Under this section you will find links to the original articles and press releases from hand selected science and technology stories from various online sources.  

April - June 2003


Less Expensive Displays: New Technique Allows Polymer Processing of a Key Solid-state Fluorescent Material
By chemically attaching a difficult-to-process solid-state fluorescent material to a universal polymer backbone, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have built what may be a foundation for a new generation of optoelectronic display devices based on inexpensive organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).
MIT’s smart surface reverses properties
MIT engineers and colleagues from the University of California are reporting a unique design of a “smart surface” that can reversibly switch properties in response to an external stimulus. The work paves the way for systems that could, for example, release or absorb cells and chemicals from surfaces on demand.

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Almost there: a commercially viable fuel cell
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that promises to generate electricity as cheaply as the most efficient gas turbine. Their innovation, which paves the way for pollution-free power generators that serve neighborhoods and industrial sites, lies in replacing ceramic electrodes with stainless-steel-supported electrodes that are stronger, easier to manufacture, and, most importantly, cheaper. This latter advantage marks a turning point in the push to develop commercially viable fuel cells.
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Nanoparticles could aid biohazard detection, computer industry
Nanotechnology could make life easier for computer manufacturers and tougher for terrorists, reports a Purdue University research team. A group led by Jillian Buriak has found a rapid and cost-effective method of forming tiny particles of high-purity metals on the surface of advanced semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide.

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Nanocomposites: Chemical Force Microscopy Helps Choose Right Materials for Future Composites Based on Nanotubes
A microscopy technique originally developed to image the molecular-scale topography of surfaces is now helping engineers choose the right materials for a new generation of lightweight high-strength composites based on carbon nanotubes.
Light, conductive and nearly as strong as steel, carbon nanotubes are being combined with lightweight polymers to produce composite materials with properties attractive for use on future space vehicles. But choosing the right polymer for optimal mechanical performance at the nanometer scale requires a lengthy trial-and-error process.
Source: Georgia Institute of Technology
OSU engineers create world's first transparent transistor
Engineers at Oregon State University have created the world's first transparent transistor, a see-through electronics component that could open the door to many new products. The advance has been reported in a professional journal, Applied Physics Letters, and a patent has been applied for. The university is already consulting with major electronics companies about the findings and their potential applications. The discovery "is a significant development in the context of transparent electronics," the scientists said in their publication, but added that it's too early to tell what applications may evolve.
Source: Oregon State University
Electric field provides 'handle'
to manipulate tiny particles
Intricate patterns formed by granular materials under the influence of electrostatic fields have scientists at Argonne National Laboratory dreaming of new ways to create smaller structures for nanotechnologies.
Source: Argonne National Laboratory

UCSD researchers develop flexible, biocompatible polymers with optical properties of hard crystalline sensors
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have discovered how to transfer the optical properties of silicon crystal sensors to plastic, an achievement that could lead to the development of flexible, implantable devices capable of monitoring the delivery of drugs within the body, the strains on a weak joint or even the healing of a suture.
Source: University of California, San Diego

New Measurements Show Silicon Nanospheres Rank Among Hardest Known Materials
University of Minnesota researchers have made the first-ever hardness measurements on individual silicon nanospheres and shown that the nanospheres' hardness falls between the conventional hardness of sapphire and diamond, which are among the hardest known materials. Being able to measure such nanoparticle properties may eventually help scientists design low-cost superhard materials from these nanoscale building blocks.
Source: NSF




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