Week in Review: 1/18/15 – 1/24/15

January 23, 2015

The latest fashion: Graphene edges can be tailor-made
Theoretical physicists at Rice University are living on the edge as they study the astounding properties of graphene. In a new study, they figure out how researchers can fracture graphene nanoribbons to get the edges they need for applications. New research by Rice physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues shows it should be possible to control the edge properties of graphene nanoribbons by controlling the conditions under which the nanoribbons are pulled apart.
AFOSR PO(s): Dr. Joycelyn Harrison & Dr. Charles Lee

Engineering Discovery Brings Invisibility Closer to Reality
Hao Xin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Arizona, has made a discovery with synthetic materials that may take engineers one step closer to building microscopes with superlenses that see molecular-level details, or shields that conceal military airplanes and even people. Xin reported his findings with co-authors in an article, “Microwave Gain Medium With Negative Refractive Index,” just published in the online journal Nature Communications.
AFOSR PO(s): Dr. Joycelyn Harrison & Dr. Harold Weinstock

January 22, 2015

Origami research continues to unfold
In January 2014, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing announced that a National Science Foundation grant would be supporting a collaborative research effort between FIU researcher Stavros Georgakopoulos and Georgia Tech University to work on the development of unique antennas using classic origami techniques. One year later, Georgakopoulos’s origami antennas have evolved out of the pockets of soldiers and into cockpits of shuttles planning to launch in to outer space, a development he will be sharing with his distinguished colleagues at the Second Annual Workshop on Origami Design for Integration of Self-Assembling Systems for Engineering Innovation (ODISSEI).

Scientists ‘bend’ elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications
Sound waves passing through the air, objects that break a body of water and cause ripples, or shockwaves from earthquakes all are considered “elastic” waves. These waves travel at the surface or through a material without causing any permanent changes to the substance’s makeup. Now, engineering researchers at the University of Missouri have developed a material that has the ability to control these waves, creating possible medical, military and commercial applications with the potential to greatly benefit society. AFOSR: PO: Dr. Les Lee

January 20, 2015

Laser-generated surface structures create extremely water-repellent metals
Scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings. Super-hydrophobic materials are desirable for a number of applications such as rust prevention, anti-icing, or even in sanitation uses. However, as Rochester’s Chunlei Guo explains, most current hydrophobic materials rely on chemical coatings. AFOSR PO: Dr. Riq Parra