News & Events


Mon, 08/06/2018 | Columns Magazine

For the new Nanoengineering & Sciences Building, Dennis Edmondson, ’80, ’13, designed a stud that combined the thermal features of wood with the strength of steel. 

Dennis Edmondson earned a master's degree in MSE and a dual PhD in MSE & Nanotechnology.

Mon, 05/21/2018 | UW News
Months after Hurricane Maria, thousands in rural Puerto Rico still lack electricity. In partnership with local communities, UW engineers and public health scientists are working to restore their power.
Fri, 05/04/2018 | UW College of Engineering
Tuesday is the recipient of the Professional Staff Award for excellence, impact and dedication to the labs in the MSE department. Xiaodong has been selected to receive the Faculty Research Award for excellence, impact and dedication to innovative research. Congrats to both! Please join faculty, students and staff to honor all recipients on Thursday, May 24 at 3:30 in the HUB South Ballroom.
Thu, 05/03/2018 | UW News
In a breakthrough that may revolutionize cloud computing technologies and consumer electronics, a UW-led team used stacks of ultrathin materials to exert unprecedented control over the flow of electrons. The atomically thin magnetic device could enable data storage at a greater density and improved energy efficiency over current technology. "With the explosive growth of information, the challenge is how to increase the density of data storage while reducing operation energy," said corresponding author Xiaodong Xu, who is a professor in UW MSE and Physics and a faculty researcher at the UW Clean Energy Institute. "The combination of both works points to the possibility of engineering atomically thin magnetic memory devices with energy consumption orders of magnitude smaller than what is currently achievable." The study was published online May 3 in the journal Science.
Thu, 04/12/2018

Researchers at the University of Washington have designed a convenient and natural product that uses proteins to rebuild tooth enamel and treat dental cavities. The method takes inspiration from the body’s own natural tooth-forming proteins and is detailed in a new paper by lead author Mehmet Sarikaya (MSE, ChemE).

Fri, 04/06/2018 | Mental Floss
For their article, "10 Facts About Lithium," the Mental Floss website turned to MSE chair and professor Jihui Yang. Yang is quoted on the future of lithium in electric vehicle batteries, particularly on goals to double the range of electronic vehicles today. As noted in the article, "Yang and his collaborators aim to replace the graphite currently used in the negative electrode of lithium-ion batteries with lithium metal."
Wed, 02/21/2018 | Langmuir

GEMSEC researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at Tokyo Institute of Technology, in Japan, examined the self-organization behavior of the genetically engineered docdecapeptides on graphene surface using electrical bias. Supported by NSF's Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), research out of GEMSEC Labs aims for practical implementations in biosensing, bioelectronics and biophotonics applications and next generation biology-guided, solid state devices in future technology and medicine.

Authors are Takakazu Seki, Christopher R. So,* Tamon R. Page*, David Starkebaum,* Yuhei Hayamizu, and Mehmet Sarikaya*. (*GEMSEC members).

Tue, 02/06/2018 | Times Higher Education

Research into renewable energy has taken an exciting new direction in recent years with new lost-cost high-efficiency solar cells made from perovskites. Methylammonium lead perovskite solar cell research heads a list of the most prominent scientific topics on SciVal from 2014-2017, and UW MSE Professor Emeritus Alex Jen is listed as one of the top ten most productive researchers in the field worldwide. The University of Washington is the number four global institution publishing the most highly cited perovskite solar cell research.

Fri, 02/02/2018 | GeekWire

Materials Science & Engineering graduate student Robert Masse is passionate about renewable energy technology and its potential contribution to addressing climate change. His business, Astrolabe Analytics (formerly Cloud Instruments), focuses on improving battery analytics to assist the quest for better batteries. Masse recently won the Global Student Entrepreneur Award and is featured in GeekWire as a "Geek of the Week."

Wed, 01/31/2018 | UW News

The outsized impact of materials science on today’s world has prompted UW and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to create the Northwest Institute for Materials Physics, Chemistry and Technology — or NW IMPACT. The new joint research endeavor will power discoveries and advancements in materials that transform energy, telecommunications, medicine, information technology and other fields.

Tue, 01/23/2018 | Clean Energy Institute
University of Washington Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) researchers have made a breakthrough in understanding the mechanics of a zinc-ion, aqueous-electrolyte model. This alternative technology is lower in energy density than lithium-ion batteries, with 30 times the power density. Jihui Yang, the Kyocera Associate Professor of MSE and MSE department chair, said that the research “points to a high-performance, low-cost, safe, and environmentally-friendly battery, ideal for grid energy storage.”
Wed, 01/17/2018 | UW Engineering

For the last decade, Aaron Feaver has used his entrepreneurial drive to pioneer the development of new low-carbon dioxide energy sources. His commitment to developing solutions in clean energy has solidified Washington state as a leader in the movement to reduce carbon dioxide in the environment, a driver of climate change. In 2003, Aaron left a career at Boeing to build a company in the field of renewable energy. He chose to pursue a degree in materials science and engineering to develop the technology. As a Ph.D. student, he researched low-cost carbon materials for hydrogen storage, laying the foundation for the energy start-up EnerG2. More about Aaron Feaver »

The 2018 Diamond Awards will be held on Thursday, May 10, 6–9 p.m.

Mon, 09/25/2017 | UW News
The new Molecular Engineering Materials Center's goal is to empower the next generation of science and engineering leaders. This will involve engaging and supporting students and postdoctoral researchers — and giving them the research and educational experiences, training and cross-disciplinary mentorship that they will need to forge careers on the cutting edge of materials science. “With this NSF support, the center will bring new opportunities in STEM education to groups that are underrepresented in STEM careers,” said UW professor of materials science and engineering Christine Luscombe, who is the center’s executive director for education and outreach. Luscombe helped lead the effort to secure NSF support for the Molecular Engineering Materials Center, along with MSE's Xiaodong Xu, and faculty across Engineering and the UW. Xiaodong Xu will be co-leading a team focused on the creation of new ultrathin semiconductor materials with unique properties. The center is funded by a $15.6 million, six-year grant from the National Science Foundation as part of its highly competitive Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) program.
Wed, 08/23/2017 | GeekWire
GeekWire visited the UW’s Clean Energy Testbeds to learn how the Testbeds' open-access infrastructure is key in reducing the time and money needed to turn innovative ideas into working prototypes. Materials Science & Engineering associate professor Devin MacKenzie is technical director of the Testbeds that have attracted users ranging from startups to Microsoft. MacKenzie showed off a new multistage roll-to-roll printer for solar cells, batteries, sensors, optical films, and thin-film devices and described how new hybrid materials can help double the efficiency of solar cells.
Sat, 07/29/2017 | The Seattle Times

EpiForAll started as an idea in UW Engineering's Engineering Innovation in Health class and is now on the path toward commercialization -- and bringing down skyrocketing cost of life-saving medicine.

EpiForAll won a first-place prize in the UW Buerk Center’s Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, which came with a $15,000 award. That gave the EpiForAll team a high profile, as well as money to keep the project working.

Mon, 07/17/2017 | UW Today

Peter Pauzauskie, an assistant professor in MSE, leads a research team that has developed a fast, inexpensive method to make electrodes for supercapacitors, with applications in electric cars, wireless telecommunications and high-powered lasers. The team published a paper in the journal Nature Microsystems and Nanoengineering describing their supercapacitor electrode and their novel production method that starts with carbon-rich materials dried into a low-density matrix, or aerogel. This aerogel on its own can act as a crude electrode, but Pauzauskie’s team more than doubled its capacitance. "One gram of aerogel contains about as much surface area as one football field," said Pauzauskie.

Mon, 06/26/2017
Jihui Yang, the Kyocera Professor in MSE, will take on the position of Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, starting September 1, 2017. Jihui has provided leadership in the department as chair of the undergraduate committee, and brings experience in both academia and industry that will position the department to grow and excel in the coming years. More about Jihui Yang's appointment »
Wed, 06/21/2017 | UW Today

"If you want to interface electronics and biology, you need a material that effectively communicates across those two realms," says David Ginger, senior author of a paper published in Nature Materials. UW researchers directly measured a thin film made of a single type of conjugated polymer — a conducting plastic — as it interacted with ions (in biology) and electrons (technology). Variations in the polymer layout yielded rigid and non-rigid regions of the film, and these regions could accommodate electrons or ions — but not both equally.

MSE Associate Professor and co-author Christine Luscombe, along with her team at the UW’s Clean Energy and Molecular Engineering and Science institutes, made new poly(3-hexylthiophene) films that had different levels of rigidity based on variations in polymer arrangement to confirm that structural variations in the polymer were the cause of variations in electrochemical properties of the film.

Wed, 06/07/2017 | UW Today
A team led by Xiaodong Xu, a UW professor in MSE, and researchers at MIT has for the first time discovered magnetism in the 2-D world of monolayers, or materials that are formed by a single atomic layer. The findings, published June 8 in the journal Nature, demonstrate that magnetic properties can exist even in the 2-D realm — opening a world of potential applications. "What we have discovered here is an isolated 2-D material with intrinsic magnetism, and the magnetism in the system is highly robust," said Xu, also a member of the UW's Clean Energy Institute. "We envision that new information technologies may emerge based on these new 2-D magnets." Magnetic materials form the basis of technologies that include sensing and hard-disk data storage. According to Xu, "... an even greater opportunity can arise when you stack monolayers with different physical properties together. There, you can get even more exotic phenomena not seen in the monolayer alone or in the 3-D bulk crystal."
Fri, 06/02/2017
UW360 features Shawn Swanson ('16, MS MSE) and the EpiForAll team's inexpensive, reusable epinephrine injector that should start to be available in developing countries in 2018. With lifesaving commercial epinephrine pens costing $650 a piece, they also see a future in U.S. markets for their injector that costs just a few dollars and takes replacement epinephrine ampules that also cost less than $10. The team originated out of the Engineering Innovation in Health program and recently won 4th place and a $15,000 prize at the 2017 Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge.
Tue, 04/18/2017 | Nature Materials
Prof. Jim De Yoreo and researchers at PNNL, while trying to understand the paths crystals take as they form, have been able to influence that path by modifying the starting ingredient. A small change to a peptoid that crystallizes in one step sends the modified peptoid down a more complicated path from disordered clump to crystal. "We were not expecting that such a minor change makes the peptoids behave this way," said De Yoreo. "The results are making us think about the system in a new way, which we believe will lead to more predictive control over the design and assembly of biomimetic materials." The research could eventually help scientists better control the design of a variety of products for energy or medical technologies. Read more: Press release | Nature Materials article
Tue, 04/11/2017 | UW Today
Fumio Ohuchi, MSE professor and interim chair, will direct a new collaboration between the UW and Japan’s Tohoku University and will oversee UW-based activities. The two leading research institutions of the Pacific Rim have agreed to create an Academic Open Space (AOS) to foster collaborations and academic exchanges. The AOS will build upon current collaborations in aerospace design and materials, as well as launch new science and engineering partnerships. "By location, faculty expertise, industrial partners and even shared seismic hazards, there are many ways that these two universities complement one another and can work well together," said Ohuchi.
Mon, 03/20/2017 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

Bruce Hinds' research group is pioneering efforts in "active" membranes that selectively electro-pump target bio-molecules. During dialysis, this will allow recovery of important nutrients and proteins for chemical balance, and can be contained in a compact device. Read more »

Fri, 02/17/2017 | UW Today

The UW Clean Energy Institute (CEI) created the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds to increase the rate at which breakthrough science and engineering discoveries turn into market-adopted clean energy technologies. The state-of-the-art user facility has labs for manufacturing prototypes, testing devices, and integrating systems. CEI unveiled the Testbeds on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at a celebration with Washington Governor Jay Inslee, cleantech leaders, and clean energy researchers. Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering Professor J. Devin MacKenzie — a seasoned cleantech entrepreneur and global expert in electronic materials and emerging manufacturing methods for energy devices, displays, and communication — will lead the Washington Clean Energy Testbeds.
Photo credit: Matt Hagen

Fri, 02/17/2017 | UW Materials Science & Engineering

prototype whitening losenge tablet Deniz Yucesoy, a graduate student in MSE's GEMSEC Labs, has been awarded an Amazon Catalyst grant for a project titled "Remineralizing Tooth Whitening Lozenges for Healthy Daily Use."

Current whitening products typically contain hydrogen peroxide as the active ingredient, which remove discoloration by dissolving stained minerals from the surface of teeth. Although this chemical-etching process reveals a fresh surface, it is often at the expense of removing healthy enamel — the fully mineralized crown of teeth which provides protection and cannot regenerate. As a consequence, the inner layer, dentin, becomes exposed — creating complications, such as hypersensitivity and increased susceptibility to caries (cavities), which, taken together, far outweigh the cosmetic benefits.

Newly developed tooth-whitening lozenges dissolve in saliva recruiting calcium and phosphate ions to the surface of teeth and create a new mineral layer through a restorative process thereby eliminating undesirable stains. When fully developed through the Catalyst Project, whitening lozenges will be used, clinically and over-the-counter product worldwide, for both therapeutic (remineralization) and cosmetic (whitening) purposes providing a safer alternative to the existing peroxide-containing corrosive treatments.

The Whitening Lozenge Team members: Sanaz Saadat, Sami Dogan, MSE Professor Mehmet Sarikaya, MSE grad student Deniz Yucesoy, and MSE Research Scientist, Hanson Fong

The Whitening Lozenge Team members (l to r): Sanaz Saadat (grad student, Oral Health Sciences), Sami Dogan (Assistant Professor and Clinician, Restorative Dentistry), Mehmet Sarikaya (Professor and PI, MSE), Deniz Yucesoy (MSE grad student and The Catalyst Lead, MSE), and Hanson Fong (Research Scientist, MSE).