Materials science at Rice has a history of discovery and innovation, going back to the discovery of buckyballs in 1985. That discovery earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry for Richard Smalley, Bob Curl and Harold Kroto in 1996, and spawned research in carbon nanotubes across the schools of engineering and natural sciences. At Rice, nano-technology is by its nature interdisciplinary, with collaborations among mechanical engineering, bioengineering, chemistry, chemical and biomolecular engineering, electrical and computer engineering, civil and environmental engineering, and physics and astronomy. The result is world-changing research in carbon nanomaterials composites, photonics and nanoplasmonics, and energy conversion and storage.
Rice engineers boost output of solar desalination system by 50 percent.