Using a combination of sophisticated computer modeling and advanced materials analysis techniques at synchrotron laboratories, a research team led by the University at Buffalo (UB) has demonstrated how some relatively simple processing flaws can seriously degrade the otherwise near-magical electronic properties of graphene.
A team from NIST and the University of Maryland are working to develop nanocomposite fire retardants. They have demonstrated that the more widely and uniformly dispersed nanoscale plates of clay are in a polymer, the more fire protection the nanocomposite material provides.
Researchers at NIST have created a tunable superconducting circuit on a chip that can place a single microwave photon in two frequencies, or colors, at the same time. This curious "superposition," a hallmark of the quantum world, is a chip-scale, microwave version of a common optics experiment in which a device called a beam-splitter sends a photon into either of two possible paths across a table of lasers, lenses, and mirrors.
Showcasing new tools for widespread development of quantum circuits made of mechanical parts, scientists from NIST have demonstrated a flexible, broadly usable technique for steadily calming the vibrations of an engineered mechanical object down to the quantum "ground state," the lowest possible energy level.
By swapping one superconducting material for another, researchers at NIST have found a practical way to boost the efficiency of the world's fastest single-photon detector, while also extending light sensitivity to longer wavelengths. The new tungsten-silicon alloy could make the ultrafast detectors more practical for use in quantum communications and computing systems, experiments testing the nature of reality, and emerging applications such as remote sensing.
By combining advanced laser technologies in a new way, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have generated microwave signals that are more pure and stable than those from conventional electronic sources. The apparatus could improve signal stability and resolution in radar, communications, and navigation systems, and certain types of atomic clocks.
A team of researchers from NIST, George Mason Univ., and the Univ. of Maryland has made nano-sized sensors that detect volatile organic compounds that offer several advantages over today's commercial gas sensors, including low-power room-temperature operation and the ability to detect one or several compounds over a wide range of concentrations.
NIST researchers are working to reduce the uncertainty associated with climate-change measurements using a mobile temperature-sensing technology made for tracking delicate or perishable, high-value packages in transit. The device is so accurate and resistant to thermal changes that what’s good for FedEx may also be good for climate research.
Like an opera singer hitting a note that shatters a glass, a signal at a particular resonant frequency can concentrate energy in a material and change its properties. And as with 18th century "musical glasses," adding a little water can change the critical pitch. Echoing both phenomena, researchers at NIST have demonstrated a unique fluid-tuned "metasurface," a concept that may be useful in biomedical sensors and microwave-assisted chemistry.
Quantum mechanics is famous for saying that a tree falling in a forest when there's no one there doesn't make a sound. Quantum mechanics also says that if anyone is listening, it interferes with and changes the tree. And so the famous paradox: how can we know reality if we cannot measure it without distorting it? An international team of researchers has found a way to do just that by applying a modern measurement technique to the historic two-slit interferometer experiment in which a beam of light shone through two slits results in an interference pattern on a screen behind.
A new, free software tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could prove to be a breath of fresh air for architects and designers of ventilation systems for "green" commercial buildings.
A class of decorative, flower-like defects in the nanomaterial graphene could have potentially important effects on the material's already unique electrical and mechanical properties, according to researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Georgia Tech. In a new paper, the team for the first time describes a family of seven defects that could occur naturally or be induced to occur in graphene, one of which already has been observed.
In collaboration with the Ion Storage Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a physicist in Australia, Michael Biercuk, has demonstrated it is possible to use trapped atomic ions as extremely sensitive detectors of applied forces and electromagnetic fields. As a result he has measured forces down to one septillionth of a newton.
A recent study at NIST may have revealed the optimal characteristics for a new type of computer memory now under development. The work, performed in collaboration with researchers from George Mason Univ. (GMU), aims to optimize nanowire-based charge-trapping memory devices, potentially illuminating the path to creating portable computers and cell phones that can operate for days between charging sessions.
A new sensor recently developed at NIST is hundreds of times faster and more sensitive than other similar technologies, in part because it rotates (or measures) gas molecules at fast rates and high sensitivity. But the key to its rapid detection capability is how it utilizes these terahertz frequencies.
In a step toward taking the most advanced atomic clocks on the road, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have designed and demonstrated a super-stable laser operating in a cramped, vibrating location—a minivan.
A team of researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology; the State Univ. of New York, Buffalo; and NIST reports that, given a source of silver ions, naturally occurring humic acid will synthesize stable silver nanoparticles.
A team of physicists from the United States and Russia announced that it has developed a means for computing, with unprecedented accuracy, a tiny, temperature-dependent source of error in atomic clocks. Although small, the correction could represent a big step towards atomic timekeepers' longstanding goal of a clock with a precision equivalent to one second of error every 32 billion years—longer than the age of the universe.
Researchers at NIST and Wesleyan Univ. have used computer simulations to gain basic insights into a fundamental problem in material science related to glass-forming materials, offering a precise mathematical and physical description of the way temperature affects the rate of flow in this broad class of materials—a long-standing goal.
Researchers at NIST have shown that the electronic properties of two layers of graphene vary on the nanometer scale. The surprising new results reveal that not only does the difference in the strength of the electric charges between the two layers vary across the layers, but they also actually reverse in sign to create randomly distributed puddles of alternating positive and negative charges. The new measurements bring graphene a step closer to being used in practical electronic devices.
As manufacturers and other businesses step up efforts to cut waste, reduce energy use, and improve the overall sustainability of their products and processes, the number of planet-friendly standards and regulations also is increasing at a rapid clip, creating a sometimes-confusing array of options for "going green." NIST researchers have prototyped a framework to help organizations of all types sort through the welter of choices and evaluate and implement sustainability standards most appropriate for their operations and interests.
Magnetics researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) colored lots of eggs recently. Bunnies and children might find the eggs a bit small—in fact, too small to see without a microscope. But these "eggcentric" nanomagnets have another practical use, suggesting strategies for making future low-power computer memories.
A new website from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the NIST Digital Archives, is exhibiting images of historically significant scientific instruments in the hopes that visitors can participate in describing them. Some artifacts in the archive have yet to be identified.
In tests of four different types of new refrigerators, NIST researchers found that ice makers, a common added feature, increased rated energy consumption by 12 to 20%. About three-fourths of that additional energy cost is due to the electric heaters used to release the ice bits from the molds, prompting the investigators to suggest several efficiency improvements.
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a way to measure the wear and degradation of the microscopic probes used to study nanoscale structures in situ and as it’s happening. Their technique can both dramatically speed up and improve the accuracy of the most precise and delicate nanoscale measurements done with atomic force microscopy (AFM).