Optimizing the conductivity of ceria-based oxides, or doped ceria, is crucial to their use as electrolytes in future solid oxide fuel cells. Researchers from NIST and Arizona State University have successfully used kinetic lattice Monte Carlo simulations to predict the optimum dopant concentration for maximizing conductivity for gadolinium doped ceria at temperatures that are practical for fuel cell operation.
Similar to the way pavement, softened by a hot sun, will slow down a car, graphene slows down an object sliding across its surface. But stack the sheets and graphene gets more slippery, say theorists at NIST, who developed new software to quantify the material's friction.
If graphene is to live up to its promise as a revolutionary component of future electronics, the interactions between graphene and the surrounding materials in a device must be understood and controlled. Researchers at NIST have successfully measured and modeled how electrons in graphene respond to impurities in an underlying substrate, explaining key difference in the response of graphene that is one versus two layers thick.
Once limited to fingerprints, faces, and irises, forensic scientists can now have shared access to a greatly expanded set of biometric recently approved and standardized by NIST. It is the first international standard for the exchange of DNA data.
The gallium nitride nanowires grown by NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory scientists may only be a few tenths of a micrometer in diameter, but they promise a very wide range of applications—from new light-emitting diodes and diode lasers to ultra-small resonators, chemical sensors, and highly sensitive atomic probe tips.
Led by a group at the University of Maryland, a multi-institution team of researchers has combined modern materials research and an age-old metallurgy technique to produce an alloy that could be the basis for a new class of sensors and micromechanical devices controlled by magnetism.
A team of researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the University of Muenster, and West Virginia University have demonstrated control of magnetic thermal fluctuations using current. The work represents an important step towards manipulating the noise properties of magnetic nanosensors and memory devices.
Scientists have demonstrated that a superconducting detector called a transition edge sensor (TES) is capable of counting the number of as many as 1,000 photons in a single pulse of light with an accuracy limited mainly by the quantum noise of the laser source.
Why there is stuff in the universe—more properly, why there is an imbalance between matter and antimatter—is one of the long-standing mysteries of cosmology. A team of NIST researchers has just concluded a 10-year-long study of the fate of neutrons in an attempt to resolve the question, and has significantly narrowed down the number of possible answers.
Not to pick up electrons, but tweezers made of electrons. A recent paper by researchers from NIST and the University of Virginia demonstrates that the beams produced by modern electron microscopes can be used not just to look at nanoscale objects, but to move them around, position them, and perhaps even assemble them.
Laser frequency combs are extraordinarily precise tools for measuring frequencies of light. NIST engineers have built a compact version that for the first time uses shoebox-sized low-power lasers. A unique optical cavity design allows a compact package developers say could soon fit on a microchip.
If quantum computers are ever to be realized, they likely will be made of different types of parts that will need to share information with one another, just like the memory and logic circuits in today's computers do. However, prospects for achieving this kind of communication seemed distant—until now.
An advanced material that could help bring about next-generation "spintronic" computers has revealed one of its fundamental secrets to a team of scientists from Argonne National Laboratory and NIST.
Researchers at Purdue University and NIST have created a device small enough to fit on a computer chip that converts continuous laser light into numerous ultrashort pulses, a technology that might have applications in more advanced sensors, communications systems, and laboratory instruments.
Diamonds may be best known as a symbol of long-lasting love. But semiconductor makers are also hoping they'll pan out as key components of long-lasting micromachines if a new method developed by NIST for carving these tough, capable crystals proves its worth. The method offers a precise way to engineer microscopic cuts in a diamond surface, yielding potential benefits in both measurement and technological fields.
NIST has published two new documents on cloud computing: the first edition of a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy. Together, the documents provide guidance to help understand cloud computing standards and categories of cloud services that can be used government-wide.
"Form follows function!" was the credo of early 20th century architects making design choices based on the intended use of the structure. Cell biologists may be turning that on its head. New research by a NIST team reinforces the idea that stem cells can be induced to develop into specific types of cells solely by controlling their shape.
With a nod to biology, scientists at NIST have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell-powered cars. Their idea: molecular scale "veins" of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries. The iron veins may transform magnesium from a promising candidate for hydrogen storage into a real-world winner.
Thanks to advances in experimental design, physicists at NIST have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit)—the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.
A research team at NIST has come up with a potential solution to a two-pronged problem in medical research: How to capture cells on a particular spot on a surface using electric fields and keep them alive long enough to run experiments on them.
Wireless emergency safety equipment could save lives—if signals are transmitted reliably. But few performance standards exist. Now, tests at NIST are helping to ensure that alarm beacons for firefighters and other emergency responders will operate reliably in the presence of other wireless devices.
Carbon nanotubes offer big promise in a small package. For instance, these tiny cylinders of carbon molecules theoretically can carry 1,000 times more electric current than a metal conductor of the same size. It's easy to imagine carbon nanotubes replacing copper wiring in future nanoscale electronics. But—not so fast.
Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute in College Park, Md., operated by the University of Maryland and NIST, and at Georgetown University have uncovered evidence for a long-sought-after quantum state of matter, a spin liquid.
Research at the University of Colorado has produced a Compact, high-energy density, high-temperature superconducting cable that is intended to open new markets for HTS cable, which traditionally has been hindered by heavy weight and inflexibility.
Physicists at NIST have for the first time linked the quantum properties of two separated ions by manipulating them with microwaves instead of the usual laser beams, suggesting it may be possible to replace an exotic room-sized quantum computing "laser park" with miniaturized, commercial microwave technology similar to that used in smart phones.