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Oil and water: The hot, cold interaction

December 4, 2012 8:23 am | News | Comments

Water transforms into a previously unknown structure in between a liquid and a vapor when in contact with alcohol molecules containing long oily chains, according to Purdue University researchers. However, around short oily chains water is more ice-like. The research team found that as they examined alcohols with increasingly long carbon chains, the transformation occurred at lower and lower temperatures.

Scotch tape finds new use as grasping "smart material"

November 21, 2012 7:55 am | News | Comments

Scotch tape, a versatile household staple and a mainstay of holiday gift-wrapping, may have a new scientific application as a shape-changing "smart material." Researchers used a laser to form slender half-centimeter-long fingers out of the tape. When exposed to water, the four wispy fingers morph into a tiny robotic claw that captures water droplets.

New tools to aid in recycling flat-screen monitors, televisions

October 10, 2012 8:41 am | News | Comments

Millions of flat-screen monitors and television sets will soon become obsolete, posing environmental hazards, and Purdue University researchers are developing tools to help industry efficiently recycle the products. The researchers are producing equipment and tools specifically designed to disassemble liquid-crystal displays with acceptable labor cost while recovering high-value components and reducing environmental hazards.

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Interactive system detects touch and gestures on any surface

October 9, 2012 3:25 pm | News | Comments

People can let their fingers—and hands—do the talking with a new touch-activated system that projects onto walls and other surfaces and allows users to interact with their environment and each other. Developed at Purdue University, the "extended multitouch" system allows more than one person to use a surface at the same time and also enables people to use both hands, distinguishing between the right and left hand.

Watermelon shown to boost heart health

October 3, 2012 4:01 am | News | Comments

Eating an apple a day may keep the doctor away, but eating watermelon may just keep the cardiologist at bay. A study from Purdue University and the University of Kentucky showed that mice fed a diet including watermelon juice had lower weight, cholesterol, and arterial plaque than a control group.

Signature of long-sought particle could advance quantum computing

September 26, 2012 3:19 am | News | Comments

A Purdue University physicist, Leonid Rokhinson, has observed evidence of long-sought Majorana fermions, special particles that could unleash the potential of fault-tolerant quantum computing. Rokhinson led a team that is the first to successfully demonstrate the fractional a.c. Josephson effect, which is a signature of the particles.

New tool gives structural strength to 3D-printed works

September 18, 2012 9:46 am | News | Comments

Objects created using 3D printing have a common flaw: They are fragile and often fall apart or lose their shape. Researchers at Purdue University and Adobe's Advanced Technology Labs have jointly developed a program that automatically imparts strength to objects before they are printed, spurring on the trend of 3D printing.

Body heat, fermentation drive drug-delivery micropump

September 12, 2012 6:03 am | News | Comments

Purdue University researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be using in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation. The micropump contains Baker's yeast and sugar in a small chamber, and when water is added and the patch is placed on the skin, the body heat and added water causes the yeast and sugar to ferment, generating a small amount of carbon dioxide gas, which pushes against a membrane and has been shown to pump for several hours.

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Sliding metals show fluid-like behavior, new clues to wear

September 11, 2012 11:10 am | News | Comments

Purdue University researchers have discovered a swirling, fluid-like behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another, providing new insights into the mechanisms of wear and generation of machined surfaces that could help improve the durability of metal parts.

Nanoresonators might improve cell phone performance

August 30, 2012 12:56 pm | by Emil Venere | News | Comments

Because of the proliferation of mobile wireless devices, there is not enough radio spectrum to account for everybody's needs. To counter the problem, industry is trying to build systems that operate with more sharply defined channels so that more of them can fit within the available bandwidth. At Purdue University, the recent invention of nanoelectromechanical resonators may provide the solution.

Nano machine shop shapes nanowires, ultrathin films

August 30, 2012 3:30 am | News | Comments

A new nano machine shop that shapes nanowires and ultrathin films could represent a future manufacturing method for tiny structures with potentially revolutionary properties. Purdue University researchers used their technique to stamp nano- and microgears; form tiny circular shapes out of graphene; and change the shape of silver nanowires.

Superconductor 'flaws' could be key to its abilities

August 23, 2012 4:04 am | News | Comments

Physicists who study superconductivity strive to create a clean, perfect sample. But a Purdue University team that has mapped seemingly random, four-atom-wide dark lines of electrons on the surface of copper-oxygen based superconducting crystals has discovered that they exist throughout the crystal. The findings suggest the lines, which are “flaws”, could play a role in the material's superconductivity at much higher temperatures than others.

Sensor detects glucose in saliva, tears for diabetes testing

August 21, 2012 10:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created a new type of biosensor that can detect minute concentrations of glucose in saliva, tears, and urine, and might be manufactured at low cost because it does not require many processing steps to produce.

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New design tool nixes mouse

August 14, 2012 11:31 am | News | Comments

Researchers have developed a design tool that enables people to create 3D objects with their bare hands by using a depth-sensing camera and advanced software algorithms to interpret hand movements and gestures.

Self-calibrating MEMS bring accuracy to nanotech

July 12, 2012 4:03 am | News | Comments

Researchers have demonstrated tiny machines, called self-calibratable micro-electromechanical systems, or MEMS, that could make possible super-accurate sensors and motors. Although MEMS are in commercial use, the new device is the first of its kind capable of self-calibration, a step critical for applications requiring high performance and accuracy.

Research: Sorghum should be in the mix as a biofuel crop

June 19, 2012 7:07 am | News | Comments

Sweet and biomass sorghum would meet the need for next-generation biofuels to be environmentally sustainable, easily adopted by producers, and take advantage of existing agricultural infrastructure, a group of researchers led by Purdue University scientists believes.

'No-sleep energy bugs' drain smartphone batteries

June 14, 2012 4:20 am | News | Comments

Researchers have proposed a method to automatically detect a new class of software glitches in smartphones called "no-sleep energy bugs," which can entirely drain batteries while the phones are not in use.

University professors lead voluntary code of ethics effort for journals

June 6, 2012 9:44 am | News | Comments

Professors from Purdue University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte are bringing editors of academic journals together to reaffirm their commitment to research integrity.

Nuclear weapon simulations show performance in molecular detail

June 5, 2012 6:26 am | News | Comments

U.S. researchers are perfecting simulations that show a nuclear weapon's performance in precise molecular detail. Because international treaties forbid the detonation of nuclear test weapons, tools that can accurately depict an explosion are becoming critical for national defense.

Energy-dense biofuel from cellulose close to economical

June 4, 2012 11:56 am | News | Comments

A new Purdue University-developed process for creating biofuels has shown potential to be cost-effective for production scale, opening the door for moving beyond the laboratory setting.

Hypothesis presented for Faint Young Sun Paradox

May 30, 2012 9:48 am | News | Comments

More than 2 billion years ago, a much fainter sun should have left the Earth as an orbiting ice ball, unfit to develop life as we know it today. Why the Earth avoided the deep freeze is a question that has puzzled scientists, but Purdue University's David Minton believes he might have an answer.

Metamaterials, quantum dots show promise for new technologies

May 24, 2012 10:02 am | News | Comments

Researchers are edging toward the creation of new optical technologies using "nanostructured metamaterials" capable of ultra-efficient transmission of light, with potential applications including advanced solar cells and quantum computing.

Summer gas prices to be stable if...

May 23, 2012 5:39 am | News | Comments

Gasoline prices this summer could stay relatively steady provided that an already-tense Middle East doesn't flare up and nothing else happens to disrupt supplies, a Purdue University economist says.

Origami-inspired design method merges engineering, art

May 21, 2012 12:43 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have shown how to create morphing robotic mechanisms and shape-shifting sculptures from a single sheet of paper in a method reminiscent of origami, the Japanese art of paper folding. The new method, called Kaleidogami, uses computational algorithms and tools to create precisely folded structures.

Ultrasensitive biosensor promising for medical diagnostics

May 15, 2012 8:16 am | News | Comments

Researchers have created an ultrasensitive biosensor that could open up new opportunities for early detection of cancer and "personalized medicine" tailored to the specific biochemistry of individual patients. The device, which could be several hundred times more sensitive than other biosensors, combines the attributes of two distinctly different types of sensors.

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