Wei Zhang sees great future in (malleable) plastics

ucb malleable-plasticsResearchers at CU-Boulder have discovered a new kind of plastic that can be reshaped or recycled either by heating or soaking in water.

Wei Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at CU-Boulder

Wei Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, led an interdisciplinary team of resear

Zhang’s research group collaborated with a team led by H. Jerry Qi, a University of Colorado Boulder professor of mechanical engineering who recently moved to the Georgia Institute of Technology. Their work was funded by the National Science Foundation.chers that published its findings in the journalAdvanced Materials late last month. Philip Taynton, a graduate student in Zhang’s research group, was part of the team.

The new material is a type of plastic called “malleable polymers.” Also known as “covalent adaptive networks,” these materials’ properties stem from reversible chemistry, which allows chemical bonds between the atoms in the polymer structure to trade places at elevated temperature.

Click Here to read the rest on the CU Connections Website

2 Department Graduate Students Awarded Prestigious NSF Fellowships

NSF clear

Steven Strong from the Eaves Group and Allison Reed Harris from the Vaida Group have received a prestigious National Science

 Foundation Graduate
Research Fellowship, which recognizes outstanding graduate students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Thirty CU-Boulder students were among the 2,000 fellowship winners announced by NSF earlier this month—the greatest number of fellows from any school in Colorado. Last year, 21 current CU-Boulder students won fellowships, setting the previous record. Twenty current students were awarded fellowships in 2012.

Allison Reed HarrisSteve Strong
Left: Steve Strong, Right: Allison Reed Harris

For More information please visit:http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/04/11/record-number-cu-boulder-students-awarded-prestigious-nsf-fellowships

University of Colorado - Vaida Group Website
University of Colorado - Eaves Group Website

Caruthers recipient of the 2014 ACS Award for Creative Invention

 

Marv Caruthers ACS 2014Marvin H. Caruthers is the recipient of the 2014 ACS Award for Creative Invention. The award recognizes a single inventor for the successful application of research in chemistry and/or chemical engineering that contributes to the material prosperity and happiness of people. The award consists of $5,000 and a certificate. Up to $1,000 for travel expenses to the meeting at which the award will be presented will be reimbursed.

For More information please visit: http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/funding-and-awards/awards/national/bytopic/acs-award-for-creative-invention.html

University of Colorado - Marvin Caruthers Faculty Page

 

Gordana Dukovic looking at how to use solar energy to produce fuels

Gordana Dukovic and Graduate Student AmanadagordanaNews002

Assistant Professor Gordana Dukovic is all for using sunlight and solar panels to produce electricity that can power homes and buildings.

But what she really wants to do is to better understand how to use sunlight to drive useful chemical reactions – essentially using solar energy to produce fuels rather than electricity. A fuel is basically a way of storing energy, she says, and the idea is to produce fuels that can be transported and used as needed, even when the sun is not shining. 

“The good news is we have renewable sources of energy, and the sun in particular,” said Dukovic of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The staggering fact is the amount of solar power reaching our planet in one hour is greater than our global energy consumption in one year. The big question is how to capture and convert this essentially infinite supply of solar energy into both electricity and fuels.”

Dukovic and her lab group – which includes two postdoctoral fellows and nine graduate students – are focused on fundamental problems in nanoscience, including using physical chemistry and materials chemistry to develop new materials that may be particularly efficient in harvesting sunlight.  

One example is to assemble “nanoscale architectures” that could absorb sunlight and help convert it to fuel, she said. “We are interested, for example, in what happens to an individual photon that is absorbed by a particular material and how that process eventually leads to chemical bonds that would be useful for storing solar energy.”

Born in Bosnia, Dukovic spent time in Croatia before moving to the United States. She received her bachelor’s of science from Rutgers University, her doctorate from Columbia University is 2006 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley before joining the CU-Boulder faculty in 2009.

Since arriving on campus, Dukovic has become a rising star. In February, she was selected to receive a prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship for $50,000 from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as the next generation of scientific leaders.

In 2013 Dukovic was named a Beckman Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, an award that provides up to $750,000 over four years to support Dukovic’s research on new materials for solar energy harvesting. In 2013 Dukovic also was named a Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement in Tucson for outstanding research and teaching, which carried an award of $75,000.

In 2012, Dukovic received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. The award is one of the highest honors given by NSF to early-career university faculty in science and engineering, and is intended to advance the development of their research and careers. Dukovic was awarded $600,000 over five years.

“These awards may come under my name, but I could not do any of this work without my students and postdocs,” she said.  “They are absolutely critical to the successes in our lab.  They spend countless hours getting difficult experiments working and they contribute new ideas to our research.”

Dukovic has had both undergraduate students and graduate students working in her lab since arriving at CU-Boulder.

In addition, she currently is teaching a graduate-level course on the chemistry of solar energy and also teaches the undergraduate physical chemistry curriculum.

Dukovic’s research also is being funded by grants from by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science and the American Chemical Society. 

Original Article: http://www.colorado.edu/news/features/researcher-looking-how-use-solar-energy-produce-fuels#sthash.VM0QRXOs.dpuf

Gordana Dukovic has been awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship for 2014

Gordana Dukovic

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced that Dukovic was one of 126 people in the U.S. and Canada selected for one of the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowships in 2014. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships are given to early career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them both as rising stars and the next generation of scientific leaders.

The winners were from 61 colleges and universities. Each Sloan Research Fellowship carries a two-year, $50,000 award.

Dukovic’s research focuses on fundamental problems in nanoscience and how they impact the harvesting of solar energy. Her lab is particularly interested in the design and synthesis of novel nanomaterials and their interactions with light that have applications for solar fuel generation.

See the whole article here:

http://www.colorado.edu/news/releases/2014/02/18/sloan-research-fellowship-latest-award-cu-boulder-professor-gordana-dukovic

For more information on Gordana Dukovic's Research, visit: Dukovic Research Group Website

Graduation Pictures - Fall 2013

Congratulations to our Fall 2013 Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduating Class!

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We sincerely hope our graduates and their guests enjoyed the afternoon and that many memories were created. Thank you to all who attended and participated in this milestone celebration.

As promised, we are happy to provide pictures of this wonderful event for viewing and downloading at no charge to you! For best resolution and reprinting, please download the full resolution images by clicking the link under the picture where it says "Full Size Image".

All pictures were taken by Nathan Campbell, Chemistry and Biochemistry IT Director, and he is more than happy to answer any technical questions for you.

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Prof. Jose Jimenez wins Ascent Award by AGU

 

Jose JimenezThe American Geophysical Union's (AGU) has awarded the "Ascent Award" to Prof. Jose-Luis Jimenez. The award "aims to reward exceptional mid-career scientists in the atmospheric and climate sciences," and recognizes Jose's use of innovative measurement technologies to "shift the paradigm underlying primary emission, secondary production, and chemical evolution of carbonaceous aerosols."

For please visit AGU's website for more information on this award: http://atmospheres.agu.org/sectionawards/ascentaward.shtml

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