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RESEARCH TO TECH COMMERCIALIZATION NANOTECH BY DR. SEAL’S RESEARCH GROUP LICENSED BY HELICON CHEMICAL CO. A nanoparticle additive for jet and rocket fuels that was developed by Sudipta Seal and his research group has been licensed to a company established by a former university researcher. Helicon Chemical Co., LLC, obtained exclusive rights to the technology that improves the dispersion and burning rates of solid fuel propellants. “It makes them safer, more environmentally friendly and easier to use,” said Sudipta Seal, director of the University of Central Florida’s

Advanced Materials Processing and Analysis Center (AMPAC) and the NanoScience Technology Center and Interim Chair of Materials Science and Engineering “This is a very high-impact agreement.” Seal and his team invented the technology in collaboration with Dr. Eric Petersen, a former professor at UCF who is now at Texas A&M University. Seal’s team included David Reid, who at the time was a graduate student at AMPAC/MSE. Reid went on to launch Helicon Chemical. The research was funded in part by contracts from the U.S. Department of Defense.


It’s the latest licensing agreement facilitated by UCF’s Office of Technology Transfer within the Office of Research and Commercialization, which manages the university’s intellectual property assets and helps bring discoveries by faculty, staff and students to the marketplace. Among the benefits of licensing agreements are royalties paid to the inventor’s college, department and to the inventor. “UCF has been very creative and innovative in helping these companies,” Seal said.


Laurene Tetard and her research team have developed a new method for identifying materials’ unique chemical vibrations and mapping their chemical properties at a much higher spatial resolution than ever before. The new approach is able to identify materials based on differences in the vibration produced when they’re subjected to different wavelengths of light. Results from the study will help reveal better methods for producing the most biofuel from cottonwood, the material examined using the new identification method, and help determine whether other plants are good candidates for biofuel production. Other potential uses of the new identification method include studying the effect of new treatments on citrus trees to save them from bacterial diseases rapidly decimating the citrus industry and studying the fundamental photonically-induced processes in complex systems such as in solar cell materials or opto-electronic devices. The research team included Laurene Tetard; Ali Passian, R.H. Farahi and Brian Davison, all of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Thomas Thundat of the University of Alberta.

ZHAI RECEIVES $297K AWARD Dr. Lei Zhai received $297,390 from the National Science Foundation for his research “Manufacturing Stable and Functional Hydrogel Nanofibers from Metal Ion Containing Polymer Blends”

The impressive presentations by graduate students at the first Professional Science Masters Day were highlighted in a recent article by UCFToday. PSM Nanotechnology students, Jennifer Parra and Robert Williamson, presented deliverables from their internships and discussed the benefits they were provided as part of a Professional Science Masters degree program. Parra interned at L’OREAL USA and Williamson interned at Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute. The event was an opportunity for the students to showcase their abilities to potential employers and network with industry professionals in their chosen field. The industry partners represented a variety of scientific companies around Central Florida with most attendees at the Director, CEO, or Company President level. It demonstrated the advantage of a PSM degree being designed for students who want to go directly into industry upon graduation and benefit from the hands-on internships.

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NanoMaterials Spring-Fall 2015  

NanoMaterials provides news and insight from nano and materials science research at the University of Central Florida. The magazine is publi...

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