American Institute of Physics
American Institute of Physics Articles
Tailored probes created via 3D direct laser writing
A group of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) researchers report that they have developed a method to tailor tips for specific applications via 3D direct laser writing based on two-photon polymerisation that will be appearing on the cover this week in Applied Physics Letters. Two-photon polymerisation is a 3D printing process that provides structuring with extremely high resolution.
Metamaterials change properties with a flick of a switch
Researchers have designed a kind of metamaterial whose properties can be changed with a flick of a switch. In their proof-of-principle experiment, the researchers used germanium antimony telluride (GST)—the kind of phase-change material found in CDs and DVDs—to make an improved switchable metasurface that can block or transmit particular wavelengths of light at the command of light pulses.
Swapping substrates improves edges of graphene nanoribbons
It is now feasible to make a prized material for spintronic devices and semiconductors - monolayer graphene nanoribbons with zigzag edges. Miniscule ribbons of graphene are highly sought-after building blocks for semiconductor devices because of their predicted electronic properties. But making these nanostructures has remained a challenge. Now, a team of researchers from China and Japan have devised a method to make the structures in t...
Researchers nearly double the output power of a THz laser
Researchers have nearly doubled the continuous output power of a type of laser, called a terahertz quantum cascade laser, with potential applications in medical imaging, airport security and more. Increasing the continuous output power of these lasers is an important step toward increasing the range of practical applications. The researchers report their results in the journal AIP Advances.
Understanding the properties of the latest solar cells
As climate change garners more attention around the world, scientists at the University of Virginia and Cornell University have made critical advances in understanding the physical properties of an emerging class of solar cells that have the potential to dramatically lower the cost of solar energy. Solar cells remain a focal point of scientific investigation because the sun offers the most abundant source of energy on earth.
Superconducting properties of 3D printed parts
3D printing is revolutionising many areas of manufacturing and science. In particular, 3D printing of metals has found novel applications in fields as diverse as customised medical implants, jet engine bearings and rapid prototyping for the automotive industry. While many techniques can be used for 3D printing with metals, most rely on computer-controlled melting or sintering of a metal alloy powder by a laser or electron beam.
Ultra-thin solar cells can bend around a pencil
Scientists in South Korea have made ultra-thin photovoltaics flexible enough to wrap around the average pencil. The bendy solar cells could power wearable electronics like fitness trackers and smart glasses. The researchers report the results in the journal Applied Physics Letters. Thin materials flex more easily than thick ones - think a piece of paper versus a cardboard shipping box.
Tiny lasers enable faster next-gen microprocessors
A group of scientists from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; the University of California, Santa Barbara; Sandia National Laboratories and Harvard University were able to fabricate tiny lasers directly on silicon—a huge breakthrough for the semiconductor industry and well beyond. For more than 30 years, the crystal lattice of silicon and of typical laser materials could not match up, making it impossible to integrate the two m...
Tiny probe could improve batteries and fuel cells
A team of American and Chinese researchers has developed a new tool that could aid in the quest for better batteries and fuel cells. Although battery technology has come a long way since Alessandro Volta first stacked metal discs in a "voltaic pile" to generate electricity, major improvements are still needed to meet the energy challenges of the future, such as powering electric cars and storing renewable energy cheaply and efficiently.
'Lasing capsules' made with an inkjet printer
Since lasers were invented more than 50 years ago, they have transformed a diverse swath of technology -- from CD players to surgical instruments. Now researchers from France and Hungary have invented a way to print lasers that’s so cheap, easy and efficient they believe the core of the laser could be disposed of after each use. The team reports its findings in the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing.
Turning li-ion batteries into energy storage units
Despite their hefty price tag, smartphones have an average consumer lifetime of about three years. The lithium ion batteries that power them, however, can last for about five years. To cut down on the environmental waste and provide storage for rural communities, researchers at Kyung Hee University in Seoul have proposed a model for recycling unspent lithium ion batteries into energy storage units for solar-powered LED lamps.
Platform enables point-of-care diagnosis of HIV and HCV
Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have recently developed a portable, paper-based electrochemical platform with multiplexing and telemedicine capabilities that may enable low-cost, point-of-care diagnosis of HIV and HCV co-infections within serum samples.
Cooling chips with the flip of a switch
Turn on an electric field, and a standard electrocaloric material will eject heat to its surroundings as its internal dipoles reorder themselves. Do the same thing, and a negative electrocaloric material will absorb heat, cooling the environment, thanks to the blend of ferroelectric polymers that make up each. While these materials have been investigated as a method of on-demand microclimate control for quite some time, there's a catch - the exte...
A way to improve beam quality in laser wakefield accelerators
The Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which helped scientists discover the Higgs boson, is a huge instrument buried under the Swiss-French border. It needs 27 kilometers of track to accelerate particles close to the speed of light before smashing them together. Yet there's another type of particle accelerator, called a laser wakefield accelerator, that requires only a fraction of the distance of conventional accelerators like the LHC.
Method deposits nanomaterials onto 3D objects
Researchers have developed a new method that uses plasma to print nanomaterials onto a 3D object or flexible surface, such as paper or cloth. The technique could make it easier and cheaper to build devices like wearable chemical and biological sensors, flexible memory devices and batteries, and integrated circuits. One of the most common methods to deposit nanomaterials onto a surface is with an inkjet printer similar to an ordinary printer ...