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.
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).
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.
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
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.
PER the NSF website: The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will host a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU)-site in experimental and computational materials research. This REU-site project plans to recruit students from underrepresented groups and academic institutions where research opportunities are limited. This project offers a broad range of interdisciplinary materials research experiences to undergraduate students with a diversity of backgrounds in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, and engineering. The undergraduate students will gain experience in materials synthesis, materials characterization and computer modeling and simulations during their ten-week research stay at UAB campus. The scientific research projects have been specifically developed for undergraduate students by an interdisciplinary team consisting of science and engineering faculty at UAB. This project will continue to provide lecture series and workshops in materials growth and characterization, research ethics, and professionalism, innovation and entrepreneurship, and preparation for graduate school to all participants. Our REU participants will publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals and/or present at professional meetings leading to a broad dissemination of new knowledge created in the undergraduate research projects.
REU research projects are organized in four research clusters: (1) materials under extreme conditions (2) materials for energy applications, (3) materials for sensors and laser applications, and (4) biomaterials for implants, tissue engineering, and drug delivery applications. The undergraduate research projects contribute to fundamental understanding of phase transformations and degradation of materials under extreme conditions, novel materials for fuel cells, materials for nanoscale sensors and mid-IR lasers, and 3-D printed biomaterials and stimuli-responsive polymers. Some research projects will also involve the use of national x-ray synchrotron facilities and neutron diffraction facilities in materials research. The undergraduate student projects have short-term achievable milestones, while simultaneously contributing to longer-term scientific goals and technological applications. Our teaming arrangement of REU participants with faculty and graduate students, giving poster and oral presentations, writing a research-style paper, and attending training seminars in scientific communications and ethics will help REU students see the “big picture” of what it takes to develop into a “research scientist” with the critical skills needed for analyzing, interpreting and presenting scientific data.
This award reflects NSF’s statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation’s intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
ASGC Fellowship/Scholarship Deadline is February 28, 2019
The Alabama Space Grant Consortium is now accepting undergraduate scholarship and graduate fellowship applications. The following is a brief summary of the undergraduate (Table 1) and graduate (Table 2) program details extracted from program application packages (attached). Please read the package in its entirely for complete details and requirements.
UAB is among the largest site in the Consortium and as such, expectations are high with regard to the number of applications received. We are asking faculty to personally reach out to both undergraduate and graduate students and encourage them to apply.
Please share with anyone who you think would be interested in this program (scholarships are for Jr./Sr. in STEM fields and Fellowships are for graduate students in STEM fields). Must be a U.S. citizen.
2018 – 2019 Alabama Space Grant Consortium Scholarship
February 28, 2018
Mid May 2018
Scholarship awards will be based on academic excellence, the student’s accomplishments and description of their career intentions towards an aerospace career.
Fields of Study
Space related fields include any academic discipline or field of study (including the physical, natural,and biological sciences; engineering; education; economics; business; sociology; behavioral sciences; computer science; communications; law; international affairs; and public administration) that is concerned with or likely to improve the understanding, assessment, development and utilization of space.
2018 – 2019 Alabama Space Grant Consortium Fellowship
Not to exceed $37,000/12 mos
$24,000 for stipend
$12,000 for tuition/insurance
$1,000 Student Travel allowance
February 28, 2018
Mid May 2018
Fellowship awards will be based on academic excellence, the quality of the proposed research program or plan of study, the quality of the interdisciplinary approach to achieving the objectives of the proposed program, the merit of the utilization of a NASA field center in carrying out their objectives, the prospects for completion of the project within the allotted time, and an assessment of the applicant’s motivation towards an aerospace career.
Fields of Study
Space related fields include any academic discipline or field of study (including the physical, natural, and biological sciences; engineering; education; economics; business; sociology; behavioral sciences; computer science; communications; law; international affairs; and public administration) that is concerned with or likely to improve the understanding, assessment, development and utilization of space.
Respond to academic and employment follow up surveys
Of utmost importance: Applicants should identify source of cost sharing prior to submitting an application. Please discuss with faculty mentor and have mentor faculty mentor discuss with department chair regarding providing the funds for cost sharing in the amount of $18,500
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.