NASA REU Keston Smith

Congratulations to Keston Smith

Keston has been selected for the Fall 2021-2022 NASA REU Program. His Project Title: Microfabrication and Calibration of Tungsten and Tungsten-Rhenium Thin-Film Thermocouple on a Diamond Substrate

Best wishes Keston on a successful research experience.

2021-22 ASGC REUMajor: Physics
Classification: Senior
Mentor: Gopi Samudrala

Video Lecture by Yogesh K Vohra PhD

Dr. Yogesh K. Vohra is a Fellow of the International Association of Advanced Materials (FIAAM) in recognition for his contribution to “Advancement of Materials to Global Excellence.”

Click image below to view video lecture titled Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition of Diamond and Novel Superhard Materials.

Dr. Yogesh K Vohra presents a video lecture on Microwave Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition of Diamond and Novel Superhard Materials

 

New Advanced Materials Characterization Institutional Core

Dr. Paul Baker
Dr. Paul Baker, Director

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.

Dr. Vinoy Thomas
Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Co-Director

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.

 

NSF EPSCoR Program Harnesses Non-thermal Plasma Processing for Nano-structuring 3D Printed Tissue-Scaffolds: 

Vinoy_Thomas
Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Materials Science and Engineering

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:

    1. It is a single step greener and cost effective process
    2. 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
    3. 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.

NASA Fall 2020 Research Experiences for Undergraduates

NASA – Alabama Space Grant Consortium

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 (ykvohra@uab.edu) and for application questions contact program coordinator Charita Cadenhead (charita@uab.edu).

The application deadline is September 15th, 2020. Apply using the following web-site. https://sites.uab.edu/cnmb/research-experiences-for-undergraduates/

UAB collaboration in non-thermal plasma processing shows promise

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has developed a new method designed to improve the surface characteristics of Teflon, or polyhetrafluorethylene (PTFE). This method has the potential to address challenges associated with PTFE for blood-contact applications—specifically poor endothelial cell growth and the risk of blood clots.

This article originally post on UAB Engineering website.  Read full article here.

Support for Interdisciplinary Materials science Program

University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers Drs. Yogesh K. Vohra, Eugenia Kharlampieva and Amber Genau  have won a $597,000 federal grant to support up to five doctoral students in the interdisciplinary materials science program.  Read entire article here.

Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education

Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education

Eugenia Kharlampieva
Dr. Eugenia Kharlampieva, Chemistry

Congratulations to Dr. Eugenia Khamlampieva on her new National Science Foundation grant for MRI:  Acquisition of an Atomic Force Microscope for Materials Research and Education.

Dr. Kharlampieva says:  This Major Research Instrumentation award supports the University of Alabama at Birmingham to acquire an atomic force microscope for interdisciplinary materials research and education. This microscope supports a diverse, multi-departmental research in soft materials ranging from soft synthetic hydrogels to relatively dense composites and biological structures. The instrument will be located at UAB Department of Chemistry and will combine the capabilities for high-resolution and high-speed imaging with quantitative nanomechanical mapping.

The ability to acquire multifunctional, high-resolution data under a wide range of operating conditions allows for studies on a broad spectrum of dry and hydrated samples. The types of samples extend from synthetic networks, polymer composites, nanodevices, to cell membranes and tissues. The common theme among these samples is that they all involve soft materials, i.e., synthetic polymers, biological structures, or combinations of the two. An increased ability to characterize state-of-the-art nanomaterials results in an enhanced fundamental understanding of the structural properties of soft materials and the composition at their surfaces. This includes the effect of the surface morphology on the physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of the materials.

The understanding enables transformative research for the development of new materials in tissue regenerative therapies, controlled drug delivery, molecular sensing, and related biotechnologies. The atomic force microscope will also play a vital role in student education in the fields of chemistry, materials science, biomedical science, and biomedical engineering. A high-caliber research environment is vital to the regional economy in Central Alabama through raising community awareness toward biomedical and soft-materials technologies.

Applying Old Technology to Cutting-Edge Science

Vinoy_Thomas
Dr. Vinoy Thomas, Materials Science Engineering

Tissue engineering is a transformative branch of regenerative medicine —a cutting-edge field that has the potential to revolutionize the future of healthcare.

See enitre article at the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research web site.