Research Groups

Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE) – UCSB
Center for Multifunctional Materials & Structures (CeMMaS)
Center for Energy Efficient Materials (CEEM)
California Nanosystems Institute (CNI)
Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors
Computing Solutions Group at the Institute for Energy Efficiency
Member of the Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing
Institute for Multiscale Materials Studies
Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials
Materials Research Laboratory (MRL)

Current Projects and Collaborations

IEE — Energy Efficient Computing Solutions: Researchers are developing an array of technological solutions to enable faster computing and electronics, including optoelectronics, cooling technologies, wireless networking, and life-cycle analysis while striving for energy efficiency.

IEE — Electronics & Photonics Solutions: Researchers are looking at ways to make electrical devices from communication and entertainment more energy efficient.

IEE — Lighting Solutions: Researchers have developed a 150 lumen/watt LED white light source — the efficiency level considered the threshold for commercialization. The Institute’s challenge is to double this efficiency with production methods that scale to allow costs similar to incandescent light bulbs.

Individuals ( * indicates participation in IEE)

Steven Buratto*
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Buratto has conducted research which looks at the polymer films present in LEDs by using near-field optical spectrscopy and near-field scanning microscopy. Looking at these films provides direct insight into the functioning/performance of these devices. The films affect such factors as carrier generation, transport, and device lifetime. He has additionally researched proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. These fuel cells provide efficient power with a low Environmental impact by generating electricity from chemical energy.

Institute for Energy Efficiency 
California NanoSystems Institute
Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology

Michael Chabinyc*
Materials

Dr. Chabinyc studies materials for energy conversion. Some of his specific focuses include organic semiconductors and hybrid inorganic materials for energy conversion.

California NanoSystems Institute
Institute for Energy Efficiency 
Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials
Materials Research Laboratory

Fred Chong*
Computer Science

As the Director of the Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing, Dr. Chong's research includes Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of information technologies. This method of analysis can be applied to computing strategies in order to gauge their Environmental impact and energy efficiency. He also studies emerging technologies for energy-proportional computation. Energy-proportional computation saves computer server energy as well as increasing real-time use efficiency as computing workload varies.

The Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing
Institute for Energy Efficiency

Frederic Gibou*
Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, & Computer Science

Dr. Gibou's research focuses on the design and applications of high resolution computational methods. These are used in materials science in the study of solidification processes used in the energy sector, as well as in the study of fluid motion applied to flows at the micro and the nanoscale levels. Applications include the study of flows in porous media, including those in oil reservoirs or in porous electrodes of supercapacitors. Dr. Gibou's work has helped develop models enabling the understanding of the charging of supercapacitors. Gibou was part of a MURI (Multi-University Research Initiative) team that was developing physics-based computational approach for predicting multiphase flows with high fidelity, with a focus on understanding cavitation in a turbulent Environment. When considering that bubbles are responsible for a large loss in propulsion efficiency and that about 90 percent of the world’s goods are transported by sea, any progress on ships’ efficiency will translate into significant reduction of our energy consumption.

Institute for Energy Efficiency
Center for Control, Dynamical Systems and Computation
Center for Energy Efficiency Design
Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing

Melvyn Manalis*
Environmental Studies

Professor Manalis holds a PhD in Physics. His research interests surround the development of quantifiable sustainability measures, as well as integrated energy planning and industrial ecology. He is also a research professor in the Environmental Studies Program and associated with the Institute for Energy Efficiency. He continues to carry on research that integrates thermodynamic applications to coupling of human and natural systems, with the emphasis on information feedbacks between these systems. Priorities in this research are economic considerations within and the ethical commons alignment of human and natural systems.

Institute for Energy Efficiency

Horia Metiu*
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Metiu's research involves searching for new catalysts in order to convert natural gas into useful chemicals.

Institute for Terahertz Science and Technology
Institute for Energy Efficiency
California NanoSystems Institute

Igor Mezic*
Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Mezic’s current research is centered on an operator-theoretic approach to analysis of nonlinear dynamical systems, applications in microfluidics and (bio)-nanotechnology. The research topics can be grouped as follows: 1) mixing and separation in fluids across the scales with applications ranging from microfluidic phenomena to oceanographic flows; 2) nano and micro-scale particle dynamics induced by dielectrophoresis and other electrokinetic phenomena, with applications to biotechnology; 3) multiscale dynamics of the Atomic Force Microscope, including interactions with biomolecules; and 4) dynamical systems theory of complex systems, including large-scale networked systems. In each of these topics, the research is characterized by pursuit of the key physical phenomena in a device or system, followed by the abstraction of the mathematical problem (or problems) associated with it. The loop is closed by applying the solution of the mathematical problem to explain the physical phenomena or design new concepts based on which devices can be built or improved.

Institute for Energy Efficiency
California NanoSystems Institute

Daniel Morse*
Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology

Professor Morse and his group conduct research focused on biophotonics and biologically inspired photonic technologies to improve the efficiency of solar energy, light-emitting diodes and infrared detectors. Previously recognized for their innovation of "Silicon Biotechnology," the team's approach is focused on advantageous mechanisms they are discovering in biological systems and translating into practical new materials and engineering.

Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies
Center for Nanomedicine
California NanoSystems Institute
Institute of Energy Efficiency

Ram Seshadri*
Chemistry & Biochemistry

Professor Seshadri researches functional inorganic materials with applications in energy conversion, energy storage, and information technology. A primary goal of the research is greater efficiency in energy conversion and storage and the recovery of waste heat. In and of themselves, these are expected to significantly minimize the impact of energy technologies on the Environment. In addition, his research addresses resource availability and life-cycle issues, in attempts to ensure that future energy technologies are not based on scarce or polluting elements.(Original: Ram Seshadri’s research encompasses a number of areas in the chemistry of inorganic materials, including new ways of preparing materials, seeking clues from nature on how to make new high-performance materials, magnetism in inorganic solids, chemical patterning of inorganic materials on large (micrometer) length scales, and using first principles electronic structure calculations to predict new material properties. In addition to his focus on magnetism, polar materials, and porosity, Seshadri is increasingly investigating materials for heterogeneous catalysis and for applications in solid-state lighting (semiconductors, phosphors , etc.). He also extensively researches functional (particularly oxide) nanomaterials.

Institute of Energy Efficiency
Institute for Multi-scale Materials Studies
Solid State Lighting and Energy Center
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors
Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials
Materials Research Laboratory

Timothy Sherwood*
Computer Science

Dr. Sherwood's research is in the area of computer system design. Techniques developed by his group provide a powerful new ways to improve the energy efficiency of computer systems and to help us understand the impact of design decisions including e-waste.

Institute for Energy Efficiency
Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing

Galen Stucky*
Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Stucky's research interests include biosystem processes (e.g., blood clotting, cascade chemistry, and hemostasis) and the chemistry associated with the efficient use of energy resources. He has done research that furthers the development of energy storage systems, including the use of solar photocatalytic synthesis to make high energy density useful chemicals, and he has studied the conversion of methane to chemicals and fuels.

Institute of Energy Efficiency
Institute for Multi-scale Materials Studies
Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials
Materials Research Laboratory
Center for Nanomedicine
California NanoSystems Institute
UC Center for Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology

Chris Van De Walle*
Materials

Dr. Van de Walle's research covers a broad range of issues related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. He is engaged in fundamental studies of group-III nitride semiconductors, the key materials for solid-state lighting, and gallium oxide, a novel material that will make high-power electronics much more efficient. He also investigates hydrogen storage materials and materials for fuel cells and coatings for smart energy-saving windows.

Solid State Lighting and Energy Center
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Band-Gap Semiconductors
Materials Research Laboratory
California NanoSystems Institute
Center for Low Energy Systems Technology

Yongqiang Wang
Chemical Engineering

Dr. Wang works with Professor Frank Doyle on systems and control, wireless sensor networks, systems biology, and complex networks, among other interests. In October of 2012, he published a paper titled "Energy-efficient pulse-coupled synchronization strategy design for wireless sensor networks through reduced idle listening," that discusses significantly reducing the total energy consumption in a synchronization process by reducing idle listening by introducing a large refractory period in each oscillation period of the sensor.

Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies

Claude Weisbuch*
Materials

Dr. Weisbuch's research involves semiconductors, physics, and LEDs. He and his team of researchers recently collaborated with scientists from other universities to identify what causes light emitting diodes (LEDs) to be less efficient at high drive currents, a phenomenon known as LED 'droop.' They showed that 'droop' is caused by Auger recombination, a process by which energetic electrons, instead of emitting light, collide with other electrons and lose their energy in the form of heat. Understanding the origin of droop will lead to more efficient and cheaper LEDs. They provide long-lasting, highly efficient light sources and could further lessen the US' total electricity use from the foreseen 40% decrease if LED lamps were to replace less efficient incandescent and fluorescent lights, and accelerate the situation.

Institute for Energy Efficiency
Center for Energy Efficient Materials
Solid State Lighting & Energy Center
Interdisciplinary Center for Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

Richard Wolski*
Computer Science

Dr. Wolski's research interests include cloud computing and large-scale high-performance distributed systems. His research includes the study of new power-aware resource management algorithms for data centers using private cloud technologies. He also makes his work available as open source through the Eucalyptus private cloud project. Eucalyptus has been used worldwide to optimize data centers through the adoption of a private cloud based IT.

Institute for Energy Efficiency
Center for Energy Efficiency Design and the Greenscale Center for Energy-Efficient Computing
Former Chief Technology Officer at Eucalyptus Systems California NanoSystems Institute

Haito Zheng*
Computer Science

Dr. Zheng's research focuses on harnessing the fundamental concepts of the human cognitive cycle and applying them to device networks. This allows the networks to manage themselves in a self-aware and adaptive manner.

Institute for Energy Efficiency