Developing Next-Generation Memory Technology, Creating Materials for Lighter, Stronger Cars

Four Students Take Top Honors with Cutting-Edge Research at UH Symposium

Developing next-generation memory technology and creating materials to build lighter, stronger cars were among cutting-edge research presentations that recently earned top honors for four students at the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston (TcSUH) 31st Semiannual Student Symposium May, 16, 2006.
The competition highlights original, multidisciplinary research efforts of undergraduate and graduate students.  Prizes are awarded based on originality and quality of research, quality of presentation, and skillful use of visual aids.

Stephen Tsui, a doctoral student in physics, received first prize for his research investigating resistive switching at the interfaces between metals and oxide materials.

"Condensed matter physics has a direct impact on the way we live," says Tsui.  "Interfacial resistive switching may become the basis for storage devices found in the cameras, cell phones, and MP3 players of tomorrow."

Expected to graduate in spring 2007, Tsui is working with advisor Paul C.W. Chu, professor of physics and T.L.L. Temple Chair of Science, a world-renowned scientist for his discovery of high-temperature superconductivity.

Liang Xu, a doctoral student in chemical engineering, earned second prize for his work with polymer nanocomposites- materials that can be used in the automobile industry to build lighter, stronger cars.

"The current need for lightweight materials in the automobile industry has motivated me to pursue my research," says Xu, whose advisor is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Ramanan Krishnamoorti.  "I would expect this type of research to help reduce gas consumption in the United States."

Dana Gheorghe and Vance Jason Styve, both doctoral students in chemistry, tied for third prize with their presentations related to superconductivity.

Working with advisor Associate Professor of Chemistry Arnold Guloy, Gheorghe presented research regarding synthesizing superconductors based on mixed-valent gold bromides.

Styve, working with advisors Professor of Chemistry Don Elthon and Research Associate Professor James Meen, presented research on phase relations of BSCCO superconductors.

"Hopefully researchers and industry will use my work to better understand the processing and produce higher quality Bi-2223 and Bi-2212 superconductors with fewer (or no) contaminates," says Styve.  "Everyone would feel the economic ramifications of industrial production of high quality bulk superconductors, which would result in lower energy loss and reduction in cost."

The Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston is internationally recognized for its multidisciplinary research and development of high temperature superconductors (HTS) and related materials.