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  • richardmitnick 1:20 pm on August 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A new era for the Fermilab accelerator complex- the era of superconducting radio-frequency acceleration., Argonne Lab, By the time the beam exits the final cavity of the last PIP-II cryomodule it will have gained 800 million electronvolts of energy and travel at 84% of the speed of light., Cavities and cryomodules built in France; India; Italy; the United Kingdom; and the United States., Cryomodules, , More than 1000 scientists from dozens of countries participate in LBNF/DUNE which will start in the mid-2020s., PIP-II is the first particle accelerator project in the United States with significant international contribution., PIP-II superconducting linear accelerator, PIP-II’s internationality reflects the biggest experiment it will power- the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment supported by the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility at Fermilab., The accelerator will generate high-power beams of protons which will in turn produce the world’s most powerful neutrino beam for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment., The cryomodule effort at Argonne began in 2012., The half-wave resonator cryomodule is a stellar example of how DOE labs work together to execute major projects that involve technological aptitude that no single lab has by itself.   

    From Fermi National Accelerator Lab: “First major superconducting component for new high-power particle accelerator arrives at Fermilab” 

    FNAL Art Image
    FNAL Art Image by Angela Gonzales

    From Fermi National Accelerator Lab , an enduring source of strength for the US contribution to scientific research world wide.

    August 19, 2019
    Leah Hesla

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    The first cryomodule of the PIP-II superconducting linear accelerator is lifted off the truck that delivered it from Argonne National Laboratory to Fermilab on Aug. 16. Photo: Reidar Hahn

    It was a three-hour nighttime road trip that capped off a journey begun seven years ago.

    From about 12:30-3 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, the first major superconducting section of a particle accelerator that will power the biggest neutrino experiment in the world made its way along a series of Chicagoland roadways at a deliberate 10 miles per hour.

    Hauled on a special carrier created just for its 25-mile journey, at 3:07 a.m. the nine-ton structure pulled into its permanent home at the Department of Energy’s Fermilab. It arrived from nearby Argonne National Laboratory, also a DOE national laboratory.

    The high-tech component is the first completed cryomodule for the PIP-II particle accelerator, a powerful machine that will become the heart of Fermilab’s accelerator complex. The accelerator will generate high-power beams of protons, which will in turn produce the world’s most powerful neutrino beam, for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, hosted by Fermilab and provides for the long-term future of the Fermilab research program.

    FNAL LBNF/DUNE from FNAL to SURF, Lead, South Dakota, USA

    PIP-II is the first particle accelerator project in the United States with significant international contribution, with cavities and cryomodules built in France, India, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    The cryomodule effort at Argonne began in 2012. Scientists and engineers at Argonne led its design, working with a Fermilab team. The Argonne group also built the cryomodule, tested its subcomponents and assembled it, evolving a design used in one of Argonne’s particle accelerators.

    And now it’s arrived.

    “There is a profound significance in the arrival of the first PIP-II cryomodule: it ushers in a new era for the Fermilab accelerator complex, the era of superconducting radio-frequency acceleration,” said Fermilab PIP-II Project Director Lia Merminga.

    The PIP-II accelerator blueprint

    A cryomodule is the major unit of a particle accelerator. Like the cars of a train, cryomodules are hitched together end-to-end. The PIP-II linear accelerator will comprise 23 of them, adding up to a roughly 200-meter, near-light-speed runway for powerful protons.

    Very powerful protons. The new accelerator will enable a 1.2-megawatt proton beam for the lab’s experiments. That’s 60% more power than the lab’s current accelerator chain can provide.

    And it’s put together one cryomodule at a time. Each houses a string of superconducting acceleration cavities. These shiny metal tubes impart energy to the beam, and they too are placed end-to-end. As the proton beam shoots through one cavity after the next, it picks up energy, thanks to the electromagnetic fields inside the cavities, propelling the beam forward.

    By the time the beam exits the final cavity of the last PIP-II cryomodule, it will have gained 800 million electronvolts of energy and travel at 84% of the speed of light.

    Then it’s really off to the races: After the beam leaves the PIP-II linac, it will continue down any of a number of paths, charging through Fermilab’s accelerators and eventually smashing into a block of material. The resulting shower of particles will be sorted and routed to various experiments, where scientists study these morsels of matter to better understand how our universe operates at its most fundamental level.

    The 60% boost in PIP-II power — with the potential to increase power into the multimegawatt range at a later time — will provide more particles for scientists to study, accelerating the path to discovery.

    The PIP-II accelerator is expected to be integrated into the Fermilab accelerator complex in 2026.

    3
    This architectural rendering shows the buildings that will house the new PIP-II accelerators. Credit: Fermilab

    Riding the half-wave

    The Argonne-designed PIP-II cryomodule contains eight accelerating cavities that look like big balloon bow ties. They’re a special type, called half-wave resonators. (“Half-wave,” because the profile of the electromagnetic field inside it resembles half of a standing wave.)

    The half-wave resonator cryomodule will be first in the line of 23 and the only one of its kind at PIP-II.

    The job of the half-wave resonator cryomodule is to get the beam going almost as soon as it comes out of the gate, taking it from 2 to 10 million electronvolts. Each cryomodule after that takes its turn ramping up the beam to its final energy of 800 million electronvolts.

    Its design is based on those used in Argonne’s ATLAS particle accelerator, which accelerates heavy ions for nuclear physics research.

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    Argonne ATLAS Linear Accelerator Control & Monitoring Equipment

    The PIP-II version features a few improvements. For one, the cavity performance is top-notch, thanks to advances in acceleration technology. The cavities are made of superconducting niobium. Refinements over the past decade in both niobium treatment and cavity manufacture have made it possible for PIP-II cavities to kick the beam to higher energies over shorter distances compared to ATLAS and other comparable cavities. They’re also more energy-efficient.

    “We’re proud of the cavities we’ve built and their performance,” said Argonne physicist Zack Conway, who led the effort to build the cavities. “They’re truly world-leading.”

    The cryomodule keeps the cavities at a cool 2 kelvins, or minus 270 degrees Celsius. Niobium superconducts at 9.2 K, but its performance soars at 2 K. Advanced cryogenics (the “cryo” in cryomodule) ensure that the PIP-II cavities maintain their chill temperature.

    The result is a high-performance vehicle for beam.

    “It’s been good to collaborate with one of our sister labs,” said Fermilab scientist Joe Ozelis, who oversees the cryomodule project. “This model of collaborative effort with our partners is key to the continued future success of PIP-II. It’s gratifying to now know that it can indeed work.”

    4
    Scientists and engineers at Argonne led the design of these eight accelerator cavities, of a type called half-wave resonators, for the PIP-II accelerator. The Argonne team worked with Fermilab in the design. Photo: Argonne National Laboratory

    Time to test

    The recently arrived cryomodule has a way to go before it will be permanently installed as part of the PIP-II linear accelerator. For the next several months, Fermilab’s PIP-II group will perform a series of tests to make sure it meets specifications. Then, next year, a Fermilab group will test it with beam, putting the cryomodule through its paces.

    “The first of anything in a project like this is always exciting, but there’s more to this for me personally,” said Genfa Wu, Fermilab physicist and a PIP-II SRF and cryogenics system manager. “This is the first low-beta superconducting cryomodule I’ll get to test in my professional experience.”

    It’s also an initial run-through for the PIP-II cryomodule collaboration more generally. Twenty-two cryomodules are yet to be built and tested at Fermilab, of which 15 will arrive from outside the United States, including one prototype.

    “PIP-II is an international collaboration,” Wu said. “We’re actively working with our international partners to make sure all the cryomodules work together.”

    Partners in global science

    PIP-II’s internationality reflects the biggest experiment it will power, the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment, supported by the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility at Fermilab. The flagship science project aims to unlock the mysteries of neutrinos, subtle particles that may carry the imprint of the universe’s beginnings.

    Protons from the PIP-II beam will produce a beam of neutrinos, which will be sent 800 miles straight through Earth’s crust from Fermilab to particle detectors located a mile underground at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in South Dakota. DUNE scientists will study how the neutrinos change over that long distance. Their findings aim to tell us why we live in a universe dominated by matter.

    More than 1,000 scientists from dozens of countries participate in LBNF/DUNE, which will start in the mid-2020s. It’s a global project with the ambitious research goals to match. And four of the LBNF/DUNE international partners also contribute to PIP-II. For the United States, the international nature of the PIP-II project is a new way of building large accelerator projects.

    “The half-wave resonator cryomodule is a stellar example of how DOE labs work together to execute major projects that involve technological aptitude that no single lab has by itself,” Merminga said. “By leveraging Argonne’s experience in half-wave resonator technology, Fermilab is taking a major step in realizing its future while paving the road for even more collaboration. Exactly the same principle applies to our international partnerships, making PIP-II a very powerful new paradigm for future accelerator projects.”

    And in some ways, it is all starting to come together when a truck with a huge, high-tech metal container rolls down a street in the middle of the night.

    “The collaboration between has been very smooth, from design through fabrication,” Conway said. “That’s been wonderful.”

    It pays dividends in other dimensions, too.

    “We’ve learned so much from this for future collaborations, and those lessons are going to be vital for the linac project as a whole,” Ozelis said. “This is more than institutional. It’s a human endeavor as well.”

    This work is supported by the Department of Energy Office of Science.

    See the full here.


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    Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), located just outside Batavia, Illinois, near Chicago, is a US Department of Energy national laboratory specializing in high-energy particle physics. Fermilab is America’s premier laboratory for particle physics and accelerator research, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Thousands of scientists from universities and laboratories around the world
    collaborate at Fermilab on experiments at the frontiers of discovery.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:12 am on July 10, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Argonne Lab, Globus Data Transfer, , , ,   

    From insideHPC: “Argonne Team Breaks Record with 2.9 Petabytes Globus Data Transfer” 

    From insideHPC

    Today the Globus research data management service announced the largest single file transfer in its history: a team led by Argonne National Laboratory scientists moved 2.9 petabytes of data as part of a research project involving three of the largest cosmological simulations to date.

    1

    “Storage is in general a very large problem in our community — the Universe is just very big, so our work can often generate a lot of data,” explained Katrin Heitmann, Argonne physicist and computational scientist and an Oak Ridge National Laboratory Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) Early Science user.

    “Using Globus to easily move the data around between different storage solutions and institutions for analysis is essential.”

    The data in question was stored on the Summit supercomputer at OLCF, currently the world’s fastest supercomputer according to the Top500 list published June 18, 2019. Globus was used to move the files from disk to tape, a key use case for researchers.

    ORNL IBM AC922 SUMMIT supercomputer, No.1 on the TOP500. Credit: Carlos Jones, Oak Ridge National Laboratory/U.S. Dept. of Energy

    “Due to its uniqueness, the data is very precious and the analysis will take time,” said Dr. Heitmann. “The first step after the simulations were finished was to make a backup copy of the data to HPSS, so we can move the data back and forth between disk and tape and thus carry out the analysis in steps. We use Globus for this work due to its speed, reliability, and ease of use.”

    “With exascale imminent, AI on the rise, HPC systems proliferating, and research teams more distributed than ever, fast, secure, reliable data movement and management are now more important than ever,” said Ian Foster, Globus co-founder and director of Argonne’s Data Science and Learning Division. “We tend to take these functions for granted, and yet modern collaborative research would not be possible without them.”

    “Globus has underpinned groundbreaking research for decades. We could not be prouder of our role in helping scientists do their world-changing work, and we’re happy to see projects like this one continue to push the boundaries of what Globus can achieve. Congratulations to Dr. Heitmann and team!”

    “When it comes to data transfer performance, “the most important part is reliability,” says Dr. Heitmann. “It is basically impossible for me as a user to check the very large amounts of data upon arrival after a transfer has finished. The analysis of the data often uses a subset of the data, so it would take quite a while until bad data would be discovered and at that point we might not have the data anymore at the source. So the reliability aspects of Globus are key.”

    “Of course, speed is also important. If the transfers were very slow, given the amount of data we transfer, we would have had a problem. So it’s good to be able to rely on Globus for fast data movement as well. We are also grateful to Oak Ridge for access to Summit and for their excellent setup of data transfer nodes enabling the use of Globus for HPSS transfers. This work would not have been possible otherwise.”

    See the full article here .

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    Founded on December 28, 2006, insideHPC is a blog that distills news and events in the world of HPC and presents them in bite-sized nuggets of helpfulness as a resource for supercomputing professionals. As one reader said, we’re sifting through all the news so you don’t have to!

    If you would like to contact me with suggestions, comments, corrections, errors or new company announcements, please send me an email at rich@insidehpc.com. Or you can send me mail at:

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  • richardmitnick 5:39 pm on February 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: An innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound, ANL Advanced Photon Source, Argonne Lab, “Spins”—a property of an electron that can be up or down or both, “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material”, , , Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another,   

    From University of Chicago: “Sound waves let quantum systems ‘talk’ to one another” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From University of Chicago

    Feb 15, 2019
    Louise Lerner

    1
    An X-ray image of sound waves. Image courtesy of Kevin Satzinger and Samuel Whiteley

    Researchers at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have invented an innovative way for different types of quantum technology to “talk” to each other using sound. The study, published Feb. 11 in Nature Physics, is an important step in bringing quantum technology closer to reality.

    Researchers are eyeing quantum systems, which tap the quirky behavior of the smallest particles as the key to a fundamentally new generation of atomic-scale electronics for computation and communication. But a persistent challenge has been transferring information between different types of technology, such as quantum memories and quantum processors.

    “We approached this question by asking: Can we manipulate and connect quantum states of matter with sound waves?” said senior study author David Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor with the Institute for Molecular Engineering and senior scientist at Argonne National Laboratory.

    One way to run a quantum computing operation is to use “spins”—a property of an electron that can be up, down or both. Scientists can use these like zeroes and ones in today’s binary computer programming language. But getting this information elsewhere requires a translator, and scientists thought sound waves could help.

    “The object is to couple the sound waves with the spins of electrons in the material,” said graduate student Samuel Whiteley, the co-first author on the paper. “But the first challenge is to get the spins to pay attention.” So they built a system with curved electrodes to concentrate the sound waves, like using a magnifying lens to focus a point of light.

    The results were promising, but they needed more data. To get a better look at what was happening, they worked with scientists at the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne to observe the system in real time. Essentially, they used extremely bright, powerful X-rays from the lab’s giant synchrotron, the Advanced Photon Source, as a microscope to peer at the atoms inside the material as the sound waves moved through it at nearly 7,000 kilometers per second.

    ANL Advanced Photon Source

    “This new method allows us to observe the atomic dynamics and structure in quantum materials at extremely small length scales,” said Awschalom. “This is one of only a few locations worldwide with the instrumentation to directly watch atoms move in a lattice as sound waves passes through them.”

    2
    Argonne nanoscientist Martin Holt took X-ray images of the acoustic waves with the Hard X-ray Nanoprobe at the Center for Nanoscale Materials and Advanced Photon Source, both at Argonne. Image courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory.

    One of the many surprising results, the researchers said, was that the quantum effects of sound waves were more complicated than they’d first imagined. To build a comprehensive theory behind what they were observing at the subatomic level, they turned to Prof. Giulia Galli, the Liew Family Professor at the IME and a senior scientist at Argonne. Modeling the system involves marshalling the interactions of every single particle in the system, which grows exponentially, Awschalom said, “but Professor Galli is a world expert in taking this kind of challenging problem and interpreting the underlying physics, which allowed us to further improve the system.”

    It’s normally difficult to send quantum information for more than a few microns, said Whiteley—that’s the width of a single strand of spider silk. This technique could extend control across an entire chip or wafer.

    “The results gave us new ways to control our systems, and opens venues of research and technological applications such as quantum sensing,” said postdoctoral researcher Gary Wolfowicz, the other co-first author of the study.

    The discovery is another from the University of Chicago’s world-leading program in quantum information science and engineering; Awschalom is currently leading a project to build a quantum “teleportation” network between Argonne and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to test principles for a potentially unhackable communications system.

    The scientists pointed to the confluence of expertise, resources and facilities at the University of Chicago, Institute for Molecular Engineering and Argonne as key to fully exploring the technology.

    3
    An acoustic chip is used to generate and control sound waves. Photo courtesy of Kevin Satzinger

    “No one group has the ability to explore these complex quantum systems and solve this class of problems; it takes state-of-the-art facilities, theorists and experimentalists working in close collaboration,” Awschalom said. “The strong connection between Argonne and the University of Chicago enables our students to address some of the most challenging questions in this rapidly moving area of science and technology.”

    Other coauthors on the paper are Assoc. Prof. David Schuster, and Prof. Andrew Cleland; Argonne scientists Joseph Heremans and Martin Holt; graduate students Christopher Anderson, Alexandre Bourassa, He Ma and Kevin Satzinger; and postdoctoral researcher Meng Ye.

    The devices were fabricated in the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility at the William Eckhardt Research Center. Materials characterization was performed at the UChicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

    Funding: Air Force Office of Scientific Research, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Basic Energy Sciences, National Science Foundation, Department of Defense

    See the full article here .

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    University of Chicago

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with UChicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    UChicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:20 pm on May 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Argonne Lab, , Molecular engineering,   

    From U Chicago: “Molecular engineers discuss future of computing, healthcare and energy storage” 

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    University of Chicago

    May 9, 2016
    Greg Borzo

    1
    From left: Profs. Melody Swartz, Supratik Guha, David Awschalom and Paul Nealey discuss molecular engineering research being conducted at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Prof. Matthew Tirrell, director of IME and deputy laboratory director for science at Argonne, moderates the panel.

    Imagine unbreakable encryption, room-temperature superconductors, inexpensive molecular sensors, a cure for cancer. These are the challenges molecular engineers are taking on.

    These and other promising technologies were explored during “Future Science: Small Scale, Big Impact,” a presentation by scientists and engineers from the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering. The program, part of the UChicago Discovery Series, showcased research being conducted at the University and Argonne National Laboratory.

    Argonne Lab
    Argonne Lab Campus

    “We’re creating not only the first engineering program at the University of Chicago, but really the first of its kind in the world,” said moderator Matthew Tirrell, director of IME and deputy laboratory director for science at Argonne. “Engineering is about taking science into society and doing useful things for society,” he said.

    Trekkie technologies

    The program featured four speakers. David Awschalom, IME’s deputy director and an expert on spintronics and quantum information engineering, spoke about how some of the technology dreamed up long ago in Star Trek episodes, have actually become reality. The show’s universal translators and personal access data devices are today’s translation apps and tablet computers. Transporters, though, are still a work in progress, but quantum engineering is now enabling teleportation, a related technology operating at the level of single particles. Awschalom’s group is harnessing the way electrons spin to make highly sensitive sensors, build a framework for quantum simulators to design and test pharmaceuticals, develop tamper-proof encryption, bring medical imaging to the molecular level, and other cutting edge devices.

    “We’re building technologies with single atoms, and when you do that, the laws of quantum physics determine their behavior,” said Awschalom, the Liew Family Professor of Molecular Engineering. Quantum probes have extraordinary sensitivity and “may ultimately reveal the exact structure of molecules to determine their structural-functional relationships.

    “Students here are even taking quantum probes and placing them inside living cells,” he added. These probes “act as beacons, looking at the electromagnetic and thermal properties of the cells and sending that information out to the observer.

    “Quantum engineering is becoming a reality, and it will enable the discovery and design of new materials for practical applications,” Awschalom concluded. “What’s exciting is that we don’t know what ’s ahead in the future.”

    Nanoparticle vaccines that kill cancer

    Melody Schwartz, the William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering, noted that while engineers often take basic science and translate it into new technologies, engineers often do the reverse: use technology to understand basic science. For example, she and her collaborators are developing nanoparticle vaccines that can influence immune responses to tumors. These vaccines are designed to have surface molecules that look like a virus or bacteria, and Schwartz is researching whether these vaccines can activate immune system T-cells to kill tumors.

    “Cancer immunotherapy holds enormous promise,” she said. “One way to potentially facilitate cancer immunotherapy is to combine molecular engineering and nanotechnology with information about how the lymphatic system works.”

    Using protein engineering and nanoscale materials, this research is based on the fact the lymphatic system plays a central role in helping the immune system regulate immunity and make decisions about whether particular cells should be tolerated or killed.

    “The lymphatic system is a gold mine of information about tumors … such as the specific details of which proteins are being expressed and secreted,” she said. Targeting a lymph node that holds a metastatic tumor could manipulate the lymphatic system into using the information the system holds about that tumor to stimulate the immune system to fight the cancer. So far, Schwartz’s nanoparticle vaccines have been effective in mice when delivered to a lymph node to which cancer has metastasized. They have not been definitive when delivered to a lymph node on the other side of the body from where the cancer originated. Taken together, these results support the theory that the lymphatic system holds valuable information about a tumor, at least in mice.

    “Perhaps, instead of cutting out the lymph node of a patient (with cancer), we should target it and use (the information it holds),” Schwartz said.

    Cheaper sensors for agriculture and water utilization

    “Cyber physical systems that feature powerful yet inexpensive sensors made of nanoparticles will become ubiquitous,” said Supratik Guha, professor of molecular engineering and director of Argonne’s nanoscience and technology division. These systems will provide vast amounts of real-time data that will be used to measure and control pollution, electrical power consumption, water utilization, agricultural practices and other vital functions.

    “Nanotechnology has been around for about 25 years, but its ‘calling card’ will be what it does for sensors,” Guha said. “Nanoparticles are ideal for sensors because their properties are determined by the environment they’re in. They interact in different ways with light, magnetic fields, pressure” and other factors.

    Once these sensors become more powerful and less expensive, researchers will be able to “screw them in and out of cyber physical systems like light bulbs,” Guha said. “Once that happens, it could change the world.”

    For example, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of fresh water consumption. While working at IBM, Guha participated in an experiment at a vineyard that delivered water based on need rather than randomly. Using satellite data, each section was monitored for greenery—and then watered accordingly. “Over two harvests, yields and water efficiency went up by 10 to 20 percent,” Guha said.

    If agriculture could employ sensors to measure not only soil moisture but also dissolved nitrates, wind speed, plant disease, solar irradiance and other factors, tremendous savings could be realized, he concluded.

    “Magic materials” that can transform semi-conductor manufacturing

    When traditional photo lithographic techniques for manufacturing integrated circuits

    approached a limit to place an ever-increasing number of transistors on a single computer chip, other techniques, such as self-aligned double patterning, filled the gap, said Paul Nealey, the Brady W. Dougan professor of molecular engineering and senior scientist at Argonne.

    Nealey pioneered a relatively new technique called directed self-assembly, which involves making a chemical pattern on a chip and then depositing what he calls “magic materials” that respond to the chemical pattern and assemble themselves into the desired shape and structure.

    “These magic materials are not all that exotic,” Nealey said. They are co-polymers—two kinds of polymer chains connected at one end by a covalent bond. One of the materials is polystyrene (used to make plastic cups) and the other is PMMA (used to make Plexiglas). “These materials form structures at the molecular-length scale, which would be very difficult to achieve with traditional lithography.”

    Directed self-assembly is being commercialized in the context of semi-conductor manufacturing and applied to other areas, he added. For example, it is being used to make ion-conducting materials for membranes in fuel cells and batteries.

    Free and open to the public, the UChicago Discovery Series is designed to share the transformative research being conducted at the University. Attending this program were members of the Maroon Kids, a group organized by IME alumni and friends to promote interest in science and engineering topics among children in grades 6-12.

    One member asked, “How much do your fields interact with each other, and does solving a problem in one help solve a problem in another?”

    “Yes,” Schwartz answered. “New solutions will come from people who are interacting from completely different fields because they’re not stuck in one way of thinking about a solution. They’re coming at a problem from a fresh perspective and have multiple different perspectives.

    See the full article here .

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    U Chicago Campus

    An intellectual destination

    One of the world’s premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world.

     
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