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What's New in Nano

On our News page you will find the latest stories about nano research at Penn State. In addition, we will provide links to earlier articles and press releases. Come back often to find out what's new in nano at Penn State.

Nano @ Penn State Brochure

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Novel Self-Powered Nanoparticles Developed to Deliver Healing Drugs Directly to Bone Cracks

A novel method for finding and delivering healing drugs to newly formed microcracks in bones has been invented by a team of chemists and bioengineers at Penn State University and Boston University. The method involves the targeted delivery of the drugs, directly to the cracks, on the backs of tiny self-powered nanoparticles. The energy that revs the motors of the nanoparticles and sends them rushing toward the crack comes from a surprising source -- the crack itself.

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First Electronic Optical Fibers with Hydrogenated Amorphous Silicon are Developed

A new chemical technique for depositing a non-crystalline form of silicon into the long, ultra-thin pores of optical fibers has been developed by an international team of scientists in the United States and the United Kingdom. The technique, which is the first of its kind to use high-pressure chemistry for making well-developed films and wires of this particular kind of silicon semiconductor, will help scientists to make more-efficient and more-flexible optical fibers.

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Quantum Tunneling Results in Record Transistor Performance

Controlling power consumption in mobile devices and large scale data centers is a pressing concern for the computer chip industry. Researchers from Penn State and epitaxial wafer maker IQE have created a high performance transistor that could help solve one of the vexing problems of today’s MOSFET technology - reducing the power demand whether the transistors are idle or switching.

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Giant Piezoelectric Effect to Improve MEMS Devices

Researchers in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Materials Research Institute at Penn State are part of a multidisciplinary team of researchers from universities and national laboratories across the U.S. who have fabricated piezoelectric thin films with record-setting properties. These engineered films have great potential for energy harvesting applications, as well as in micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS), micro actuators, and sensors for a variety of miniaturized systems, such as ultrasound imaging, microfluidics, and mechanical sensing.

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Innovative Nanoparticle Purification System Uses Magnetic Fields

A team of Penn State University scientists has invented a new system that uses magnetism to purify hybrid nanoparticles -- structures that are composed of two or more kinds of materials in an extremely small particle that is visible only with an electron microscope.

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A New Type of Symmetry is Discovered

A new type of symmetry has been discovered by Penn State researchers that could be used in determining the properties of new materials.

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An engineered directional nanofilm mimics nature’s curious feats

University Park, Pa - In nature, textured surfaces provide some plants the ability to trap insects and pollen, certain insects the ability to walk on water, and the gecko the ability to climb walls. Being able to mimic these features at a larger scale would spur new advances in renewable energy and medicine.

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An engineered directional nanofilm mimics nature’s curious feats

University Park, Pa - In nature, textured surfaces provide some plants the ability to trap insects and pollen, certain insects the ability to walk on water, and the gecko the ability to climb walls. Being able to mimic these features at a larger scale would spur new advances in renewable energy and medicine.

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Science complex construction requires unique and creative solutions

University Park, Pa - Penn State's new Millennium Science Complex, the most comprehensive laboratory facility to be built at the University, is scheduled to open in 2011 and has already spawned a tremendous amount of innovation as it takes shape on a prominent corner of campus.

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Making next generation devices from advanced electronic materials

Researchers in Penn State’s materials labs are learning to turn the latest electronic materials into functioning devices for electronics, sensors, and the detection of nuclear materials.

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Geodesic Carbon Nanodomes

Jorge Sofo and Renee Diehl discuss recent advances in graphene research in the current issue of Physics.

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Acoustic Tweezers Can Position Tiny Objects

University Park, Pa. -- Manipulating tiny objects like single cells or nanosized beads often requires relatively large, unwieldy equipment, but now a system that uses sound as a tiny tweezers can be small enough to place on a chip, according to Penn State engineers.

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Nanophysics: Serving Up Buckyballs on a Silver Platter

Scientists at Penn State University, in collaboration with institutes in the US, Finland, Germany and the UK, have figured out the long-sought structure of a layer of C60 – carbon buckyballs – on a silver surface.

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Liquid Lens Creates Tiny Flexible Laser on a Chip

University Park, Pa. — Like tiny Jedi knights, tunable fluidic micro lenses can focus and direct light at will to count cells, evaluate molecules or create on-chip optical tweezers, according to a team of Penn State engineers. They may also provide imaging in medical devices, eliminating the necessity and discomfort of moving the tip of a probe.

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Storing a Lightning Bolt in Glass for Portable Power

Materials researchers at Penn State University have reported the highest known breakdown strength for a bulk glass ever measured. Breakdown strength, along with dielectric constant, determines how much energy can be stored in an insulating material before it fails and begins to conduct electricity.

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Recycling a Greenhouse Gas for High-Energy Fuel

Fossil fuel use, ranging from electricity generating power plants to automobiles, pumps billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere annually, changing the climate in ways that are likely to be detrimental to future generations.

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Penn State Receives $5 Million NSF Grant For Nanotech Applications and Career Knowledge Center

Penn State will receive $5 million over four years from the National Science Foundation to establish a National Center for Nanotechnology Applications and Career Knowledge (NACK).

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Penn State Receives $13.2M for Nanoscale Science Center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Penn State University $13.2 million over six years to continue the research and educational activities of its Center for Nanoscale Science, a Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC).

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