High-performance energy storage devices will be key to a sustainable future, allowing cell phones to go longer between recharging, increasing mileage for electric vehicles, and stabilizing the power output of solar and wind energy. “Advanced batteries will be a game changer for addressing global challenges of energy sustainability and environmental stewardship,” says Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science and engineering. “Now is a really exciting time to work in batteries and energy storage.”
Professors Latha Venkataraman and Michal Lipson each received a Research Initiatives in Science and Engineering (RISE) grant. The RISE competition was created to provide Columbia faculty and research scientists with the initial funding necessary to explore paradigm-shifting and high-risk ideas. In this competition, Columbia follows the National Institutes of Health definition of high-risk research as having “an inherent high degree of uncertainty, and the capability to produce a major impact on important problems.”
Simon J. L. Billinge, professor of materials science and applied physics, recently received a major grant from the NSF to help advance his innovative approach to cut the cost of designing custom materials for high-performance devices such as photovoltaics and batteries. The three-year, $983,000 grant, part of a high-profile initiative to fast-track the discovery of new materials, supports research at Columbia University and the National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Lab where samples are bombarded with high-energy X-ray beams to probe their nanostructure.
Katayun Barmak, Philips Electronics Professor of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics and Materials Science and Engineering, was the program co-chair, together with Dr. Atsufumi Hirohata of the University of York, UK, of the 13th Joint Magnetism and Magnetic Materials and Intermag Conference. The Conference was held in San Diego, CA, January 11-15, 2016, and with over 1800 attendees from 50 countries and 1850 oral and poster presentations, it was one of the largest Joint Conferences in its history.
Physicists have long been fascinated by the behavior & properties of light. That drive to understand light & harness its frequencies led to inventions including X-ray & strobe technology & the laser, all of which have expanded the boundaries of science, medicine, industry, & defense. Researchers like Alexander Gaeta, David M. Rickey Professor of Applied Physics & of Materials Science, study nonlinear optics, or how light interacts with matter. By doing so, they uncover new ways to use light, from getting a closer look at ultrafast processes in physics, biology & chemistry, to enhancing communication & navigation, medical testing, & security.