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From the College of Natural Sciences
More Charge Acceptors aren’t Necessarily Better for Solar Cells

More Charge Acceptors aren’t Necessarily Better for Solar Cells

Chemists from Rice University and The University of Texas at Austin discovered more isn't always better when it comes to packing charge-acceptor molecules on the surface of semiconducting nanocrystals, such as those in solar cells.

Solar panels. Photo credit: Flickr user zak zak. Used via Creative Commons license CC BY 2.0.
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Chemistry Professor Earns Humboldt Award

Chemistry Professor Earns Humboldt Award

Dmitrii Makarov, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has won a Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

Nanoparticles Make it Easier to Turn Light into Solvated Electrons

Nanoparticles Make it Easier to Turn Light into Solvated Electrons

'Green' reducing agents could help tackle climate change and treat contaminated water.

When scientists shine low-intensity near-ultraviolet light on metal nanoparticles, electrons in the nanoparticles oscillate. This oscillation, referred to as a plasmon, can give the electrons enough energy to emit into the surrounding solution. Credit: Rice University.
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Chemistry Researcher Earns Prestigious Allen Distinguished Investigator Award

Chemistry Researcher Earns Prestigious Allen Distinguished Investigator Award

Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry and the Richard J. V. Johnson – Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry, has been honored with an Allen Distinguished Investigator award, it was announced today.

‘Smart Plastic’ Material is Step Forward Toward Soft, Flexible Robotics and Electronics

‘Smart Plastic’ Material is Step Forward Toward Soft, Flexible Robotics and Electronics

Inspired by living things from trees to shellfish, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin set out to create a plastic much like many life forms that are hard and rigid in some places and soft and stretchy in others­. Their success — a first, using only light and a catalyst to change properties such as hardness and elasticity in molecules of the same type — has brought about a new material that is 10 times as tough as natural rubber and could lead to more flexible electronics and robotics.

Cancer Agency Awards Grant to Recruit New Faculty in Chemistry

Cancer Agency Awards Grant to Recruit New Faculty in Chemistry

The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Oversight Committee recently awarded a recruitment grant for Ku-Lung "Ken" Hsu, a chemist joining The University of Texas at Austin. The CPRIT Scholar recruitment grant program attracts established and up-and-coming researchers to Texas institutions to advance their cancer-related research.

Baiz Earns Prestigious Research Fellowship

Baiz Earns Prestigious Research Fellowship

Carlos Baiz, associate professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been awarded the prestigious Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers from the Alexander Von Humboldt Foundation.

Scientists Encode “Wizard of Oz” in a Vanishingly Small Plastic

Scientists Encode “Wizard of Oz” in a Vanishingly Small Plastic

​Imagine being able to hide an extremely complex encryption password or detailed financial information for an organization inside the chemical structure of ink. It might sound like something out of a spy movie, but scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Massachusetts Lowell recently proved it possible.

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Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta Invents Ways to Detect Molecules in Living Cells

Devleena Samanta joined the Department of Chemistry in fall 2021 as an assistant professor. She designs and synthesizes nanoscale materials to address challenges in biology and medicine, and she's passionate about teaching students from a variety of backgrounds. She received her Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. We recently spoke with her to learn more.

Undergraduate Research Played Role in Paper Tied to Early Career Award

Undergraduate Research Played Role in Paper Tied to Early Career Award

Alex Bard, Joe Espinoza and Tyler King with two other FRI students (Margaret Tran and Emily Reynolds) in the Luminators research stream at the annual FRI picnic in 2014.

​When they joined the Luminators stream of the Freshman Research Initiative, alumni Tyler King, Alex Bard, Joe Espinoza, Desmond Schipper and Ohri Esarte Palomero all expected to have experiences in chemistry research that would serve them well in their future. What they may not have predicted was that they all would contribute to a paper that the Journal of Coordination Chemistry singled out for special recognition for being among its highest quality articles of the year.

When Good RNA Turns Bad

When Good RNA Turns Bad

RNAs are molecules that carry genetic information and control and regulate virtually all processes in our cells. Though RNA is vital, certain kinds can clump together in a way that is correlated with neurological disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington's disease. Biophysicist Dave Thirumalai, Collie-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, and his team now have developed a computer model that helps explain how this occurs.

Sessler Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Sessler Elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences

Jonathan Sessler, a professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been elected to the prestigious American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The Academy has been electing and engaging a cross-section of highly talented and brilliant individuals for more than 240 years.

Zak Page Named a 2022 Cottrell Scholar

Zak Page Named a 2022 Cottrell Scholar

​Zachariah Page, assistant professor of chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected as a 2022 Cottrell Scholar by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement.

Yi Lu Honored Among Top Inventors

Yi Lu Honored Among Top Inventors

Yi Lu, a chemist from The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, a prestigious distinction awarded to a select group of 164 academic innovators around the world for 2021.

Sodium-based Material Yields Stable Alternative to Lithium-ion Batteries

Sodium-based Material Yields Stable Alternative to Lithium-ion Batteries

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a new sodium metal anode for rechargeable batteries (left) that resists the formation of dendrites, a common problem with standard sodium metal anodes (right) that can lead to shorting and fires. Images were taken with a scanning electron microscope. Image credit: Yixian Wang/University of Texas at Austin.

University of Texas at Austin researchers have created a new sodium-based battery material that is highly stable, capable of recharging as quickly as a traditional lithium-ion battery and able to pave the way toward delivering more energy than current battery technologies.