How Are Nanomotors Being Built? (Video)

Carbon nanotubes are exceptionally strong, but when you roll two that fit together, the engineers believe they’ve got a nanomotor.Image: Nature

Carbon nanotubes are exceptionally strong, but when you roll two that fit together, the engineers believe they’ve got a nanomotor.
Image: Nature

Ray Kurzweil – an author, computer scientists, inventor, futurist, and director of engineering at Google – has once been quoted saying, “In 25 years, a computer that’s the size fo your phone will be millions of times more powerful but will be the size of a blood cell.”

That prediction may be on its way to fruition with this new discovery from engineers in China and Australia.

The engineers have developed a double-walled carbon nanotube motor, which could be a huge player in future nanotechnology devices.

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Sensors Meet Sports: The ‘Smart’ Helmet

A UW senior medical engineer explains how the smart helmet can aid to player safety by using sensor technology.Credit: Andy Manis/Journal Sentinel

A UW senior medical engineer explains how the smart helmet can aid in player safety by using sensor technology.
Credit: Andy Manis/Journal Sentinel

Students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are not just interested in improving technology and creating innovative design, but rather they are determined to make us rethink the way the physical and digital world interact.

These students have spent months in the University’s Internet of Things Lab, where they work to measure, monitor and control the physical world by heightening its interaction with the Internet.

The main innovation that the lab has developed is a football helmet that can detect injuries.

Cross-disciplinary teams of students have come together to develop a high-tech football helmet that has brain wave probes and a device that measures acceleration forces, which gives the ability to detect concussions on the field and directly communicate the information to medical staff.

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Member Spotlight – Stephen Harris

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate.Image: Rich Saykally, Berkeley Labs

X-ray absorption spectra, interpreted using first-principles electronic structure calculations, provide insight into the solvation of the lithium ion in propylene carbonate.
Image: Rich Saykally, Berkeley Labs

The Electrochemical Society’s Stephen Harris, along with a team of researchers from  Berkeley Lab, have found a possible avenue to a better electrolyte for lithium-ion batteries.

Harris – an expert on lithium-ion batteries and chemist at Berkeley Lab’s Materials Science Division – believes that he and his team have unveiled something that could lead to applying lithium-ion batteries to large-scale energy storage.

Researchers around the world know that in order for lithium-ion batteries to store electrical energy for the gird or power electric cars, they must be improved. The team at Berkeley decided to take on this challenge and found surprising results in the first X-ray absorption spectroscopy study of a model lithium electrode, which has provided a better understanding of the liquid electrolyte.

Previous simulations have predicted a tetrahedral solvation structure for the lithium-ion electrolyte, but the new study yields different results.

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Trapping Light with a Twister

Vortices of bound states in the continuum. The left panel shows five bound states in the continuum in a photonic crystal slab as bright spots. The right panel shows the polarization vector field in the same region as the left panel, revealing five vortices at the locations of the bound states in the continuum. These vortices are characterized with topological charges +1 or -1. Credit: MIT

Vortices of bound states in the continuum. The left panel shows five bound states in the continuum in a photonic crystal slab as bright spots. The right panel shows the polarization vector field in the same region as the left panel, revealing five vortices at the locations of the bound states in the continuum. These vortices are characterized with topological charges +1 or -1.
Credit: MIT

Research out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has led to a new understanding of how to halt protons, which could lead to miniature particle accelerators and improved data transmission.

Accordingly, this new work could help explain some basic physical mechanisms.

Last year, researchers from MIT succeeded in creating a material that could trap light and stop it in its tracks. Now, the same batch of researchers have conducted more studies in order to develop a more fundamental understand of the process, which reveals that this behavior is connected to a wide range of seemingly unrelated phenomena.

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3 New Job Postings in Electrochemistry

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

Find openings in your area via the ECS job board.

ECS’s job board keeps you up-to-date with the latest career opportunities in electrochemical and solid state science. Check out the latest openings that have been added to the board.

P.S. Employers can post open positions for free!

Director of Publications
The Electrochemical Society – Pennington, New Jersey
Serves as senior staff member responsible for the overall strategic direction of the ECS publications (journals, ECS Transactions, and Interface) and all content in the ECS Digital Library. Assists with the creation and implementation of special projects and initiatives that advance the mission of the organization, which is to provide the greatest possible dissemination of the technical content. Strives to make ECS the top publisher in electrochemical and solid state science, maintaining consistency with ECS mission, goals, and objectives.

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Analysis of Plagiarism in Scientific Papers

It’s the cycle of scientific dissemination – research leads to publications, which lead to intellectual property that can inevitably be plagiarized.

Every day, hundreds of papers are added to the massive public database of scientific research known as ArXiv. Due to the large amount of content and need to protect authors’ intellectual property, the database uses an algorithm to detect re-used text from already existing articles.

“The algorithm is such that it can compare over 500 new articles per day to roughly one million already in the database in a matter of seconds,” ArXiv founder Paul Ginsparg told The Atlantic.

When looking at the papers submitted in a one month time frame, about three percent – or 250 papers – were flagged for plagiarism. This rounds out to thousands of papers per year.

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Experiments at SLAC have produced the first direct evidence that the pseudogap competes for electrons with superconductivity over a wide range of temperatures at lower hole concentrations (SC+PG). At lower temperatures and higher hole concentrations, superconductivity wins out.<br.Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Experiments at SLAC have produced the first direct evidence that the pseudogap competes for electrons with superconductivity over a wide range of temperatures at lower hole concentrations (SC+PG). At lower temperatures and higher hole concentrations, superconductivity wins out.
Credit: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

A new study out of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory shows the “pseudogap” phase – a mysterious phase of matter – hoards electrons that might otherwise conduct electricity with 100 percent efficiency.

Scientists state that this pseudogap phase competes with high-temperature superconductivity, which robs electrons that would otherwise pair up to carry current though a material.

The results of the study are a culmination of 20 years of research aimed to find out whether the pseudogap helps or hinders superconductivity.

The study shows that the pseudogap is one of the things that stands in the way of getting superconductors to work at higher temperatures for everyday uses – thus making electrical transmission, computing, and other areas less energy efficient.

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Amazing Microscopy Videos and Images

The Olympus BioScapes competition is held to celebrate the intersection of art and science.Credit: Dr. Matthew S. Lehnert of Kent State University at Stark

The Olympus BioScapes competition is held to celebrate the intersection of art and science.
Credit: Dr. Matthew S. Lehnert of Kent State University at Stark

We sometimes get so wrapped up in the technicality of science that we forget how beautiful it can be. Microscopy in particular provides us with the ability to see remarkable worlds that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.

The Olympus BioScapes competition is held every year to help celebrate the intersection of art and science. Scientists from around the world submit their photos and videos of microscopy work to be judged “based on the science they depict, their beauty or impact, and the technical expertise involved in capturing them.”

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Man Controls Prosthetic Arms with His Mind

While others have been able to control robotic limbs with their mind, the technique is new enough that dual-control has never been tried before.Credit: Johns Hopkins

While others have been able to control robotic limbs with their minds, the technique is new enough that dual-control has never been tried before.
Credit: Johns Hopkins

History was made when the first bilateral shoulder-level amputee was able to wear and simultaneously control two prosthetic limbs. The amazing part? He was able to operate the system by simply thinking about moving his limbs.

The groundbreaking event took place at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where they’ve been working to develop Modular Prosthetic Limbs as part of the Revolutionizing Prosthetics Program over the past decade.

Les Baugh was the man who made the limbs come to life. Baugh lost both arms in an electrical accident 40 years ago and until now, did not think having two functional, mind-controlled prosthetic limbs was in the realm of possibility.

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Layers of Logic Produce Skyscraper Chips

Stanford engineers have created a four-layer prototype high-rise chip. The bottom and top layers are transistors, which are sandwiched between two layers of memory.
Credit: Max Shulaker, Stanford

Cheaper, smaller, and faster – those are the three words we’re constantly hearing when it comes to innovation and development in electronics. Now, Stanford University engineers are adding a fourth word to that mantra – taller.

The Stanford team is about to reveal how to build a high-rise chip that could vault the performance of the single-story logic and memory chips on today’s circuit cards – thereby preventing the wires connecting logic and memory from jamming.

This from Stanford University:

The Stanford approach would end these jams by building layers of logic atop layers of memory to create a tightly interconnected high-rise chip. Many thousands of nanoscale electronic “elevators” would move data between the layers much faster, using less electricity, than the bottleneck-prone wires connecting single-story logic and memory chips today.

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