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Engineers create piezoelectric graphene

April 3, 2012 9:42 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

By depositing atoms on one side of a grid of graphene, researchers at Stanford University have engineered piezoelectricity into a nanoscale material for the first time. Twist it and it generates electricity. The implications could yield a dramatic degree of control in nanotechnology.

Discovery provides a boost to nanotechnology

March 27, 2012 5:40 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

After five decades of debate, Stanford University engineers determine how collective electron oscillations, called plasmons, behave in individual metal particles as small as just a few nanometers in diameter. This knowledge may open up new avenues in nanotechnology ranging from solar catalysis to biomedical therapeutics.

Engineers enlist weather model to optimize offshore wind plan

March 20, 2012 7:02 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

Using a sophisticated weather model, environmental engineers at Stanford University have defined optimal placement of a grid of four wind farms off the United States East Coast. The model successfully balances production at times of peak demand and significantly reduces costly spikes and zero-power events.


Molecular graphene heralds new era of 'designer electrons'

March 14, 2012 10:36 am | News | Comments

Researchers from Stanford University and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have created the first-ever system of "designer electrons"—exotic variants of ordinary electrons with tunable properties that may ultimately lead to new types of materials and devices.

Silicon Valley poised to play role as Japan restructures power industry

March 8, 2012 9:09 am | by Brooke Donald, Stanford University | News | Comments

As cities and towns rebuild after last year's devastating tsunami and earthquake in northeastern Japan, there is a potentially huge demand for the green technology and new information technology now being created in laboratories at Stanford University and start ups across Silicon Valley.

Exotic material shows promise as flexible, transparent electrode

March 7, 2012 9:05 am | News | Comments

An international team of scientists with roots at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University has shown that ultrathin sheets of an exotic material, called topological insulators, remain transparent and highly conductive even after being deeply flexed 1,000 times and folded and creased like a piece of paper.

X-rays reveal how soil bacteria carry out surprising chemistry

March 5, 2012 6:42 am | News | Comments

Researchers working at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have used powerful X-rays to help decipher how certain natural antibiotics defy a longstanding set of chemical rules—a mechanism that has baffled organic chemists for decades.

Fab team scales up production of dark matter detectors

February 28, 2012 4:43 am | News | Comments

It's one thing to design and build a brand-new piece of technology, to test it and tune it until it works just right. It's an entirely different matter to take that one-of-a-kind instrument and mass produce it. But that's essentially what the fabrication team for the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search did.


Engineers create wireless, self-propelled medical device

February 23, 2012 4:47 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

For 50 years, scientists searched for the secret to making tiny implantable devices that could travel through the bloodstream. Engineers at Stanford University have demonstrated such a device. Powered without wires or batteries, it can propel itself through the bloodstream and is small enough to fit through blood vessels.

Research initiative will study best approaches for quantum memories

February 16, 2012 4:49 am | News | Comments

The United States Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded $8.5 million to a consortium of seven U.S. universities that will work together to determine the best approach for generating quantum memories based on interaction between light and matter. The team will consider three different approaches for creating entangled quantum memories that could facilitate the long-distance transmission of secure information.

More environmental rules needed for shale gas

February 6, 2012 10:22 am | by Mark Golden, Stanford University | News | Comments

Obama's new rule is only one step toward ensuring the safety of hydraulic fracturing, the booming technology that offers economic and environmental benefits, according to Stanford University geophysicist and DOE adviser Mark Zoback.

Engineers weld nanowires with light

February 6, 2012 5:03 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

At the nano level, researchers at Stanford University have discovered a new way to weld together meshes of tiny wires. The technique harness plasmonics to fuse wires with a simple blast of light. Their work could lead to innovative electronics and solar applications.

Wireless power could revolutionize highway transportation

February 2, 2012 5:02 am | News | Comments

A Stanford University research team has designed a high-efficiency charging system that uses magnetic fields to wirelessly transmit large electric currents between metal coils placed several feet apart. The long-term goal of the research is to develop an all-electric highway that wirelessly charges cars and trucks as they cruise down the road.


Engineers debut open-source fluid dynamics design application

January 24, 2012 11:33 am | by Andrew Myers | News | Comments

Every year, students studying aeronautical and astronautical design brace themselves for the time-consuming process of writing their own code to optimize aerospace designs. In search of a better way, a team of engineers at the Aerospace Design Lab at Stanford University has released SU2, an open-source application that models the effects of fluids moving over aerodynamic surfaces.

Designing chemical catalysts: There's an app for that

January 19, 2012 4:51 am | by Mike Ross, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory | News | Comments

A big reason for publishing scientific results is to inform others who can then use your data and conclusions to make additional discoveries, technologies or products. But what good are findings if they are, well, hard to find? Scientists from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have a solution for those who design new chemical catalysts: They made an app.

Engineers improve electrical efficiency in organic semiconductors

January 4, 2012 4:08 am | by Andrew Myers, Stanford University | News | Comments

Organic semiconductors could usher in a new era of electronics. But there is one serious drawback: Organic semiconductors do not conduct electricity very well. However, researchers at Stanford University have changed that equation by improving the ability of the electrons to move through organic semiconductors.

Chemically scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air too expensive

December 12, 2011 10:54 am | News | Comments

While it is possible to chemically scrub carbon dioxide from Earth's atmosphere in order to lessen the severity of global warming, the process is prohibitively expensive for now. Best to focus on controls for coal-burning power plants, say researchers from Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Carbon capture? Go for the source

December 6, 2011 3:34 am | by David L. Chandler, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Since most of the world's governments have not yet enacted regulations to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, some experts have advocated the development of technologies to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air. But a new Massachusetts Institute of Technology study shows that, at least for the foreseeable future, such proposals are not realistic because their costs would vastly exceed those of blocking emissions right at the source, such as at the powerplants that burn fossil fuels.

Opal offers remedy for uranium contamination at nuclear sites

December 2, 2011 4:25 am | News | Comments

Stanford University researchers are proposing to use opal to sequester uranium at contaminated sites. The idea springs from natural deposits of opal, containing uranium, that have been stable for hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.

Researchers develop technique to sort nanotubes

November 17, 2011 9:54 am | by Sarah Jane Keller, Stanford University | News | Comments

Carbon nanotubes could make many electronic devices cheaper and more efficient. But when nanotubes are manufactured, tubes that work for solar cells are mixed with tubes that work for batteries. The final product is a nanotube powder that is not ideal for any single commercial application. However, Stanford University researchers have discovered a technique to selectively sort semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes from the mixture.

Father of artificial intelligence dies in California

October 26, 2011 10:28 am | News | Comments

John McCarthy, a pioneer in artificial intelligence technology and creator of the computer programming language often used in that field, died this week at age 84. He was a leader in the field, coining the term in a 1955 research proposal and going on to create influential laboratories at both Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Researchers build transparent, super-stretchy skin-like sensor

October 24, 2011 7:08 am | News | Comments

Using carbon nanotubes bent to act as springs, Stanford University researchers have developed a stretchable, transparent skin-like sensor. The sensor can be stretched to more than twice its original length and bounce back perfectly to its original shape. It can sense pressure from a firm pinch to thousands of pounds.

Study: Urban 'heat island' effect is a small contributor to global warming

October 20, 2011 4:41 am | News | Comments

Cities release more heat to the atmosphere than the rural vegetated areas around them, but how much influence these urban "heat islands" have on global warming has been a matter of debate. Now a study by Stanford University researchers has quantified the contribution of the heat islands for the first time, showing that it is modest compared with what greenhouse gases contribute to global warming.

New super-hard form of carbon created under ultrahigh pressure

October 17, 2011 11:49 am | News | Comments

A new form of carbon that rivals diamonds in its hardness, but has an amorphous structure similar to glass, has been produced under ultrahigh pressure in laboratory experiments. The research team was led by Stanford University mineral physicist Wendy Mao and graduate student Yu Lin.

New form of superhard carbon observed

October 11, 2011 8:04 am | News | Comments

Carbon is the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe and takes on a wide variety of forms, called allotropes, including diamond and graphite. Scientists at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory are part of a team that has discovered a new form of carbon, which is capable of withstanding extreme pressure stresses that were previously observed only in diamond.

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