Week in Review: 10/2/16 – 10/8/16


Flexible batteries: evolving energy for the ‘new’ reality

It’s a $7 million research industry today, expected to be worth $400 million dollars by 2025. For researchers at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, the “energy” spent in this research area is worth much more.
By using highly conductive, flexible carbon nanotube mats, scientists here have developed a new type of flexible lithium-ion battery that not only stores energy, but can be folded, bent and manipulated hundreds of times without voltage fluctuations, revolutionizing power sources for the warfighter technology of today.


Sir Fraser Stoddart is awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Sir Fraser Stoddart, Board of Trustees Professor of Chemistry in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, today (Oct. 5) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced it has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 to Professor Stoddart as well as Jean-Pierre Sauvage,
 University of Strasbourg, France, and Bernard L. Feringa
, University of Groningen, the Netherlands, “for the design and synthesis of molecular machines.” The academy credited them with developing “molecules with controllable movements, which can perform a task when energy is added.”


Realizing Hyper-Functional Sensors and Transistors

Darrell Schlom, Materials Science and Engineering, is meeting this long-standingchallenge and enabling a new generation of hyper-functional oxide electronics. His secret is the employment of a recently discovered high-performance oxide semiconductor that is structurally and chemically compatible with ferroelectric and multiferroic oxides. This interface is crucial to the performance of the devices, since direct growth of ferroelectrics or multiferroics on mainstream semiconductors is accompanied by extensive interdiffusion or chemical reactions that degrade the properties of the oxide, the underlying semiconductor, or both. This degradation leads to incapacitating defects at the semiconductor-oxide interface.


It’s never been more important to keep an eye on space weather

As technology becomes increasingly vital in our day-to-day lives, we are more susceptible to “space weather”. What begins with dark spots on the Sun’s surface, and magnetic field disruptions in the Sun’s atmosphere, can result in widespread technological disturbance. With our increasing reliance on telecommunications and other technologies, monitoring what happens in space has never been more important.