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Bioactive Plastics With Programmable Degradation And Microplastic Elimination

Although the plastic waste crisis has reached a breaking point, current recycling approaches are unable to remediate microplastic pollution. Biodegradable and renewable plastics have shown promise but impact neither microplastic elimination nor complete plastic recycling due to diffusion-limited enzymatic surface erosion and random chain scission. Here it is shown that nanoscopic dispersion of trace enzyme (e.g. lipase) in plastics (e.g. polycaprolactone [PCL]) leads to fully functional plastics with eco-friendly microplastic elimination and programmable degradation. Nanoscopic enzyme encapsulation leads to:continuous degradation to achieve 95% microplastic eliminationa single chain-based degradation mechanism with repolymerizable small molecule by-products via selective chain end scission rather than random chain scissionspatially- and temporally-programmable degradation of melt-processed host matrix due to the dependence of single chain degradation on local lamellae thickness regardless of bulk percent crystallinity formulation of conductive ink for 3-D printing with full recovery of the precious metal filler With recent developments in synthetic biology and genome information, nanoscopically embedding catalytically active enzymes in plastics may lead to an immediate, environmentally friendly and technologically viable solution toward microplastic elimination and material recycling.

Homogeneous Freestanding Luminescent Perovskite Organogel with Superior Water Stability

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a perovskite-embedded organogel with superior water stability and versatile design and mechanical properties.

Three-Dimensional Holey Graphene/SnO2 Composite Anodes with Ultra Areal Capacity for Lithium-Ion Batteries

UCLA researchers in the Schools of Engineering and Chemistry have developed a novel material for lithium-ion battery anodes. The composite exhibits unprecedented mass loading and energy storage capacity, expanding the applications and efficiency of lithium-ion batteries.

Scalable Manufacturing of Copper Nanocomposites with Tunable Properties

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a cost-effective method to produce copper-based nanocomposites with excellent mechanical, electrical and thermal properties.

High Performance Platinum-Based Catalyst Combined with Carbon Support Engineering

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a fuel cell catalyst system comprised of platinum-based alloys with a novel carbon support. The fuel cell has improved mass activity targets and increased stability.

Composite Membranes For Energy Storage Devices

Dendritic growth inside a high capacity electrochemical system can initiate self-discharge and a very dangerous set of reactions that result in cell temperatures reaching >500 °C within seconds of internal shorting. Thus, cell components are often designed with shut-off features that engage after shorting occurs and cell temperature begins to rise, but before a threshold temperature is reached (e.g. runaway temperature). For example, some separator membranes can be designed to collapse in response to high temperatures, blocking ion-flow and effectively shutting off the cell. However, this process is irreversible and will not prevent thermal runaway if a critical temperature is reached before proper shutoff can occur. Additionally, such membrane will have little effect if the short circuit occurs from separator penetration by a metallic dendrite. Reversible thermo-responsive membranes have been developed, but share similar drawbacks during internal shorting and rapid self-discharge.

Thermally and Chemically Resistant, Tin-Based Tooling for Glass Melting

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a tin-based tooling that exhibits high thermal shock resistance and has low chemical reactivity. This tooling can be produced using standard slip casting techniques by incorporating newly-developed additives.

A Method Of Making Carbon Coated Oxides As High-Performance Anode Materials

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a carbon-coated silicon nanoparticle-based electrode material for lithium-ion batteries with high energy density and long lifetime.  They have also developed a scalable fabrication method for this material.

Micro- and Nanocomposite Support Structures for Reverse Osmosis Thin Film Membranes

UCLA researchers in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have invented a novel nanofiltration (NF) and reverse osmosis (RO) composite membrane for water desalination applications.

Novel Multi-Scale Pre-Assembled Phases of Matter

UCLA researchers from the Departments of Chemistry and Physics have developed a novel method for creating multi-scale pre-assembled phases of matter with customizable symmetries, topologies, and degrees of order and disorder.

Highly Durable and Active Fuel Cell Electro-Catalyst Designed with Hybrid Support

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have demonstrated an innovative electrocatalyst design with a hybrid support for fuel cells that can dramatically increase the lifetime of the catalyst, as well as its activity.

Robust, Ultra-Flexible, Micro-Encoded Ferromagnetic Tape for Bioseparation and Assembly

Researchers at the UCLA Department of Bioengineering have developed methods to embed electroplated magnetic materials within elastomeric materials and use these flexible magnetic hybrid materials for biological applications.

Conductive and Elastic Nanocellulose Aerogels

Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed conductive nanocellulose aerogels as building blocks for mechanical strain sensors and coaxial aerogel fibers for cryo- and thermo-protective insulation.

High Stability PtNiX-M Electrochemical Catalyst

UCLA researchers in the Department of Material Science and Engineering have invented a novel and highly stable platinum-based catalyst material for fuel cell technologies.

Highly Ductile And Durable Double-Network Based Cementation – “D3 Cement” By Using Self-Healing Organic-Inorganic Double Network

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed a self-healing cementing material with high ductility and durability.

High Performance PtNiCuMo Electrochemical Catalyst

UCLA researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have developed multimetallic PtNiCuMo nano octahedral catalyst that has demonstrated greatly improved mass activity, specific activity, and stability for application in fuel cells.

Dynamic polymers based on siloxane exchange

Researchers at UCI have developed a novel method for generating malleable, recyclable polymers which have higher thermal stability than those previously reported..

Graphene-Polymer Nanocomposite Incorporating Chemically Doped Graphene-Polymer Heterostructure for Flexible and Transparent Conductive Films

UCLA researchers in the Department of Electrical Engineering have invented a novel graphene-polymer nanocomposite material for flexible transparent conductive electrode (TCE) applications.

Scalable And Inexpensive Production Of Polymer-Metal Nanocomposite By Thermal Drawing

UCLA researchers have developed a fabrication process for uniformly distributing metallic nanoparticles within polymer fibers.

Composite Foam

UCLA researchers in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering have developed a novel composite foam for impact applications.

Robust Mesoporous Nife-Based Catalysts For Energy Applications

UCLA researchers in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry have used selective dealloying method to produce novel high-performance, robust, and ultrafine mesoporous NiFeMn-based metal/metal oxide composite oxygen-evolving catalysts.

3D Printer with Improved Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Three dimensional (3D) printer and rapid prototyping (RP) systems are currently used to quickly produce objects and to prototype parts using CAD tools. Most RP systems use an additive, layer-by-layer approach to building parts by joining liquid, powder, or sheet materials to form physical objects. Some of these RP systems through selective laser sintering amalgamate materials by heating them with lasers to generate 3D printed objects. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine have created a new 3D printer with improved selective laser sintering. The new 3D printer and process varies the composition of the materials in a 3D printed object thus creating an object with enhanced strength, conductivity, heat resistance and other enhancing properties.

Architected Material Design For Seismic Isolation

Just in the Los Angeles area alone, USGS database shows a 95.23% change of a major earthquake occurring. While there are a variety of seismic devices already installed for the protection of high value structures, other customizable, cost efficient devices currently don’t exist for a wide range of other structures such as apartments, residential homes, or event moderate to high value equipment and artifacts. University of California has invented a novel material and method for creating cost efficient seismic protection devices for all types of such structures.

Multifunctional Cement Composites With Load-Bearing And Self-Sensing Properties

As improvements in technology allow for construction of bigger, more uniquely designed skyscrapers, bridges, and motorways that can carry greater loads and are seismically sound, current cement composites are being pushed to their performance limits. Now more than ever, assessing damage to cement composite structures is of integral importance. However, traditional methods can be destructive, subjective, and may not detect previously existing damage, which can be invisible to the naked eye or hidden beneath structural surfaces. Addition of conductive additives, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to cementitious composites attributes both load-bearing and damage self-sensing properties to the composites. However, current formulations and methods for producing these multifunctional cement composites require specialized equipment, are labor, time, and capital intensive, and are not scalable.

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