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  • richardmitnick 1:08 pm on March 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Material Sciences, , , UCLA researchers develop a new class of two-dimensional materials   

    From UCLA: “UCLA researchers develop a new class of two-dimensional materials” 

    UCLA Newsroom

    March 08, 2018
    Matthew Chin

    An artist’s concept of two kinds of monolayer atomic crystal molecular superlattices. On the left, molybdenum disulfide with layers of ammonium molecules; on the right, black phosphorus with layers of ammonium molecules. UCLA.

    A research team led by UCLA scientists and engineers has developed a method to make new kinds of artificial “superlattices” — materials comprised of alternating layers of ultra-thin “two-dimensional” sheets, which are only one or a few atoms thick. Unlike current state-of-the art superlattices, in which alternating layers have similar atomic structures, and thus similar electronic properties, these alternating layers can have radically different structures, properties and functions, something not previously available.

    For example, while one layer of this new kind of superlattice can allow a fast flow of electrons through it, the other type of layer can act as an insulator. This design confines the electronic and optical properties to single active layers, and they do not interfere with other insulating layers.

    Such superlattices can form the basis for improved and new classes of electronic and optoelectronic devices. Applications include superfast and ultra-efficient semiconductors for transistors in computers and smart devices, and advanced LEDs and lasers.

    Compared with the conventional layer-by-layer assembly or growth approach currently used to create 2D superlattices, the new UCLA-led process to manufacture superlattices from 2D materials is much faster and more efficient. Most importantly, the new method easily yields superlattices with tens, hundreds or even thousands of alternating layers, which is not yet possible with other approaches.

    This new class of superlattices alternates 2D atomic crystal sheets that are interspaced with molecules of varying shapes and sizes. In effect, this molecular layer becomes the second “sheet” because it is held in place by “van der Waals” forces, weak electrostatic forces to keep otherwise neutral molecules “attached” to each other. These new superlattices are called “monolayer atomic crystal molecular superlattices.”

    The study, published in Nature, was led by Xiangfeng Duan, UCLA professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Yu Huang, UCLA professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering.

    “Traditional semiconductor superlattices can usually only be made from materials with highly similar lattice symmetry, normally with rather similar electronic structures,” Huang said. “For the first time, we have created stable superlattice structures with radically different layers, yet nearly perfect atomic-molecular arrangements within each layer. This new class of superlattice structures has tailorable electronic properties for potential technological applications and further scientific studies.”

    One current method to build a superlattice is to manually stack the ultrathin layers one on top of the other. But this is labor-intensive. In addition, since the flake-like sheets are fragile, it takes a long time to build because many sheets will break during the placement process. The other method is to grow one new layer on top of the other, using a process called “chemical vapor deposition.” But since that means different conditions, such as heat, pressure or chemical environments, are needed to grow each layer, the process could result in altering or breaking the layer underneath. This method is also labor-intensive with low yield rates.

    The new method to create monolayer atomic crystal molecular superlattices uses a process called “electrochemical intercalation,” in which a negative voltage is applied. This injects negatively charged electrons into the 2D material. Then, this attracts positively charged ammonium molecules into the spaces between the atomic layers. Those ammonium molecules automatically assemble into new layers in the ordered crystal structure, creating a superlattice.

    “Think of a two-dimensional material as a stack of playing cards,” Duan said. “Then imagine that we can cause a large pile of nearby plastic beads to insert themselves, in perfect order, sandwiching between each card. That’s the analogous idea, but with a crystal of 2D material and ammonium molecules.”

    The researchers first demonstrated the new technique using black phosphorus as a base 2D atomic crystal material. Using the negative voltage, positively charged ammonium ions were attracted into the base material, and inserted themselves between the layered atomic phosphorous sheets.

    Following that success, the team inserted different types of ammonium molecules with various sizes and symmetries into a series of 2D materials. They found that they could tailor the structures of the resulting monolayer atomic crystal molecular superlattices, which had a diverse range of desirable electronic and optical properties.

    “The resulting materials could be useful for making faster transistors that consume less power, or for creating efficient light-emitting devices,” Duan said.

    The lead author of the study is Chen Wang, a doctoral student advised by Huang and Duan, who are both members of the California NanoSystems Institute. Other study authors are UCLA graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in Duan or Huang’s research groups; researchers from Caltech; Hunan University, China; University of Science and Technology of China; and King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.

    The research was supported by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

    See the full article here .

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    UC LA Campus

    For nearly 100 years, UCLA has been a pioneer, persevering through impossibility, turning the futile into the attainable.

    We doubt the critics, reject the status quo and see opportunity in dissatisfaction. Our campus, faculty and students are driven by optimism. It is not naïve; it is essential. And it has fueled every accomplishment, allowing us to redefine what’s possible, time after time.

    This can-do perspective has brought us 12 Nobel Prizes, 12 Rhodes Scholarships, more NCAA titles than any university and more Olympic medals than most nations. Our faculty and alumni helped create the Internet and pioneered reverse osmosis. And more than 100 companies have been created based on technology developed at UCLA.

  • richardmitnick 10:05 pm on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , International Women's Day, Material Sciences, , , , ,   

    From PI: Women in STEM-“Celebrating International Women’s Day” 


    Is it not a shame that we need to have a special day to celebrate women when they are so already fantastic and exceptionally brilliant in the physical sciences?

    Check out this blog post-

    “”I have done a couple of STEM events, but there have never been this many girls. There are so many here. It is really empowering. Go girls in STEM!” Eama, Grade 12

    Today’s Inspiring Future Women in Science conference was a success. Mona Nemar, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, gave opening remarks encouraging the students in attendance to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from the speakers to come.

    “The days of women being held back or being excluded from science are over. Now, more than ever women are entering, remaining in, and revolutionizing the science fields. Today is a shining example of that.”
    -Mona Nemar, Chief Science Advisor, Government of Canada

    Mona, read my above post on women getting not published.

    The speakers and panelists, who included a chemist, engineer, astronomer, ecologist, and surgeon, talked about the challenges and triumphs that a career in STEM brings. Students were then treated to a speed mentoring session where they were able to ask questions and interact with women from a broad number of STEM careers. Read more about how this conference is inspiring young women here.

    “This conference showed me there are so many things you can do going into [a career in STEM], so now I feel more inspired, and I feel more confident and not scared to go into science.” Lealan, Age 16

    Programs like Perimeter’s “Inspiring Future Women in Science” conference are helping young women see their own potential and reach out for careers in STEM. And more talented female scientists today, means a brighter future tomorrow.

    Thank you for being part of the equation.

  • richardmitnick 1:13 pm on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Automating materials design, , Material Sciences,   

    From MIT: “Automating materials design” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

    MIT News

    February 2, 2018 [Just showed up in social media.]
    Larry Hardesty

    New software identified five different families of microstructures, each defined by a shared “skeleton” (blue), that optimally traded off three mechanical properties. Courtesy of the researchers.

    With new approach, researchers specify desired properties of a material, and a computer system generates a structure accordingly.

    For decades, materials scientists have taken inspiration from the natural world. They’ll identify a biological material that has some desirable trait — such as the toughness of bones or conch shells — and reverse-engineer it. Then, once they’ve determined the material’s “microstructure,” they’ll try to approximate it in human-made materials.

    Researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a new system that puts the design of microstructures on a much more secure empirical footing. With their system, designers numerically specify the properties they want their materials to have, and the system generates a microstructure that matches the specification.

    The researchers have reported their results in Science Advances. In their paper, they describe using the system to produce microstructures with optimal trade-offs between three different mechanical properties. But according to associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science Wojciech Matusik, whose group developed the new system, the researchers’ approach could be adapted to any combination of properties.

    “We did it for relatively simple mechanical properties, but you can apply it to more complex mechanical properties, or you could apply it to combinations of thermal, mechanical, optical, and electromagnetic properties,” Matusik says. “Basically, this is a completely automated process for discovering optimal structure families for metamaterials.”

    Joining Matusik on the paper are first author Desai Chen, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science; and Mélina Skouras and Bo Zhu, both postdocs in Matusik’s group.

    Finding the formula

    The new work builds on research reported last summer, in which the same quartet of researchers generated computer models of microstructures and used simulation software to score them according to measurements of three or four mechanical properties. Each score defines a point in a three- or four-dimensional space, and through a combination of sampling and local exploration, the researchers constructed a cloud of points, each of which corresponded to a specific microstructure.

    Once the cloud was dense enough, the researchers computed a bounding surface that contained it. Points near the surface represented optimal trade-offs between the mechanical properties; for those points, it was impossible to increase the score on one property without lowering the score on another.

    No image caption or credit.

    That’s where the new paper picks up. First, the researchers used some standard measures to evaluate the geometric similarities of the microstructures corresponding to the points along the boundaries. On the basis of those measures, the researchers’ software clusters together microstructures with similar geometries.

    For every cluster, the software extracts a “skeleton” — a rudimentary shape that all the microstructures share. Then it tries to reproduce each of the microstructures by making fine adjustments to the skeleton and constructing boxes around each of its segments. Both of these operations — modifying the skeleton and determining the size, locations, and orientations of the boxes — are controlled by a manageable number of variables. Essentially, the researchers’ system deduces a mathematical formula for reconstructing each of the microstructures in a cluster.

    Next, the researchers use machine-learning techniques to determine correlations between specific values for the variables in the formulae and the measured properties of the resulting microstructures. This gives the system a rigorous way to translate back and forth between microstructures and their properties.


    On automatic

    Every step in this process, Matusik emphasizes, is completely automated, including the measurement of similarities, the clustering, the skeleton extraction, the formula derivation, and the correlation of geometries and properties. As such, the approach would apply as well to any collection of microstructures evaluated according to any criteria.

    By the same token, Matusik explains, the MIT researchers’ system could be used in conjunction with existing approaches to materials design. Besides taking inspiration from biological materials, he says, researchers will also attempt to design microstructures by hand. But either approach could be used as the starting point for the sort of principled exploration of design possibilities that the researchers’ system affords.

    “You can throw this into the bucket for your sampler,” Matusik says. “So we guarantee that we are at least as good as anything else that has been done before.”

    In the new paper, the researchers do report one aspect of their analysis that was not automated: the identification of the physical mechanisms that determine the microstructures’ properties. Once they had the skeletons of several different families of microstructures, they could determine how those skeletons would respond to physical forces applied at different angles and locations.

    But even this analysis is subject to automation, Chen says. The simulation software that determines the microstructures’ properties can also identify the structural elements that deform most under physical pressure, a good indication that they play an important functional role.

    The work was supported by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Simplifying Complexity in Scientific Discovery program.

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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  • richardmitnick 11:49 am on February 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Advanced NMR spectroscopy, , , DNP-Dynamic Nuclear Polarization, DNP-NMR spectrometer, Material Sciences, MRI-Magnetic resonance imaging,   

    From Ames Lab: “Seeing the future of new energy materials” 

    Ames Laboratory

    Using advanced NMR spectroscopy methods to guide materials design.

    (l-r) Jason Goh, Takeshi Kobayashi, Linlin Wang, Wenyu Huang, Amrit Venkatesh, Aaron Rossini, Frederic Perras, Marek Pruski, Mike Hanrahan and Zhuoran Wang.

    How do small defects in the surface of solar cell material affect its ability to absorb and convert sunlight to electricity? How does the molecular structure of a porous material determine its ability to separate gases from one another? Understanding the structure and function of materials at the atomic scale is one of the frontiers of energy science.

    “Many new materials have been developed in the past decade to address needs for energy conversion and storage,” said Aaron Rossini, a scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory, and a professor of chemistry at Iowa State University. “However, there is still a lot we don’t know about how these materials function. We want to change that and bring new information to the table that will be used to optimize these materials.”

    Ames Laboratory has recently received new funding to study such materials by developing and applying new techniques in solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. “NMR has a long and distinguished history at Ames Laboratory, in terms of both expertise and facilities, and this new research project is its latest chapter,” said Ames Laboratory scientist Marek Pruski, “Understanding the structure of materials is fundamentally important to many research groups here, and we will be collaborating with them at a new level to expand their insights.”

    Most people associate NMR with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is used as a diagnostic tool in medicine. Nuclear magnetic resonance probes the nuclei of atoms as they absorb and re-emit radio waves when they are placed in a magnetic field. Those nuclei resonate at measurable radio-frequencies that precisely depend on the local structure of material, the element being studied, and the strength of the magnetic field.

    In late 2014, the spectroscopy experts at Ames Laboratory took their NMR capabilities a quantum leap forward with the acquisition of the first commercial DNP-NMR spectrometer used for materials research in North America. “DNP” stands for “Dynamic Nuclear Polarization,” a method which uses microwaves to excite unpaired electrons in radicals and transfer their high spin polarization to the nuclei in the sample being analyzed. It’s an ‘extra-oomph’ version of conventional NMR technology, offering drastically higher sensitivity and faster data acquisition—and it has already provided game-changing insight into the physical, chemical, and electronic properties of materials. For example, with DNP-enhanced NMR it is possible to measure the distances in between atoms with precision of a trillionth of a meter or measure two-dimensional correlation spectra between rare nuclei, such as carbon-13.

    “We‘ve had a ball here for the last two and a half years, publishing research findings at the rate of a journal paper per month since the DNP-NMR became operational,” said Pruski. “That’s really a very high pace for high-impact science.”

    “It’s a perfect tool for this type of investigations. The properties of energy materials are governed by the structure of their surfaces and the interfaces, and DNP-NMR is especially well-adapted and sensitive to exploring these.”

    Ames Laboratory will pair these rapidly expanding capabilities in DNP-NMR with a technique called ultrafast magic-angle spinning (UFMAS), which relies on spinning the sample at extremely high frequencies (> 6 million RPM). UFMAS greatly improves NMR experiments by allowing signals from hydrogen to be well resolved in most solids.

    Theoretical physicists will be joining the efforts of the experimentalists, developing models that computationally verify or explain their results. Conversely, NMR experiments will guide the development of improved theoretical models.

    “Our work could have far-reaching impact on a lot of fields, in electronics, lighting, solar cells, nanoparticle design, materials with a variety of energy applications,” said Rossini. “If we are able to explain how structure and function are related, we can help direct intelligent materials design.”

    See the full article here .

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    Ames Laboratory is a government-owned, contractor-operated research facility of the U.S. Department of Energy that is run by Iowa State University.

    For more than 60 years, the Ames Laboratory has sought solutions to energy-related problems through the exploration of chemical, engineering, materials, mathematical and physical sciences. Established in the 1940s with the successful development of the most efficient process to produce high-quality uranium metal for atomic energy, the Lab now pursues a broad range of scientific priorities.

    Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

    Ames Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.
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  • richardmitnick 9:39 am on February 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Material Sciences, ,   

    From BNL: “Bringing a Hidden Superconducting State to Light” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    February 16, 2018
    Ariana Tantillo,
    (631) 344-2347

    Peter Genzer
    (631) 344-3174

    High-power light reveals the existence of superconductivity associated with charge “stripes” in the copper-oxygen planes of a layered material above the temperature at which it begins to transmit electricity without resistance.

    Physicist Genda Gu holds a single-crystal rod of LBCO—a compound made of lanthanum, barium, copper, and oxygen—in Brookhaven’s state-of-the-art crystal growth lab. The infrared image furnace he used to synthesize these high-quality crystals is pictured in the background. No image credit.

    A team of scientists has detected a hidden state of electronic order in a layered material containing lanthanum, barium, copper, and oxygen (LBCO). When cooled to a certain temperature and with certain concentrations of barium, LBCO is known to conduct electricity without resistance, but now there is evidence that a superconducting state actually occurs above this temperature too. It was just a matter of using the right tool—in this case, high-intensity pulses of infrared light—to be able to see it.

    Reported in a paper published in the Feb. 2 issue of Science, the team’s finding provides further insight into the decades-long mystery of superconductivity in LBCO and similar compounds containing copper and oxygen layers sandwiched between other elements. These “cuprates” become superconducting at relatively higher temperatures than traditional superconductors, which must be frozen to near absolute zero (minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit) before their electrons can flow through them at 100-percent efficiency. Understanding why cuprates behave the way they do could help scientists design better high-temperature superconductors, eliminating the cost of expensive cooling systems and improving the efficiency of power generation, transmission, and distribution. Imagine computers that never heat up and power grids that never lose energy.

    “The ultimate goal is to achieve superconductivity at room temperature,” said John Tranquada, a physicist and leader of the Neutron Scatter Group in the Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he has been studying cuprates since the 1980s. “If we want to do that by design, we have to figure out which features are essential for superconductivity. Teasing out those features in such complicated materials as the cuprates is no easy task.”

    The copper-oxygen planes of LBCO contain “stripes” of electrical charge separated by a type of magnetism in which the electron spins alternate in opposite directions. In order for LBCO to become superconducting, the individual electrons in these stripes need to be able to pair up and move in unison throughout the material.

    Previous experiments showed that, above the temperature at which LBCO becomes superconducting, resistance occurs when the electrical transport is perpendicular to the planes but is zero when the transport is parallel. Theorists proposed that this phenomenon might be the consequence of an unusual spatial modulation of the superconductivity, with the amplitude of the superconducting state oscillating from positive to negative on moving from one charge stripe to the next. The stripe pattern rotates by 90 degrees from layer to layer, and they thought that this relative orientation was blocking the superconducting electron pairs from moving coherently between the layers.

    “This idea is similar to passing light through a pair of optical polarizers, such as the lenses of certain sunglasses,” said Tranquada. “When the polarizers have the same orientation, they pass light, but when their relative orientation is rotated to 90 degrees, they block all light.”

    However, a direct experimental test of this picture had been lacking—until now.

    One of the challenges is synthesizing the large, high-quality single crystals of LBCO needed to conduct experiments. “It takes two months to grow one crystal, and the process requires precise control over temperature, atmosphere, chemical composition, and other conditions,” said co-author Genda Gu, a physicist in Tranquada’s group. Gu used an infrared image furnace—a machine with two bright lamps that focus infrared light onto a cylindrical rod containing the starting material, heating it to nearly 2500 degrees Fahrenheit and causing it to melt—in his crystal growth lab to grow the LBCO crystals.

    Collaborators at the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter and the University of Oxford then directed infrared light, generated from high-intensity laser pulses, at the crystals (with the light polarization in a direction perpendicular to the planes) and measured the intensity of light reflected back from the sample. Besides the usual response—the crystals reflected the same frequency of light that was sent in—the scientists detected a signal three times higher than the frequency of that incident light.

    “For samples with three-dimensional superconductivity, the superconducting signature can be seen at both the fundamental frequency and at the third harmonic,” said Tranquada. “For a sample in which charge stripes block the superconducting current between layers, there is no optical signature at the fundamental frequency. However, by driving the system out of equilibrium with the intense infrared light, the scientists induced a net coupling between the layers, and the superconducting signature shows up in the third harmonic. We had suspected that the electron pairing was present—it just required a stronger tool to bring this superconductivity to light.”

    University of Hamburg theorists supported this experimental observation with analysis and numerical simulations of the reflectivity.

    This research provides a new technique to probe different types of electronic orders in high-temperature superconductors, and the new understanding may be helpful in explaining other strange behaviors in the cuprates.

    The work performed at Brookhaven was supported by DOE’s Office of Science.

    See the full article here .

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

  • richardmitnick 2:28 pm on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Cheaper, Material Sciences, Nano-Based Manufacturing, , , Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster   

    From Rutgers: “Rutgers-Led Innovation Could Spur Faster, Cheaper, Nano-Based Manufacturing” 

    Rutgers University
    Rutgers University

    February 13, 2018

    Todd B. Bates


    Spherical silver nanoparticles and nanowires after being fused by intense pulses of light.
    Image: Rajiv Malhotra/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

    Engineers at Rutgers University–New Brunswick and Oregon State University are developing a new method of processing nanomaterials that could lead to faster and cheaper manufacturing of flexible thin film devices – from touch screens to window coatings, according to a new study.

    The “intense pulsed light sintering” method uses high-energy light over an area nearly 7,000 times larger than a laser to fuse nanomaterials in seconds. Nanomaterials are materials characterized by their tiny size, measured in nanometers. A nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter, or about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

    The existing method of pulsed light fusion uses temperatures of around 250 degrees Celsius (482 degrees Fahrenheit) to fuse silver nanospheres into structures that conduct electricity. But the new study, published in RSC Advances and led by Rutgers School of Engineering doctoral student Michael Dexter, showed that fusion at 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit) works well while retaining the conductivity of the fused silver nanomaterials.

    The engineers’ achievement started with silver nanomaterials of different shapes: long, thin rods called nanowires in addition to nanospheres. The sharp reduction in temperature needed for fusion makes it possible to use low-cost, temperature-sensitive plastic substrates like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate in flexible devices, without damaging them.

    “Pulsed light sintering of nanomaterials enables really fast manufacturing of flexible devices for economies of scale,” said Rajiv Malhotra, the study’s senior author and assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers–New Brunswick. “Our innovation extends this capability by allowing cheaper temperature-sensitive substrates to be used.”

    Fusing, or sintering, nanoparticles by exposing them to pulses of intense light from a xenon lamp.
    Image: Rajiv Malhotra/Rutgers University-New Brunswick

    Fused silver nanomaterials are used to conduct electricity in devices such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, display devices and solar cells. Flexible forms of these products rely on fusion of conductive nanomaterials on flexible substrates, or platforms, such as plastics and other polymers.

    “The next step is to see whether other nanomaterial shapes, including flat flakes and triangles, will drive fusion temperatures even lower,” Malhotra said.

    In another study, published in Scientific Reports, the Rutgers and Oregon State engineers demonstrated pulsed light sintering of copper sulfide nanoparticles, a semiconductor, to make films less than 100 nanometers thick.

    “We were able to perform this fusion in two to seven seconds compared with the minutes to hours it normally takes now,” said Malhotra, the study’s senior author. “We also showed how to use the pulsed light fusion process to control the electrical and optical properties of the film.”

    Their discovery could speed up the manufacturing of copper sulfide thin films used in window coatings that control solar infrared light, transistors and switches, according to the study. This work was funded by the National Science Foundation and The Walmart Manufacturing Innovation Foundation.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 2:45 pm on January 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Breaking bad metals with neutrons, , Material Sciences, , , , STFC ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source   

    From ANL: “Breaking bad metals with neutrons” 

    ANL Lab

    News from Argonne National Laboratory

    January 11, 2018
    Ron Walli

    A comparison of the theoretical calculations (top row) and inelastic neutron scattering data from ARCS at the Spallation Neutron Source (bottom row) shows the excellent agreement between the two. The three figures represent different slices through the four-dimensional scattering volumes produced by the electronic excitations. (Image by Argonne National Laboratory.)

    By exploiting the properties of neutrons to probe electrons in a metal, a team of researchers led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory has gained new insight into the behavior of correlated electron systems, which are materials that have useful properties such as magnetism or superconductivity.

    The research, to be published in Science, shows how well scientists can predict the properties and functionality of materials, allowing us to explore their potential to be used in novel ways.

    “Our mission from the Department of Energy is to discover and then understand novel materials that could form the basis for completely new applications,” said lead author Ray Osborn, a senior scientist in Argonne’s Neutron and X-ray Scattering Group.

    Osborn and his colleagues studied a strongly correlated electron system (CePd3) using neutron scattering to overcome the limitations of other techniques and reveal how the compound’s electrical properties change at high and low temperatures. Osborn expects the results to inspire similar research.

    “Being able to predict with confidence the behavior of electrons as temperatures change should encourage a much more ambitious coupling of experimental results and models than has been previously attempted,” Osborn said.

    “In many metals, we consider the mobile electrons responsible for electrical conduction as moving independently of each other, only weakly affected by electron-electron repulsion,” he said. “However, there is an important class of materials in which electron-electron interactions are so strong they cannot be ignored.”

    Scientists have studied these strongly correlated electron systems for more than five decades, and one of the most important theoretical predictions is that at high temperatures the electron interactions cause random fluctuations that impede their mobility.

    “They become ‘bad’ metals,” Osborn said. However, at low temperatures, the electronic excitations start to resemble those of normal metals, but with much-reduced electron velocities.

    The existence of this crossover from incoherent random fluctuations at high temperature to coherent electronic states at low temperature had been postulated in 1985 by one of the co-authors, Jon Lawrence, a professor at the University of California, Irvine. Although there is some evidence for it in photoemission experiments, Argonne co-author Stephan Rosenkranz noted that it is very difficult to compare these measurements with realistic theoretical calculations because there are too many uncertainties in modeling the experimental intensities.

    The team, based mainly at Argonne and other DOE laboratories, showed that neutrons probe the electrons in a different way that overcomes the limitations of photoemission spectroscopy and other techniques.

    Making this work possible are advances in neutron spectroscopy at DOE’s Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a DOE Office of Science User Facility, and the United Kingdom’s ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, which allow comprehensive measurements over a wide range of energies and momentum transfers. Both played critical roles in this study.

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    ORNL Spallation Neutron Source

    STFC ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source.

    “Neutrons are absolutely essential for this research,” Osborn said. “Neutron scattering is the only technique that is sensitive to the whole spectrum of electronic fluctuations in four dimensions of momentum and energy, and the only technique that can be reliably compared to realistic theoretical calculations on an absolute intensity scale.”

    With this study, these four-dimensional measurements have now been directly compared to calculations using new computational techniques specially developed for strongly correlated electron systems. The technique, known as Dynamical Mean Field Theory, defines a way of calculating electronic properties that include strong electron-electron interactions.

    Osborn acknowledged the contributions of Eugene Goremychkin, a former Argonne scientist who led the data analysis, and Argonne theorist Hyowon Park, who performed the calculations. The agreement between theory and experiments was “truly remarkable,” Osborn said.

    Looking ahead, researchers are optimistic about closing the gap between the results of condensed matter physics experiments and theoretical models.

    “How do you get to a stage where the models are reliable?” Osborn said. “This paper shows that we can now theoretically model even extremely complex systems. These techniques could accelerate our discovery of new materials.”

    Other Argonne authors of the paper, titled Coherent Band Excitations in CePd3: A Comparison of Neutron Scattering and ab initio Theory, are Park and John-Paul Castellan of the Materials Science Division. Also contributing to this work were researchers at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Russia; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany; Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at Irvine.

    Research at Argonne and Los Alamos was funded by DOE’s Materials Sciences and Engineering Division of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Research at Oak Ridge’s SNS was supported by the Scientific User Facilities Division of the Office of Basic Energy Sciences. Neutron experiments were performed at the SNS and the ISIS Pulsed Neutron Source, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in the UK. Blues, a high-performance computing cluster operated by the Laboratory Computing Resource Center at Argonne, also contributed to this research.

    See the full article here .

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    Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. For more visit http://www.anl.gov.

    The Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory is one of five national synchrotron radiation light sources supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science to carry out applied and basic research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels, provide the foundations for new energy technologies, and support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security. To learn more about the Office of Science X-ray user facilities, visit http://science.energy.gov/user-facilities/basic-energy-sciences/.

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  • richardmitnick 5:00 pm on January 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bottom-up nanofabrication or molecular self-assembly, Center for Functional Nanomaterials(CFN), Directed self-assembly - combining the two approaches, Gregory Doerk at CFN, Lithography is generally faster–and more reliably produces the designed structures–but requires expensive complex tools, Material Sciences, , , , Self-assembly is often slower and less predictive but it is inexpensive and can be easier, Top-down nanofabrication, X-ray scattering experiments,   

    From BNL- “CFN Scientist Spotlight: Gregory Doerk Guides the Self-Assembly of Materials to Make Diverse Nanoscale Patterns” 

    Brookhaven Lab

    December 7, 2017 [They just now put this up n social media.]
    Interview with a CFN scientist

    Materials scientist Gregory Doerk in the materials processing lab at CFN.

    Some materials have the unique ability to self-assemble into organized molecular patterns and structures. Materials scientist Gregory Doerk of the Electronic Nanomaterials Group at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN)—a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory—takes advantage of this ability in materials called block copolymers. Using these self-assembling materials, which have chains of two or more distinct molecules linked together by chemical bonds, Doerk directs the formation of such patterns and structures at the nanoscale. The ultimate goal is to leverage these nanoscale architectures to control the properties of materials for applications including solar energy conversion and storage, catalysis, and optics.

    Self-assembly has gained a lot of attention recently as a nanofabrication approach. How does it differ from the approach that has been traditionally used?

    Broadly speaking, there are two platforms for nanofabrication. One platform is top-down nanofabrication, which is the traditional approach used to make computer chips and other microelectronics. Light is used to create patterns that are then carved into silicon wafers. The patterning technique using light is called optical lithography. The other approach is bottom-up nanofabrication, or molecular self-assembly. The properties of the materials are encoded in their weak interactions, which drive certain materials to come together and form specific configurations—kind of like Lego bricks but the bricks all build up on their own to form some structure.

    Lithography is generally faster–and more reliably produces the designed structures–but requires expensive, complex tools. Self-assembly is often slower and less predictive but it is inexpensive and can be easier. There are ways of combining the two approaches, and that combination is known as directed self-assembly. Self-assembling materials such as thin films of block copolymers are ordered using templates patterned by standard lithography. Directed self-assembly enhances current manufacturing processes, expanding the spectrum of pattern geometries that are possible, and lowers the cost of nanofabrication.

    Your self-assembly research is focused on block copolymers. What makes these materials so special?

    The length of the polymer blocks (red and blue squiggly lines) and the strength of their interaction determine the shape of the resulting patterns in block copolymer self-assembly: (from left to right) spheres, cylinders, and lamellae (sheets).

    Since the 1950s, people have been using triblock copolymers (three polymers joined together) in materials like synthetic rubber. Most polymers will not mix. Trying to mix polymers is kind of like trying to mix oil and water.

    But in block copolymers, the polymer chains are chemically bound to each other. For example, diblock (two) copolymer chains are joined through a covalent bond. This bonding frustrates their drive to “demix.” Instead, if block copolymers are given energy to mobilize their chains—for example by annealing (heating) the polymer film on a hot plate to above its glass transition temperature (when a polymer transitions from a hard, glassy material to a soft, rubbery one)—the chains will reconfigure and assemble into nanoscale phase-separated domains. These domains are ordered into nanoscale patterns based on inherent traits of the block copolymer. For example, let us say we have two polymers, A and B, joined together (diblock copolymer). The length of block A relative to the length of both blocks, the overall length of the polymer chains, and the properties of the polymers and the strength of their interaction (how much the polymers want to pull apart) govern the size and morphology, or shape, of the resulting structures. If the chains are too short or their repulsive interactions are too weak, the polymers will mix, causing the ordered state to become a disordered state and thus no pattern will form.

    At CFN, a major part of our work is to transfer the patterns and structures made through self-assembly, electron-beam lithography, or optical lithography at our Nanofabrication Facility into other materials to control material properties. A great example of this is CFN Director Chuck Black’s work using block copolymers to create a self-assembled pattern that serves as a template for etching nanosized cones onto silicon surfaces. With these nanotextures, the silicon surfaces transformed from reflective mirrors to entirely black. That is one way we can use block copolymers.

    But we want to expand the range of things we can do with self-assembly—and thus the range of applications. Diversifying the patterns possible with block copolymer self-assembly is a big part of my research.

    Have you been able to expand this range?

    One way I am interested in expanding what we can do through self-assembly is by creating inorganic replicas of the self-assembled structures. We can accomplish this replication through a process called infiltration synthesis.

    Plan view (top) and cross-sectional (bottom) scanning electron microscope images of an inorganic nanomesh created through iterative self-assembly and infiltration synthesis.

    For example, say you have a block copolymer that forms lamellae (stripes) perpendicular to a substrate. Using an atomic-layer-deposition tool, it is possible to infiltrate those lamellae with a metal oxide and then remove the polymer, leaving behind metal oxide lines in a pattern determined by the polymer self-assembly. It is even possible to perform self-assembly and replica formation on top of previous replicas in an iterative way. What is really interesting is that the topography from the initial layer actually acts as a template dictating how polymer domains in the next layer line up. In the case of a second layer of lamellae perpendicular with the substrate, a self-assembled nanomesh is naturally created.

    What other ways can you expand the range of self-assembled patterns?

    One area in which I have collaborated with other members of the Electronic Nanomaterials Group is to study the blending of block copolymers that form lamellae with block copolymers that form cylinders. The really cool thing we learned is that you can precisely control which of these two patterns emerge in different areas of a substrate through an approach we call selective directed self-assembly. In a diblock copolymer, one of the blocks may be relatively more hydrophobic (water repelling) and the other may be relatively more hydrophilic (water attracting). So if a chemical pattern was made up of alternating hydrophobic and hydrophilic lines, the block copolymer molecules would self-assemble accordingly. By changing the spacing and width of the chemical line gratings (patterns) on the substrate, we were able to direct the self-assembling blocks into specific arrangements—either forming striped patterns (lamellae) or hexagonal dot arrays (cylinders). We can locally adjust the spacing and linewidth of the underlying chemical template to precisely control exactly where these line or dot patterns form on the same substrate, too.

    How big are the features of these self-assembled nanoscale patterns?

    Block copolymers typically self-assemble into ordered periodic structures with a tunable repeat spacing between around 25 to 50 nanometers. Actually, one of the projects I am currently working on is to increase the size range over which block copolymers form patterns. There is a lot of work in the scientific community to go to smaller and smaller sizes (approaching a few nanometers) for lithographic applications such as making computer chips. But for certain applications, you need larger sizes.

    For example, the wavelength range of visible light is about 400 (purple) to 700 (red) nanometers. Even 400 nanometers is still about 10 times larger than the approximately 40-nanometer length scale possible with most block copolymers. As a result, light does not “see” the individual features of block copolymers.

    However, patterns with features closer to 200 nanometers in size can influence light in new ways, and I am working to scale block copolymer assembly to these sizes. One exciting application is using this approach to make “structural colors.” Colors are typically made using dyes or pigments. However, structural colors emerge from the way the light interacts with the nanomaterial—and so potentially one could make new types of lower-power displays through structural color.

    Unfortunately, the process of forming patterns from block copolymers slows drastically, and even stops altogether, for these larger sizes. The development of self-assembled patterns is impeded by defective structures that form at the start of self-assembly. For these defects to “heal,” the block polymer must reconfigure, which involves pulling one chain through the domain of the other polymer, overcoming a large energy barrier to do so. As the size of the polymers increases, the energy barrier goes up exponentially—so exponentially slower healing!

    Have you come up with any solutions to overcome this challenge?

    My colleagues and I found that blending small-molecular-weight homopolymers (polymers made up of the same type of molecules) with the block copolymers makes it easier for the block copolymer chains to move around. Adding homopolymers promotes dramatic increases in the size of well-ordered pattern areas, or “grains.” However, this addition alone does not let us form patterns with larger-size features from block copolymers. We also need to anneal the materials in a solvent vapor. Solvent vapor annealing involves putting a volatile solvent in the region of the diblock copolymer, causing the polymer film to swell. As the polymer film swells, the solvent molecules intersperse between polymer chains. This process has a plasticizing effect, making it easier for the polymer to move. So both mixing the block copolymer with a homopolymer and swelling it with a solvent are needed to speed the formation of large-scale patterns.

    Without blending, the size of grains (single-color regions) of a diblock copolymer with a molecular weight of 36 kilograms/mole barely changes with thermal annealing over time (top row). Blending the block copolymer with homopolymers increases the grain size and speeds up the ordering process (bottom row).

    After annealing, we image the resulting patterns with scanning electron microscopes at CFN. We also perform x-ray scattering experiments at the Complex Materials Scattering beamline at Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II [also a DOE Office of Science User Facility] to get a measure of the periodicity during the annealing process so we can determine how quickly the material self-assembles into an ordered pattern.



    How do all of the different self-assembled patterns you generate translate to possible applications?

    A comparison of scanning electron microscope images after solvent vapor annealing of a large block copolymer (top left) and the same copolymer with added homopolymer (top right) shows that the homopolymer can significantly improve pattern quality. The bottom image is a cross-sectional image of the top right sample.

    The work we do at CFN establishes the basis for producing new materials. For example, consider the mesh pattern I described. My colleague Chang-Yong Nam and I are working on making a mesh of zinc oxide nanowires through infiltration synthesis of block copolymers. Zinc oxide is a versatile semiconducting material, and these nanowires have a lot of surface area, making them attractive for a number of applications—including photoelectrochemical water splitting (a way of converting sunlight into fuel by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen). These semiconducting nanowires are also very responsive to environmental cues like light or chemicals. Given their large area uniformity, the meshes could be easily integrated into widely deployable gas sensors.

    How did you come to join CFN?

    After graduate school, I completed a postdoctoral appointment working at IBM in California. It was there that I learned about block copolymers, using them to make patterns for microelectronics. I did that for three years, and then in 2013 I joined a research group at HGST, a subsidiary of Western Digital that sells hard disk and solid-state drives. At first, I worked on a project to create patterned nanoscale magnetic media onto which data is written to and read from, in order to enhance data density and stability.

    Following that project, I moved into another area that was not very research oriented. At about this time, the current CFN Director, Chuck Black, gave a talk at HGST. Chuck’s talk piqued my interest in CFN, and soon thereafter a position that very well fit my skills opened up. I applied, and joined CFN in 2015.

    What was it like coming from industry to a national lab setting?

    It definitely takes some getting used to. There is a lot less pressure in some ways but more pressure in other ways. At CFN, you are expected to develop a lot more on your own as far as what direction you need to pursue on the basis of what is valuable to the lab. In industry, the goals of the project are clear, and there are deliverables to keep you on the narrow path to achieving those goals. This is not to say that I did not do exploratory research for a portion of my time in industry.

    The other difference at CFN is that I am more involved with the academic and industrial community at large. I have to manage my time so that I can perform my own research and help users with their research. I find it really cool that researchers from all over the world come to CFN. The talent and expertise of the staff are what make the CFN so great. The staff know backwards and forwards what they are doing in the areas they specialize in, and they are dedicated to helping others.

    What are some of the ways you have helped users?

    I regularly show users how to do block copolymer self-assembly and the etching process to transfer patterns into a substrate. Some users have employed these patterns as superhydrophobic textures to manipulate the flow of liquids in microfluidic devices, for example. In many cases, I help users develop a process when they need self-assembled patterns of varying sizes or shapes, to be applied to different substrates.

    I also help with the lithographic patterning of unusual materials. For example, one user I am working with is trying to pattern protein hydrogels, looking at how they mechanically respond to swelling and de-swelling to understand how they might operate if injected into the body. Such protein hydrogels could have applications in biosensing, drug delivery, and wound healing.

    Some users are interested in solvent vapor annealing, which is a very tricky process to control. So I am building a system with feedback control that can be set to maintain a solvent fraction of any given solvent. Otherwise, if the amount of solvent varies over time, the self-assembly might not work at all (too little solvent) or result in a disordered state (too much solvent).

    How did you become interested in research?

    As an undergraduate at Case Western Reserve University, I majored in chemical engineering. One of my summer internships involved doing fuel cell work at a research lab. This internship led to another one at a fuel cell start-up, where I worked on sensors and solar cells. These internships gave me the opportunity to come up with ideas of my own and try different things. This exploration spurred me to pursue a doctoral degree at the University of California, Berkeley, where I continued my studies in chemical engineering.

    I also think my undergraduate studies in philosophy, which I minored in, gave me a new understanding of the way science works. I really enjoyed reading about the philosophy of science, including books like Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. I learned how the views we often have are naïve or not accurate. There are lots of things people get wrong for a long time. But that does not mean they were not learning. Science is not perfect—but that is okay.

    I was not the kid who grew up knowing he wanted to be a scientist. I liked philosophy and delving into critical thought. But I began to realize there is a lot of commonality between philosophy and science—in both fields, the aim is to gain knowledge about the world around us. But science is better because you can actually test things!

    See the full article here .

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    One of ten national laboratories overseen and primarily funded by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Brookhaven National Laboratory conducts research in the physical, biomedical, and environmental sciences, as well as in energy technologies and national security. Brookhaven Lab also builds and operates major scientific facilities available to university, industry and government researchers. The Laboratory’s almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 5,000 visiting researchers from around the world.Brookhaven is operated and managed for DOE’s Office of Science by Brookhaven Science Associates, a limited-liability company founded by Stony Brook University, the largest academic user of Laboratory facilities, and Battelle, a nonprofit, applied science and technology organization.

  • richardmitnick 8:27 am on December 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Engineers create plants that glow, Material Sciences, , Nanobionic light-emitting plants, , The mixture of nanoparticles was infused into the leaf using lab-designed syringe termination adaptors   

    From MIT: “Engineers create plants that glow” 

    MIT News

    MIT Widget

    MIT News

    December 12, 2017
    Anne Trafton

    Illumination of a book (“Paradise Lost,” by John Milton) with the nanobionic light-emitting plants (two 3.5-week-old watercress plants). The book and the light-emitting watercress plants were placed in front of a reflective paper to increase the influence from the light emitting plants to the book pages. Image: Seon-Yeong Kwak

    Glowing MIT logo printed on the leaf of an arugula plant. The mixture of nanoparticles was infused into the leaf using lab-designed syringe termination adaptors. The image is merged of the bright-field image and light emission in the dark. Image: Seon-Yeong Kwak

    Illumination from nanobionic plants might one day replace some electrical lighting.

    Imagine that instead of switching on a lamp when it gets dark, you could read by the light of a glowing plant on your desk.

    MIT engineers have taken a critical first step toward making that vision a reality. By embedding specialized nanoparticles into the leaves of a watercress plant, they induced the plants to give off dim light for nearly four hours. They believe that, with further optimization, such plants will one day be bright enough to illuminate a workspace.

    “The vision is to make a plant that will function as a desk lamp — a lamp that you don’t have to plug in. The light is ultimately powered by the energy metabolism of the plant itself,” says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the study.

    This technology could also be used to provide low-intensity indoor lighting, or to transform trees into self-powered streetlights, the researchers say.

    MIT postdoc Seon-Yeong Kwak is the lead author of the study, which appears in the journal Nano Letters.

    Video: Melanie Gonick/MIT

    Nanobionic plants

    Plant nanobionics, a new research area pioneered by Strano’s lab, aims to give plants novel features by embedding them with different types of nanoparticles. The group’s goal is to engineer plants to take over many of the functions now performed by electrical devices. The researchers have previously designed plants that can detect explosives and communicate that information to a smartphone, as well as plants that can monitor drought conditions.

    Lighting, which accounts for about 20 percent of worldwide energy consumption, seemed like a logical next target. “Plants can self-repair, they have their own energy, and they are already adapted to the outdoor environment,” Strano says. “We think this is an idea whose time has come. It’s a perfect problem for plant nanobionics.”

    To create their glowing plants, the MIT team turned to luciferase, the enzyme that gives fireflies their glow. Luciferase acts on a molecule called luciferin, causing it to emit light. Another molecule called co-enzyme A helps the process along by removing a reaction byproduct that can inhibit luciferase activity.

    The MIT team packaged each of these three components into a different type of nanoparticle carrier. The nanoparticles, which are all made of materials that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies as “generally regarded as safe,” help each component get to the right part of the plant. They also prevent the components from reaching concentrations that could be toxic to the plants.

    The researchers used silica nanoparticles about 10 nanometers in diameter to carry luciferase, and they used slightly larger particles of the polymers PLGA and chitosan to carry luciferin and coenzyme A, respectively. To get the particles into plant leaves, the researchers first suspended the particles in a solution. Plants were immersed in the solution and then exposed to high pressure, allowing the particles to enter the leaves through tiny pores called stomata.

    Particles releasing luciferin and coenzyme A were designed to accumulate in the extracellular space of the mesophyll, an inner layer of the leaf, while the smaller particles carrying luciferase enter the cells that make up the mesophyll. The PLGA particles gradually release luciferin, which then enters the plant cells, where luciferase performs the chemical reaction that makes luciferin glow.

    The researchers’ early efforts at the start of the project yielded plants that could glow for about 45 minutes, which they have since improved to 3.5 hours. The light generated by one 10-centimeter watercress seedling is currently about one-thousandth of the amount needed to read by, but the researchers believe they can boost the light emitted, as well as the duration of light, by further optimizing the concentration and release rates of the components.

    Plant transformation

    Previous efforts to create light-emitting plants have relied on genetically engineering plants to express the gene for luciferase, but this is a laborious process that yields extremely dim light. Those studies were performed on tobacco plants and Arabidopsis thaliana, which are commonly used for plant genetic studies. However, the method developed by Strano’s lab could be used on any type of plant. So far, they have demonstrated it with arugula, kale, and spinach, in addition to watercress.

    For future versions of this technology, the researchers hope to develop a way to paint or spray the nanoparticles onto plant leaves, which could make it possible to transform trees and other large plants into light sources.

    “Our target is to perform one treatment when the plant is a seedling or a mature plant, and have it last for the lifetime of the plant,” Strano says. “Our work very seriously opens up the doorway to streetlamps that are nothing but treated trees, and to indirect lighting around homes.”

    The researchers have also demonstrated that they can turn the light off by adding nanoparticles carrying a luciferase inhibitor. This could enable them to eventually create plants that shut off their light emission in response to environmental conditions such as sunlight, the researchers say.

    The research was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

    See the full article here .

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    The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the twenty-first century. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind.

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  • richardmitnick 12:31 pm on October 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , LIFT- Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, Material Sciences, Materials Manufacturing,   

    From U Michigan: “Advanced manufacturing lab opens in Detroit” 

    U Michigan bloc

    University of Michigan

    October 12, 2017 [better late…]
    Nicole Casal Moore

    Center to drive lightweight manufacturing technology.

    Xun Lin, ME PhD Student, works in the S.M. Wu Manufacturing Research Center. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

    A $50 million lightweighting research and development lab that the University of Michigan helped to jumpstart opened its doors today in Detroit’s Corktown district.

    LIFT, which stands for Lightweight Innovations For Tomorrow, and IACMI, The Composites Institute unveiled the 100,000-sq.-ft. facility. It’s a cornerstone of LIFT’s effort to establish a regional manufacturing ecosystem that moves advanced lightweight metals out of the research lab and into tomorrow’s cars, trucks, airplanes and ships for both the commercial and military sectors.

    “The metalworking industry in our country already employs almost half a million people,” said Alan Taub, LIFT’s chief technical officer and a professor of materials science and engineering and mechanical engineering at U-M. “Through LIFT technology advances and education and workforce programs, we are enabling further growth.”

    Mihaela Banu, ME Associate Professor, shows an example of an alloy in the GG Brown Building. Photo: Joseph Xu, Michigan Engineering Communications & Marketing

    LIFT, which was formerly the American Lightweight Materials Manufacturing Innovation Institute (ALMMII), launched in 2014 as a partnership among U-M, Ohio State University and Ohio-based manufacturing technology nonprofit EWI. The institute is a node in the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation, an Obama administration White House initiative to help U.S. manufacturers become more competitive. It is now called Manufacturing USA. U-M faculty played pivotal roles in helping to conceive and shape this network.

    “The purpose of these manufacturing innovation institutes is to mature the technology and the manufacturing-readiness through precompetitive R&D and establish industrial commons necessary to anchor manufacturing in the U.S.”said Sridhar Kota, the Herrick Professor of Engineering at U-M and a professor of mechanical engineering. “LIFT’s six pillars of lightweight metals processing technology have significant applications to automotive and aerospace industries.”

    Kota held an appointment as assistant director for advanced manufacturing at the White House from 2009-12. He proposed the idea of so-called Edison Institutes to bridge the “innovation gap” between basic research and manufacturing-readiness. Kota helped create Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in 2011 to move the network forward. Other university leaders served on a working group of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

    “These new institutes will help put ‘&’ back in R&D in order to get a better return on investment of taxpayers’ dollars,” Kota said earlier.

    The new lab is a joint effort between LIFT and IACMI, The Composites Institute, which is another Manufacturing USA institute. It will allow institute members, partners and others in the industry to conduct research and development projects, in both lightweight metals and advanced composites. It will also provide education space for students and adult learners focused on the composites and lightweight materials industries.

    With more than 74 member organizations including companies, universities, research institutions, and education and workforce leaders as partners, LIFT is expected to contribute to economic development and positive job impact in Detroit and stretching to the five-state region of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky over the next five years. Most of these jobs will be in the metal stamping, metalworking, machining and casting industries that are dominant in the Midwest region.

    Beyond its R&D efforts, the institute aims to help educate the next generation of manufacturing’s technical workforce. LIFT will engage workforce partners from across the region to strengthen education and training pathways to high quality jobs in all transportation manufacturing sectors, including the automobile, aircraft, heavy truck, ship, rail and defense industries.

    LIFT receives federal funding as well as funding from the consortium partners themselves, including the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and the state of Ohio.

    See the full article here .

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    U MIchigan Campus

    The University of Michigan (U-M, UM, UMich, or U of M), frequently referred to simply as Michigan, is a public research university located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Originally, founded in 1817 in Detroit as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, 20 years before the Michigan Territory officially became a state, the University of Michigan is the state’s oldest university. The university moved to Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha) of what is now known as Central Campus. Since its establishment in Ann Arbor, the university campus has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings with a combined area of more than 34 million gross square feet (781 acres or 3.16 km²), and has two satellite campuses located in Flint and Dearborn. The University was one of the founding members of the Association of American Universities.

    Considered one of the foremost research universities in the United States,[7] the university has very high research activity and its comprehensive graduate program offers doctoral degrees in the humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as well as professional degrees in business, medicine, law, pharmacy, nursing, social work and dentistry. Michigan’s body of living alumni (as of 2012) comprises more than 500,000. Besides academic life, Michigan’s athletic teams compete in Division I of the NCAA and are collectively known as the Wolverines. They are members of the Big Ten Conference.

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