Week in Review: 2/22/15-2/28/15

February 27, 2015

Bio-sensing gives new meaning to ‘breaking a sweat’
The Air Force Research Laboratory’s 711th Human Performance Wing, Signature Tracking for Optimized Nutrition and Training (STRONG) team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cincinnati’s Novel Devices Laboratory, conducted the first successful human trials of a usable sweat sensor prototype, in an exercise lab at Wright-Patt, Feb. 11. The trial took the joint team’s research from testing hand-built sensor patches to testing actual production prototypes. According to 711 HPW researcher Dr. Joshua Hagen, STRONG team lead, the trial’s success marks a major milestone by bring the sensor out of the lab and into real-world use.

Dr. Paul Sheehan Named a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society
Dr. Paul E. Sheehan, a research chemist in the Surface Chemistry Branch of the Chemistry Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), was inducted as a Fellow of the American Vacuum Society (AVS) by Dr. Steven George, 2014 AVS President, and Dr. Ellen Fisher, 2014 AVS Awards Committee Chair, at the awards ceremony during the 61st Annual AVS International Symposium and Exhibition. Sheehan was named an AVS Fellow in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the detailed understanding of sp2 carbon nanostructure properties, methods for nanoscale patterning of materials, and the basis of biological and chemical sensor performance. His research has been funded by the Navy, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

February 26, 2015

Precision gas sensor could fit on a chip
Using their expertise in silicon optics, Cornell engineers have miniaturized a light source in the elusive mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectrum, effectively squeezing the capabilities of a large, tabletop laser onto a 1-millimeter silicon chip. The breakthrough could lead to highly sensitive, handheld gas sensors for anything from atmospheric research to disaster-recovery missions. AFOSR POs: Dr. Riq Parra, Dr. Tatjana Curcic

Crazy Shape-Shifting Crystals Can Transform Into Any 3D Shape
Timothy White—one of the materials scientists who developed the strange new material at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory—says this is a new a type of shape-changing LCE, or liquid crystal elastomer. LCEs are class of bendy, elastic materials can stretch and expand with heat or in a chemical bath.

A mollusk of a different stripe

Optical features embedded in marine shells may help develop responsive, transparent displays.
Now scientists at MIT and Harvard University have identified two optical structures within the limpet’s shell that give its blue-striped appearance. The structures are configured to reflect blue light while absorbing all other wavelengths of incoming light. The researchers speculate that such patterning may have evolved to protect the limpet, as the blue lines resemble the color displays on the shells of more poisonous soft-bodied snails. AFOSR PO: Dr. Hugh DeLong

Dogariu receives the 2015 SPIE Stokes Award

Aristide Dogariu has been named the 2015 recipient of the SPIE G. G. Stokes Award. This Award is given annually for exceptional contribution to the field of optical polarization. Dogariu is being honored for his “development of new theoretical concepts and innovative methods and techniques for understanding and measuring polarization properties of light-matter interaction.” AFOSR PO: Dr. Julie Moses