Simply put, engineers make things. But is finding that “new” invention a massive mental leap from point A to point B, or are there scores of unnoticed intermediate steps in between? Researchers in Pittsburgh say that not enough has been done to understand how engineers create. Understanding the process, they propose, may provide a road map for speeding up innovation.
From green electricity tariffs to car sharing...
On Thursday, electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. said that by the end of next month it will...
Supplier integration refers to a supplier providing information and participating in...
The biggest thing in operating rooms these days is a million-dollar, multi-armed robot named da Vinci, used in nearly 400,000 surgeries in America last year—triple the number just four years earlier. But now the high-tech helper is under scrutiny over reports of problems, including several deaths that may be linked with it, and the high cost of using the robotic system.
The installed price of solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems in the United States fell substantially in 2011 and through the first half of 2012, according to the latest edition of Tracking the Sun, an annual PV cost-tracking report produced by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Recent installed price reductions are attributable, in large part, to dramatic reductions in PV module prices, which have been falling precipitously since 2008.
A fractal is an object found in advanced geometry that is "recursive" in that it repeats itself in patterns, infinitely. These objects have formed the basis for computer programming that allows two lines of code to perform tasks, potentially forever. These formulas will very soon be fundamentally changing how we manage information and organizations globally.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) disrupt the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the brain significantly, hurting chances for successful recovery. Nanotechnology experts have recently found through testing in mice that a certain type of carbon nanoparticle, when administered immediately following TBI, acted like antioxidants, rapidly restoring blood flow to the brain following resuscitation.
Thanks to an ultrasensitive accelerometer—a type of motion detector—developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester, a new class of microsensors is a step closer to reality. Instead of using an electrical circuit to gauge movements, this accelerometer uses laser light and is so sensitive it could be used to navigate shoppers through a grocery aisle or even stabilize fighter jets.
Nanoribbons of silicon configured so the atoms resemble chicken wire could hold the key to ultrahigh density data storage and information processing systems of the future. This was a key finding of an Oak Ridge National Laboratory team who used scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to validate first principle calculation that for years had predicted this outcome.
If you ease up on a pencil, does it slide more easily? Sure. But maybe not if the tip is sharpened down to nanoscale dimensions. A team of researchers at NIST has found that if graphite is sticky enough, as measured by a nanoscale probe, it actually becomes harder to slide a tip across the material's surface as you decrease pressure—the exact opposite of our everyday experience.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists and collaborators are developing a new military uniform material that repels chemical and biological agents using a novel carbon nanotube fabric. The material will be designed to undergo a rapid transition from a breathable state to a protective state.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed new techniques for stretching carbon nanotubes (CNT) and using them to create carbon composites that can be used as stronger, lighter materials. By stretching the CNT material before incorporating it into a composite for use in finished products, the researchers straighten the CNTs in the material, which significantly improves its tensile strength.
Using a new technique called HARPES, for hard X-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have unlocked the ferromagnetic secrets of dilute magnetic semiconductors, materials of great interest for spintronic technology.
Making uniform coatings is a common engineering challenge, and, when working at the nanoscale, even the tiniest cracks or defects can be a big problem. New research from University of Pennsylvania engineers has shown a new way of avoiding such cracks when depositing thin films of nanoparticles based on spin-coating.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created flower-like structures out of germanium sulfide (GeS)—a semiconductor material—that have extremely thin petals with an enormous surface area. The GeS flower holds promise for next-generation energy storage devices and solar cells.
A phased approach to product development, including models, can help reduce risks and end in rewards.
University of Illinois researchers have a new, low-cost method to carve delicate features onto semiconductor wafers using light—and watch as it happens. The researchers' new technique can monitor a semiconductor's surface as it is etched, in real time, with nanometer resolution, using a special type of microscope that uses two beams of light to precisely measure topography.
A University of Arkansas physicist and his colleagues have examined the lower limits of novel materials called complex oxides and discovered that unlike conventional semiconductors the materials not only conduct electricity, but also develop unusual magnetic properties.
A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered a strain relaxation phenomenon in cobaltites that has eluded researchers for decades and may lead to advances in fuel cells, magnetic sensors, and a host of energy-related materials. The finding could change the conventional wisdom that accommodating the strain inherent during the formation of epitaxial thin films involves structural defects.
As part of their investigation of the effects ionizing radiation has on crystalline structures found in single-walled carbon nanotube transistors, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory engineers have recently shown these devices can stand up harsh space environments. This durability has been achieved through a combination of a hardened dielectric material and the natural isolation of the transistor.
Using non-contact atomic force microscopy, researchers at IBM have been able to differentiate the chemical bonds in individual molecules for the first time. The results push the exploration of using molecules and atoms at the smallest scale and could be important for studying graphene devices.
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel technology that can fabricate, in mere seconds, microscale 3D structures out of soft, biocompatible hydrogels. Near term, the technology could lead to better systems for growing and studying cells, including stem cells, in the laboratory. Long-term, the goal is to be able to print biological tissues for regenerative medicine.