PREM: Cal State L.A. & Penn State Partnership for Materials Research and Education

Project: Research project

Project Details


Non-Technical Summary:

This is a Partnership for Research and Education in Materials (PREM) between California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), and Penn State University (PSU). Through collaboration between three CSULA departments (Physics, Chemistry and Biochemistry and Mechanical Engineering) in two colleges (Natural and Social Sciences and Engineering and Technology) and the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) for Nanoscale Science at PSU, this PREM is designed to enhance the research and education of materials sciences and engineering at CSULA, a minority-serving institution. Its focus is on mentoring, guiding and training undergraduate and master's students for careers in materials via a comprehensive scientific and educational program that also facilitates the development of a Master's of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering at CSULA while establishing a bridge structure for CSULA students to continue on to PhD studies at Penn State or other leading institutions, or to seek employment in the field after graduation.

Technical Summary:

The PREM integrates three research topics with one educational component as follows. (T1) Magnetic, Electrical, Thermal and Ferroelectric Properties of the Oxygen-isotope Substituted Half-doped Manganites seeks to study and develop new interfaces using isotope substitutions in specific multiferroic materials that present potentially controllable electric and magnetic properties near room temperature. Such materials are very promising for the development of low-power spintronic devices. (T2) Oxygen-evolving Electrocatalysts and Photoelectrocatalysts Immobilized onto Light-absorbing Perovskite Metal Oxides seeks to develop new routes to renewable energy sources (hydrogen production) by extracting the catalytic cluster that allows the process of water splitting in plants and stabilize it onto perovskite substrates using synthetic methods. (T3) Development of Catalytic Nanopumps Utilizing Carbon Nanotubes and Layer-by-Layer Processing studies catalytic, non-mechanical, nanopumps able to function without a power source and deliver controllable microscale flows that respond to specific stimuli. This project utilizes catalytic enzymes attached to vertically aligned carbon nanotubes and fabricated using layer-by-layer techniques. The educational, long-lasting, impact of this PREM is reflected in the development of curriculum and the implementation of a higher degree in the field of materials science and engineering though (T4) Development of CSULA's Master of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering and Educational Plan for the PREM.

A central theme in all PREM activities is the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in sciences and technology. These activities are critical to the vision and strategic planning of CSULA and its service to the community, given its location in the Los Angeles area, its ever-increasing role in the education of underrepresented students, and the expanding and evolving field of materials science. A summer research experience for talented high schools students is also offered in collaboration with four local minority high schools (Roosevelt, Garfield, Lincoln and Wilson) with >95% Latino enrollment.

Effective start/end date9/1/152/29/24


  • National Science Foundation: $3,499,390.00


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