NANOTECHNOLOGY, BIOCHEMICAL SENSORS AMONG
UH CHEMICAL RESEARCH PROJECTS
‘Chemistry Is Cool’ Theme of American Chemical Society
HOUSTON, Aug. 30, 2005 – From applications in sonar and
computers to gas grills and cigarette lighters, one University of
Houston chemist is on his way to creating a ‘recipe’
for making ‘better’ material.
Currently, engineers take materials that someone else has made and
improve them through processing techniques. P. Shiv Halasyamani,
associate professor of chemistry at UH, is creating new compounds
to better understand structural nuances that result in superior
materials behavior. Halasyamani has been invited to present his
research – “Structure-property relationships in new
oxide materials: piezoelectric, ferroelectric, and second-harmonic
generating characterization” – at the American Chemical
Society (ACS) 230th National Meeting and Exposition in Washington,
D.C., Aug. 28 to Sept. 1. More than 12,000 scientists are expected
to attend the national meeting.
Founded in 1876, the ACS is the world’s largest scientific
society dedicated to a single discipline, with more than 158,000
members. Chartered by the U.S. Congress, it is a world leader in
fostering chemical education and research.
The research Halasyamani will present focuses on new oxide materials
his UH group has created to exhibit particular properties, specifically
piezoelectricity – the ability of certain crystals to generate
a voltage in response to applied mechanical stress. Some common
applications include the production and detection of sound in microphones
and sonar; the generation of high voltages to ignite the gas in
electric cigarette lighters and portable gas grills and stoves;
electronic frequency generation used in quartz clocks, radio transmitters/receivers
and computers; and ultra-fine focusing of optical assemblies.
Small changes in materials’ structures can radically change
their properties, and Halasyamani is creating new compounds in order
to fundamentally understand their physical properties. Much of the
research involving piezoelectric materials focuses on known materials,
such as quartz or lead zirconate, and adjusting their composition
to produce superior performing materials. Halasyamani’s research
is another approach to creating superior materials and will have
possible applications in transducers, sensors and imaging systems.
“It is known that small changes in a material’s structure
can radically change its properties,” Halasyamani said. “If
we make a new compound, understand its structure and then do some
measurements, we can ideally relate the measurements to the structure.
Our ultimate goal is to imagine the composition of a material, predict
what its properties will be and then make the material. If we could
do this, then we would basically have a ‘recipe’ for
making a ‘better’ material.”
Halasyamani’s presentation will begin at 8 a.m., Tuesday,
August 30 in room 142 of the Washington Convention Center. Additional
faculty presenters from the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
and UH Cullen College of Engineering include the following:
- Rigoberto C. Advincula, an associate professor of chemistry,
is presenting three projects related to current group efforts
on nanostructured materials and funded by the National Science
Foundation, titled “Highly sensitive picomolar SPR/potentiometric
sensing of nerve agents using electrochemically crosslinked PAMAM
dendrimer/Cu ion complexes,” “Nanopatterning and nanocharge
layer-by-layer ultrathin films,” and “Telechelic polymer
velcros or brushes:Synthesis, characterization, and adsorption
- James M. Briggs, an assistant professor of biology, is presenting
“Water clusters at the dimmer interface of alanine racemases:
Structure and function.”
- Ramanan Krishnamoorti, a professor of chemical engineering and
chemistry and associate dean for research, is presenting “Dispersion
and properties of carbon nanotube based polymer nanocomposites.”
- T. Randall Lee, a professor of chemistry and chemical engineering,
is presenting “Specifically fluorinated organic thin films:
Tailored coatings for nanoscale applications.”
- B. Montgomery Pettitt, the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UH, is presenting “Fast
multipole communications scaling” and “Activity modeling.”
For more information about the ACS meeting and to access a schedule
of presenters and presentations, visit http://acswebcontent.acs.org/nationalmeeting/dc05/home.html.
About the University of Houston
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service with more than 35,000 students.
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