Argonne’s 2021 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows bring new energy, promise to their fields

The Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory is proud to welcome five new FY21 Maria Goeppert Mayer Fellows to campus, each chosen for their incredible promise in their respective fields.

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How to Make All Headphones Intelligent

How do you turn “dumb” headphones into smart ones? Rutgers engineers have invented a cheap and easy way by transforming headphones into sensors that can be plugged into smartphones, identify their users, monitor their heart rates and perform other services. Their invention, called HeadFi, is based on a small plug-in headphone adapter that turns a regular headphone into a sensing device. Unlike smart headphones, regular headphones lack sensors. HeadFi would allow users to avoid having to buy a new pair of smart headphones with embedded sensors to enjoy sensing features.

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UChicago scientists design stretchable electronics, perform better under strain

Recent technological advances have made stretchable sensors possible, but their changes in shape can affect the data produced, and many sensors cannot collect and process the body’s faintest signals. A new sensor design from the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering (PME) at the University of Chicago helps solve that problem.

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Scientists Streamline Process for Controlling Spin Dynamics

UPTON, NY—Marking a major achievement in the field of spintronics, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and Yale University have demonstrated the ability to control spin dynamics in magnetic materials by altering their thickness. The study, published today in Nature Materials, could lead to smaller, more energy-efficient electronic devices.

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Remote Work Suits Jefferson Lab Technical Designer

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned workplaces everywhere upside down, prompting countless brainstorming sessions on how to make work environments safer or whether jobs might be done just as well from home. Jefferson Lab technical designer Mindy Leffel says working from home during the pandemic has been a learning process, but has only motivated her to prove herself.

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3D-Printed Smart Gel Changes Shape When Exposed to Light

Inspired by the color-changing skin of cuttlefish, octopuses and squids, Rutgers engineers have created a 3D-printed smart gel that changes shape when exposed to light, becomes “artificial muscle” and may lead to new military camouflage, soft robotics and flexible displays. The engineers also developed a 3D-printed stretchy material that can reveal colors when light changes, according to their study in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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Nikhil Tiwale: Practicing the Art of Nanofabrication

Applying his passions for science and art, Nikhil Tiwale—a postdoc at Brookhaven Lab’s Center for Functional Nanomaterials—is fabricating new microelectronics components.

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‘Cyborg’ technology could enable new diagnostics, merger of humans and AI

Connecting electronics directly to human tissues in the body is a challenge. Today, a team is reporting new coatings for components that could help them more easily fit into this milieu. The researchers will present their results at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 Virtual Meeting & Expo.

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Quantum Materials Quest Could Benefit From Graphene That Buckles

Graphene, an extremely thin two-dimensional layer of the graphite used in pencils, buckles when cooled while attached to a flat surface, resulting in beautiful pucker patterns that could benefit the search for novel quantum materials and superconductors, according to Rutgers-led research in the journal Nature. Quantum materials host strongly interacting electrons with special properties, such as entangled trajectories, that could provide building blocks for super-fast quantum computers. They also can become superconductors that could slash energy consumption by making power transmission and electronic devices more efficient.

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Safer, longer-lasting energy storage requires focus on interface of advanced materials

More studies at the interface of battery materials, along with increased knowledge of the processes at work, are unleashing a surge of knowledge needed to more quickly address the demand for longer-lasting portable electronics, electric vehicles and stationary energy storage for the electric grid.

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‘Blinking” Crystals May Convert CO2 into Fuels

Imagine tiny crystals that “blink” like fireflies and can convert carbon dioxide, a key cause of climate change, into fuels. A Rutgers-led team has created ultra-small titanium dioxide crystals that exhibit unusual “blinking” behavior and may help to produce methane and other fuels, according to a study in the journal Angewandte Chemie. The crystals, also known as nanoparticles, stay charged for a long time and could benefit efforts to develop quantum computers.

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Major upgrades of particle detectors and electronics prepare CERN experiment to stream a data tsunami

For an experiment that will generate big data at unprecedented rates, physicists led design, development, mass production and delivery of an upgrade of novel particle detectors and state-of-the art electronics.

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A Great New Way to Paint 3D-Printed Objects

Rutgers engineers have created a highly effective way to paint complex 3D-printed objects, such as lightweight frames for aircraft and biomedical stents, that could save manufacturers time and money and provide new opportunities to create “smart skins” for printed parts. The findings are published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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Organic Memory Devices Show Promise for Flexible, Wearable, Personalized Computing

The advent of artificial intelligence, machine learning and the internet of things is expected to change modern electronics. The pressing question for many researchers is how to handle this technological revolution. Brain-inspired electronics with organic memristors could offer a functionally promising and cost- effective platform. Since memristors are functionally analogous to the operation of neurons, the computing units in the brain, they are optimal candidates for brain-inspired computing platforms.

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Rutgers Experts Can Discuss Emissions, Climate Change During COVID-19 Crisis

New Brunswick, N.J. (April 13, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick experts are available for interviews on the impacts of the

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How a Magnet Could Help Boost Understanding of Superconductivity

Physicists have unraveled a mystery behind the strange behavior of electrons in a ferromagnet, a finding that could eventually help develop high temperature superconductivity. A Rutgers co-authored study of the unusual ferromagnetic material appears in the journal Nature.

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New air-pressure sensor could improve everyday devices

A team of mechanical engineers at Binghamton University, State University of New York investigating a revolutionary kind of micro-switch has found another application for its ongoing research.

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A Robot and Software Make it Easier to Create Advanced Materials

A Rutgers-led team of engineers has developed an automated way to produce polymers, making it much easier to create advanced materials aimed at improving human health. The innovation is a critical step in pushing the limits for researchers who want to explore large libraries of polymers, including plastics and fibers, for chemical and biological applications such as drugs and regenerative medicine through tissue engineering.

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3D-Printed Plastics With High Performance Electrical Circuits

Rutgers engineers have embedded high performance electrical circuits inside 3D-printed plastics, which could lead to smaller and versatile drones and better-performing small satellites, biomedical implants and smart structures. They used pulses of high-energy light to fuse tiny silver wires, resulting in circuits that conduct 10 times more electricity than the state of the art, according to a study in the journal Additive Manufacturing. By increasing conductivity 10-fold, the engineers can reduce energy use, extend the life of devices and increase their performance.

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Physicists Make Graphene Discovery that Could Help Develop Superconductors

When two mesh screens are overlaid, beautiful patterns appear when one screen is offset. These “moiré patterns” have long intrigued artists, scientists and mathematicians and have found applications in printing, fashion and banknotes. Now, a Rutgers-led team has paved the way to solving one of the most enduring mysteries in materials physics by discovering a moiré pattern in graphene, where electrons organize themselves into stripes, like soldiers in formation.

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