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Expanding the reach of metallic glass

April 22, 2015 9:53 am | by Jim Shelton, Yale Univ. | News | Comments

Metallic glass, a class of materials that offers both pliability and strength, is poised for a friendly takeover of the chemical landscape. Yale Univ. engineers have found a unique method for designing metallic glass nanostructures across a wide range of chemicals. The process will enable the fabrication of an array of new materials, with applications for everything from fuel cells to biological implants.

“Holey” graphene for energy storage

April 22, 2015 8:32 am | by Liezel Labios, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

Engineers at the Univ. of California, San Diego have discovered a method to increase the amount of electric charge that can be stored in graphene. The research may provide a better understanding of how to improve the energy storage ability of capacitors for potential applications in cars, wind turbines and solar power.

Phonons, arise!

April 22, 2015 8:16 am | by Neal Singer, Sandia National Laboratories | News | Comments

Modern research has found no simple, inexpensive way to alter a material’s thermal conductivity at room temperature. That lack of control has made it hard to create new classes of devices that use phonons, rather than electrons or photons, to harvest energy or transmit information. Phonons have proved hard to harness.

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Combing through terahertz waves

April 22, 2015 8:02 am | by Kimm Fesenmaier, Caltech | News | Comments

Light can come in many frequencies, only a small fraction of which can be seen by humans. Between the invisible low-frequency radio waves used by cell phones and the high frequencies associated with infrared light lies a fairly wide swath of the electromagnetic spectrum occupied by what are called terahertz, or sometimes submillimeter, waves.

Engineered softwood could transform pulp, paper and biofuel industries

April 22, 2015 7:44 am | by Krista Eastman, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

Scientists have demonstrated the potential for softwoods to process more easily into pulp and paper if engineered to incorporate a key feature of hardwoods. The finding could improve the economics of the pulp, paper and biofuels industries and reduce those industries' environmental impact.

Nanophotonics with ultracold atoms for simulating quantum many-body systems

April 21, 2015 10:46 am | by Max Planck Society | News | Comments

Ultracold atoms in the so-called optical lattices, which are generated by crosswise superposition of laser beams, have proven to be one of the most promising tools for simulating and understanding the behavior of many-body systems. However, the implementation in free space has some limitations such as the distance between the atoms (around 400 nm) and the short range of the interactions.

Electron trapping harnessed to make light sensors

April 21, 2015 10:34 am | by Mark Esser, NIST | News | Comments

Traps. Whether you’re squaring off against the Empire or trying to wring electricity out of sunlight, they’re almost never a good thing. But sometimes you can turn that trap to your advantage. A team from the Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln, working with researchers at NIST, has shown that electron-trapping defects that are typically problematic in solar cells can be an asset when engineering sensitive light detectors.

Microalgae used for green asphalt

April 21, 2015 10:25 am | by CNRS | News | Comments

Microalgae offer a highly promising alternative to petroleum products without competing for resources used in the food industry. They have now been used, for the first time, to make asphalt. Researchers have recently proved the viability of bioasphalt, demonstrating its close similarity to the "real" asphalt used to pave roads.

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Deadline Extended for 2015 R&D 100 Award Entries

April 21, 2015 8:59 am | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | Award Winners

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced a deadline extension for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards entry process until May 18, 2015. The R&D 100 Awards have a 50 plus year history of awarding the 100 most technologically significant products of the year.

Chinese Awards Part 3

April 21, 2015 8:50 am | by Tim Studt | Blogs | Comments

Day three (Monday) of my judging for the 2015 Taiwan Excellence Awards went fine, except for the small interruption of a 6.8 earthquake in the morning. The actual reading for Taipei was a bit over 4, but it did make everything sway in the 4th-floor judging room. There was only one death close to the epicenter off the east coast, but nothing of significance in Taipei proper.

Innovation boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth ten-fold

April 21, 2015 8:39 am | by Rachel Robertson, Oregon State Univ. | News | Comments

Researchers at Oregon State Univ. have invented a new technology that can increase the bandwidth of Wi-Fi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information. The technology could be integrated with existing Wi-Fi systems to reduce bandwidth problems in crowded locations, such as airport terminals or coffee shops, and in homes where several people have multiple Wi-Fi devices.

Happily ever after

April 21, 2015 8:20 am | by Cory Nealon, Univ. at Buffalo | News | Comments

Fastening protein-based medical treatments to nanoparticles isn't easy. With arduous chemistry, scientists can do it. But like a doomed marriage, the fragile binding that holds them together often separates. This problem, which has limited how doctors can use proteins to treat serious disease, may soon change.

Chemists create modular system for placing proteins on membranes

April 21, 2015 8:12 am | by Susan Brown, Univ. of California, San Diego | News | Comments

With a tag, an anchor and a cage that can be unlocked with light, chemists have devised a simple, modular system that can locate proteins at the membrane of a cell. The chemists fused proteins to molecules called SNAP-tags, modified enzymes that recognize a particular chemical group called a benzylguanine.

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Better battery imaging paves way for renewable energy future

April 21, 2015 8:04 am | by Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison | News | Comments

In a move that could improve the energy storage of everything from portable electronics to electric microgrids, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison and Brookhaven National Laboratory researchers have developed a novel x-ray imaging technique to visualize and study the electrochemical reactions in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries containing a new type of material, iron fluoride.

Electronic device performance enhanced with new transistor encasing method

April 21, 2015 7:50 am | by Austin Keating, News Bureau Intern, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign | News | Comments

A more effective method for closing gaps in atomically small wires has been developed by Univ. of Illinois researchers, further opening the doors to a new transistor technology. Silicon-based transistors have been the foundation of modern electronics for more than half a century. A new transistor technology, carbon nanotube wires, shows promise in replacing silicon because it can operate ten times as fast and is more flexible.

New tabletop detector “sees” single electrons

April 21, 2015 7:37 am | by Jennifer Chu, MIT News Office | News | Comments

Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicists have developed a new tabletop particle detector that is able to identify single electrons in a radioactive gas. As the gas decays and gives off electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap them in a magnetic bottle. A radio antenna then picks up very weak signals emitted by the electrons, which can be used to map the electrons’ precise activity over several milliseconds.

Deadline Extended for 2015 R&D 100 Award Entries

April 20, 2015 1:53 pm | by Lindsay Hock, Editor | News | Comments

The editors of R&D Magazine have announced a deadline extension for the 2015 R&D 100 Awards entry process until May 18, 2015. The R&D 100 Awards have a 50 plus year history of awarding the 100 most technologically significant products of the year.

Chinese Awards Part 2

April 20, 2015 12:34 pm | by Tim Studt | Blogs | Comments

Tim Studt here again, and mostly recovered from my day-long travel on Friday. Hot and humid here in Taipei, about 25 F warmer than in Chicago. Today's judging at the Taiwan Excellence Awards covered healthcare-based tablet computers, electronic memory modules, top-end gaming computers, electric scooters, racing bicycles and even off-road mountain racing bike tires.

New tactic targets brain tumors

April 20, 2015 11:41 am | by Mike Williams, Rice Univ. | Videos | Comments

Drugs that target insulin pathways to slow or stop the growth of brain tumors are going in the right direction, but appear to be on the wrong track, according to new research. Through detailed computer models and experiments on two distinct glioblastoma cell types, the researchers have found reason to believe therapies that attack the insulin signaling pathway thought to influence tumor development have had mixed results in trials.

April 2015 Issue of R&D Magazine

April 20, 2015 10:36 am | by R&D Magazine | Digital Editions | Comments

This month's issue of R&D Magazine features a cover story on biofuels. Recent growth in petroleum supplies and a slide in prices has cut into biofuel research funding. Our editors also provide features on lab utilities, vibration control design, image analysis, digital multimeters, spectroscopy and more.

Advances in molecular electronics

April 20, 2015 10:27 am | by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf | News | Comments

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and the Univ. of Konstanz are working on storing and processing information on the level of single molecules to create the smallest possible components that will combine autonomously to form a circuit. As recently reported in Advanced Science, the researchers can switch on the current flow through a single molecule for the first time with the help of light.

Quantum model helps solve mysteries of water

April 20, 2015 10:19 am | by National Physical Laboratory | News | Comments

Water is one of the most common and extensively studied substances on earth. It’s vital for all known forms of life but its unique behavior has yet to be explained in terms of the properties of individual molecules. Water derives many of its signature features from a combination of properties at the molecular level such as high polarizability, directional hydrogen bonding sites and van der Waals forces.

Pulsing light may indicate supermassive black hole merger

April 20, 2015 10:11 am | by Abby Robinson, Univ. of Maryland | News | Comments

As two galaxies enter the final stages of merging, scientists have theorized that the galaxies' supermassive black holes will form a "binary," or two black holes in such close orbit they are gravitationally bound to one another. In a new study, astronomers at the Univ. of Maryland present direct evidence of a pulsing quasar, which may substantiate the existence of black hole binaries.

Chinese Awards

April 20, 2015 9:56 am | by Tim Studt | Blogs | Comments

Tim Studt here in Taipei judging the 23rd annual Taiwan Excellence Awards with seven other judges from Germany, Japan and Taiwan academia. Sponsored by the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs, these awards were developed to encourage Taiwan companies to incorporate innovation and value into their products. Selection of winners are based on R&D, design, quality and marketing/branding.

How Academic Institutions Partner with Private Industry

April 20, 2015 9:41 am | by Janet Corzo, AIA, Associate, Perkins Eastman | Articles | Comments

Partnerships between universities and businesses are nothing new, but these partnerships have become especially relevant in the face of increasing economic pressure and global competition, the need for interdisciplinary approaches and the growing complexity of the problems need solutions. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of partnering between academic institutions and private industry.

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