How do you make materials stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more energy efficient? You call the talented faculty at the UA. World-renowned in designing and constructing composites and applying nanotechnology techniques to reinforcing existing materials, the UA is well-positioned to produce the next generation of state-of-the-art materials useful in a variety of industries.
- Advanced Ceramics and Composites
- Nanotechnology and Carbon Fibers
- Glass Materials
- Hybrid Solar-electric Materials
- Magneto-optical Composites
UA scientists and engineers are well known for their research in advanced materials and manufacturing technologies. The Department of Materials Sciences and Engineering (MSE) is the primary unit focusing on composite materials, although researchers from such units as Chemistry and the College of Optical Sciences are also intimately involved. In MSE, the Arizona Materials Laboratory (AML) has multiple research facilities that are used by faculty and students to pursue research in glass materials, novel materials chemistry, and advanced ceramics and composites.
In the new Center for Interface Science: Hybrid Solar-Electric Materials, scientists are examining the important junctions between organic solar cells to look for ways to make them more efficient. Optical Sciences researchers have developed a method involving nanotechnology to create magneto-optical composite materials with a large magneto-optic response, for potential use in the fields of electronics, medical research, and optical communications. A civil engineering professor figured out how to develop and commercialize a novel high-tech carbon fiber that is used in the construction industry. Today, HJ3 Composite Technologies, a spin-off company founded by Professor Hamid Saadatmanesh, offers the most comprehensive line of strengthening products in the world for fortifying and protecting structures against earthquakes, blasts, and environmental damage. From creating polymer-coated magnetic nanoparticles with applications in information storage and biomedical devices, to designing new methods to fabricate photovoltaic cells with nanostructured surfaces that dramatically increase efficiency, UA faculty and students continue to innovate and invent with prowess and creativity.