Highly Engineered Materials May Solve One of Science’s Toughest Problems

Researchers from UT Dallas, Clemson University and Yale University are using science on the nanoscale to address one of the most elusive challenges in physics—the discovery of room temperature superconductivity.  With that as the ultimate goal, the team is working to develop superconducting wires made from nanotubes that carry high currents at the temperature of liquid nitrogen, or higher.

 With a $3 million research grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the team has embarked on a five-year project to invent new superconducting wires based on highly engineered nanomaterials, each component thousands of times smaller than a human hair.  Such wires would be used for applications ranging from magnets for Magnetic Resonance Imaging to replacing energy-wasting copper in power transmission lines.

John CresslerSilicon-Germanium Circuits Could Also Cut Costs

Space environments can deliver a beating to spacecraft electronics. For decades, satellites and other spacecraft have used bulky and expensive shielding to protect vital microelectronics—microprocessors and other integrated circuits—from space radiation.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing ways to harden the microchips themselves against damage from various types of cosmic radiation. With funding from NASA and other sponsors, a Georgia Tech team is investigating the use of silicon-germanium (SiGe) to create microelectronic devices that are intrinsically resistant to space-particle bombardment.

Researchers at TU Delft have succeeded in measuring the influence of a single electron on a vibrating carbon nanotube. This research can be important for work such as the development of ultra-small measuring instruments.  The scientists have published their results on Thursday 23 July in the online version of the scientific journal Science.

The scientists of the Kavli Institute for Nanoscience at TU Delft based their project on a suspended vibrating carbon nanotube, comparable to an ultra-small violin string. They then applied an alternating electric field to the nanotube using an antenna.

Organic Photovoltaic (OPVs) solar cells can achieve moderate power conversion efficiencies at low cost,

Organic Photovoltaic (OPVs) solar cells can achieve moderate power conversion efficiencies at low cost. They can be made at room temperature by high speed coating and printing of large flexible plastic substrates at the fraction of a cost compared to the conventional single crystal or amorphous silicon solar cells.

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