Jul 13, 2017
Research image
Professors Richard Kaner and Sarah Tolbert are the recipients of the rare and coveted 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Special Creativity Award.
 
The two-year NSF Creativity Extension will be for their NSF funded project titled “Designing New Superhard Metal Borides”. The collaborative project seeks to understand the structure and bonding in metallic borides, some of which are capable of scratching diamond. Their project is one of only two NSF funded 3-year projects in the nation to be selected this year by the Solid State and Materials Chemistry (SSMC) Program Directors for a creativity extension. Pictured below is a sample of a superhard metallic boride synthesized in seconds via arc melting. (Image by Drs. Robert Taylor and Chris Turner)

The NSF Special Creativity award from the Division of Materials Research (DMR) is designed to recognize its most creative investigators who are attacking research problems at the forefront of their fields. Recipients of the award receive an automatic two-year extension on their NSF grant in which the award-winning research was performed and freedom to work on research topics of their choosing during the period of the extension.
 
Kaner holds faculty appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering.  He is a former Fulbright, Guggenheim, Packard and Sloan fellow, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the Materials Research Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry. Kaner's work has been recognized through numerous other national awards and fellowships including the Materials Research Society (MRS) Medal (2015), an ACS Award in the Chemistry of Materials (2012), and the ACS Tolman medal (2010). To learn more about Kaner’s research, visit his group’s website.
 
Tolbert holds faculty appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and in the UCLA Department of Materials Science and Engineering.  She is the recipient of a number of awards and honors including the Closs and Barrer Lectureships at the University of Chicago and Penn State, respectively, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, a Beckman Young Investigator Award, and a Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship. This year she was named a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC). To learn more about Tolbert’s research, visit her group’s website.