News

Electron-Beam Imaging Can See Elements ‘Invisible’ to Common Methods

Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a new imaging technique, tested on samples of nanoscale gold and carbon, that greatly improves images of light elements using fewer electrons. The newly demonstrated technique, dubbed MIDI-STEM, for matched illumination and detector interferometry STEM, combines STEM with an optical device called a phase plate that modifies the alternating peak-to-trough, wave-like properties (called the phase) of the electron beam.

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Combining Imaging Technologies Better Identifies Coronary Plaque

Combining optical coherence tomography (OCT) with near-infrared autofluorescence (NIRAF) imaging may more accurately identify coronary artery plaques that are most likely to rupture and cause a heart attack. OCT provides images of tissue microstructure but not of its chemical and molecular composition. Since both of those characteristics are needed to fully understand coronary artery disease, the combination of OCT with NIRAF could provide a more powerful tool for investigating coronary pathology.

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World's Thinnest Lens May Revolutionize Cameras

Scientists at the Australian National University (ANU) have created the world's thinnest lens, one two-thousandth the thickness of a human hair, opening the door to flexible computer displays and a revolution in miniature cameras. The discovery hinged on the remarkable potential of the molybdenum disulphide crystal, which is a perfect candidate for future flexible displays. It survives at high temperatures, is a lubricant, a good semiconductor, and can emit photons.

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New Probe Could Improve Sonic Boom Investigation

An air data probe intended to improve investigation of sonic booms is flying on the F-15B aircraft at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center. NASA's goal for sonic boom research is to find ways to control and lessen the noise from shockwaves so that federal regulators will allow commercial supersonic flight over land.

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Flexible Skin Traps Radar Waves and Cloaks Objects

Iowa State University engineers developed a new flexible, stretchable, and tunable metamaterial skin that uses rows of small, liquid-metal devices to cloak an object from the sharp eyes of radar. By stretching and flexing the polymer meta-skin, it can be tuned to reduce the reflection of a wide range of radar frequencies.

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Tests Show How Plastic Parts Deform During Flight

Scientists have conducted flights using a measurement configuration based on fiber optics to accurately verify the degree to which carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts deform during flight. With the help of fiber optic technology, optical measuring fibers detected even minimal deformations, which is not possible with conventional metallic strain gauges.

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Microfluidics is Key to Mass-Producing Nanomaterials

Nanoparticles can be found in everything from drug-delivery formulations to high-definition televisions. They’re also expensive and a pain to make. Researchers at USC have created a new way to manufacture nanoparticles that will transform the process from a painstaking, batch-by-batch drudgery into a large-scale, automated assembly line.

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