• ArtsandLectures twitter avatar
    We hope you can join us as we elevate our spirits with joyful gospel music and holiday classics in a roof-raising m… https://t.co/AQYVHMJA7X
    16 hours 9 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Winners of Seven Straight Games, 8-2 UCSB Travels to USC Sunday https://t.co/f3If3ejwYk
    17 hours 11 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Winners of Six Straight Games, 8-2 UCSB Travels to USC Sunday https://t.co/f3If3ejwYk
    17 hours 30 min ago
  • UCSBLibrary twitter avatar
    ICYMI. Our friends at UCLA have invited Gauchos to their late night study this finals week at @UCLA_Powell and… https://t.co/7SvvhUJzFa
    18 hours 24 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    National Institute of Justice's Research Assistantship Program https://t.co/BaaQUhAad7 #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    18 hours 27 min ago
  • ucsantabarbara twitter avatar
    More recognition for #UCSB faculty members. Three professors have been named fellows of the Institute of Electrical… https://t.co/7l3QI51qtl
    18 hours 48 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Applications open for Litfin Performing Arts Scholarship https://t.co/xZyxvpIZbC #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    19 hours 2 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Apply now for L’Oréal's Women in Science program https://t.co/pjkjML2eSh #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    19 hours 38 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Postdoc opportunity at UCSF Center for Health and Community https://t.co/Ab49ZFuOLw #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    20 hours 15 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    UCHRI offers new grant to support digital humanities projects https://t.co/wtR3VTQRgA #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    20 hours 15 min ago
  • UCSBgauchos twitter avatar
    Gauchos Travel to No. 17 Oregon State Saturday; Host LMU Monday Afternoon https://t.co/N37Uleh56p
    20 hours 37 min ago
  • UCSB_GradPost twitter avatar
    Resources and updates on the Thomas fire https://t.co/ZkdITGqNhu #UCSB #ucsbgradpost
    21 hours 20 min ago
  • brenucsb twitter avatar
    .@UniOfYork scientists used sea water and scrap metal to develop a technology that could help capture more than 850… https://t.co/EHNrbCwa6K
    22 hours 1 min ago

National Science Foundation Picks UCSB for New Chemical Bonding Center

Monday, August 30, 2004 - 17:00
Santa Barbara, CA

A new research center at the University of California, Santa Barbara, named the Chemical Design of Materials Center, is being established by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Headed by Nicola A. Spaldin, associate professor of materials at UCSB, the center is one of the first of three Chemical Bonding Centers (CBC) funded by NSF.

Each of these multi-faceted research groups will each tackle a "big problem" in chemistry, in an atmosphere that's intended to be flexible, tolerant of risk, and open to thinking far outside the box.

According to the NSF announcement of the new centers, each award provides $1.5 million to the CBC over a three-year period. At the end of that time, those centers showing high potential will be eligible to continue their work with a Phase II award, which will provide $2 million to $3 million per year for up to five years.

These awards are also potentially renewable for an additional five years.

In addition to the center at UCSB, the new Chemical Bonding Centers (CBCs) will be based at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Washington. Their respective goals are to carry out the rational design of materials having new kinds of electrical, magnetic, and optical properties; to synthesize artificial chemical systems that can undergo Darwinian evolution; and to explore new kinds of "green chemistry," in which materials can be synthesized on an industrial scale using environmentally friendly methods.

The CBC program was inspired by concern in the scientific community that the NSF has played it too safe with chemistry, say foundation officials---a perception that proposals for high-risk, high-payoff research have too often lost out to proposals for more of the same.

So with this initiative, says Philip B. Shevlin, one of the NSF program officers who manage the CBC program, "we wanted to encourage very talented people to attack major problems that would engage the public and have a long-term societal benefit---and that would not be what they were already doing."

The Chemical Design of Materials Center, led by Spaldin, will include work with chemists and materials scientists from UCSB as well as the University of Houston, Ohio State University and Carnegie Mellon University. Rational design is a dream for materials researchers, in the sense of starting from a set of specifications---"I want a material with properties A, B, and C"---and then systematically working out what the material should be, and how to make it. Spaldin and her colleagues hope to realize that dream---especially when it comes to "multifunctional" materials such as, say, magnets that respond in novel ways when exposed to light. In phase I of the project, the CBC team will first try to gain a better understanding of chemical bonding in solids, and then use that knowledge to create new materials with interesting electrical and magnetic properties. Finally, they will attempt to combine these new materials into rationally designed "smart" materials---that is, substances that can change and respond in useful ways to environmental stimulation. In addition, this CBC will conduct an extensive outreach program designed to enhance the public's appreciation of chemistry as a major driving force in modern innovation.

Since problems like this will almost always require many investigators and many kinds of expertise, adds Shevlin, he and his colleagues also looked for a new level of agility and flexibility in each of the centers' organization. "So if the research leads off in unexpected directions," he says, "the groups should be able to change personnel as needed, and bring in new kinds of expertise."

Note: Issued August 30, updated on September 7.

NSF Announcement
National Science Foundation