[Image above] Credit: NIST
Linda Lewis, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is a chemist and forensic scientist, and she’s on the hunt to uncover fingerprints. Lewis applies materials science techniques to the field of forensics, and some of her research has helped crime scene investigators rebuild fingerprints after they have faded over time.
On May 4, 2015, the U.S. Senate confirmed Willie E. May as the second Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and the 15th director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. May has been serving as acting director since June 2014. He has worked at NIST since 1971, leading research activities in chemical and biological measurement science activities prior to serving as associate director for laboratory programs and principal deputy to the NIST director.
Researchers at the University Teknologi MARA Selangor investigated layered LixNi1-yCoyO2 via a novel self-propagating combustion synthesis and its electrochemical properties. The most obvious advantage of using this combustion route is the ease of the method and speed of the reaction, which is over in a few seconds. The synthesis method has the advantage of producing homogeneous materials with the resulting final products free from impurities, even for the Ni-rich stoichiometries.
A progress report on ARPA-E’s efforts to clean up energy production. ARPA-E is the only agency to come out of the 2009 stimulus effort, even if the fledgling organization has yet to fund the invention of a technology as world-changing as the Internet. The question, even back in 2010 at the inaugural ARPA–E summit, was whether any of the proposed innovations were truly game-changers.
Researchers at Columbia Engineering, Harvard, Cornell, University of Minnesota, Yonsei University in Korea, Danish Technical University, and the Japanese National Institute of Materials Science have shown that the performance of 2-D material molybdenum disulfide can be improved by boron nitride encapsulation. The team created heterostructures of MoS2 encapsulated in BN, with small flakes of graphene overlapping the edge to act as electrical contacts.
To stay competitive, businesses and governments are constantly looking for materials that will open the door to new technologies or sources of energy—materials that will make their products faster, lighter, stronger or more efficient. Whoever develops those materials first will have a significant edge over the competition. And in recent years it has become increasingly apparent that the key to getting that edge, and maintaining it, is computational research.
This process of film deposition is common for traditional semiconductors like silicon or gallium arsenide—the basis of modern electronics—but Cornell scientists are pushing the limits for how thin they can go. They have demonstrated a way to create a new kind of semiconductor thin film that retains its electrical properties even when it is just three atoms thick.