Simon Billinge, who holds joint appointments in APAM & BNL, was featured in Chemistry World. Billinge’s group uses techniques to tackle real world problems, improving the properties of advanced materials by subtly altering their molecular structures. These might be high temperature superconductors, batteries or photovoltaic cells, or, increasingly, pharmaceuticals. Many of the “failed” compounds on drug companies’ shelves are potent & selective inhibitors of their molecular targets but are too insoluble to enter the bloodstream. Reformulating by reducing the particle size can sometimes increase the solubility of a ‘brick dust’-like compound by as much as a thousand times.
Siu-Wai Chan, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, was elected a 2018 APS Fellow "for observing and understanding the grain boundary dislocation motion in materials, providing a seminal impact on superconducting thin film boundary devices, and inventing a novel ecological synthesis technique of nano-crystals oxides for catalysis applications."
Prof. Yuan Yang, assistant professor of materials science, and Wei Min, professor of chemistry, use Stimulated Raman Scattering microscopy to observe—for the first time—ions moving in liquid electrolyte; findings which could lead to improving battery safety while also increasing next-generation energy storage. Their research was recently published online in Nature Communications.