Materials by Design: An NSF-Sponsored Workshop at UC Santa Barbara

Thursday March 17th to Saturday March 19th, 2011 at the Loma Pelona Center, UC Santa Barbara

Please note that the workshop is by invitation only, and is now closed to new participants

Organizing committee:

Stephanie Brock (Wayne State University)
Arthur Ramirez (University of California, Santa Cruz)
Ram Seshadri (University of California, Santa Barbara)
M. A. Subramanian (Oregon State University)
Mark Thompson (University of Southern California).

Image Gallery:

Gallery Files

Schedule and titles of talks:


List of potential questions to address:


List of participants and topics:



Research in Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC) spans the full spectrum of exploration from constituent atoms, to bonding, to physical properties in extended materials. The strong links to physical properties and the functional behavior of materials is a key aspect that distinguishes solid state and materials chemists from other practitioners of chemistry, physics, and materials science: a unique approach that includes inorganic and organic materials research, incorporating both crystalline and amorphous materials, and probed at the deepest level. The goal is frequently to achieve the desired physical properties in materials that enable a given application. In this context, we employ the term Materials by Design (MbD) to refer to research that seeks to create new materials for specific applications by design. The materials may range from solution-prepared nanoparticles, to small-molecule and polymer advanced electronic materials, to organic/inorganic hybrid materials, bulk oxides, main-group compounds, and intermetallics. One of the central goals of MbD is to make extensive routine use of computational techniques applied at multiple length scales to understand and predict new materials properties. Clearly, a vision for MbD needs to be inclusive and would rely heavily on collaboration with allied disciplines within Condensed Matter Physics (CMP) and Materials Science.

A key goal of the workshop is to respond to the recently published NRC report, Frontiers of Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology. The workshop will: (i) Use the NRC report to drive home the need for a more coordinated approach to the preparation of new materials, particularly in highly pure/crystalline form. Many of the findings and recommendations of the report are very relevant to the SSMC community, and to the directions it could take. The report specifically contains a section on MbD. (ii) Take advantage of present high-level discussions across funding agencies of the need for enhanced support for MbD. Such support is seen as critical to future U.S. innovation over a broad range of high technology and business sectors. (iii) Convene leaders from the SSMC community and from the adjacent field of condensed matter physics and materials science, to discuss new models for working together, to improve feedback between preparation of new materials on the one hand, and measurement of functional properties and utilization in devices, on the other.

Travel and map:

Please arrange to be at UCSB latest by 2:00 pm on Thursday March 17th, and to leave after 12:00 noon on Saturday March 19th.

The best way to get to Santa Barbara/Goleta is to fly (airport code SBA). The airport is within a few minutes of the UCSB campus.

Alternately, UCSB is about 100 miles from LAX, and there are road shuttle services such as the SB Airbus (take it to the last stop, Goleta) or door-to-door shuttle services such as the one run by Road Runner.

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner connects Goleta to LA, Irvine, and San Diego, but be advised that the Goleta stop does not have a cab stand, and you would need to call one.

If traveling by car, please look for the Highway 217 (Santa Barbara) exit on the 101 North, or the Los Carneros exit (Goleta) on the 101 South. For your navigation system, try: 552 University Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93106. Park at structure 22, indicated on the map near E1. Before you do so, pick up parking permits from us at Loma Pelona (we will be ready after 12:30 pm on Thursday 17th). Loma Pelona and P22 are only a few hundred yards apart.

For maps, please look at these JPG or PDF files. Parking structure 22 and Loma Pelona are enlosed in red boxes near E1 and F2 at the bottom left.


Rooms must be booked individually and paid for by particpants. All participants from out of town will be staying at the Best Western South Coast Inn. Please book before February 16th, after which rooms will be released. Three nights, checking in Thursday 17th and checking out Sunday 20th February are being held. If required, the night of Wednesday 16th can be reserved instead of Saturday 19th. While booking, please mention NSF Workshop and arrange to pay on your own (you will be reimbursed). Transport from the Best Western to the Workshop site will be organized. The Best Western arranges pick-ups and drops from the airport (free call from the airport) and to the Goleta SB Airbus station.

Food in downtown Santa Barbara:

Do look at the Santa Barbara Restaurant Guide and at Ram's Lower State Street Restaurant Guide.


Please search Santa Barbara weather. Average minimum and maximum temperatures for Santa Barbara in March are between 48 F and 66 F. Average precipitation for the month is 3.6 in. Evenings require warm clothing (at least for residents).


The workshop is supported by the National Science Foundation

Infrastructural support from the The University of California, Santa Barbara is acknowledged.


Marisol Cedillo Dougherty
Materials Research Laboratory
University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106-5121
Phone: (805) 893 2637
email: web: