Research

We innovate across disciplines and industries.

CaliBaja Center for Resilient Materials & Systems researchers develop advanced technologies for aerospace, energy, biomedical, environmental, defense and advanced manufacturing applications including advanced materials for jet engines, next-generation nuclear reactors, and biomedical devices. We are world leaders in the following:

Materials Design and Computation / Manufacturing and Integration / Synthesis and Fabrication / Characterization and Diagnosis / Talent Development / Economic Evaluation

Understanding how extreme environments affect the physical and chemical processes that occur in materials can open the door to the design of entirely new classes of materials and devices with greatly enhanced performance. At the same time, advances in characterization and computational tools can provide an unprecedented opportunity to elucidate these key mechanisms.

Our work allows atomic and molecular structures to be manipulated in a predictable manner to create new technologies that have extraordinary tolerance and can function within an extreme environment without degradation.

In addition, we develop materials and device manufacturing technologies that enable production of materials and devices with novel structures and also reduce technology costs and time of deployment.


ENERGY

Boosting the efficiency of fossil fuel power plants from the current level of 35 percent to 60 percent, for example, requires raising operating temperatures by nearly 50 percent and essentially doubling the operating pressures. These operating conditions require new materials that can reliably withstand the extreme heat, pressure, and highly corrosive environments of a power plant for long periods of time. For fission nuclear reactors the effect of irradiation damage must be added to the extreme conditions.


BIOMEDICAL

Center researchers are developing innovative composite biomaterials for new biomedical devices and systems in which the biomolecules are placed out of their normal physiological environment and connected with specific inorganic materials to create new sensors, actuators, or energy sources.


EXPERIMENTAL + COMPUTATIONAL

Center researchers connect experimental and computational efforts in the design, synthesis / processing, and characterization of materials and devices in extreme conditions. This work is informed by our ab initio, molecular dynamics, and computational thermodynamics efforts in a seamless manner, connecting materials processing and physical behavior to theoretical models.


MATERIALS AND DEVICE CHARACTERIZATION

We perform materials and device characterization at a variety of conditions (i.e., high- strain rates and elevated temperatures). One area of focus is high-temperature X-ray diffraction and calorimetry for development of materials phase diagrams and materials stability with respect to oxidation (and their validation to computational thermodynamics principles); quantification of the microstructure and defects of the materials using atom probe and advanced microscopy techniques and how this relates to mechanical behavior; and novel multiscale and elevated temperature measurements of physical behavior that can include real-time compression testing under static and dynamic pressures, elastic moduli and quality factors using dynamic resonance techniques, creep deformation, and magnetooptical material response.


Research Presentations from CaliBaja Center Inauguration

Technical presentations from May 2016 Center inauguration.

Mechanics and Materials Problems in Medical Device Technology and Information Storage
Frank E. Talke
Center for Memory and Recording Research
UC San Diego

Suicide Inactivation of Peroxidases:
The main challenge for industrial applications
Rafael Vazquez-Duhalt
Centro de Nanociencias y Nanotecnologia UNAM

Exploring Length Scale-Property
Relationships in nanocrystalline materials
J. E. Garay
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
UC San Diego

Studies of the Impact Dynamics of Single Tin Nanoparticles
Robert E. Continetti
Chemistry and Biochemistry
UC San Diego

Large Deformation, Instabilities, Damage and Activity in Soft Materials
Shengqiang Cai
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
UC San Diego

High Pressure-High Temperature Processing of Advanced Materials
Vitali F. Nesterenko
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
UC San Diego