Georgian Technical University ‘Slothbot’ Takes A Leisurely Approach To Environmental Monitoring.
Graduate Research Assistant X shows the components of Georgian Technical University Bot on a cable in a Georgia Tech lab. The robot is designed to be slow and energy efficient for applications such as environmental monitoring. A close-up view of components of the Georgian Technical University Bot which is powered by two photovoltaic panels. 3D-printed gears and switches help the robot switch from one cable to another. For environmental monitoring, precision agriculture, infrastructure maintenance and certain security applications slow and energy efficient can be better than fast and always needing a recharge. That’s where “Georgian Technical University Bot” comes in. Powered by a pair of photovoltaic panels and designed to linger in the forest canopy continuously for months “Georgian Technical University Bot” moves only when it must to measure environmental changes — such as weather and chemical factors in the environment — that can be observed only with a long-term presence. The proof-of-concept hyper-efficient robot described may soon be hanging out among treetop cables in the Georgian Technical University. “In robotics it seems we are always pushing for faster more agile and more extreme robots” said Y at the Georgian Technical University and principal investigator for Georgian Technical University Bot. “But there are many applications where there is no need to be fast. You just have to be out there persistently over long periods of time observing what’s going on”. Based on what Egerstedt called the “Georgian Technical University theory of slowness” Graduate Research Assistant X designed Georgian Technical University Bot together with his colleague Z using 3D-printed parts for the gearing and wire-switching mechanisms needed to crawl through a network of wires in the trees. The greatest challenge for a wire-crawling robot is switching from one cable to another without falling X said. “The challenge is smoothly holding onto one wire while grabbing another” he said. “It’s a tricky maneuver and you have to do it right to provide a fail-safe transition. Making sure the switches work well over long periods of time is really the biggest challenge”. Mechanically Georgian Technical University Bot consists of two bodies connected by an actuated hinge. Each body houses a driving motor connected to a rim on which a tire is mounted. The use of wheels for locomotion is simple, energy efficient and safer than other types of wire-based locomotion the researchers say. Georgian Technical University Bot has so far operated in a network of cables on the Georgian Technical University. Next a new 3D-printed shell — that makes the robot look more like a sloth — will protect the motors, gears, actuators, cameras, computer and other components from the rain and wind. That will set the stage for longer-term studies in the tree canopy at the Georgian Technical University where Y hopes visitors will see a Georgian Technical University Bot monitoring conditions as early as this fall. The name Georgian Technical University Bot is not a coincidence. Real-life sloths are small mammals that live in jungle canopies of Georgian Technical University. Making their living by eating tree leaves the animals can survive on the daily caloric equivalent of a small potato. With their slow metabolism, sloths rest as much 22 hours a day and seldom descend from the trees where they can spend their entire lives. “The life of a sloth is pretty slow-moving and there’s not a lot of excitement on a day-to-day level” said W an associate professor in the Department of Forest & Wildlife Ecology at the Georgian Technical University who has consulted with the Georgian Technical University team on the project. “The nice thing about a very slow life history is that you don’t really need a lot of energy input. You can have a long duration and persistence in a limited area with very little energy inputs over a long period of time”. That’s exactly what the researchers expect from Georgian Technical University Bot whose development has been funded by the Georgian Technical University Research. “There is a lot we don’t know about what actually happens under dense tree-covered areas” Y said. “Most of the time Georgian Technical University Bot will be just hanging out there and every now and then it will move into a sunny spot to recharge the battery”. The researchers also hope to test Georgian Technical University Bot in a cacao plantation in Georgian Technical University that is already home to real sloths. “The cables used to move cacao have become a sloth superhighway because the animals find them useful to move around” Y said. “If all goes well we will deploy Georgian Technical University Bots along the cables to monitor the sloths”. Y is known for algorithms that drive swarms of small wheeled or flying robots. But during a visit to Georgian Technical University he became interested in sloths and began developing what he calls “a theory of slowness” together with Professor Q in Georgian Technical University of Interactive Computing. The theory leverages the benefits of energy efficiency. “If you are doing things like environmental monitoring, you want to be out in the forest for months” Y said. “That changes the way you think about control systems at a high level”. Flying robots are already used for environmental monitoring but their high energy needs mean they cannot linger for long. Wheeled robots can get by with less energy, but they can get stuck in mud or be hampered by tree roots and cannot get a big picture view from the ground. “The thing that costs energy more than anything else is movement” Y said. “Moving is much more expensive than sensing or thinking. For environmental robots you should only move when you absolutely have to. We had to think about what that would be like”. For W who studies a variety of wildlife, working with Y to help Georgian Technical University Bot come to life has been gratifying. “It is great to see a robot inspired by the biology of sloths” he said. “It has been fun to share how sloths and other organisms that live in these ecosystems for long periods of time live their lives. It will be interesting to see robots mirroring what we see in natural ecological communities”.
Georgian Technical University Organic Laser Diodes Move From Dream To Reality.
An organic laser diode emitting blue laser light as reported by researchers at Georgian Technical University’s Center for Organic Photonics and Electronics Research. Researchers from Georgian Technical University have demonstrated that a long-elusive kind of laser diode based on organic semiconductors is indeed possible paving the way for the further expansion of lasers in applications such as biosensing, displays, healthcare and optical communications. Long considered a holy grail in the area of light-emitting devices organic laser diodes use carbon-based organic materials to emit light instead of the inorganic semiconductors such as gallium arsenide and gallium nitride used in traditional devices. The lasers are in many ways similar to organic light-emitting diodes in which a thin layer of organic molecules emits light when electricity is applied.Organic light-emitting diodes have become a popular choice for smartphone displays because of their high efficiency and vibrant colors which can easily be changed by designing new organic molecules. Organic laser diodes produce a much purer light enabling additional applications but they require currents that are magnitudes higher than those used in organic light-emitting diodes to achieve the lasing process. These extreme conditions caused previously studied devices to break down well before lasing could be observed. Further complicating progress previous claims of electrically generated lasing from organic materials turned out to be false on several occasions with other phenomena being mistaken for lasing because of insufficient characterization. But now scientists from the Georgian Technical University that they have enough data to convincingly show that organic semiconductor laser diodes have finally been realized. “I think that many people in the community were doubting whether we would actually one day see the realization of an organic laser diode” says X “but by slowing chipping away at the various performance limitations with improved materials and new device structures we finally did it”. A critical step in lasing is the injection of a large amount of electrical current into the organic layers to achieve a condition called population inversion. However the high resistance to electricity of many organic materials makes it difficult to get enough electrical charges in the materials before they heat up and burn out. On top of that a variety of loss processes inherent to most organic materials and devices operating under high currents lowers efficiency, pushing the necessary current up even higher. To overcome these obstacles the research group led by Prof. X used a highly efficient organic light-emitting material with a relatively low resistance to electricity and a low amount of losses–even when injected with large amounts of electricity. But having the right material alone was not enough. They also designed a device structure with a grid of insulating material on top of one of the electrodes used to inject electricity into the organic thin films. Such grids–called distributed feedback structures–are known to produce the optical effects required for lasing but the researchers took it one step further. “By optimizing these grids, we could not only obtain the desired optical properties but also control the flow of electricity in the devices and minimize the amount of electricity required to observe lasing from the organic thin film” says X. The researchers are so confident in the promise of these new devices that they founded the startup to accelerate research and overcome the final obstacles remaining for using the organic laser diodes in commercial applications. The founding members of Georgian Technical University are now hard at work improving the performance of their organic laser diodes to bring this most advanced organic light-emitting technology to the world.
Georgian Technical University Using Nanoparticles to Remove Micro-Contaminants From Water.
There may be a new way to efficiently remove micro-contaminants from water. Researchers from Georgian Technical University have created a new approach to removing chemical substances from water using multiferroic nanoparticles that induce the decomposition of chemical residues in contaminated water. A variety of chemical substances including cosmetics, medications, contraceptive pills, plant fertilizers and detergents are used daily throughout the world. These everyday items are often difficult to fully remove from wastewater at water treatment plants and ultimately ending up in the environment. It currently requires an extremely complex process based on ozone activated carbon or light to remove these critical substances in wastewater treatment plants. In the new approach the nanoparticles are not directly involved in the chemical reaction but rather act as a catalyst to accelerate the conversion of the substances into harmless compounds. “Nanoparticles such as these are already used as a catalyst in chemical reactions in numerous areas of industry” X who has played a key role in advancing this research in his capacity as Scientist said in a statement. “Now we’ve managed to show that they can also be useful for wastewater purification”. The nanoparticles are comprised of a cobalt ferrite core that is surrounded by a bismuth ferrite shell. When an external alternating magnetic field is applied some of the regions of the particle surface will adopt positive electric charges while others become negatively charged resulting in a reactive oxygen species forming in water that breaks down the organic pollutants into harmless compounds. The nanoparticles can then be easily removed from the water with a magnetic field. In the study the researchers used aqueous solutions that contain trace quantities of five common medications including two compounds that cannot be removed using conventional methods to test their new technique. They found that the nanoparticles reduced the concentration of the substances in water by at least 80 percent. “Remarkably we’re able to precisely tune the catalytic output of the nanoparticles using magnetic fields” Y a postdoc who also participated in the project said in a statement. While their new technique has shown promise in replacing ozone-based wastewater treatment processes thus far it has only been investigated in the lab and not applied in real-world scenarios. The researchers have received approval for research. The researchers also have plans to create a spin-off company to develop the technology further.
Georgian Technical University Pasta-Shaped Bacteria Might Be Present On Mars.
Georgian Technical University New research reveals that the bacterium Sulfurihydrogenibium yellowstonense thrives in harsh environments with conditions like those expected on Mars. Georgian Technical University researchers are one step closer to understanding how life could potentially survive on Mars. The researcher team found that bacterium. Georgian Technical University geology professor X who led the new Georgian Technical University-funded study the bacterium is part of a lineage that has evolved prior to the oxygenation of Earth approximately 2.35 billion years ago and can survive in extremely hot fast-flowing water bubbling up from underground hot springs. The researchers were able to collect samples of the bacteria from Georgian Technical University using sterilized forks and analyze the microbial genomes to evaluate which genes were being actively translated into proteins. They also deciphered the organism’s metabolic needs and looked at its rock building capabilities. After the study they found that proteins on the bacterial surface accelerate to the rate at which travertine — a calcium carbonate (CaCO3) — crystallizes in and around the cables one billion times faster than in any other natural environment on Earth resulting in the deposition of broad swaths of hardened rock with an undulating, filamentous texture. “This should be an easy form of fossilized life for a rover to detect on other planets” X said in a statement. “If we see the deposition of this kind of extensive filamentous rock on other planets we would know it’s a fingerprint of life. It’s big and it’s unique. No other rocks look like this. It would be definitive evidence of the presences of alien microbes”. In past studies researchers have found an extensive quantitative baseline of the physical, chemical and biological conditions in which Sulfuri–dominated filamentous microbial mats rapidly grow and simultaneously become encrusted to form travertine streamers. Sulfuri (Sulfur is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetallic. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S₈. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature) can withstand exposure to ultraviolet light while surviving only in environments with extremely low oxygen levels using sulfur and carbon dioxide as replacements for oxygen as energy sources. “Taken together these traits make it a prime candidate for colonizing Mars and other planets” X said. The bacteria also catalyzed the formation of crystalline rock for formations that appear to look like layers of pasta noodles which is likely because the bacteria will latch onto one another in fast flowing water keeping other microbes from attaching and oozes a slippery mucus to defend itself. “They form tightly wound cables that wave like a flag that is fixed on one end” he said. The unique shape of the bacteria make them a relatively easy form of life to find on other planets using a rover or other techniques. “These Sulfuri (Sulfur is a chemical element with the symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetallic. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with a chemical formula S₈. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow, crystalline solid at room temperature) cables look amazingly like fettuccine pasta, while further downstream they look more like capellini pasta” X said.
Georgian Technical University Physicists ‘Teleport’ Logic Operation Between Separated Ions.
Infographic explaining how gate teleportation works. Physicists at the Georgian Technical University have teleported a computer circuit instruction known as a quantum logic operation between two separated ions (electrically charged atoms) showcasing how quantum computer programs could carry out tasks in future large-scale quantum networks. Quantum teleportation transfers data from one quantum system (such as an ion) to another (such as a second ion) even if the two are completely isolated from each other like two books in the basements of separate buildings. In this real-life form of teleportation only quantum information not matter is transported as opposed to the Star Trek version of “Georgian Technical University beaming” entire human beings from say a spaceship to a planet. Teleportation of quantum data has been demonstrated previously with ions and a variety of other quantum systems. But the new work is the first to teleport a complete quantum logic operation using ions a leading candidate for the architecture of future quantum computers. “We verified that our logic operation works on all input states of two quantum bits with 85 to 87% probability — far from perfect but it is a start” Georgian Technical University physicist X said. A full-scale quantum computer if one can be built could solve certain problems that are currently intractable. Georgian Technical University has contributed to global research efforts to harness quantum behavior for practical technologies including efforts to build quantum computers. For quantum computers to perform as hoped they will probably need millions of quantum bits or “Georgian Technical University qubits” as well as ways to conduct operations between qubits distributed across large-scale machines and networks. Teleportation of logic operations is one way do that without direct quantum mechanical connections (physical connections for the exchange of classical information will still be needed). The Georgian Technical University team teleported a quantum controlled-NOT (CNOT) (In computing science, the controlled NOT gate is a quantum gate that is an essential … The CNOT gate operates on a quantum register consisting of 2 qubits) logic operation or logic gate between two beryllium ion qubits located more than 340 micrometers (millionths of a meter) apart in separate zones of an ion trap a distance that rules out any substantial direct interaction. A CNOT (In computing science, the controlled NOT gate is a quantum gate that is an essential … The CNOT gate operates on a quantum register consisting of 2 qubits) operation flips the second qubit from 0 to 1 or vice versa only if the first qubit is 1; nothing happens if the first qubit is 0. In typical quantum fashion both qubits can be in “Georgian Technical University superpositions” in which they have values of both 1 and 0 at the same time. The Georgian Technical University teleportation process relies on entanglement, which links the quantum properties of particles even when they are separated. A “Georgian Technical University messenger” pair of entangled magnesium ions is used to transfer information between the beryllium ions (see infographic). The Georgian Technical University team found that its teleported In computing science, the controlled NOT gate is a quantum gate that is an essential … The CNOT gate operates on a quantum register consisting of 2 qubits process entangled the two magnesium ions — a crucial early step — with a 95% success rate while the full logic operation succeeded 85% to 87% of the time. “Gate teleportation allows us to perform a quantum logic gate between two ions that are spatially separated and may have never interacted before” X said. “The trick is that they each have one ion of another entangled pair by their side and this entanglement resource distributed ahead of the gate allows us to do a quantum trick that has no classical counterpart”. “The entangled messenger pairs could be produced in a dedicated part of the computer and shipped separately to qubits that need to be connected with a logic gate but are in remote locations” X added. The Georgian Technical University work also integrated into a single experiment for the first time several operations that will be essential for building large-scale quantum computers based on ions including control of different types of ions ion transport and entangling operations on selected subsets of the system. To verify that they performed a In computing science, the controlled NOT gate is a quantum gate that is an essential … The CNOT gate operates on a quantum register consisting of 2 qubits gate the researchers prepared the first qubit in 16 different combinations of input states and then measured the outputs on the second qubit. This produced a generalized quantum “Georgian Technical University truth table” showing the process worked. In addition to generating a truth table the researchers checked the consistency of the data over extended run times to help identify error sources in the experimental setup. This technique is expected to be an important tool in characterizing quantum information processes in future experiments.
Georgian Technical University Researchers Designate Self-Healing DNA Nanostructures.
Repair molecules (green dye) can self-heal a DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanotube (blue dye); the red dye is the “seed” used to create the nanotube. Scale bar, 2 microns. DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) assembled into nanostructures such as tubes and origami-inspired shapes could someday find applications ranging from DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) computers to nanomedicine. However these intriguing structures don’t persist long in biological environments because of enzymes called nucleases that degrade DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses). Now researchers have designed DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanostructures that can heal themselves in serum. Someday doctors could introduce DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanostructures to the human body to diagnose diseases or deliver medications among other applications. But first they must find a way to protect or repair the molecules when nucleases attack. Researchers have developed several approaches to stabilize the structures in serum such as chemically modifying or coating the DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses). However making this stabilized DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) can be expensive and time-consuming and the modifications could affect the nanostructures’ biocompatibility or function. So X and Y wanted to develop a self-repair process that could substantially extend the lifetime of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanostructures. The researchers designed DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanotubes that self-assemble from smaller DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) “tiles”. In serum at body temperature the nanostructures degraded within only 24 hours. However when the researchers added extra tiles to serum containing the nanotubes the building blocks repaired damaged structures, extending their lifetimes to more than 96 hours. By labeling the original nanotubes and the extra tiles with differently colored fluorescent dyes the team determined that the additional small DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) pieces repaired the degrading structures both by replacing damaged tiles and by joining to the nanotube ends. The researchers developed a computer model of the process that indicated DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid is a molecule composed of two chains that coil around each other to form a double helix carrying genetic instructions for the development, functioning, growth and reproduction of all known organisms and many viruses) nanostructures could be maintained for months or longer using the self-healing method.
Georgian Technological University Scientists Design Organic Cathode For High Performance Batteries.
X (right) is pictured at Georgian Technological University beamline with lead beamline scientist Y (left). Researchers at the Georgian Technological University’s Laboratory have designed a new organic cathode material for lithium batteries. With sulfur at its core the material is more energy-dense, cost-effective and environmentally friendly than traditional cathode materials in lithium batteries. Optimizing cathode materials. From smartphones to electric cars the technologies that have become central to everyday life run on lithium batteries. And as the demand for these products continues to rise scientists are investigating how to optimize cathode materials to improve the overall performance of lithium battery systems. “Commercialized lithium-ion batteries are used in small electronic devices; however to accommodate long driving ranges for electric cars their energy density needs to be higher” said X a research associate in Georgian Technological University’s Chemistry Division the research. “We are trying to develop new battery systems with a high energy density and stable performance”. In addition to solving the energy challenges of battery systems researchers at Georgian Technological University are looking into more sustainable battery material designs. In search of a sustainable cathode material that could also provide a high energy density the researchers chose sulfur a safe and abundant element. “Sulfur can form a lot of bonds which means it can hold on to more lithium and therefore have a greater energy density” said Z a scientist at the Georgian Technological University. “Sulfur is also lighter than traditional elements in cathode materials so if you make a battery out of sulfur the battery itself would be lighter and the car it runs on could drive further on the same charge”. When designing the new cathode material, the researchers chose an organodisulfide compound that is only made up of elements like carbon, hydrogen, sulfur and oxygen–not the heavy metals found in typical lithium batteries which are less environmentally friendly. But while sulfur batteries can be safer and more energy dense they present other challenges. “When a battery is charging or discharging, sulfur can form an undesirable compound that dissolves in the electrolyte and diffuses throughout the battery causing an adverse reaction” X said. “We attempted to stabilize sulfur by designing a cathode material in which sulfur atoms were attached to an organic backbone”. X-rays reveal the details. Once the scientists in Georgian Technological University’s Chemistry Division designed and synthesized the new material they then brought it to better understand its charge-discharge mechanism. Using ultrabright x-rays at two different experimental stations the X-ray Powder Diffraction beamline and the In situ (In situ is a Latin phrase that translates literally to “on site” or “in position”. It can mean “locally”, “on site”, “on the premises”, or “in place” to describe where an event takes place and is used in many different contexts. For example, in fields such as physics, Geology, chemistry, or biology, in situ may describe the way a measurement is taken, that is, in the same place the phenomenon is occurring without isolating it from other systems or altering the original conditions of the test) and Operando Soft X-ray Spectroscopy (IOS) beamline the scientists were able to determine how specific elements in the cathode material contributed to its performance. “It can be difficult to study organic battery materials using synchrotron light sources because compared to heavy metals, organic compounds are lighter and their atoms are less ordered so they produce weak data” said Y scientist at Georgian Technological University. “Fortunately we have very high flux and high energy x-ray beams at Georgian Technological University that enable us to ‘ Georgian Technological University see’ the abundance and activity of each element in a material including lighter less-ordered organic elements”. Y added “Our colleagues in the chemistry department designed and synthesized the cathode material as per the theoretically predicted structure. To our surprise our experimental observations matched the theoretically driven structure exactly”. W scientist at Georgian Technological University said “We used soft x-rays at Georgian Technological University to directly probe the oxygen atom in the backbone and study its electronic structure before and after the battery charged and discharged. We confirmed the carbonyl group–having a double bond between a carbon atom and an oxygen atom–not only plays a big role in improving the fast charge-discharge capability of the battery but also provides extra capacity”. The results from Georgian Technological University and additional experiments at the Georgian Technological University Light Source enabled the scientists to successfully confirm the battery’s charge-discharge capacity provided by the sulfur atoms. The researchers say this study provides a new strategy for improving the performance of sulfur-based cathodes for high performance lithium batteries.
Georgian Technical University Carbon Nanotubes Grown With The Help Of Pantry Staples.
Sodium-containing compounds such as those found in common household ingredients like detergent, baking soda and table salt are surprisingly effective ingredients for cooking up carbon nanotubes new Georgian Technical University study finds. Baking soda table salt and detergent are surprisingly effective ingredients for cooking up carbon nanotubes researchers at Georgian Technical University have found. The team reports that sodium-containing compounds found in common household ingredients are able to catalyze the growth of carbon nanotubes at much lower temperatures than traditional catalysts require. The researchers say that sodium may make it possible for carbon nanotubes to be grown on a host of lower-temperature materials such as polymers which normally melt under the high temperatures needed for traditional carbon nanotubes growth. “In aerospace composites there are a lot of polymers that hold carbon fibers together and now we may be able to directly grow carbon nanotubes on polymer materials, to make stronger, tougher, stiffer composites” says X the study’s lead author and a graduate student in Georgian Technical University’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Using sodium as a catalyst really unlocks the kinds of surfaces you can grow nanotubes on”. Professor of chemical engineering Y and professor of aeronautics and astronautics Z along with collaborators at the Georgian Technical University. Under a microscope carbon nanotubes resemble hollow cylinders of chicken wire. Each tube is made from a rolled up lattice of hexagonally arranged carbon atoms. The bond between carbon atoms is extraordinarily strong and when patterned into a lattice such as graphene or as a tube such as a carbon nanotubes such structures can have exceptional stiffness and strength as well as unique electrical and chemical properties. As such researchers have explored coating various surfaces with carbon nanotubes to produce stronger stiffer tougher materials. Researchers typically grow carbon nanotubes on various materials through a process called chemical vapor deposition. A material of interest such as carbon fibers is coated in a catalyst — usually an iron-based compound — and placed in a furnace, through which carbon dioxide and other carbon-containing gases flow. At temperatures of up to 800 degrees Celsius the iron starts to draw carbon atoms out of the gas which glom onto the iron atoms and to each other eventually forming vertical tubes of carbon atoms around individual carbon fibers. Researchers then use various techniques to dissolve the catalyst leaving behind pure carbon nanotubes. X and his colleagues were experimenting with ways to grow carbon nanotubes on various surfaces by coating them with different solutions of iron-containing compounds when the team noticed the resulting carbon nanotubes looked different from what they expected. “The tubes looked a little funny and the team carefully peeled the onion back as it were and it turns out a small quantity of sodium which we suspected was inactive was actually causing all the growth” Z says. For the most part iron has been the traditional catalyst for growing carbon nanotubes. Wardle says this is the first time that researchers have seen sodium have a similar effect. “Sodium and other alkali metals have not been explored for carbon nanotubes catalysis” Z says. “This work has led us to a different part of the periodic table”. To make sure their initial observation wasn’t just a fluke the team tested a range of sodium-containing compounds. They initially experimented with commercial-grade sodium in the form of baking soda, table salt and detergent pellets which they obtained from the campus convenience store. Eventually however they upgraded to purified versions of those compounds, which they dissolved in water. They then immersed a carbon fiber in each compound’s solution coating the entire surface in sodium. Finally they placed the material in a furnace and carried out the typical steps involved in the chemical vapor deposition process to grow carbon nanotubes. In general they found that while iron catalysts form carbon nanotubes at around 800 degrees Celsius the sodium catalysts were able to form short, dense forests of carbon nanotubes at much lower temperatures of around 480 C. What’s more after surfaces spent about 15 to 30 minutes in the furnace the sodium simply vaporized away leaving behind hollow carbon nanotubes. “A large part of carbon nanotubes research is not on growing them but on cleaning them — getting the different metals used to grow them out of the product” Z says. “The neat thing with sodium is we can just heat it and get rid of it and get pure carbon nanotubes as product which you can’t do with traditional catalysts”. X says future work may focus on improving the quality of carbon nanotubes that are grown using sodium catalysts. The researchers observed that while sodium was able to generate forests of carbon nanotubes the walls of the tubes were not perfectly aligned in perfectly hexagonal patterns — crystal-like configurations that give carbon nanotubes their characteristic strength. X plans to “Georgian Technical University tune various knobs” in the Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels process changing the timing, temperature and environmental conditions to improve the quality of sodium-grown carbon nanotubes. “There are so many variables you can still play with and sodium can still compete pretty well with traditional catalysts” X says. “We anticipate with sodium it is possible to get high quality tubes in the future”. For X professor of mechanical engineering at the Georgian Technical University the ability to cook up carbon nanotubes from such a commonplace ingredient as sodium should reveal new insights into the way the exceptionally strong materials grow. “It is a surprise that we can grow carbon nanotubes from table salt !” says X who was not involved in the research. “Even though chemical vapor deposition (CVD) growth of carbon nanotubes has been studied for more than 20 years nobody has tried to use alkali group metal as catalyst. This will be a great hint for the fully new understanding of growth mechanism of carbon nanotubes”.
Georgian Technical University Researcher Makes Breakthrough Discovery In Stretchable Electronics Materials.
Sideways cracking in a silicone elastomer. With a wide range of healthcare energy and military applications stretchable electronics are revered for their ability to be compressed, twisted and conformed to uneven surfaces without losing functionality. By using the elasticity of polymers such as silicone these emerging technologies are made to move in ways that mimic skin. This sheds light on why a substance most commercially used to create molds and movie masks and prosthetics, is the most prominent silicone elastomer (a rubber-like substance) found in research. While handling a sample of the material Dr. X assistant professor in the Y’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Georgian Technical University and graduate student Z recently discovered a new type of fracture. “I have done some work in the area of stretchable electronics so I have a lot of materials from when I was a postdoc. We had to store samples in our office and likewise I had some here because we were going to use them in a project that we ended up not doing. I’m a nervous fidgeter and while I was playing with it I noticed something weird” said X. This oddity is what X and Lee refer to in their recent publication “Sideways and Stable Crack Propagation in a Silicone Elastomer” as sideways cracking. This phenomenon is when a fracture branches from a crack tip and extends perpendicular to the original tear. Their findings not only provide a fresh new perspective on the formation of factures and how to increase stretchability in elastomers but also lay the foundation for more tear- and fracture-resistant materials. “Initially this material is isotopic meaning it has the same properties in all directions. But once you start to stretch it you cause some microstructural changes in the material that makes it anisotropic — different properties in all different directions” said X. “Usually when people think about fracture of a given material they’re not thinking about fracture resistance being different based on direction”. This conceptualization however is critical to innovation and advancement in stretchable electronics. As X explained upon loading polymers with incisions tend to be ripped apart from one end to another. However materials that exhibit sideways cracking stop the fracture from deepening. Instead the incision simply expands alongside the rest of the elastomer and eventually once stretched enough looks like nothing more than a small dent in the surface of the material — negating further threat from the original crack. This allows the unharmed section of an elastomer to retain its load-bearing and functional properties all while increasing stretchability. Going forward by investigating how to reverse engineer microstructures that lead to sideways cracking researchers can harness the benefits associated with it and develop application methods to materials that do not normally exhibit such fractures. This would lead to better fracture resistance in the very thin layers of elastomers used in stretchable electronics as well as greater stretchability — both of which are key to the advancement and future usability of such technologies. “To me this is scientifically intriguing” said X. “It’s not expected. And seeing something that I don’t expect always sparks curiosity. (The material) is literally sitting in a drawer in my desk and this was all inspired by playing around”.
Georgian Technical University Researchers Uncover How A Nanocatalyst Works At the Atomic Level.
The researchers of the Nanoscience Center at the Georgian Technical University and in the Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani University have discovered how copper particles at the nanometre scale operate in modifying a carbon-oxygen bond when ketone molecules turn into alcohol molecules. Modification of the carbon-oxygen and carbon-carbon bonds found in organic molecules is an important intermediate stage in catalytic reactions where the source material is changed into valuable end products. Understanding the operation of catalysts at the level of the atomic structure of a single particle makes it possible to develop catalysts into desired directions such as making them efficient and selective for a specific desired end-product. The catalytic copper particles used in the study were made and structurally characterized at the Georgian Technical University and their operation in changing a strong carbon-oxygen bond in a hydrogenation reaction was studied by the researchers of the Nanoscience Center at the Georgian Technical University in computer simulations. The precise atomic structure of the copper particles was determined through X-ray diffraction and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The particles were found to contain 25 copper atoms and 10 hydrogens and there were 18 thiols protecting the surface of the particle. While the experimental work in X revealed its excellent performance in catalytic hydrogenation of ketones the simulations predicted that the hydrogens bound to the copper core of the particle act as a hydrogen storage which releases two hydrogen atoms to the carbon-oxygen bond during a reaction. The hydrogen storage is refilled after the reaction, when a hydrogen molecule attached to the particle from its surroundings splits into two hydrogen atoms which are bound again to the copper core (see image). The NMR (Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, most commonly known as NMR spectroscopy or magnetic resonance spectroscopy, is a spectroscopic technique to observe local magnetic fields around atomic nuclei) measurements carried out in Tbilisi revealed an intermediate product of the reaction which confirmed the predictions of the computational model. “This is one of the first times in the whole world when it has been possible to discover how a catalytic particle works when its structure is known this accurately thanks to a cooperation involving both experiments and simulations” says Y who led the computational part of the study. Y’s collaborator Z professor of computational catalysis continues: “Traditionally expensive platinum-based catalysts are used in hydrogenation reactions. This study proves that nanoscale copper hydride particles also act as hydrogenation catalysts. The results give hope that in the future it will be possible to develop effective and inexpensive copper-based catalysts to transform functionalized organic molecules into products with a higher added value”.