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news archives: 2013

2013 News

Battery design gets boost from aligned carbon nanotubes (August 6, 2013). NC State researchers have created a new flexible nano-scaffold for rechargeable lithium ion batteries that could help make cell phone and electric car batteries last longer. The research, published online in Advanced Materials, shows the potential of manufactured sheets of aligned carbon nanotubes coated with silicon, a material with a much higher energy storage capacity than the graphite composites typically used in lithium ion batteries. NC State News Service

Studying graphene's properties paves way for new applications (August 5, 2013). Researchers from NC State University and the University of Texas have revealed more about graphene’s mechanical properties and demonstrated a technique to improve the stretchability of graphene – developments that should help engineers and designers come up with new technologies that make use of the material. “This research tells us how strong the interface is between graphene and a stretchable substrate,” says Dr. Yong Zhu, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “Industry can use that to design new flexible or stretchable electronics and nanocomposites." NC State News Service

Injectable ‘smart sponge’ can be used for targeted drug delivery (July 17, 2013). Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique for diabetes treatment in which a sponge-like material surrounds an insulin core. The sponge expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels to release insulin as needed. The technique could also be used for targeted drug delivery to cancer cells. NC State News Service

NCSU launches Master's Degree Program in Nanoengineering (June 24, 2013). Nanomaterials and nanotechnology are key to innovation in industries from pharmaceuticals to consumer electronics, a point made clear by the White House’s Materials Genome Initiative. To help meet the growing demand for workers who can keep pace with these emerging technologies, NC State is launching a master’s degree program in nanoengineering. “There has long been a tremendous focus on nanoscience, but for that science to benefit society, we need nanoengineering,” says Dr. Justin Schwartz, Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor and head of NC State’s Materials Science and Engineering Department, which will house the new degree program. “The program will give people the interdisciplinary skills they need to facilitate the transition of laboratory concepts to real-world products.” NC State News Service

Study shows effects of pesticide exposure span generations (April 22, 2013). NC State researchers studying aquatic organisms called Daphnia have found that exposure to a chemical pesticide has impacts that span multiple generations – causing the so-called “water fleas” to produce more male offspring, and causing reproductive problems in female offspring. NC State News Service

Plant protein shape puzzle solved by molecular 3-D model (March 15, 2013). Researchers from NC State, Dr. Candace Haigler and Dr. Yaroslava Yingling, believe they have solved a puzzle that has vexed science since plants first appeared on Earth. In a groundbreaking paper published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers provide the first three-dimensional model of an enzyme that links a simple sugar, glucose, into long-chain cellulose, the basic building block within plant cell walls that gives plants structure. NC State News Service

NCSU's The Abstract features guest blog on thermal transport (March 18, 2013). NCSU's The Abstract features a guest post by Dr. Mark Losego, a research assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. Losego recently co-authored a News and Views article about nanoscale heat flow in Nature Materials with David Cahill of the University of Illinois. The blog post's title is "The Heat Is On To Understand Thermal Transport between Materials." The Abstract

New antibacterial clothing line for NCSU spinout Spitter Spatter (March 15, 2013). Spitter Spatter, an NC State spinout, launched their first line of antibacterial, stain-resistant children's clothing earlier this month. ExitEvent

Researchers create nanoscale spinning magnetic droplets (March 14, 2013). Researchers have successfully created a magnetic soliton – a nano-sized, spinning droplet that was first theorized 35 years ago. These solitons have implications for the creation of magnetic, spin-based computers. NC State mathematician Dr. Mark Hoefer has created a mathematical model of what such a soliton might look like. NC State News Service

New technique creates stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys (March 13, 2013). Researchers from NC State, including Dr. Yuntian T. Zhu, have developed a new technique for creating stronger, lightweight magnesium alloys that have potential structural applications in the automobile and aerospace industries. Engineers constantly seek strong, lightweight materials for use in cars and planes to improve fuel efficiency. Their goal is to develop structural materials with a high “specific strength,” which is defined as a material’s strength divided by its density. NC State News Service

Researchers solve mystery of what binds two unlikely materials (March 11, 2013). For years, researchers have developed thin films of bismuth telluride (Bi2Te3) – which converts heat into electricity or electricity to cooling – on top of gallium arsenide (GaAs) to create cooling devices for electronics. But while they knew it could be done, it was not clear how – because the atomic structures of those unlikely pair of materials do not appear to be compatible. Now researchers from NC State and RTI International have solved the mystery. NC State News Service

Researchers ‘nanoweld’ by applying light to aligned nanorods (February 21, 2013). Researchers from NC State have developed a way to melt or “weld” specific portions of polymers by embedding aligned nanoparticles within the materials. Their technique, which melts fibers along a chosen direction within a material, may lead to stronger, more resilient nanofibers and materials. Physicists Dr. Jason Bochinski and Dr. Laura Clarke, with materials scientist Dr. Joe Tracy, collaborated on this research. NC State News Service

Semiconductor ‘nano-shish-kebab’ has potential for 3-D devices (February 19, 2013). Researchers at NC State, including Dr. Linyou Cao, have developed a new type of nanoscale structure that resembles a “nano-shish-kebab,” consisting of multiple two-dimensional nanosheets that appear to be impaled upon a one-dimensional nanowire. However, the nanowire and nanosheets are actually a single, three-dimensional structure consisting of a seamless series of germanium sulfide (GeS) crystals. The structure holds promise for use in the creation of new 3-D technologies. NC State News Service

Koch elected to the National Academy of Engineering (February 7, 2013). Dr. Carl Koch, Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor in the NC State Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Koch is one of 69 new members and 11 foreign associates joining the academy in 2013. He is the 11th current NC State faculty member to be elected to the NAE, an organization that provides engineering leadership in service to the nation. Election is considered one of the loftiest professional distinctions in the field of engineering.NC State News Service

Flexible, nanoscale ‘bed of nails’ created for drug delivery (January 15, 2013). Researchers at NC State, including Dr. Anatoli Melechko, have come up with a technique to embed needle-like carbon nanofibers in an elastic membrane, creating a flexible “bed of nails” on the nanoscale that opens the door to development of new drug-delivery systems. The research community is interested in finding new ways to deliver precise doses of drugs to specific targets, such as regions of the brain. NC State News Service

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