Friday, March 7, 2014

Research on bendable glass could lead to flexible mobile phones

What if one day you accidentally step on your smartphone and instead of it shattering, it simply bends?

That day may be on the way, according to Seth Imhoff, a materials scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Imhoff told Computerworld the lab is working to develop stronger and more elastic types of glass that would bend instead of shatter under duress.

The research under way at Los Alamos, a national lab in New Mexico known for classified work on nuclear weapons, could give consumers more durable smartphones, tablets and laptops. (full story)

Advances in glass alloys lead to strength, flexibility

The way that metallic glass deforms plastically is by the formation of what are called shear bands. Shear banding can occur on a macroscopic scale in granular materials, like during an avalanche or landslide, but in glass the bands are generally 10-20 nanometers wide (~3000 times thinner than a human hair!).

In their paper "Nucleation of Shear Bands in Amorphous Alloys" published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these researchers are looking at the initiation of shear-banding events in order to better understand how to control the mechanical properties of these materials. (full story)

This story also appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor And World Industrial Reporter

Thick-Shell Quantum Dot technology increases display performance

A new thick-shell quantum dot technology has the potential to bring major improvements to the brightness of electronic displays and solid state LED lighting. Quantum Materials and the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) “giant” quantum dot (QD) technology can facilitate a 10 to 100-fold improvement in solid-state brightness over traditional nanocrystal quantum dots. (full story)

By losing their shape, material fails batteries

PNNL scientists study phosphorous-doped silicon nanowire anodes grown at DOE's Center for Integrated Nanotechnologies, at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Northwestern University, using chemical vapor deposition.

The team used experiments and molecular simulations to show that the electron-rich region causes silicon bonds to break. The bond breakage transforms crystalline silicon into an amorphous alloy of lithium and silicon. (full story)
Fourteen receive LANL Foundation scholarships

Fourteen Northern New Mexicans have received $1,000 Returning Student/Regional College scholarships from the Los Alamos National Laboratory Employees’ Scholarship Fund.

These awards help students returning to a formal education for certification or a two-year degree at an accredited regional college. Many of the students receiving these awards are pursuing new careers.

Funding comes from donations by LANL employees and a matching amount from Los Alamos National Security, LLC. The scholarships are administered by the LANL Foundation. (full story)

This story also appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican

LANL's Roger Wiens addresses engineering council

The speaker at Thursday’s event was Dr. Roger Wiens. Wiens has been building NASA instruments at Los Alamos National Laboratory since 1997. Most recently, he is the principal investigator for the ChemCam instrument carried aboard the Mars rover Curiosity, which has been exploring Mars for the past 18 months. Wiens is the author of “Red Rover: Inside the Story of Robotic Space Exploration, from Genesis to the Mars.”

The ChemCam mobile laboratory uses lasers to analyze rocks and soil on Mars. The team hopes ChemCam will continue to transmit data for seven to nine years, or even longer, Wiens said. (full story)

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