Carmen Lilley, assistant professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is working on new procedures for making nanowires more electrically stable -- and hence more reliable. She was recently awarded a $505,532 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Award to help advance her project.
"My idea is to look at the physics of failure," she said. "How do these systems fail when stressed electrically? If we can develop a basic understanding of the mechanisms that control failure and a way to model these mechanisms, we can create material designs with predictable behavior."
Lilley's research focuses on studying properties of single crystals of common conductor metals such as gold, silver, copper, nickel and iron, and their unusual behavior characteristics at the nanoscale.
"At these smaller scales, the electrical resistivity of the structure changes," she said. "Single crystalline materials are of interest because we can use them to control the material uncertainties that influence typical experiments such as isolating electrical resistivity measurements from grain boundary effects, surface contaminant and roughness effects. What is the basic electrical resistivity at different sizes within the nanoscale?"
Lilley's goal is to create a basic design scheme to build stable nanowires for any application. For future highly integrated circuits and nanoelectronics, nanowires are the "essential building block," she said. "But to be successful, they must be stable, and that's a considerable challenge."
Lilley plans to use part of her grant to continue an ongoing effort to attract underrepresented minorities to engineering careers. One effort is the launch of a graduate mentoring program called "Preparing for Academic Careers in Engineering," or PACE. This program is sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering, the UIC College of Engineering and the department of mechanical and industrial engineering.
She also hopes to give undergraduate assistants more hands-on laboratory experience, and to bring students from Chicago Public Schools to UIC to see work in the lab and view some of the breathtaking images produced by instruments such as scanning electron microscopes.
"These beautiful images often have artwork properties. For the visiting kids, it can spark an interest."
NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development award is its most prestigious honor given to junior faculty members in the sciences and engineering who have shown a demonstrated commitment to research and engineering. Lilley's award is funded under the federal government's economic stimulus plan, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Paul Francuch | Newswise Science News
Researchers take next step toward fusion energy
16.11.2017 | Texas A&M University
Desert solar to fuel centuries of air travel
16.11.2017 | SolarPACES
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine