Angela Belcher

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Angela M. Belcher
Citizenship American
Fields Biological engineering, materials science
Alma mater University of California, Santa Barbara (B.S. 1991, Ph.D. 1997)
Known for Viral assembly of nanotechnology

Angela M. Belcher is a materials scientist, biological engineer, and W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States.[1] She is director of the Biomolecular Materials Group at MIT and a 2004 MacArthur Fellow.

Belcher grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her Bachelor's degree from the College of Creative Studies in 1991 and her Ph.D. in chemistry in 1997.[2]

After studying abalone shells, she worked with several colleagues at MIT and engineered a virus, known as the M13 bacteriophage whose target is usually Escherichia coli. M13 can be made to latch onto and coat itself with inorganic materials including gold and cobalt oxide. The long tubular virus (coated in cobalt oxide) now acts as a minuscule length of wire called a nanowire. Belcher's group coaxed many of these nanowires together and found that they resemble the basic components of a potentially very powerful and compact battery. In 2002 she founded Cambrios with Evelyn L. Hu of (at the time) University of California, Santa Barbara.[3] Their vision relied upon the use of nanostructured inorganic materials, fabricated and shaped by biological molecules to create novel materials and processes for a variety of industries.

In 2009 Belcher and her team demonstrated the feasibility of using genetically-modified viruses to build both anode and cathode of a lithium-ion battery. These new batteries have the same energy capacity and power as cutting-edge rechargeable batteries earmarked for use in hybrid cars, as well as powering a range of electronic devices. The batteries could be manufactured using a cheap and environmentally friendly process, as the synthesis can be done near room temperature, using no harmful solvents or toxic materials.[4][5]

A Time article[6] featured her work on viral batteries and Scientific American named her research leader of the year in 2006 for her current project.[7] In 2002, she was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DMSE - Faculty - Angela Belcher. Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  2. ^ Belcher, Angela (June 2003). "The College of Creative Studies - Distinguished Alumni - Angela Belcher, Ph.D. (From her commencement speech, June 2003)". University of California, Santa Barbara. 
  3. ^ About Cambrios. Cambrios Technologies Corp.
  4. ^ "Virus-Built Battery Could Power Cars, Electronic Devices". Science Daily. April 3, 2009. 
  5. ^ Lee, Y. J.; Yi, H., Kim, W.-J., Kang, K., Yun, D. S., Strano, M. S., Ceder, G., Belcher, A. M. (April 2, 2009). "Fabricating Genetically Engineered High-Power Lithium Ion Batteries Using Multiple Virus Genes". Science 324 (5930): 1051–1055. doi:10.1126/science.1171541. PMID 19342549. 
  6. ^ Lemonick, Michael D. (April 6, 2007). "Angela Belcher". Time. 
  7. ^ Minkel, J.R. (November 12, 2006). "Scientific American 50: Research Leader of the Year". Scientific American. 
  8. ^ "2002 Young Innovators Under 35". Technology Review. 2002. Retrieved August 16, 2011. 

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