Week in Review: 3/15/15 – 3/21/15

March 18, 2015

Rice fine-tunes quantum dots from coal
Graphene quantum dots made from coal, introduced in 2013 by the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour, can be engineered for specific semiconducting properties in either of two single-step processes. In a new study this week in the American Chemical Society journal Applied Materials & Interfaces, Tour and colleagues demonstrated fine control over the graphene oxide dots’ size-dependent band gap, the property that makes them semiconductors. Quantum dots are semiconducting materials that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties that only appear at the nanoscale. Tour’s group found they could produce quantum dots with specific semiconducting properties by sorting them through ultrafiltration, a method commonly used in municipal and industrial water filtration and in food production.
AFOSR POs: Dr. Joycelyn Harrison and Dr. Charles Lee http://news.rice.edu/2015/03/18/rice-fine-tunes-quantum-dots-from-coal-2/

Rutgers Chemistry Research Holds Great Promise for Advancing Sustainable Energy
New research published by Rutgers University chemists has documented significant progress confronting one of the main challenges inhibiting widespread utilization of sustainable power: Creating a cost-effective process to store energy so it can be used later.
AFOSR PO: Dr. Patrick Bradshaw

New Air Force center at UW learns from animals for better flight
The Air Force Center of Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas is one of six nationwide centers funded by the U.S. Air Force and the only to focus on how elements in nature can help solve challenging engineering and technological problems related to building small, remotely operated aircraft. AFOSR PO: Dr. Patrick Bradshaw

New research suggests insect wings might serve gyroscopic function University of Washington research suggests that insects’ wings may also serve a gyroscopic function — a discovery that sheds new insight on natural flight and could help with developing new sensory systems in engineering. AFOSR PO: Dr. Patrick Bradshaw http://www.washington.edu/news/2015/03/18/new-research-suggests-insect-wings-might-serve-gyroscopic-function/

March 17, 2015

Data Structures Influence Speed of Quantum Search in Unexpected Ways
“We turned an intuition on its head,” Wong said. “Searching with a quantum particle, we showed the opposite, giving an example where searching in a city with low connectivity yields fast search, and an example where searching in a city with high connectivity yields slow search. Thus the quantum world is much richer than our classical intuitions might lead us to believe.”
AFOSR POs: DR. David Stargel and Dr. Doug Smith http://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/data_structures_influence_speed_of_quantum_search_in_unexpected_ways

March 16, 2015

Croll to receive Air Force Young Investigator Award
The NDSU research team is examining how randomly crumpled and purposefully folded polymeric materials eventually could be used as lightweight structural components in aerospace applications. The secrets of these bends and folds could provide information that leads to lightweight and strong components to make aircraft and spacecraft more efficient.
AFOSR PO: Dr. Joycelyn Harrison