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news archives: 2009

2009 News

Nanowires pave way for nanodevices (November 11, 2009). Silicon nanowires are attracting significant attention from the electronics industry due to the drive for ever-smaller electronic devices, from cell phones to computers. The operation of these future devices, and a wide array of additional applications, will depend on the mechanical properties of these nanowires. New research from NC State, led by Dr. Yong Zhu, shows that silicon nanowires are far more resilient than their larger counterparts, a finding that could pave the way for smaller, sturdier nanoelectronics, nanosensors, light-emitting diodes and other applications. NC State News Service

NC State researchers to study where nanomaterials go in the body (November 2, 2009). Tiny engineered nanomaterials can be found in many consumer products and have been hailed as having widespread future uses in areas ranging from medicine to industrial processes. However, little is known about what happens if the nanomaterials get into your body – where do they go? NC State researchers are working to answer that question under a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Nancy Monteiro-Riviere, a professor of investigative dermatology & toxicology at the NC State Center for Chemical Toxicology Research & Pharmacokinetics, is lead investigator of the study. NC State News Service

Study shows how nanotubes affect lining of lungs (October 26, 2009). Tiny carbon nanotubes are being considered for use in everything from sports equipment to medical applications, but it has been unknown if these materials cause respiratory problems. A new study from NC State, The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences shows that inhaling nanotubes can affect the outer lining of the lung. The inhaled nanotubes “clearly reach the target tissue for mesothelioma and cause a unique pathologic reaction on the surface of the pleura, and caused fibrosis,” says Dr. James Bonner, NC State associate professor and senior study author. NC State News Service

DeSimone wins North Carolina Award (October 22, 2009). Dr. Joseph DeSimone, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State, will receive the North Carolina Award for Science on Oct. 29. The award is the highest civilian honor bestowed by the state. In announcing the award, the governor’s office lauded DeSimone as “one of the nation’s premier scientists … on the cutting edge of research with revolutionary results for cancer treatment, green chemistry and photovoltaics. His breakthroughs and nanotechnology applications in the fields of polymer chemistry, pharmacology, and biomolecular engineering are life-changing and world-saving inventions.” NC State College of Engineering News

NC State develops material that could boost data storage, save energy (October 20, 2009). NC State engineers have created a new material that would allow a fingernail-size computer chip to store the equivalent of 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, far exceeding the storage capacities of today’s computer memory systems. Led by Dr. Jay Narayan, John C.C. Fan Family Distinguished Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at NC State, the engineers made their breakthrough using the process of selective doping, in which an impurity is added to a material that changes its properties. NC State College of Engineering News

Rojas named Finland Distinguished Professor (October 5, 2009). Dr. Orlando J. Rojas, associate professor in the Department of Wood and Paper Science at NC State, has been named a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) by the Academy of Finland and Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. NC State College of Engineering News

Dr. Joseph DeSimone receives NIH Pioneer Award (September 24, 2009). Dr. DeSimone, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award, one of only 18 such honors handed out this year. The Pioneer Award supports individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering – and possibly transforming – approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research. A recognized chemist and polymer expert, DeSimone develops groundbreaking solutions in “green” manufacturing and promising applications in gene therapy, drug delivery and medical devices. NC State News Service

North Carolina breaks into top 10 nanotech states (September 23, 2009). A new study shows that NC has broken into the top 10 states in the nation with the highest concentration of nanotech companies, universities, research laboratories, and organizations, and that Raleigh has moved into the top 5 cities designated as “Nano Metro” clusters. The data was released by the Project on Emerging Technologies, which is a partnership between the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Nanotechnology is fundamental to North Carolina’s economic development strategy of growing jobs and building a new economy,” Perdue said. Governor Bev Perdue's Office

UNC-Charlotte students win ACS Nano Video Contest (September 21, 2009). A group of UNC-Charlotte students were this year's winners of the American Chemical Society's nanotech video contest: "How will nanotech change the world?" The video suggests that nanotech will help make solar panels more efficient and thereby reduce our dependence on oil and...well, change the world. Nanoclast

NSF grant funds center for molecular spintronics at NC State (September 16, 2009). A NC State research team, led by Dr. David Shultz, has received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from NSF's Center for Chemical Innovation to pursue research in the emerging field of  molecular spintronics. The grant will fund a center for molecular spintronics at NC State and support a research coalition between scientists at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill with the aim of using the technology to develop smaller, faster, more energy-efficient electronic devices with increased storage capability. NC State News Service

Engineers create guide for controlling structure of nanoparticles (September 16, 2009). Tiny objects known as nanoparticles hold great potential for future applications in electronics, medicine, and other areas. The properties of nanoparticles depend on their size and structure. Now the work of researchers from NC State can serve as a “how-to” guide for other researchers on controllably creating hollow, solid, and amorphous nanoparticles – in order to determine what special properties they may have. NC State News Service

New technology cuts industrial odors and pollutants (August 26, 2009). A NC State researcher has devised a new technology that could be the key to eliminating foul odors and air pollutants emitted by industrial chicken rendering facilities and – ultimately – large-scale swine feedlots. Dr. Praveen Kolar, assistant professor of biological & agricultural engineering, has developed an inexpensive treatment process using a nanoscale film that significantly mitigates odors from poultry rendering operations. NC State News Service

PEN study ranks Raleigh a top-five "Nano Metro" cluster (August 17, 2009). Data released by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies (PEN) highlights 1,200+ U.S. organizations that are involved in nanotech research, development, and commercialization. While many of the original “Nano Metro” clusters—areas with the nation’s highest concentration of nanotechnology companies, universities, research labs, and organizations—have maintained their prominence in the field, areas such as Raleigh, N.C. have broken into the top-ranked locations for the first time. The Project on Emerging Technologies

COE announces new appointments for Drs. Velev & Genzer (July 30, 2009). The College of Engineering has announced Professor Orlin Velev's appointment as the INVISTA Professor and Professor Jan Genzer's appointment as the Celanese Professor. NC State Engineering Communications

Dr. Flickinger honored as American Chemical Society Fellow (July 22, 2009). Dr. Michael Flickinger, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and microbiology at NC State, has been named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Flickinger and other ACS Fellows will be honored at a special ceremony during the group’s national meeting in Washington, DC on Aug. 17. NC State Engineering Communications

NSF FREEDM Systems Center receives $1.3 million to study advanced battery technology (June 29, 2009). The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded faculty in the FREEDM Systems Center a grant to improve the batteries that help power plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. NC State Engineering Communications

Drs. Genzer & Efimenko create non-toxic ship hull coating (May 28, 2009). NC State engineers have created a non-toxic "wrinkled" coating for use on ship hulls that resisted buildup of troublesome barnacles during 18 months of seawater tests, a finding that could ultimately save boat owners millions of dollars in cleaning and fuel costs. NC State Engineering Communications

Gubbins to receive Royal Academy Award (February 20, 2009). Dr. Keith Gubbins, W.H. Clark Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State, has been selected to receive the Distinguished Visiting Fellow Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) in London. NC State Engineering Communications

Nano "smart bomb" targets drug delivery to cancer cells (February 12, 2009). Researchers at NC State have successfully modified a common plant virus to deliver drugs only to specific cells inside the human body, without affecting surrounding tissue. These tiny "smart bombs" - each one thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair - could lead to more effective chemotherapy treatments with greatly reduced, or even eliminated, side effects. NC State News Service

Volunteer for NanoDays 2009 (February 2, 2009). NC State NanoDays is a special statewide event to be held April 24, 2009 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. during the State Science Olympiad competition. Over 3,000 of the top science students from across the state will be on campus. This is a wonderful opportunity for NC State to educate the public about nanoscale science and engineering as well as to showcase cutting-edge research. NC State researchers interested in opening their labs for a tour, giving a demonstration, or having graduate students present a poster can complete the Volunteer Form. Questions? Contact Gail Jones.


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