra (email@example.com) and for application questions contact program coordinator Charita Cadenhead (firstname.lastname@example.org).
UAB is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering a diverse, equitable and family-friendly environment in which all faculty and staff can excel and achieve work/life balance irrespective of race, national origin, age, genetic or family medical history, gender, faith, gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. UAB also encourages applications from individuals with disabilities and veterans.