TEXAS CENTER FOR SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AT
UH EXPANDS EFFORTS
New Initiatives Under Way in Superconducting, Energy and Nano Materials
HOUSTON, Jan. 9, 2006 –The Texas Center for Superconductivity
at the University of Houston (TcSUH), internationally recognized
for its multidisciplinary research and development of high temperature
superconductors (HTS) and related materials, has announced a major
reorganization and new national and international initiatives.
The center’s cutting-edge research is fueling innovative
technologies with applications in electricity transmission, power
generation, medicine and defense. Important TcSUH programs include
discovery, understanding and applications of materials that become
superconductors at new record high temperatures, production of pure
oxygen for medical and industrial applications, lowering the operating
temperature of solid oxide fuel cells for clean energy, and development
of nano materials and technologies.
Allan J. Jacobson, Robert A. Welch Chair of Science, professor
of chemistry and founding director of the UH Center for Materials
Chemistry was appointed as TcSUH director by UH President Jay Gogue.
Paul C.W. Chu serves as TcSUH’s executive director and chief
science advisor without salary and continues as the T.L.L. Temple
Chair of Science and professor of physics, leading HTS and advanced
materials research programs at UH while also serving as president
of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Chu’s unique
combination of positions has afforded TcSUH an outstanding opportunity
to strengthen its international collaborations to advance HTS and
related materials science. Wei-Kan Chu, Robert A. Welch Professor
of Physics, who is internationally recognized for his pioneering
ion beam research, serves as research director.
Jacobson, pleased at the realignment of the TcSUH mission and research
focus, said, “We have strengthened our primary commitment
to fundamental and applied superconductivity research while also
taking advantage of the expertise and synergy between our HTS researchers
and strong UH research programs in nanomaterials and energy materials.”
Recent TcSUH collaborations established with DOE Superconductivity
Partnership Initiative industrial members in the energy sector and
with the Strategic Partnership for Research in NanoTechnology (SPRING),
an alliance of Texas universities, create an outstanding opportunity
for the further development of materials research at UH, Paul Chu
The center encompasses three major research divisions. As TcSUH’s
largest core program, the Superconductivity and Related Materials
division explores the fundamental aspects of HTS and related materials,
focusing its applied programs in biomedical technologies, HTS wire
and coated conductor characterization and development, and devices
for energy, communications, transportation, space and defense.
The Energy Materials and Applications division conducts collaborative
research in the area of fuel cells, ion transport membranes, and
energy transmission and storage for energy production, distribution
and utilization, where there is strong overlap with the HTS coated
The Nanoscale Materials and Applications division has programs
in nanomagnetics, inorganic nanomaterials, bionano materials, and
organic films and nanocomposites. Each program has strong alliances
with U.S. and international universities, industrial partners and
medical institutions. A new Seed Projects Initiative provides initial
support for innovative projects to capture new developments in science
and engineering, and 11 additional UH faculty members from chemistry,
physics and engineering were funded for FY06.
All TcSUH research divisions are supported by the Materials Characterization
Facilities that include a new world-class scanning tunneling microscopy
facility for studies of HTS and related materials that will officially
open this summer.
A new initiative, the Houston International Materials Forum (HIMF),
is being established by Paul Chu with initial private funding from
the S.S. Chern Foundation to support an environment for the world’s
brightest minds to brainstorm selected crucial issues of current
materials. It is anticipated that HIMF will become one of the world’s
leading venues for intellectual inquiry and exchange in HTS and
Training the next generation of scientists and engineers is central
to TcSUH’s mission. The center’s extensive education
and outreach activities support science education at the graduate,
undergraduate, secondary and elementary school levels through programs
that provide opportunities for student research, disseminate current
superconductivity and complex materials research and applications,
encourage students to pursue science and engineering careers, and
enhance elementary and secondary science teacher professional development.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research
and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers
and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate,
civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university
in the U.S., stands at the forefront of education, research and
service with more than 35,000 students.
For more information about TcSUH, visit the center’s Web
site at www.tcsuh.uh.edu.
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