Week in Review: 1/15/17 – 1/21/17


Discovery could lead to jet engines that run hotter—and cleaner

Researchers here have made a discovery in materials science that sounds like something from the old Saturday morning cartoon Super Friends: They’ve found a way to deactivate “nano twins” to improve the high-temperature properties of superalloys that are used in jet engines.

‘5-D protein fingerprinting’ could give insights into Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

In research that could one day lead to advances against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, University of Michigan engineering researchers have demonstrated a technique for precisely measuring the properties of individual protein molecules floating in a liquid.


Prepare for Turbulence: Improving Long-Range Optics

Bos, an assistant professor of electrical engineering studying atmospheric optics at Michigan Technological University, wants to help the Air Force see better. The problem is turbulence.


Ultralight ‘super-material’ is 10 times stronger than steel

A team of researchers at MIT has designed one of the strongest lightweight materials known, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene, a two-dimensional form of carbon. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5 percent, can have a strength 10 times that of steel.

Deciphering the beetle exoskeleton with nanomechanics

Northwestern Engineering’s Horacio D. Espinosa and his group are working to understand the underlying design principles and mechanical properties that result in structures with these unique, ideal properties. This work could ultimately uncover information that could guide the design and manufacturing of new and improved artificial materials by emulating these time-tested natural patterns, a process known as bio-mimicry.

Fast Track Control Accelerates Switching of Quantum Bits

An international collaboration among physicists at the University of Chicago, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, McGill University and the University of Konstanz recently demonstrated a new framework for faster control of a quantum bit—the basic unit of information in yet-to-be created quantum computers—in findings published online Nov. 28 in Nature Physics. Their experiments on a single electron in a diamond chip could create quantum devices less prone to errors when operated at high speeds.

Illinois team advances GaN-on-Silicon technology towards scalable high electron mobility transistors

A team of University of Illinois researchers has recently advanced gallium nitride (GaN)-on-silicon transistor technology by optimizing the composition of the semiconductor layers that make up the device. Working with industry partners Veeco and IBM, the team created the high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) structure on a 200 mm silicon substrate with a process that will scale to larger industry-standard wafer sizes.

71 New SPIE Fellows Elected

SPIE will honor 71 new Fellows of the Society this year. Fellows are Members of distinction who have made significant scientific and technical contributions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics, and imaging. They are honored for their technical achievement, for their service to the general optics community, and to SPIE in particular.

Materials Young Investigator Award 2017

After an extensive voting period, we are proud to announce Dr. Andrea Alù as the first winner of the Materials Young Investigator Award who is a Full Professor and the Temple Foundation Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, at the University of Texas, Austin, USA.


Real-time scans of self-healing nanoparticles show their energy storage potential

In a lab 18 feet below the Engineering Quad of Stanford University, researchers in the Dionne lab camped out with one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to capture an unimaginably small reaction.