INAE Monthly E-News Letter Vol. VIII, Issue 1, January 1, 2017

 (+) Academy Activities

Message from the President

On the eve of the New Year, I am delighted to express my warmest greetings to all our Fellows, Young Associates and their families and convey my best wishes to each one  Read More

Dr BN Suresh
President, INAE

From the Editor’s Desk

Future of the future
One of the purposes of engineering is to bring changes; changes in the self and the society. One of the objectives of ‘change’ is to make it better. What we can do to better the image of INAE? We can do many things, lik Read more...

Purnendu Ghosh
Chief Editor of Publications

 (+) Editorial Board, INAE

 (+) Articles by INAE Fellows

Dr Purnendu Ghosh
Dr Baldev Raj
Dr K V Raghavan
Dr Sanak Mishra
Prof. Indranil Manna
Prof BS Murty
Prof Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay
Prof Pradip Dutta
Prof Manoj K Tiwari
Prof Sanjay Mittal
Prof Prasun K Roy
Brig Rajan Minocha

 (+) Engineering and Technology Updates

  Civil Engineering

  Computer Engineering  and Information Technology

  Mechanical Engineering

  Chemical Engineering

  Electrical Engineering

  Electronics and Communication Engineering

  Aerospace Engineering

  Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

  Energy Engineering

  Interdisciplinary Engineering and Special Fields 

 (+) Engineering Innovation in India
 (+) Previous E-newsletter

 

Civil Engineering

1. New Laser Scanning Test to Assess Fire-Damaged Concrete

Engineering research at The University of Nottingham, UK and Ningbo, China (UNNC) has found laser scanning is a new and viable structural safety technique to detect the damaging effects of fire on concrete. Concrete is the most extensively used construction material worldwide with an average global yearly consumption of 1m3 per person. Fire is one of the most serious potential risks to many concrete structures such as bridges, tunnels and buildings. While concrete is known to be a material with high fire-resistance, capable of retaining much of its load-bearing capacity; its physical, chemical and mechanical properties do undergo severe modifications when subjected to high temperatures. A significant loss in strength occurs when concrete is heated above 300°C. A structural safety assessment provides information needed to evaluate the residual bearing capacity and durability of fire-damaged concrete structures. They are also used to propose the appropriate repair methods or to decide if demolition is needed. There are several conventional on-site and off-site techniques for assessing fire-damaged concrete. Some on-site methods include visual inspections of colour change and physical features whereas off-site methods involve invasive tests such as core drilling or lab-based techniques, however all methods have their merits and drawbacks. The researchers studied the use of terrestrial laser scanning (TSL) as a non-destructive way to assess and detect fire-damaged concrete in a structural safety appraisal. They said: “Scanning can be done at a distance, which improves site safety. Scanning is also quick, with millions of points measured in a few seconds and spatial resolution acquired in short time. This is advantageous for engineering structures considering their scale or magnitude.” ‘A non-destructive technique for health assessment of fire-damaged concrete elements using terrestrial laser scanning’ was developed by them. The study investigated the influences of scanning incidence angle and distance on the laser intensity returns. Concrete colour change was also studied. Data was collected and interpreted on unheated and heated concrete to establish the baseline condition of the material. Study experiments were carried out in a controlled laboratory and used two-phase shift terrestrial laser scanners (Leica HDS7000 and FARO Focus 120) to scan the concrete specimens before heating and then after they were cooled again. The concrete specimens were heated in a furnace to elevated temperatures of up to 1,000°C as the temperature attained is an important factor in assessing fire-damaged concrete. To assess colour change in the heated concrete, specimen images were captured using the M-Cam attached to the Leica HDS7000 laser scanner. A flatbed scanner (HP Scanjet G2410) was also used to scan heated concrete surfaces and capture images. It is these images that were used for analysis due to their better resolution. During the experiments, the measurement of the incidence angles for the concrete blocks was found to vary with distance. As the scanning distance increased, the incidence angle decreased and both scanners used showed the same trend. “The measurement of the scanning incidence angles from the various distances was found to be wavelength independent for both scanners and this is a promising factor in terms of developing standardised analysis tools for the incidence angle although several scanners need to be tested,” said researchers. They said: “A comparative analysis of the laser intensity for heated and unheated concrete showed that the recorded intensity values for heated concrete are higher than those of unheated concrete. In fact, the laser intensity values of heated concrete showed a remarkable increase in the concrete exposure temperatures from 250°C to 1,000°C. “Such a correlation between the intensity and the exposure temperature is of cardinal importance in assessing the condition and extent of damage to concrete. This finding implies it could be possible to use laser intensity to detect the state of concrete whether it has been heated or not.” The study has also shown that RGB data improves the visual identification of features and provides a rough idea of the concrete condition after a fire. Laser scanners have an advantage in that most of them have either an internal or external camera that can be used to capture concrete images if good resolution can be achieved. “Although the laser scanners used have different wavelengths, the results demonstrated the feasibility of using TLS as an approach to assessing levels of fire-damaged concrete and provide an understanding of the condition of concrete in relation to the strength changes of concrete when it is heated to elevated temperatures,” said a researcher.

 

Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161212105306.htm

 

Computer Engineering and Information Technology

2.  Construction of Practical Quantum Computers Radically Simplified

A trapped-ion quantum computer would consist of an array of X-junctions with quantum bits formed by individual ions that are trapped above the surface of the quantum chip (shown in grey). Individual quantum bits are manipulated simply by tuning voltages as easy as tuning a radio to different stations. Applying voltage V1 results in no quantum operation (blue zones), applying voltage V2 results in a quantum operation on a single quantum bit (green zones), applying voltage V3 results in a quantum operation ‘entangling’ two quantum bits (red zones). An arbitrary large quantum computer can be constructed based on this simple-to engineer approach.

Scientists at the University of Sussex have invented a ground-breaking new method that puts the construction of large-scale quantum computers within reach of current technology. Quantum computers could solve certain problems — that would take the fastest supercomputer millions of years to calculate — in just a few milliseconds. They have the potential to create new materials and medicines, as well as solve long-standing scientific and financial problems. Universal quantum computers can be built in principle — but the technology challenges are tremendous. The engineering required to build one is considered more difficult than manned space travel to Mars — until now. Quantum computing on a small scale using trapped ions (charged atoms) is carried out by aligning individual laser beams onto individual ions with each ion forming a quantum bit. However, a large-scale quantum computer would need billions of quantum bits, therefore requiring billions of precisely aligned lasers, one for each ion. Instead, scientists at Sussex have invented a simple method where voltages are applied to a quantum computer microchip (without having to align laser beams) — to the same effect. Professor Winfried Hensinger and his team also succeeded in demonstrating the core building block of this new method with an impressively low error rate at their quantum computing facility at Sussex. He said: “This development is a game changer for quantum computing making it accessible for industrial and government use. We will construct a large-scale quantum computer at Sussex making full use of this exciting new technology.” Quantum computers may revolutionise society in a similar way as the emergence of classical computers. A researcher in the Ion Quantum Technology Group said: “Developing this step-changing new technology has been a great adventure and it is absolutely amazing observing it actually work in the laboratory.”



Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161202103416.htm
 

 

Mechanical Engineering

3.  New Robot Has a Human Touch

(A) Schematic of hand structure and components;
(B) image of the fabricated hand mounted on a robotic arm with each finger actuated at ΔP = 100 kPa.

Most robots achieve grasping and tactile sensing through motorized means, which can be excessively bulky and rigid. A Cornell University group has devised a way for a soft robot to feel its surroundings internally, in much the same way humans do. A group led by Robert Shepherd, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and principal investigator of Organic Robotics Lab, has published a paper describing how stretchable optical waveguides act as curvature, elongation and force sensors in a soft robotic hand. The Optoelectronically Innervated Soft Prosthetic Hand via Stretchable Optical Waveguides has been developed by them. “Most robots today have sensors on the outside of the body that detect things from the surface,” a researcher said. “Our sensors are integrated within the body, so they can actually detect forces being transmitted through the thickness of the robot, a lot like we and all organisms do when we feel pain, for example.” Optical waveguides have been in use since the early 1970s for numerous sensing functions, including tactile, position and acoustic. Fabrication was originally a complicated process, but the advent over the last 20 years of soft lithography and 3-D printing has led to development of elastomeric sensors that are easily produced and incorporated into a soft robotic application. Shepherd’s group employed a four-step soft lithography process to produce the core (through which light propagates), and the cladding (outer surface of the waveguide), which also houses the LED (light-emitting diode) and the photodiode. The more the prosthetic hand deforms, the more light is lost through the core. That variable loss of light, as detected by the photodiode, is what allows the prosthesis to “sense” its surroundings. “If no light was lost when we bend the prosthesis, we wouldn’t get any information about the state of the sensor,” Shepherd said. “The amount of loss is dependent on how it’s bent.” The group used its optoelectronic prosthesis to perform a variety of tasks, including grasping and probing for both shape and texture. Most notably, the hand was able to scan three tomatoes and determine, by softness, which was the ripest.



Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161212134605.htm
 

 

Chemical Engineering

4.  New Catalyst for Capture and Conversion of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

This is an artist’s conception of a catalyst (light blue and gray framework) capable of capturing CO2 (red and gray molecules on left side) and, along with hydrogen (white molecules) converting it to methanol (red, gray and white molecules on the right).

Research at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering focused on developing a new catalyst that would lead to large-scale implementation of capture and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Principal investigator is Karl Johnson, the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in the Swanson School’s Department of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering. The work on Catalytic Hydrogenation of CO2 to Methanol in a Lewis Pair Functionalized MOF builds upon previous research that identified the two main factors for determining the optimal catalyst for turning atmospheric CO2 into liquid fuel. The research was conducted using computational resources at the University’s Center for Simulation and Modeling. “Capture and conversion of CO2 to methanol has the potential to solve two problems at once – reducing net carbon dioxide emissions while generating cleaner fuels,” Dr. Johnson explained. “Currently, however, it is a complex and expensive process that is not economically feasible. Because of this, we wanted to simplify the catalytic process as much as possible to create a sustainable and cost-effective method for converting CO2 to fuel – essentially to reduce the number of steps involved from several to one.” Johnson and his team focused on computationally designing a catalyst capable of producing methanol from CO2 and H2 utilizing metal organic frameworks (MOFs), which potentially provide pathway for a single-process unit for carbon capture and conversion. The MOFs could dramatically reduce the cost of carbon capture and conversion, bringing the potential of CO2 as a viable feedstock for fuels closer to reality. “Methanol synthesis has been extensively studied because methanol can work in existing systems such as engines and fuel cells, and can be easily transported and stored. Methanol is also a starting point for producing many other useful chemicals,” Dr. Johnson said. “This new MOF catalyst could provide the key to close the carbon loop and generate fuel from CO2, analogously to how a plant converts carbon dioxide to hydrocarbons.”



Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207124105.htm
 

 

Electrical Engineering

5. Capturing the Energy of Slow Motion

Low-frequency mechanical energy harvesting could provide as much as 40 percent of the power requirements for next generation smartphones and tablets.

A new concept in energy harvesting could capture energy that is currently mostly wasted due to its characteristic low frequency and use it to power next-generation electronic devices. In a project funded by electronics giant Samsung, a team of Penn State materials scientists and electrical engineers has designed a mechanical energy transducer based on flexible organic ionic diodes that points toward a new direction in scalable energy harvesting of unused mechanical energy in the environment, including wind, ocean waves and human motion. Devices to harvest ambient mechanical energy to convert to electricity are widely used to power wearable electronics, biomedical devices and the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) — everyday objects that wirelessly connect to the internet. The most common of these devices, based on the piezoelectric effect, operate most efficiently at high frequency, greater than 10 vibrations per second. But at lower frequencies their performance falls off dramatically. “Our concept is to specifically design a way to turn low-frequency motion, such as human movement or ocean waves, into electricity,” said Qing Wang, professor of materials science and engineering, Penn State. “That’s why we came up with this organic polymer p-n junction device.” Called an ionic diode, their device is composed of two nanocomposite electrodes with oppositely charged mobile ions separated by a polycarbonate membrane. The electrodes are a polymeric matrix filled with carbon nanotubes and infused with ionic liquids. The nanotubes enhance the conductivity and mechanical strength of the electrodes. When a mechanical force is applied, the ions diffuse across the membrane, creating a continuous direct current. At the same time, a built-in potential that opposes ion diffusion is established until equilibrium is reached. The complete cycle operates at a frequency of one-tenth Hertz, or once every 10 seconds. For smart phones, the mechanical energy involved in touching the screen could be converted into electricity that can be stored in the battery. Other human motion could provide the energy to power a tablet or wearable device. “Because the device is a polymer, it is both flexible and lightweight,” Wang said. “When incorporated into a next-generation smart phone, we hope to provide 40 percent of the energy required of the battery. With less demand on the battery, the safety issue should be resolved.” “The peak power density of our device is in general larger than or comparable to those of piezoelectric generators operated at their most efficient frequencies” said researchers. They focused on device integration and performance. “Right now, at low frequencies, no other device can outperform this one. That’s why I think this concept is exciting,” Wang said.



Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161215105505.htm
 

 

Electronics and Communication Engineering

6. Super-Flexible Liquid Crystal Device for Bendable and Rollable Displays

Wearable information terminals (left) and large rollable-screen TV (right) are made using super-flexible LC technology covering large areas, with high-resolution at low-cost

Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a super flexible liquid crystal (LC) device, in which two ultra-thin plastic substrates are firmly bonded by polymer wall spacers. The team, led by Professor Hideo Fujikake of the School of Engineering, hopes the new organic materials will help make electronic displays and devices more flexible, increasing their portability and all round versatility. New usage concepts with flexibility and high quality display could offer endless possibilities in near-future information services. Previous attempts to create a flexible display using an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) device with a thin plastic substrate were said to be promising, but unstable. The plastic substrates are poor gas-barriers for oxygen and water vapour, and the OLED materials can seriously be damaged by their gasses. As for flexible OLEDs, there has also been no device fabrication technology established so far for large-area, high-resolution and low-cost displays. To overcome these challenges, Fujikake’s research team decided to try making existing LC displays flexible by replacing the conventional thick glass substrates, which are both rigid and heavy, with the plastic substrates, because LC materials do not deteriorate even for poor gas barrier of flexible substrates. Flexible LC displays have many advantages, such as established production methods for large-area displays. The material itself, which is inexpensive, can be mass produced and shows little quality degradation over time. However, in conventional flexible LC displays, one important problem remains. The gap of plastic substrates (100 μm thick) sandwiching an LC layer becomes non-uniformed when the LC device is bent, causing the display image to be distorted. In their study, Fujikake’s team developed a super-flexible LC device by bonding two ultra-thin transparent polyimide substrates (10 μm thick approximately) together, using robust polymer wall spacers. The ultra-thin transparent substrate is made using the coating and debonding processes of a polyimide solution supplied by Mitsui Chemicals. The result is a flexible sheet, similar to food-wrapping cling film. The substrate has the attractive features of heat resistance, and the ability to form fine pixel structures, including transparent electrodes and colour filters. The refractive index anisotropy is extremely small, making wide viewing angles and high contrast ratio possible. The polymer wall spacers bonding substrates are formed by irradiating a twisted-alignment LC layer including monomer component with patterned ultra-violet light through single thin substrate. While the substrate gap is more variable as the substrate thickness is decreased, the stabilization of ultra-thin substrates becomes possible by small pitch polymer walls. The research team also demonstrated that the device uniformity is kept without breaking spacers even after a roll-up test to a curvature radius of 3mm for rollable and foldable applications. The above research results show that LC displays with large-area, high-resolution and excellent stability can be as flexible as OLED displays. The super-flexible LC technology is applicable to mobile information terminals, wearable devices, in-vehicle displays and large digital signage. Moving forward, the team plans to form image pixels and soften the peripheral components of polarizing films, and a thin light-guide sheet for backlight.



Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161209111928.htm
 

 

Aerospace Engineering

7. India Puts Remote Sensing Satellite RESOURCESAT-2A into Orbit

India on Dec 7, 2016 morning successfully put into orbit its own earth observation satellite Resourcesat-2A in a text book style. “Today we had a successful launch of RESOURCESAT-2A to provide three tier imaging data. The satellites solar panels were deployed. The launch was perfect,” A S Kiran Kumar, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said soon after the launch.
Mr Kumar said that for the first time a camera was put on the rocket, and as a result the launch of the satellite and the deployment of solar panels were seen. Around 10.25 a.m. the PSLV-XL variant rocket standing 44.4 metres tall and weighing 321 ton tore into the morning skies with fierce orange flames at its tail. Gathering speed every second, the rocket raced towards the heavens amidst the cheers of the ISRO officials and the media team assembled at the port in Sriharikota. At the rocket mission control room, Indian space scientists at ISRO were glued to their computer screens watching the rocket escaping the Earth’s gravitational pull. Around 18 minutes into the flight, the rocket slung the 1,235 kg Resourcesat-2A into an 817 km polar sun synchronous orbit. The PSLV rocket is a four stage/engine rocket powered by solid and liquid fuel alternatively. According to ISRO, Resourcesat-2A is a follow on mission to Resourcesat-1 and Resourcesat-2, launched in 2003 and 2011 respectively. The new satellite Resourcesat-2A is intended to continue the remote sensing data services to global users provided by it two predecessors. The RESOURCESAT-2A carries three payloads which are similar to those of the earlier two Resourcesat’s. They are a high resolution Linear Imaging Self Scanner (LISS-4) camera operating in three spectral bands in the Visible and Near Infrared Region (VNIR) with 5.8 m spatial resolution and steerable up to 26 degree across track to achieve a five day revisit capability. The second payload is the medium resolution LISS-3 camera operating in three-spectral bands in VNIR and one in Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) band with 23.5 m spatial resolution. The third payload is a coarse resolution Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS) camera operating in three spectral bands in VNIR and one band in SWIR with 56 m spatial resolution. The satellite also carries two Solid State Recorders with a capacity of 200 Giga Bits each to store the images taken by its cameras which can be read out later to ground stations.
The mission life of Resourcesat-2A is five years.



Source : http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/indias-pslv-rocket-with-resourcesat-2a-lifts-off-1634941
 

 

Mining, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering

 

8.  Thermoelectric Material Made in Paintable Liquid Form

Schematics illustrate the fabrication of painted thermoelectric devices.

A new study, led by Professor Jae Sung Son of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST has succeeded in developing a new technique that can be used to turn industrial waste heat into electricity for vehicles and other applications. In their study, the team presented a new type of high-performance thermoelectric (TE) materials that possess liquid-like properties. These newly developed materials are both shape-engineerable and geometrically compatible in that they can be directly brush-painted on almost any surface. Scientists hope that their findings will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications. The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. This effect can be used either for heating or for cooling, such as in small cooling systems, automotive cooling systems, as well as waste heat recovery system for ships. In addition, the thermoelectric generator modules used in these devices are configured as rectangular parallelepipeds. The output power of thermoelectric generators depends on device engineering minimizing heat loss, as well as inherent material properties. According to the research team, the currently existing liquid-like TE materials have been largely neglected due to the limited flat or angular shape of devices. However, considering that the surface of most heat sources where these planar devices are attached is curved, a considerable amount of heat loss is inevitable. To address this issue, the research team presented the shape-engineerable thermoelectric painting technique where they directly brush TE paints onto the surface of heat sources to produce electricity. Using this technique, one can now easily achieve electricity via the application of TE paints on the exterior surfaces of buildings, roofs, and cars. Scientists hope that their findings will pave the way to designing materials and devices that can be easily transferred to other applications. To show the feasibility of the currently proposed technology, they also fabricated TE generators through painting TE paints on flat, curved and large-sized hemispherical substrates, demonstrating that it is the most effective means of heat energy collection from any heat sources with exceedingly high output power density of 4.0/mW/cm2, which is the best value among the reported printed TE generators. “By developing integral thermoelectric modules through painting process, we have overcome limitations of flat thermoelectric modules and are able to collect heat energy more efficiently.” said Professor Son. “Thermoelectric generation systems can be developed as whatever types user want and cost from manufacturing systems can also be greatly reduced by conserving materials and simplifying processes..” “Our thermoelectric material can be applied any heat source regardless of its shape, type and size.” said Professor Son. “It will place itself as a new type of new and renewable energy generating system.”



Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161208125916.htm
 

 

Energy Engineering 

9. Scientists Boost Catalytic Activity for Key Chemical Reaction in Fuel Cells

Schematic diagram of the oxygen reduction reaction (reduction of O2 into H2O) on the Pt(110) surface of the PtPb/Pt nanoplates, with purple representing Pt atoms and orange representing Pb atoms.

Fuel cells are a promising technology for clean and efficient electrical power generation, but their cost, activity, and durability are key challenges to commercialization. Today’s fuel cells use expensive platinum (Pt)-based nanoparticles as catalysts to accelerate the reactions involved in converting the chemical energy from renewable fuels — such as hydrogen, methanol, and ethanol — into electrical energy. Catalysts that incorporate less expensive metals inside the nanoparticles can help reduce cost and improve activity and durability, but further improvements to these catalysts are required before these fuel cells can be used in vehicles, generators, and other applications. Now, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, California State University-Northridge, Soochow University, Peking University, and Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics have developed catalysts that can undergo 50,000 voltage cycles with a negligible decay in their catalytic activity and no apparent changes in their structure or elemental composition. The catalysts are “nanoplates” that contain an atomically ordered Pt and lead (Pb) core surrounded by a thick uniform shell of four Pt layers. To date, the most successful catalysts for boosting the activity of the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) — a very slow reaction that significantly limits fuel cell efficiency — have been of the Pt-based core-shell structure. However, these catalysts typically have a thin and incomplete shell (owing to their difficult synthesis), which over time allows the acid from the fuel cell environment to leach into the core and react with the other metals inside, resulting in poor long-term stability and a short catalyst lifetime. Scientists have focused their research on the compressively strained Pt(111) surfaces, in which Pt atoms are squeezed across the surface, because the oxygen binding energy is optimized. In general, scientists thought that tensile strain on the same surface plane would result in overly strong binding of oxygen and thus hinder the ORR reaction. But the researchers showed that introducing a large tensile strain along one direction of a different surface plane, Pt(110), could also improve ORR catalytic activity. They added Pb to the core of the Pt shell, causing the Pt atoms to stretch across the surface. After the research group from Soochow University, synthesized the nanoplates, characterized their structure and elemental composition at the CFN. Using electron diffraction patterns and images from high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), both of which reveal the relative positions of atoms, he confirmed the core-shell structure and the composition and sequence of the atoms. To verify that the core contained Pt and Pb and that the shell contained Pt, he measured the change in energy of the electrons after they interacted with the nanoplates — a technique called electron energy-loss spectroscopy. With this information, the team distinguished how the nanoplates formed with the individual Pt and Pb atoms. To their surprise, the surface planes were not Pt(111) but Pt(110), and these Pt(110) planes were under biaxial strain — compressive strain in one direction and tensile strain in the other — originating from the PtPb core. In durability tests simulating fuel cell voltage cycling, the collaborators found that after 50,000 cycles there was almost no change in the amount of generated electrical current. In other words, the nanoplates had minimal decay in catalytic activity. After this many cycles, most catalysts exhibit some activity loss, with some losing more than half of their original activity. Microscopy and synchrotron characterization techniques revealed that the structure and elemental composition of the nanoplates did not change following durability testing. Compared to commercial Pt-on-carbon (Pt/C) catalysts, the team’s PtPb/Pt nanoplates have one of the highest ORR activities to date, taking the amount of Pt used into account, and excellent durability. The team’s nanoplates also showed high electrocatalytic activity and stability in oxidation reactions of methanol and ethanol. Eventually, the laboratory-level electrocatalysts will need to be tested in a larger fuel cell system, where real-world variables — such as pollutants that could impact surface reactivity — can be introduced.



Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161216115518.htm
 

 

Interdisciplinary Engineering and Special Fields

10. New Invention to Inspire New Night-Vision Specs

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have designed a nano crystal around 500 times smaller than a human hair that turns darkness into visible light and can be used to create light-weight night-vision glasses. Professor Dragomir Neshev from ANU said the new night-vision glasses could replace the cumbersome and bulky night-vision binoculars currently in use. “The nano crystals are so small they could be fitted as an ultra-thin film to normal eye glasses to enable night vision,” said Professor Neshev from the Nonlinear Physics Centre within the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. “This tiny device could have other exciting uses including in anti-counterfeit devices in bank notes, imaging cells for medical applications and holograms.” Co-researchers said the ANU team’s achievement was a big milestone in the field of nanophotonics, which involves the study of behaviour of light and interaction of objects with light at the nano-scale. “These semi-conductor nano-crystals can transfer the highest intensity of light and engineer complex light beams that could be used with a laser to project a holographic image in modern displays,” said Dr Rahmani, a recipient of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award based at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering. The team built the device on glass so that light can pass through, which was critical for optical displays. “This is the first time anyone has been able to achieve this feat, because growing a nano semi-conductor on a transparent material is very difficult,” said a reseacher from the Nonlinear Physics Centre at ANU.



Source : https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/12/161207093027.htm

 
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