Part 2 of R&D Magazine's 2010 executive roundtable. What one word would you use to describe the current state of industrial research?
The discovery of superconductors transformed the life of a young materials scientist. Now, R&D Magazine’s Innovator of the Year hopes his work will do the same for the rest of us.
R&D Magazine’s 2010 Young Innovator of the Year, Eric Dauler, PhD, knows best that collaboration is the key to innovation.
It’s best not leave things to chance. History has taught us that lesson well, from traffic laws to vulcanism. But what if someone told you they knew exactly how your brain would develop. Would you welcome knowledge, or retreat to chance?
The introduction of High-Performance, High-Tc Superconducting Wires enabled via Self-assembly of Nonsuperconducting Columnar Defects by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and collaborators, represents the first successful alternative to introducing nanoscale defects.
Conventional machining operations that involve the turning or boring of ductile materials create a continuous or semi-continuous chip, which frequently becomes entangled in a so-called bird nest. The Modulated Tool-Path (MTP) Chip Breaking System from Y-12 National Security Complex solves this problem.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Mobility Lab has developed the Leveraged Freedom Chair (LFC), which is both maneuverable within the home and can travel long distances on rough roads rural or developing areas.
TriboMAM, from M4 Sciences LLC and Purdue University, is an industrial drilling system for computer-controlled machine tools that is based on the theory of modulation-assisted machining, which involves the introduction of a sinusoidal motion into the physics of mechanical drilling.
On the Geiger-Mode Avalanche Photodiode Focal Plane Array from MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, each pixel is tied to a timing circuit, greatly improving the photo-counting ability crucial to LADAR performance for mapping terrain, acquiring data for robotic vision, and imaging partially obscured objects.
Requirements for efficient, high-speed, photon counting receivers have driven communication waveform and receiver design. MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has introduced a Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detector Array that is able to substantially improve this ability by using multiple nanowires.
Smaller seems to be the trend in laboratories today. Because many laboratories are scrambling for space, or have become cramped due to large instrumentation, microscopes are getting smaller and more complex, being taken to the benchtop.
Physicists at UC Santa Barbara have made an important advance in quantum mechanics using a superconducting electrical circuit. The researchers showed that they could detect the quantum correlations in the results of measurements of entangled quantum bits, using a superconducting electrical circuit. The correlations are stronger than can be obtained using classical (non-quantum mechanical) physics, and according to the physicists, this illustrates that the oddities of quantum mechanics clearly extend to macroscopic systems.
The XY HiPER-Nap: XY High Precision Extended Range Nano Positioning System from the Univ. of Michigan (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is the largest nanometric motion range positioning system now available.
What constitutes the perfect microscope? Is it the resolution? Flexibility for examining a wide variety of samples? One that can be used quickly and often? The Extreme Ultraviolet Light Table-Top Microscope (EUVM-1) from the Center for Extreme Ultraviolet Science and Technology, Colorado State Univ. appears to strive for all of these qualities and meets them efficiently.
Indiana University’s Simon Hall creates an environment for current and future research in a setting that maintains one of the strongest architectural heritages in academia.
Companies looking for chip-interconnect solutions for high-volume electronic products can choose from two major types: solder alloys and conductive epoxies. For high-temperature applications, however, researchers at Virginia Tech and NBE Technologies LLC (both of Blacksburg, Va.) believe neither choice is optimal. Steering away from gold, tin, or lead mixtures, these researchers developed nanoTach, a smooth viscous semiconductive nanomaterial paste designed to significantly improve performance and reliability above 175°C.
There is a pressing need for environmentally friendly and benign methods and materials to mitigate corrosion on aluminum, especially aircraft. Until recently, chromates were the only corrosion inhibitors used on aluminum aircraft. Unfortunately, chromates are also human carcinogens, but replacing them has been exceedingly difficult. Enter Deft’s Benign, Corrosion Inhibiting Aircraft Primers 02GN083, 02GN084, and 44GN098, developed by Eric Morris and Richard Albers at Deft, Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) and James Stoffer and Thomas O’Keef at the Univ. of Missouri-Rolla (Rolla, MO).
The Metal Infusion Surface Treatment (MIST) is an advanced, low-cost infused coating technology that is applied to finished industrial components resulting in improvement in their life and performance. MIST has been proven applicable to reducing metal-casting die wear and checking, reducing friction coefficients on certain materials, and acting as a host for catalyst ions for high- temperature diesel engine exhaust emissions treatment.
The Explorer is a long-range-tetherless, self-powered robotic system for the live, visual inspection of natural gas and other pipelines. The system was created by researchers at the Robotics Institute, Carnegie Mellon Univ. (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Polytechnic Univ. (Brooklyn, N.Y.); NYSEARCH/Northeast Gas Association (New York, N.Y.); Strategic Center for Natural Gas and Oil, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy (Morgantown, W.V.); Jet Propulsion Lab, California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, Calif.); and ULC Robotics Inc. (Deer Park, N.Y.).
As nanotechnology-based research continues to boom, so do the challenges, among them effective imaging and characterization. Accomplishing these routines on materials of this scale requires extremely sophisticated, and often times, costly instrumentation such as scanning electron and transmission electron microscopes. Researchers at Auburn Univ. and Aetos Technologies, Inc. (both of Auburn, Ala.) have offered an alternative with the CytoViva.
The semiconductor device industry is continually driven to improve performance. In order to achieve increasing speeds and decreasing costs, manufacturers have introduced new materials such as ultra-low k dielectrics. These dielectrics, however, are soft, fragile, and can be easily scratched and delaminated during chemical mechanical planarization. Researchers from Sinmat Inc., in a joint effort with the Univ. of Florida, have developed Soft, Elastic Nanosponge Materials that have significant advantages over to state-of-the-art slurries based on conventional particles.
The High-Temperature Potentiometric Oxygen Sensor with Internal Reference, developed by teams at Ohio State Univ., Columbus and Argonne National Laboratory, Ill., can withstand temperature up to 1600° C and eliminates the need for costly and bulky high temperature resistant external plumbing for a reference air system.
Ames Laboratory, Iowa State Univ., Iowa, developed Novel High-Temperature Coatings with Pt-Modified Ni and Ni3Al Alloy Compositions.
Airline fire detectors have historically produced as high as a 200 to 1 rate of false alarms. For this reason, researchers from NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, Ohio, in a joint effort with Makel Engineering, Inc., Chico, Calif., Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, Ohio, and Ohio State Univ., Columbus, have developed the Multi-Parameter, MicroSensor-Based Low False Alarm Fire Detection System (MMFDS).
NanoFoil is a nanoengineered heat source that enables lead-free soldering and brazing of materials at room temperature. Developed by Reactive NanoTechnologies (RNT) in Hunt Valley, Md., with support from researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Calif., and Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, Md., the NanoFoils are manufactured by vapor depositing hundreds of nanoscale layers that alternate between elements, such as aluminum and nickel.